The Amazing Publishing Schedule

I (sort of) have it figured out.

I’m always hesitant to say I know what I’m doing because that’s never the case, so I’m pretty sure I know what I’m doing for the rest of the year and into next year in regards to writing & publishing.

Ready for this?

That new random thing I was writing: that’s nice a prequel/side story I’m releasing in December. DECEMBER THIS YEAR. Yeah. My original idea was to write a short story/novella, but “write it to market” so I’m still attracting readers on the side. The plan was to put it on serialized platforms to hopefully make some money and gain some followers until I’m ready to release ARPIP next year. But then it clicked—why not set this short story in the universe of TCATC? Make it an initial taste so it can generate interest beforehand, even if I’m not advertising the way I will with ARPIP.

YESSS.

Not only that—I’ll be releasing additional short stories between the major book releases to keep the side story going! It all makes sense now. It’s like I’ve been staring at one of those artsy pictures from the 90s with an image of a sailboat in the middle and you have to stare at it a while before actually seeing it. First, I didn’t know I was looking at an artsy picture from the 90s, so when everything clicked, it really CLICKED and I think I had a celebratory (or two) Angry Orchard.

To recap the amazing publishing schedule:

December 16th 2022 – release In The Moment Before, a companion novella set in the TCATC universe

March 24th 2023 – release A Royal Pairing in Perish

June 23rd 2023 – release short story (still to name)

September 22nd 2023 – release Book 2 (name to announce soon!)

December 15th – release short story (still to name)

March 2024 – release Book 3 (name to announce soon!)

Right? Look at it. All organized with dates and everything. I’m super excited, guys. Because whereas I LOVE my ARPIP characters, I also LOVE my ITMB characters and was slightly bummed they only got a novella in the universe. Weaving them back in with short stories is going to be so much fun and I’m already excited for next year!

Whoosh! Well those are all the writing updates I have. Oh, and that I’ll be back to sending out my newsletter again…which…may or may not have taken a short sabbatical May through July. But it’s returning in August, baby, along with even more updates pertaining to all upcoming releases. And I’ve got snippets for you too. So, if you want even more of a sneak peak, you’ll have to sign up for my newsletter. No way around it. #Sorrynotsorry.

Personal life-wise?

Batman and I are headed to Asheville next week! We’ve never been to the city, and have only stepped foot in the state once or twice, so we are very excited! Plus, we’ll be driving, so this is our first “road trip” in our fifteen-year relationship, and I’m excited to see if we’ll kill each other. But we’ll bring plenty of snacks and listen to good music so hopefully, that should be avoided. We’re going downtown to do some shopping, to the Biltmore estate for ideas on decorating our future castle-mansion, and to the Pinball museum (requested by Batman). Not sure of other activities, but hopefully we’ll get lost finding things to do—the best way to explore a city.

Be on the lookout for my August newsletter. Should be in your inbox on 8/15. You know, if you sign up. Here’s a nice little link for you.

nice little newsletter link

Go on. Click it. We’re all waiting.

Enjoy the week!

~ Lady Caitlin

The Master Plan

I figured it out.

Not, like, the secret to life—though, that’d be sweet—but what I’m doing with this random new thing I wrote. I thought it was some small story that popped up for distraction, but nothing is ever random or coincidental as I have come to learn in life—and neither is this. It’s suddenly become completely integral to the publishing plan I’m working on for the remainder of this year and over the course next year, but I can’t reveal anything now. Two reasons:

  1. I’m still working everything out
  2. I don’t want to jinx anything

Very legitimate reasons, I think. I’m not even sure I’m sharing the master plan next week. It might roll into mid-August just to be safe, but I’m already so excited to share.

Soon, guys. Very, very soon!

