Hustling Status

See my newsletter? Meh? Not too shabby…I mean, for someone completely (sort of) starting out. You can say it: you liked that badass logo, that specifically selected color palette, and that link that led to a FREEBIE (because I know how to do that now). All me, baby. Oh, yeah. Amateur at its finest.

I’d like to say I winged it, but that is quite laughably far from the truth. Mailerlite (the newsletter service I’m using) offers these amazing tutorials that help technology-challenged people like me learn with idiot-proof videos. Huzzah! There IS hope for the dim-witted! I haven’t gotten through all of the tutorials yet, but it’s on my to-do list. Actually, there are about a thousand million-things on my to-do list right now, and I feel like as long as I check off one little thing each day, I’m not doing terrible. And that’s my goal at this point: don’t be terrible. I’ve been (mostly) terrible with all this for the past few years, so the goal is to change that. By doing a little everyday, I’m doing more than I did, elevating my “terrible” status to a “hustling” status, and I got to say: it feels good.

Other writing news:

I’m currently working with my cover designer, the fabulous Joleene Naylor, to bring A Royal Pairing in Perish to life visually. I can sort of see it, although some of it’s a bit blurry too, so I’ll have to figure it out here soon. I wonder if most traditionally published authors like having the burden of cover design taken off them, or if they feel they’re losing a huge creative opportunity. I’d feel like it’d be losing an opportunity, but man, a little creative direction would be nice! Of course, that’s what I’ve got Joleene for, but at the end of the day, it’s my choice. My book. My career. My business. It’s kinda important…should probably get it right…

I wish there was more to report, but that would mean more happened in my life and really, that’s not the case. Car is fine (praise the lord!), hubby’s still obsessed with Batman, and the doggos are still the best doggos in the world. Can’t complain.

What about you? What have you been up to this week? Do you have a thousand-million things on your to-do list like me? How do you handle it/get everything done and not lose your mind?

Share your secrets with me…I am royalty.

~Lady Caitlin

Newsletter Island

So…the plan—the PLAN—is to send out this year’s first newsletter on Saturday. Woot! Are you ready? I should probably be ready. I should probably work on it this week since I’ll be sending it out on 1/15 so… with that in mind, I’m keeping this post short. As in super-short. As in, barely a post at all. Since last week was the *big* announcement, we’ll call this one a bridge to next week with an awesome newsletter island in the middle.

Are you signed up? Would you like to be? In addition to my not-as-annoying pop up as before, you can sign up on my sign-up form, which should* be working. But again, it’s me, so we’ll see.

Alright guys, I’ve got nothing much for you right now. I’m on the cusp of getting my beta reader edits back, so every part of me is consumed with that—and realizing I will be even more poor (how is that possible?!) when this book is finally done because damn it takes money to make money. But at least I have my editor booked, and that sweet relief is enough.

Hope to see you in my newsletter on Saturday! Or not. Again, I’ll have no idea unless you sign up and actually open it (we have ways to know…muahahaha…) but you still might not even read it. It’s all good. (Probably just much more of me rambling anyway…) But still – yay for things happening and boo for being poor! I’m feeling all the emotions, guys.

2022 is off to a great start.

~ Lady Caitlin

*If the signup form isn’t working…please let me know. Thanks!

A Big Year

To think I almost missed this post because I put it off to do other important writerly things. Guys – it’s the first blog of the year. OF THE YEAR. Can’t miss this one.

I’ve got big plans for this year, and the plan is to stick to them. Releasing book one, writing book two, being a somebody on the indie-author scene instead of the creepy lurker I’ve grown accustomed to. All the things. I’m even breathing life into my newsletter WHICH I WILL BE CONSISTENT WITH. I have to yell at myself because no one else will and I need disciple.

TCATC is out to a handful of beta readers, and I’m only slightly nauseated in getting the feedback. I’m also throwing around the idea of how I want to title the book. The *series* is The Coyote and The Claw, but book one is A Royal Pairing in Perish. But do I want to highlight the series title, or use the individual book’s name? And how should I put them on the cover? Which one should be larger? Series title or book title? These are the CEO decisions I get to make. Just wish I would’ve paid more attention in art class.

Other big, huge, impossibly AWESOME news: my books are available in paperback! WHAT? RIGHT? YESSS. *Santa waved his magic wand/blew his fairy dust (whatever he does) and now I have physical copies of all those insane words. Proof:

Ignore the weird expression/background/adorable dogs (actually you can look at them. How could you not?)

I can literally hold my art. This is just…beyond awesome.

