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!

CEO. OF EVERYTHING

It’s a scary thing when you realize you’re the CEO.

That’s right, baby. It’s me. I’M the CEO. Woop! Finally got that imaginary corner office…so…why isn’t this easier? And where the hell is my assistant? The minute—or the culmination of minutes—it took me to realize that no one was going to do this for me—write amazing books, market them, and live comfortably off my earnings—was both liberating and terrifying. (Mostly terrifying)

I try to keep my posts somewhat writing related and that was one of many epiphanies recently; I’m CEO of my own company (even if it’s just having five books on the market.) It’s me. Just me. I’ve had this thought before, but never with the oomph of the “CEO” title. Somehow, it makes it even more exciting/scary. But, as I keep shouting to myself, I got this.

As CEO, that means I’m also in charge of all marketing. Haven’t you seen me all over the place? No, you haven’t, because I barely do anything BUT I’ve put together two ads. What do you think?

 

Oh yeah *tugs suspenders” Drink in all that homemade goodness ($0.00 budget, remember?)

If you support me, my work, or know anyone who you think would enjoy it, I invite you to share one or both of these lovely teasers with them. It’s all about word-of-mouth, you know. I rarely pick up something because I found it and sank in on my own (Eleanor & Park) but because someone recommended it to me. 😉

Do you run your own side business or feel like the CEO of something? How do you handle it? Is it scary? Exciting? Both?

P.S. I saw Solo. Meh.

P.P.S. I stopped watching Hemlock Grove. Just couldn’t deal. I AM watching Westworld and Sunday night’s episode might be my favorite. Did you watch it? Do you know what I’m talking about? ARE WE PART OF THE SAME TRIBE? <—- (see what I did there).

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.

GUYS. THIS FRIDAY.

Clearly, I am shit for advertising.

If I wasn’t, there’d be a parade or a blimp or some sort of brightly colored banner flying across your face that says “look at my new product. LOOK AT IT. Now (think about going to) buy it.” But there isn’t. When I say I’m crap for advertising, I mean it. I’m total shit. I’m afraid to commit to things (especially when there’s a lot of techie-stuff involved) and nowadays, that’s mostly what it is. Online marketing. And here we are – WEEK OF.

THIS MOFO FRIDAY.

GUYS.

I did do an interview over at Joleene Naylor’s blog because she’s awesome and offered and my $0 marketing budget allowed me. Now that I have a job—I HAVE A JOB! MORE TO COME ON THAT LATER—I can actually advertise or do *something* somewhat businessy-official for BTN and BTY releasing later this year. Who knows if paid advertising actually works, but when I have a *small* amount of disposable income, I can at least try something more along the lines of  what the professionals in the industry are doing. But that’s then. And this is now. And it’s almost here, guys.

And the nerves—THE NERVES.

There may have been some wine purchased. I already set the book to pre-order, so the “publish” button is already clicked. Now all I have to do is sit back, enjoy the wine (selected solely on its very pretty label) and keep working on edits for BTN. Once there’s an income, I’ll (maybe) get on that marketing wagon for a change. Until then, wine. Yummy, cheap wine.

And reading. And writing.

But mostly the wine.

P.S. YOU CAN PRE-ORDER BETTER THAN THIS RIGHT HERE FOR FRIDAY MAY 18TH BECAUSE I LOVE YOU AND WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY

P.P.S. And go see Deadpool. It’s going to be a big day 😉

Little Tease For Ya

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks.

First thing: my sister is doing great. Fantastic, actually, because she doesn’t need to go back to the doctor or have any more surgery since everything came back benign. 😊

*wipes sweat from brow*

That’s the kind of good news I’m talking about. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers and good vibes and for crossing your fingers and toes and eyes and everything else cross-able. It helped. It really did.

Second, I’ve had…a bit of a time. In addition to falling down and hitting my head rather hard (posted about it on my fb author page), I’ve been extremely disappointed in this whole searching-for-a-way-to-pay-my-bills-thing. The other week I was told I had a job, then come to find out that it was given to someone else. Then, I had a promising interview and was asked to come back for a second interview. And I…never heard from the company again (this was after follow up calls and emails.) Job-searching sucks. ☹

 

BUT let’s not focus on that because it’s sad and depressing and someone *cough* me *cough* has a book coming out. So, let’s focus on fun and creative things like…

BOOK TEASERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What I need from you lovelies, are your opinions. I’m not sure if I like the 3D book covers or the flattened ones better. These are book teasers that I’ll be using on Twitter and other sites that let me advertise prior to publication.