**taps fingertips excitedly**

Let’s see… Other than realizing my publishing plan for the next year or so, I’m also shifting gears toward my current/already-published-for-your-reading-needs books. I’m talking Better Than This and Arizal Wars. Arizal Wars will probably chill as is for now until it gets a facelift at some point. But Better Than This needs a scene or two *reworked and since I’m updating a new version anyway, I figure I might just update the covers too. I like them; I like that they are what I imagined, but…I don’t think they’re doing me any favors. People like pictures of people on books (apparently) and I guess some stray away from anything cartoonish. Whatever. I’m not taking it personally, but if there’s a better cover I could use for this series, especially one that will entice readers more: let’s do it.

I feel like a juggler right now. I’ve got to keep to my new publishing schedule—which shall be revealed in a future post!—as well as work on updating my books so I can get them to their correct platforms to then start promoting them on tiktok, which I still need to learn. Yeah. It’s all good. I can learn to be a master juggler with the best of them. (Random fact: I always thought jugglers were hot. Maybe I was just impressed with their magical multitasking skills. Who knew?)

Life is good. Batman and I have an Asheville trip coming up next month, and we’re throwing gross gobs of money at Disney for my birthday in September. It’ll probably be the last time we go for a while, but I still want to get on the Peter Pan ride. I haven’t been since I was a kid and every time we go, the ride has a miles-long wait. Screw Space Mountain. I’m headed straight to Fantasy Land for Peter Pan. I’ll push kids out of the way. I don’t care anymore.

What about you? Any plans coming up? It’s already the second half of the year, in case you haven’t panicked yet about Christmas. But it’s nice seeing the Halloween stuff.

I just love fall!

~ Lady Caitlin

I Wrote Something New

I wrote something new. It’s newer than ARPIP and the first draft of AROG (which I still need to finish…) but I took a break and wrote a short story (novella?) specific to a serial platform and—probably what’s most important—to market. What does that mean? It means I’m experimenting.

Since I’m a genre-hopper and can’t pinpoint who my audience is (other than people who love great stories with a lot of adventure, laughter, and romance) I’m writing a highly marketable enemies-to-lovers high-school drama with all the juiciness. Unlike my other books, I’ll slap on a cover with actual people (not space or guitar images) to see if that helps. I know I had a bit of interest on Better Than This before it got booted for violating Radish’s policy (boo!) so I know some of my readers are on there. The plan is to write something for them (within policy) and hopefully gain a following/some fans who I can maybe convert into fans/sales of ARPIP when I publish that…possibly next year.

There is some definite strategic planning going on in the background, and while I still feeling like I’m failing in multiple ways (no advertising, dropping the ball with the newsletter, updating my books) I’m creating content. At the end of the day, that’s the most important thing because with no content…no business. Right?

On the flip side, content with no marketing—aka people don’t know I/my books exist—doesn’t do me any good either. So, in order to combat this completely combative process, I’m going to make myself accountable. I’m going to do something EVERY DAY marketing-wise (although the majority of it is probably research for now) in addition to content-creation. I need to hold myself accountable for both aspects of this business, and even though I’m cringing as I type this, I need to. It’s part of it. And no one is going to stop me—not even I.

Marketing Stuff I’ve done so far:

I’ve signed up for TikTok. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but a LOT of indie authors are finding success on this site. Why? It’s zero paid advertising (which definitely helps profits) and, apparently, readers are on the platform. Next thing to do is study the platform, what other authors are doing, and then actually play around with the tools and create some badass videos.

Signed up for 1:1 Consult with Successful Indie Author. Seems silly to spend money on a one-hour consult with a fellow indie author…until you realize she started after you and has been successfully paying her bills with writing for four plus years. Yeah. Time to bite the bullet, admit defeat, and invest in myself. If I can drop money on a purple, velvet couch on Wayfair, I can spend money on this.

Stalk FB Groups. Doesn’t sound important, but it’s a wealth of information. It’s also how I decided to do the consult. Before I walk with marketing, I need to crawl, and that means hours of reading and research and learning. I could go in blind, but I’m trying to do it smarter this way since doing the dumb way has kept me sad and poor.

A few small steps in the right direction, but they’re steps. I’m not standing-still, which is what I’ve been doing for a while. So, I’m proud of myself. I’m getting out of my comfort zone to be all uncomfy to hopefully do this thing right. And “right” to me is the ability to write full time, however that comes to fruition.