See? Things are changing. They’re improving. Just like my website…which will be worked on since I glanced at it yesterday and…no. BWHAHAHA no. It’s not terrible, but a bit of a revamp is needed, which has been added to my 2022 Kick Ass Writer list of things to do. But when to get to all these things? Your guess is as good as mine seeing as I have a fulltime job, a hubby who craves attention, and two dogs that think I’m only here to play fetch and give the ear-rubbies and neck-scratchies (which, let’s be honest, *probably* is my true calling). There’s so very little time in the day, and I guess I’ll have to start foregoing my sleep to get everything done. Who cares if I have huge, ugly bags under my eyes? Not me. I barely glance at myself in the mirror. Hubs has to look at me, and that fool already married me, so joke is on him.

There will always be new things to report/advertise/celebrate, but for right now, I think the paperbacks and the fact that I will be foregoing sleep to get all this done is newsworthy enough for this post—the FIRST post of 2022.

This is going to be a big year, guys. Can you feel it? You should. Feel the shift because it is COMING.

Dude—it’s already here.

Happy 2022!

~ Lady Caitlin

*Thanks for being the most awesome Santa, Mamabear

Aaaannnnddd for further proof of the awesomeness:

Too Excited To Be Scared

I’ve been keeping a giant Tupperware container in the fridge at work for over a week and I’m afraid to take it home. They’ll know it was me. That I’ve been taking up all the space (during the holiday week…) when it could’ve been used for all the other goodies. But I keep forgetting it’s there. Every day I leave, and every morning when I put my new lunch in there, I see the giant plastic bin of grossness with food and I think eww.

I think I’m just going to throw it away. It’s been in there for over a week and I really don’t want to smell it. I just don’t want to be seen throwing it away because they’ll FOR SURE know it was me and I’m still trying to make friends. Also, it’s the last of the original Tupperwares, so it’s probably time to toss the thing. Just can’t be caught when it goes down…

How was your holiday? Enjoyable? Stressful? Somewhere in the middle? Mine was great! Batman won Christmas this year because look at this:

Like, seriously. The candle alone proves he won. He could’ve gotten me this one thing and he still would’ve come out the victor. I’d never tell him this because then I’d literally only get the candle every year, and since he stopped reading this *amazing* blog years ago, he’ll never know. BWHAHAHA.

Writing News:

In my journey to actually do something with my writing, I applied for and got accepted to Radish – woot! What is Radish besides some small red vegetable? (Or is it a fruit? I don’t know…) Radish is a serialized platform that caters mostly to the romance genre, and readers pay per chapter. Kind of like sampling the book little by little instead of reading the whole thing. You can stop at any point and not continue…or you can keep going to the end. Some writers release a chapter a day, some every few days, and apparently, serialized platforms are *very* popular right now, so, I threw my name in the hat and actually got accepted. What?!  Seriously?!?

Yesssss.

I applied with my Better Than This Series, and the first chapter of the first book goes up today. Double woot! You can check it out, or check out Radish in general: here.

Other big news: beta reader copies are being distributed next week. NEXT WEEK GUYS. OMG. People—besides me and my laptop—are going to be aware of the story I’ve been writing for well over a year. I started May 2020 and here we are December 2021 with a *completely* different story, but one I love 1000 times more. I’m stoked, guys. I really am. All the nerves and terror are there (and I don’t think they’ll ever leave) but I’m pushing through. I’m too excited to be scared this time.

Next thing to work on is my newsletter because I’m realllllllly going to make it work this year. I need to. And I want to. It’s all about cultivating a fan base, right? Because if you have one of those, it helps to sell more books (which is the end game, folks.)

So, we’ve got Radish, beta readers, and a newsletter I will be Frankenstein-ing back to life. All the things, people. I’m doing all the things.

Well, this is our last chat in 2021. I hope you stick around for all the excitement in 2022, and I hope you have a fabulous time bringing in the new year!

~ Lady Caitlin

P.S. I finally threw the Tupperware out. There was no other way

Doing This At My Pace

It’s getting serious. It has to, right?

I could write and write and keep everything all to myself and my laptop (which I should name since I name most things and we’ve been through a lot together) and it could be a secret between only us. Pretty much what I’ve been doing with every other book I’ve published. It’s been me, the nameless laptop, and a handful of people (to whom I’ve mentioned its release) who know the story and that’s it. Hence zero sales. Hence limited *cough* no *cough* success.

NO MORE.

