(Slight Melancholy) Squee!

I’ve done shit for advertising BTN.

I know, because I don’t have a single pre-order, which is cool, except that it isn’t because it kind of sucks seeing absolutely zero interest after the first one released in May. Maybe I should be drinking while I write this.

*looks over shoulder*

Nevermind. Kitchen’s too far away and I’m comfortable. But no, the zero lack of sales isn’t what kept me from posting on Wednesday. It’s because 1.) it snuck up on me like always and 2.) I wasn’t really sure what to write about and oh, 3.) WE’RE WATCHING TWO EXTRA DOGS AND THEY WON’T STOP BARKING/WHINING. Well, one of them won’t. And when she does, she’s usually ripping something into shreds which means I must watch her AT ALL TIMES. That, or fall victim to the bark/whine orchestra that makes my eyes want to pop. So, we’ll just recap and say I wasn’t in much of a “writing mood” these past few days.

I’m still totally thrilled about BTN’s release next week (yep! Next week, folks! I mean, how did three months fly? #amiright?) but I’ve been a bit…melancholy over the whole thing. Not just the lack of sales *cough zero sales cough* but the pressure of everything, and how much I don’t know and everything is so much of a long shot that sometimes the whole thing feels…unattainable. It’s a terrible way to think but we all have these days.

Anywho, I know I’m going crazy and posting late on a Thursday, but I couldn’t let all of you three reading this not know that I was okay. I am, thank you for wondering. As always, I’m flattered. Better Than Now releases next Friday, August 17th (Rob’s birthday) and yeah, I’m excited about it. I also should do some kind of advertising but the good stuff costs money and like we’ve talked about on numerous occasions, releasing three books three months apart maybe wasn’t the best idea. Again, lesson learned.

But still, I’m super excited for the next chapter of Autumn and Alex’s relationship to be out there! (slight melancholy) squee!

How have you been? Anything exciting/fun happening in your neck of the woods?

Here’s What I’ve Been Working On

I’m kind of at the point where I’m sick of my own story.

Writers, you know what I’m talking about.

Having read and reread (and reread and reread…) the same passage about twenty thousand times makes you hate it. And that’s where I am—about to hate it—so I’ve been working on something else that *desperately* needs my attention: marketing.

I have to have some sort of something that shows the book and includes information about it/me. What do we call those? Advertisements, that’s right. I’ve been working on advertisements. And by that, I mean the only ONE I have that I feel semi-confident to share with the public and have associated with my brand (which I still need to like, develop).

Here’s what I’ve been working on:

Not too, too bad, right? But I tweaked it some more, added a release date and a quote:

Still not sure if this is going to be the final version or if I’m going to scrap the thing and start again. I really hope it’s not the latter since I have the pre-order date still set for August 3rd so, like, I’ve got to be advertising this bad boy or else my streak of no sales will continue ☹

So, love the input! Yay? Nay? Like the quote? Need a new one? (I’ve got back and forth with this A LOT) Let me know. I’d like to throw something into cyber space next week if at all possible.

Indies, how do you guys come up with your ads? Do them yourself or contract out?

Readers, how vital are ads in your book-buying decision?

P.S. Oh! I’m going to be featured on Tina Holland’s blog tomorrow. Totally forgot until just this second. But woop!

Tired and Tag (But Not Tired OF Tag)

Raise your hand if maybe giving yourself three months between book releases wasn’t the smartest idea.

**looks around**

**raises hand inconspicuously**

No—it’s cool, guys. It’s cool. I got this. It’s just a LOT. A lot of writing and reading and thinking and planning and I’m not even doing half of what I should be. I feel like I should pop Adderall and stay up all night so I can go to work all day and still get everything done. I’m not going to do that, because I’m not stupid, and I grew up in the 90s when there were *way* too many afterschool specials and public service announcements and even that one episode of Safe By the Bell when Jesse almost ODs on pills. So, yeah, I get it. Besides, pills aren’t really my thing. My thing is stress-eating my way through the Ben & Jerrys section at my local Walmart, so, the next picture I post, I might be the super-fat version of me from another universe. NO JUDGING. God willing I’m not, but we are talking about from here all the way to November, when the final book comes out.

After that, it’ll be a little better. I’ll still have to advertise but I won’t have to worry about completing the books, editing them, marketing them, (possibly paying for the marketing), DEFINITELY paying for the editor and formatting and cover design fees (and wondering where that money’s coming from) in addition to completing author interviews, setting up takeover posts and more. It was tiring just typing all that out (but I did it because I’ve got this. I’ve *yawn* got this.)

A little derail from writing:

Batman and I saw Tag. We also saw Solo last weekend, but I’d rather talk about Tag because IT WAS AWESOME! Just like Deadpool, but I was kind of obligated to focus on my book release at that time so now that we’re on a book release-free week/weekend, I have to tell you guys Tag was good. Maybe I’m biased because I watched it in a reclining chair in one of those theatres where you have to buy your actual “seat” (so very European of us) or because I was elbow deep in double-buttered popcorn. I don’t care. It was an awesome time and I’m pretty sure a lot of it had to do with the hysterical movie I was watching. Please go see it 😊

Not much going on right now besides all of the above and the movie I was able to escape to. Oh! Next weekend I’ll be going back to the shooting range to practice being a baddass some more. I meant to post about the first time I went, but that was like, four weeks ago, and the pictures weren’t terribly cute so I wasn’t wholeheartedly convinced to write about it. Plus, I forgot. I’ll do my best NOT to forget this time and to actually tell you how it went. I’ll even (try to) pose cute too. We’ll see.

Don’t forget: Creature Feature Anthology releases tomorrow. These ladies are fantastic, so if you’re shy and unwilling to commit to a full-length novel, an anthology of shorter pieces from three different authors might do the trick. Try it out. Try them out. You get THREE authors for the price of one and SEVERAL stories for the price of…one. Again, the answer is one. I don’t see how you guys aren’t jumping on this deal. It sells itself.

P.S. And a happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, HAPPY birthday to my dear friend, Stephanie!

Straight To the Source, IWSG

I’ve been emailing a lot of book bloggers asking if they’d review my book. Since my current marketing budget is a whopping $0.00 (unemployed for 3 months, remember?) the options to get Better Than This out there is limited, but I HAVE gotten a lot of positive responses. 😊 Actually, I’ve gotten more responses than I thought which is 1) shocking and 2) extremely shocking since I didn’t get the same reaction when I did this for Arizal Wars. I don’t know if it’s the genre or the story or what but people are ACTUALLY EMAILING ME BACK which means I have to be doing something right—right?

Part of it makes me nervous. I’m asking people—people I’ve never met—to look at something from my brain and rate it. Rate it on the internet for EVERYONE to see. When I think of it this way, I shake my head and say no, no, no and ridicule myself for imagining something so scary. (I try not to do this.) Instead, I try to think of it as the humble beginning to building my (hopefully loyal and supportive) fanbase. That sounds way better.

Maybe once the paychecks start rolling in or I win the lottery or become the Duchess of Sussex, I’ll do one of those professional marketing tour things. They make sense and sound like a good strategy, but I planned three releases this year on a non-existent budget, so I’m going straight to the source. Reaching out to the readers directly because 1) it is literally FREE and 2) cultivating an authentic fanbase sounds like the first block in any successful author platform. 🙂

Now that that’s decided, onto the optional IWSG Question!

What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

I don’t really come up with either—they’re just in my head. It’s like I look to my muse and she goes, “oh, you need that information now?” and boom. I have it. But, I think it takes longer for her to hand me the book titles. On average 😊

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.