Alright, enough jabbering with you. I need to do more research.

And coffee. I’ll definitely need more coffee for this.

~Lady Caitlin

No Regrets

So…I’ve been doing a major no-no when it comes to self-publishing. Any guesses? I’ll tell you since I—a self-publishing author—didn’t know myself. I have (and currently am) breaking the cardinal rule of NO GENRE HOPPING.

Woops…

Let’s see. I’ve got a Sci-fi (with romance) series, a Contemporary Romance series, and an Urban Fantasy Romance series that I’m currently working on, so…it’s not like I’ve been genre-hopping my entire self-publishing career, right? Oh wait. Yes, I have. Among several other things I’ve been doing incorrectly, I really shouldn’t have been jumping genres since it’s harder to build and retain an audience. Most of us like reading a certain genre/trope, and we depend on our authors to write only in that box.

HAHA again woops!

In my defense, I didn’t know what kind of author I wanted to be. What kind of stuff I wanted to write. So, I wrote whatever story came to me. And you know what? No regrets. I like what I wrote, and I definitely think it helped shape me to become the author I am today. Was this the smartest way to go about it? HAHA nope. But I want to tell the stories I want to tell, and I did that. And now, I know what I like to write and why. Just took a couple of genres to figure it out.

Will this upend my success? I mean…I hope I have fans who enjoy my stories regardless of the box it fits into, even though it includes the same elements all my stories do:

Romance? Check

Adventure? Check

Escaping something? Check, check, check

Can these three elements be considered a genre, because if so, I’m set. Or maybe I’m set with themes? I don’t know and I’m tired of thinking about it. I wouldn’t change what I did, and I’m honestly not sure what I’m going to do. I like writing across different genres, so maybe at some point, I’ll create pen names for each. Until then, a new release by C.G. Coppola will always be a surprise, but just know, it will ALWAYS CONTAIN romance, adventure, and the need to escape. Seems pretty dependable to me.

Non writing news:

We went out on a tikibar! If you’re not familiar with the concept, don’t feel bad. I’ve lived in Florida my entire life and just discovered the service. Or, maybe the service is new? Either way, it’s a ninety-minute cruise in whatever city you live, normally around an historic or touristy location. Cooler and ice provided, but you bring your own food and drinks. Not too expensive and it’s just…fun. You can sit on the floor like me and stick your feet in the water—and subsequently scream when a glob of seaweed touches you—or you can walk around the tiki or sit on the barstool while they play island music. Honestly, I’d go again. But, only for the ninety minute cruise—got to remember there are zero bathrooms unless an unplanned stop at the sandbar is needed. Something to keep in mind.

There’s more non-writing news, but nothing much to note. I learned how to pronounce the word cognizant. Batman and I worked on it for a while, so I’ve got that going for me. Also: didn’t break the washing machine like I thought I did. I will remember not to overstuff it with towels next time so it doesn’t freak and keep resetting itself. Ah, life lessons.

Hope life is good in your neck of the woods. Also hope you’re seeing gas prices drop a smidge. It’s not a lot, but at this rate and with this record-high inflation, I’ll take what I can get.

~ Lady Caitlin

All the Reasons

My excuse is I’ve been writing.

Probably not a great excuse (even from a writer) but it’s true. I’ve been writing a lot. A LOT. Was any of it a blog or the newsletter I needed to send out? Nah, because that would make too much sense. I’m apparently sabotaging myself simply because I’m too excited to write this second book. So, there you go. All the reasons for all the failures BUT I do have some news:

First, check out these bananas:

I can’t believe these were just sitting in Walmart next to all the normal-sized bananas and no one wanted to buy them. Um—hello? Are we not all aware of how amazingly phallic these are? I did, so I bought them and brought one into work last Friday because I’m mentally ten years old and wanted to have some fun.