I’ve officially booked a date in early January for beta readers. This is through a service, and I feel better about letting them connect me with willing beta readers rather than politely tap on a friend’s shoulder and sorta kinda maybe see if they’d *possibly* be interested in reading this 110K book I wrote which could be complete garbage and is, by the way, super long. Course, if you’re out there in cyberspace and do want to beta read for me (and I know you in some way/know you won’t steal my work) then let me know. I’d love more feedback.

I ALSO BOOKED AN ARC DATE.

*mind exploding*

What does that mean and why is my mind exploding? Great questions. Well, basically, (sort of officially) it cements the fact that I’ll be publishing TCATC next year (woot!) because I’m asking people (again, through a service) to be an Advanced Reader and supplying them with a Copy of my book before it’s officially published. Basically, I’m asking people to review my book prior to its publication date, so it has reviews and isn’t sitting out there all lonely and cold and lame. Based on the ARC date that I selected, I’m publishing a week later which means, ladies and gentlemen, we’re looking at June 27th 2022 for this gal’s release of The Coyote and The Claw – A Royal Pairing in Perish.

*Tosses confetti*

*Carefully pops champagne bottle*

*Does adorable but very awkward dance moves*

Yes, I am still leaps and bounds behind where I should be (authors are advertising their second book in the backmatter of their first and I haven’t even written the second book…) but it’s all good. I’m doing this at my pace, and want to put out quality work so, I’m not rushing. But, it’s been the fear of doing it wrong that’s kept me from even trying. To quote a great woman despite the nonsensicalness I’ve seen around the interwebs lately:

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case, you fail by default.” ~ JK Rowling

Microphone drop.

Gotta do what I can, in the best way I can. And right now, that means releasing the first book in my next series in June, and hoping to have the second book out by the end of the year if not early 2023. Seems like a reasonable and attainable goal, and I am on board for both of those things.

Hoping you are having a fabulous week (and month and year and life cycle…) and that you’ve murdered zero people in response to any holiday stress. Go you!

Until our next date,

~ Lady Caitlin

I Have a Working Title

The reason I missed the last two weeks (besides being lame) is because I’ve been writing so much of The Coyote and the Claw. That’s right. You just read a title, folks.

The Coyote and the Claw

Now, imagine it in gold script against a blue or black background. Looks good, huh? I mean, in my brain, it rocks. But anything rocks compared to a year of Untitled, so even if I change it again, at least I’ve got something. A base.

(Also: breaking my three-word title trend here. All the books in my Arizal Wars series (Escape from Harrizel, Plague of Mybyncia, Discovery at Nerwolix, and Crusade Across Worlds) and my Better Than Now series (Better than Now, Better Than You, Better Than This) all have three-word titles. How did I do this? Was it subconsciously done? Literally no clue. But, this newest project has FIVE words, and I’m stoked. Just stoked.)

So, what’s the Coyote and the Claw, right? Or, should I say whom? My crime-fighting main characters who each have their own voice sections/chapters. Not going to give anything away, especially since I’m still *technically* writing the first draft of this version, but yes, this is a superhero story. Well, about two superheroes who fall in love. But there’s action, so it’s actually interesting this time.

When I think of all the words I’ve written, and scenes I’ve loved from previous drafts that I won’t share with anyone, I get sad. Then, I think of the newest project and everything I’ve written since, and get excited again. It only took about four drafts of other stories to carve away and manipulate this story into what it’s finally become—somewhat readable.

Hurray!

I’m about—eh—fifty or so pages (four or five chapters?) away from being done. With this first draft. And then, we start from the beginning again, combing through each chapter, making it better. I do that another half a dozen times before I ask anyone to read it. And that, my friends, is the life of an indie-author. It’s also where I to get stuck in the whole process. The part when I’m ready to share it. To publish the thing, after a round of professional editing, obviously. Because once it’s in the world, I literally don’t know what to do after that. Other than start writing the second book, which is what usually what happens.

Ah, the eye-twitching indie-author cycle continues.

I need to be more involved. I know this. I’m so not doing what I should in terms of participating with the writing community, readers, keeping up with new tools and platforms, ect. It’s my own fault, but I can’t seem to break the habit. I can’t seem to get into it the way other authors do. The only thing I really consistently keep up with is the actual writing and this blog. Mostly. And you see how often I’m lame and miss a week. So, any social media P.A. wizards out there looking to score some pro-bono points for a *future* bestseller—I’ll have a sign-up sheet shortly.

I guess I need help, which is fine. We all do. But, before I even go down that path for this book, I need to finish it first. And I’m getting there, guys. I’m definitely getting closer now that I have a working title.

I’ll take the win.

~ Lady Caitlin

I Hate These Bleh Days.