So, let me know. Which do you like best? Which catches your eye more or would make you stop and think, “hmm…I may read that?” (Your opinions are SUPER important to me because I know what I like, but I only have two eyes so I need YOUR eyes to look at it freshly. I need to know what other people are thinking about these homemade teasers, so I know what’s working and not. Let’s face it: ya’ll are part of the team now. We’re in this together. So, thumbs up/thumbs down? Spill it. I need the intel 😉)

Also! I’ve joined this thing called Book and Main Bites. (I’m under C.G. Coppola) It’s for romance authors to put up little “bites” of their juicy/lovey moments without revealing their titles/book covers/too much about them. It’s a way for readers to discover new authors just by the content and not so much BUY MY BOOK links you usually see. So, any romance writers/readers out there, I’d check it out. I found a couple of new authors on there myself 😊

ONE MONTH TO GO UNTIL BETTER THAN THIS COMES OUT!!

I’M ON PATREON

Who did it? I did it! Who did it? I did it!

***happy dance***

Obviously, the terror of messing this up and failing miserably is still a constant in the background, but I’ve hushed that stupid voice because she’s annoying and brings nothing positive to the table. Besides, she never thought I’d make it and look where I am—on Patreon. Being an artist with (possibly/hopefully) patrons to support my creative endeavors and stuff. Woop!

So, here’s what’s going to happen: I’m still going to run this blog but some of the more in-depth things or behind-the-scene things that I probably wouldn’t have put on here anyway, I’m going to be posting over there. It’s part of the “reward” of being a patron. It’s going to be cool because this space will be dedicated to general things about my life and writing whereas Patreon will be specifically dedicated to a more in-depth look at what I’m doing (book releasing-wise) with marketing, first drafts, extra POV scenes, Q &A and more. So, here, you’ll be chilling with cool Caitlin and there you’ll be chilling with crazy-artist Caitlin. (Believe me – they are different.)

Enough of the happy dancing and talking about it: please head over to my page and consider signing up for a reward. 😊 Remember, I’m not winking at you in the video (or am I?). It’s just that my eye lid flutters a lot.

Thanks for all the support! You guys rock!!

Getting there, baby

I’m doing it.

I’m making a Patreon page. You’ll probably see the official I’VE MADE A PATREON post later this week when I’ve actually pushed the launch button, so, be on the lookout for that. 😉 Or not. There’s really no way for me to know. But I DID spend the better part of yesterday playing with my webcam to make my welcome video and whoa—are my eyes expressive. I never realized that I blink so much. I always knew I had a slight twitch so please, if you do head over to my page and watch the video, just know I’m not winking at you. It’s just my weird DNA mixed with anxiety and walla!—you have my oddball facial expressions.

I’ve been busy lately. And a good busy, I guess. I’m kind of looking for jobs, but I’m spending the majority of my time planning to promote Better Than This. For all/any of you creative types out there, I’m using Picmonkey which allows me to custom-make my own teasers/advertisements and whatnots. I *super* suggest checking it out even if you’re looking to host a party because they have templates for Facebook events and different things like that. But for all my authors (and I guess anyone with their own business), I snazzied up my fb author page by checking out this article. It lists marketing tools for people who hate marketing and I found it extremely useful, especially the part where I borrowed a template to make my shiny new cover photo for my author page. (Because I’m dumb, it took me a moment to realize the template was in a powerpoint and I ended up figuring out what/how my Google drive worked. So, lots of learning things.)

I’m dying to show you some of the teasers and advertising pieces I’ve put together, but I’m saving them for my Patreon page because, as promised, all new content will appear there first. But I DID post the below fake concert adds on my fb page with a poll to find out which you like better. Feel free to leave a comment here or cast your vote there. I’m honestly torn and could use some opinions and who’s better than yours? 😉

We’ll call this # 1

… and #2

Let’s see… what else…. oh! I did go to a wedding last Friday which was awesome. Because I forgot my phone in the car, I snagged some of Batman’s pics:

Real pretty, right? And the food was good too!

How’s life been treating you? Any advice on marketing/advertising? Which fake concert ad do you like better?