Second, I have the scoop on the missing chicken. Didn’t know the chicken was missing? Good for you, because it’s been hard to find in nearby grocery stores for us. Normally, they only have the thighs and wings and things I’m not quite sure how to cook. But I like chicken breasts and apparently, they are a hot commodity because the RESTAURANTS ARE BUYING THEM ALL. Yep. A talkative Walmart employee spilled the beans—how gas prices are ridiculously high, so instead of buying wholesale from their distributor, restaurants are finding it’s cheaper to purchase from local supermarkets, robbing us consumers, and hence, all the chicken is gone. Because of politics.

 I try to keep politics out of this blog but I’m afraid that time has come, my friends. Politics (sadly) is tied to almost everything in our daily lives; I just never thought it’d be tied to the amount of chicken I can buy. CHICKEN. So, there’s that.

Third (and possibly the best, although the phallic bananas might be my favorite…) I witnessed a real-life, in-person movie kiss. Now, for a romance writer, this is pretty dope. I saw something that I write about in my stories, so to see it happen in real life—in reality—was just frigging awesome.

It was after a long day that left me literally twitching (IT spent thirty minutes trying to correct my monitor display sizes only to leave the contents on my right screen shaking, thus, leaving me with a twitchy eye and likely future bouts of epilepsy) and after getting on the interstate to find myself in the SECOND horrendous traffic jam that week, I opted to take a side road I normally don’t. But fuck it. I’d rather explore new routes than sit in a sea of headlights and feel myself slowly dying. It was down the side street that new traffic forced me to slow to a crawl in a residential area, and that’s when I spotted the couple.

She was a student—maybe college—with a purple backpack, curly brown hair, and a bike she seemed proud of. He stood almost a foot taller and had big ears with some jersey on. I had my windows up, so I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but it didn’t matter. They were talking, and the next second, he brought both hands to the side of her face and planted one on her for all rush-hour traffic to see. Her shoulders slumped in giddiness, like she couldn’t believe it.

I couldn’t believe it. Kind of made all the traffic and eye-twitching worth it. If anything, definitely inspiration for future books because love does exist.

Sorry for the long post but wanted to keep you guys up to date with all the major life situations currently occurring. At least, the ones I feel comfortable writing about on this blog. I’m still in shock (not really) that there’s a war over chicken breasts, that bananas can be so…generous, and that I was able to witness a real-life movie-kiss.

Also, a LOT of writing has gotten done, but who cares about that?

Not me.

~ Lady Caitlin

The Recent Highlights

I’m writing this last-minute (literally the night before) because I felt crappy missing another post. As I keep saying, no news is good news, but it also makes for a shitty blog. I need to talk about something, and since ARPIP is still on the same track, work is still asking almost ten hours of me each day, I figured it might be best to skip this week too. The only thing of note are the two seizures Appa had on Sunday, and I kind of don’t like thinking about them.

So, since we have practically no news, I’m going to bullet-point the recent highlights:

Yes, Appa had back-to-back seizures, but he’s doing fine now. I think. I’m not really sure since he hasn’t learned English yet, so he can’t tell me what’s causing them. Or how he feels.

The unicorn-silver hair keeps sparkling its way through my chocolate-brown locks, and part of me wants to pluck them all out. I don’t, but I stare at myself in the mirror for a while thinking about it.

No, I haven’t seen Maverick, and I won’t. Tom Cruise. Yuck.

I won two dollars off a lottery scratch-off and instead of cashing them in, I bought two more lottery scratch-offs and won a dollar. I’m not sure what to do this round.

Regis thinks the mirror in my office is a portal. I keep a decorative one on the floor because Batman hasn’t put it up yet, and every time the dog sees it, she gets hypnotized and won’t move, like she’s stuck in it. Sometimes, it freaks me out because what if it is a magic portal…?

I tried one of the best donuts I’ve ever had. It was French-toast flavored and flaky like a croissant and the shop is literally down the street from my house. This is how it feels to be introduced to heroin.

We’re hosting a Mortal Kombat/90s party this weekend. If I don’t post a picture, just imagine overalls, platform shoes, chokers, and butterfly clips. I’ll be wearing them all (but no bangs. Not this time).