I’m feeling kind of bleh. ☹

The woes of self-publishing have got me down again, but I’m distracting myself with candy intended for the Trick or Treaters. It’s yummy, and makes me feel better. 😊 (Plus, it’s an excuse to go out and buy more candy. So, win-win.)

The bleh-ness comes from just being so, so bad at the whole business side of this thing. Because there is no business side. It’s just me chucking finished books out into the great void and turning around to write the next. That’s great and all (and go me for having such an awesome work ethic!) but there’s no other part of this business. Just manufacturing. No marketing. No marketing strategy, no strategy whatsoever. I’m telling you I literally have *no* strategy, which is not cool, because living off my writing is like, the goal. Someday. Someday soon? (God, I hope so). Which means I need to get a strategy. Which means I need to be smart and do this business side but again, I’m so, so bad at it.

But I can learn, right? I don’t know. I can be kind of stupid. It feels like this whole process is taking forever, and I’m not getting any traction, which is my own fault, but still. I hate these bleh days. I need a pick me up. Maybe extra snuggles with Appa? I’d say something sweet, but I’ve already dipped into the kids’ chocolate, and it hasn’t helped much.

P.S. The cover for Better Than You IS coming. Like, maybe in a couple days. See? Business side of me is doing VERY POORLY but flaky artistic side of me is ROCKING IT. Maybe one day I’ll master both.

Maybe…

Because It’s A Possibility, IWSG

I saved writing this post for the night before (again) when my brain is dead, so I’m going to jump right in on the optional question:

What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

Think I’ve answered this one before, but self-publishing. I’ve seen *so* many friends embark on entrepreneurial dreams and they can because it’s a possibility. That’s what self-publishing is: the possibility for authors to put our art out there. I would still love to be traditionally published, but gaining an audience is crucial, and self-publishing is slowly—but surely—helping me do that.

Okay, my brain is officially dead now.

I’m going to go fall asleep on the couch with Appa 😊

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.

The Case of CockyGate and Missing Reviews

There’s been a lot of craziness going on in the Indie world (in case you didn’t know. Which I assume you didn’t, since you’re not a self-published author. Unless you are, in which case, you probably know all about this. Recap for you!)

The first thing is this whole trademark thing. If you haven’t heard, an author by the name of Faleena Hopkins has successfully trademarked the word ‘Cocky’ in book titles, meaning no author—regardless of their publication date—is allowed to have that word in their title. It might not seem like such a big deal, but SHE TRADEMARKED A WORD IN A TITLE. So sorry, but I thought words were free for all of us to use? You know, to write and talk and communicate with. Is that not the case anymore? But, if the possession of a word in a title isn’t crazy enough, every other author who has that word in their title HAS TO CHANGE IT. LEGALLY.

(pause to really let that sink in)

You’ve worked for hours (and hours and hours) writing the thing, several more on imagining the brand/theme/colors, spent (even more) time and (lots of) money on cover design, editing and marketing, and now…what? You’re just expected to change it all? Because of ONE word?

But okay, let’s forget those who had to (or are in the midst of) changing everything for a second. Trademarking one word in the title isn’t really too terrible, right? Except that authors—now scared at the *possibility* of having to update their work—have come forward with their own trademarks. ‘Forever’ and ‘Dare’ and ‘Shifter World’ are all in the process of applying for trademarks. GUYS. What’s happening?!?!?!

The second other huge crappy thing is that Amazons is fucking us over. Authors, I mean. I considered going to KU (Kindle Unlimited) with my Arizal Wars series since I do absolutely no advertising and figure maybe I can score some page reads (KU pays by the page read, not the book purchased) and gain a little something there. Except, authors with LEGIT page reads are not able to access their royalties because Amazon’s saying they’re committing different kind of fraud like book-stuffing. Then a BUNCH of reviews went missing from like, a BUNCH of authors and they’re not sure if it’s a glitch or what. Regardless, losing reviews means less people’s opinions on a product which means (possibly) less interest from a potential buyer. And that’s the other thing—supposedly, Amazon is only allowing a ‘verified purchaser’ to leave a review, so if I lent you a copy of my book, you wouldn’t be able to review it there because you didn’t buy it. I don’t care who bought it, JUST REVIEW IT BECAUSE REVIEWS HELP US.

So those are the things swimming around in my head. That, and pushing BTT and writing/planning to market for BTN. And Deadpool. And maybe going to see Solo.

If you’re interested in following the “Cocky” situation, check out #cockygate. The RWA (Romance Writers Association) is even involved with the reversal of the trademark. This shit is getting super real.

What do you guys think? Big deal? Not a big deal? Having a lovely Wednesday?