Those are the highlights. Maybe next week I’ll win the real lottery, but that seems far-fetched since I don’t play it. But…you never know. A girl can dream and pray and be delusional.

It’s our right.

~ Lady Caitlin

A Lot of Content

I’m keeping this one short because 1) I lost track of time again (yes with a three-day weekend, but I was busy and working on other stuff. Shut up) and 2) not a lot of updates with writing or life (also hence my absence last week).

Writing-wise, this is what I’m thinking:

Finish AT LEAST the first draft of book 2 before I start advertising/choose a release date for book 1.

Eh?

Good plan? Bad plan?

I hear a lot of arguments for both sides, but I feel like the more I write before I release book 1—the better. I wrote and published all three of the Better Than This series in 2018 and it was AWFUL. My job at the time didn’t help, but it was just too much going on at once (not to mention financially) and I don’t want to go through that again, which is why I’m considering having the second book written while I market and release the first. Maybe even have the third one written? I don’t know. But, just know I’m working on a lot of content coming your way!

Non-writing-wise, everything is pretty much the same. I haven’t won the lottery, I haven’t bumped into Chris Pratt (boo!) and I haven’t become the best-selling author you and I both know I will one day be. But it takes time with these things, you know? Until then, I’m being patient. Growing out my silver-unicorn hair and taking it one day at a time, like we’re supposed to.

Hopefully, I’ll spring back to life for next week’s post, but, that’s like seven days away, so who knows.

Guess we’ll see.

Let the suspense commence…

~

Lady Caitlin

All The Things

All good things come to an end. At least, on one platform.

Those 8,900 views ended up reaching close to 12,500 (I think?) before the platform, Radish, removed my story for violating policy.

  1. HAHA still a rebel. Defying policies and fighting authority since birth (and emphasized during the Great Condom Heist in college).
  2. BOOOOO for removing content that wasn’t checked beforehand. Plus, they spotlighted my book for a promotion so it’s really on them.
  3. The violation was due to explicit scenes with minors. They were 17. Grow up.

I was making a few bucks daily on this site and thought…okay…there might be something here. And then today, I got the email about the audit and them plucking my story from their platform. Goodbye 59 subscribers and daily profits. This blows. Bright side? I gained a little traction, so those 59 subscribers at least heard of me and it boosted my sales on Amazon for a few days, so not all a loss.

Does suck though. But, as I’ve learned over and over (and over and over…) everything happens for a reason. Everything. Even if it’s a closed door/window/opportunity, it was closed for a reason. That’s not the direction to look or go anymore; now it’s been shifted to something else. So, I took a minute to be sad about Radish’s stupid BS, and now I’m over it. Maybe I was on there long enough to serve my purpose which was gaining a new Patreon subscriber! Woo-hoo! Now I need to remember to be working on that again as well!

All the things.

Also, I missed sending out my May newsletter. I know, I know. Normally, it covers the same information in my blog with a little treat, like a snippet from an upcoming release, and I failed in sending it out this month because:

  1. I mismanaged my time and the 15th has come and gone…
  2. Nothing big to report, except that I’m not releasing APIP next month as planned. But anybody who cares about that already knows.

I thought about sending out a newsletter later this month but think I’m just going to roll to June 15th. Any info you need to know will be in my blog, or, you can ask.

NO, I don’t know when I’m releasing APIP but I’m hoping for November/December. Not sure it’s a good time to release something because everyone is preoccupied with the holidsays. Right? Do you ignore treats for yourself (like reading) around the holidays BECAUSE you have so much going on – or – do you indulge yourself with treats (like reading) around the holidays BECAUSE you need that escape?

*taps fingers expectantly waiting for answers*

Actually curious because this may affect the release date…

~ Lady Caitlin

The Puzzle Solved

Earlier this year I signed up for a serialized fiction platform, Radish. Remember? I barely remember because it’s a platform that I rarely check. I’ve had the same 78 views since February with no comments, no subscribers, and no traction. I probably glance at the thing once or twice a month. Well, last week they emailed saying Better Than This would be featured as a free book on their Free-Book-Friday promotion. Okay, cool. Last time they highlighted BTT with a promotion…still sat at the same 78 views, no subscribers. No traction. No big deal.

Guess this one was different. I checked early Friday – still nothing. I checked Sunday morning and I had 8,900 views. WHAT. WWWWHHHHAAATTTT. Of all the combined platforms I’ve been on, this is the first one that’s pushed over 1,000 views. And in two days? WHAT. Also got me 60 new subscribers.

It’s weird because I didn’t actually do anything. Literally. I signed up for Radish at the beginning of the year, uploaded the series and kind of…waited. I applied for a previous promotion and it didn’t do crap. Now I know if people want to read my books, I should give them away. That, or apply for promos making them free. Aha, the puzzle solved.

It kinda jumpstarted me to get things going. I’ve already pushed back the release date of ARPIP until some point (when I can get my ducks in a row for a semi-successful launch / not have wandering ducks with the same lackluster launch) but it means updating my books with all new backmatter, revising prices, getting the newsletter going (…having more than 9 subscribers…) and working with other authors. Not to mention finish editing ARPIP and writing AROG.

I don’t know…something about seeing the 8,900 views was like having an angel pat me on the back saying. “See? You can do this. It’ll take some time and energy…but you can do this.”

Thanks, Angel.

How are you? Did you have a nice weekend? I had a lovely one with my mom, sister, nephew, and Batman. We explored the city, had many delicious meals, and even more drinks. It’s how I like celebrating a holiday. Other than that—and the increase of views/subscribers—everything is still the same. Still growing pretty new silver strands and Batman keeps reminding me I’m older. Because he’s evil. Because he thinks that makes me a cougar…even if he’s only six months behind me.

Anyway, all is well here. Better than well, actually – I got 8,900 views!!! This will probably be my highlight for the rest of the year, so apologizes if I refer to it often. But when good things happen, you got to celebrate, right?

Yeah, you do.

Cheers!

~ Lady Caitlin

The Inevitable Question

I missed last week.

I know. I know.

I told myself (and you, silently, in my head) that I wouldn’t miss another post unless there was a DIRE EMERGENCY kind of situation, because how long does it take to write a few-paragraphs-long post? The answer is not very long. At all. The thing—if you’re skilled at writing totally awesome posts like I am—only takes a little bit of time. Maybe an hour. Probably less. So, how can I not find one tiny (maybe less) hour in my day to write the weekly blog, right?

I know. I planned poorly and did not underestimate the amount of energy my day-job would suck out of me because missing last week’s post is inexcusable, especially since I had this great theme about how all the hair on my head is slowly starting to betray me, and turn unicorn-silver. It was more a cathartic post for me to come to terms with the fact that I’m getting a new hair color, but I realized something even more important, something about my newest book…

Brace yourself (or don’t)—

I’m pushing back the release date of A Royal Pairing in Perish.

*GASP*

I know. I know.

I didn’t want to do it either, but I need to. I’m just not ready or even close to releasing a book next month. Because yeah, I can literally go and ‘publish’ the thing, but I really want to do this differently. I want to really try this time, and I feel leaps and bounds behind where I should be for launch-day. I’m following my gut, and it’s saying I have good intentions, but my timing is off. Way off, which leads to the inevitable question:

When am I planning to release?

Great question! I’d love to answer that, but the jury is still out, and I’m not sure when those fools are returning. I’d like to say by the end of the year (and could still be the case) but I’m just not sure. I’m taking a big step back so I can do this smart and I know you guys will support me because 1) you normally do and 2) I only hear from like, three of you, and it’s all been supportive.

Thanks for taking it so well, guys. And thanks for the initial vent on all the unicorn-silvers coming through. They used to be buried in a sea of luscious brown, but now they’re sparkling like diamond, gossamer strands. Very much on the fence about dying them.

Thoughts?

On anything?

~ Lady Caitlin