It’s now Monday, 12 March 2018, and I’m live to answer your questions. You can ask me anything!
Go to my AMA session site to type your question 🙂
Ask me a question and I will answer live on the AMA website!
It’s now Monday, 12 March 2018, and I’m live to answer your questions. You can ask me anything!
Go to my AMA session site to type your question 🙂
My storiy made it into the Twisted50 Vol.2 anthology!
You may remember my post regarding me being shortlisted for Twisted50 Vol.2. Well, today they finally announced the fifty winners whose stories will be entered in the Twisted50 Volume 2 anthology. It was a long wait, but it was worth it :). Check out all the winners here.
My winning story is called ‘Rumour has it…’ and is not for the faint at heart. It’s about a girl who stands trial for gruesome murders committed. You’ll have to buy the book to read the whole story, and, man, are there some twisted stories in there! At the moment they’re voting on the book cover, but I’ll let you know the link to the book as soon as I’ve got it.
Now, I’m off to dance around the house!
A list of things to head when launching your book online
I have just published my second book on Amazon. The first book disappeared into the Amazon abyss in no time. I was a complete novice then and didn’t advertise. This time, I was going to shout it from the rooftops and make my book get to #1 in its category on Amazon! Right? Wrong. Here’s what I learned from this experience.
There is so much that needs to be done in the weeks before your book goes ‘live.’ Communication with your launch team members, finalizing your text, organizing advertisement. Don’t waste that time by not being there.
I was still changing words, sentences, paragraphs the day before the launch. I’m still not done. Try to make sure the book is exactly what you want it to be before even contemplating putting it out there. It’ll save you a lot of stress.
I knew some team members had other books to finish first, but I assumed they all would have read it by the time the book was due to be published. I reminded them a month before launch and a week before launch. I didn’t want to be too pushy. It only takes about four and a half hours to read it, yet, when I contacted them personally the day before the launch to tell them their review was wanted in a day’s time, there were still those who hadn’t even started reading. You need to contact them sooner, individually, to make sure they read it. Or scrap to them from your ‘people to count on’ list.
I knew there were a few people in my launch team new to the whole experience and I wrote a post with guidelines on how to write a review. Don’t assume they read it. Or follow it. Even when I posted where and how to find the place on Amazon to write the review, people still contacted me to ask how to do it. Just smile and explain it to them, again. When they write a review and give away the plot, contact them asap, drop to your knees and produce those crocodile tears, anything, to make them take that one sentence out of their review.
I made that big mistake. I thought BargainBooksy and FreeBooksy were two completely different entities. They’re not. BargainBooksy contacted me on the day to say they couldn’t run the promo as my book was free and not between $0.99-$2.99. They offered to switch me over to FreeBooksy, but FreeBooksy couldn’t run my promo on any of the days my book was actually free. Day 1 wasted.
There are some people that are there for you every step of the way. Love them to bits. And then there are those that join your team and are never heard of again. Why they joined the team, I don’t know. I understand that everybody lives busy lives, but when you sign up for a launch team, people count on you. I know I’ve been one of those, and I still feel guilty about it, even though I always tell people I’m a very slow reader. What I don’t understand it that they don’t reply after you contact them personally. At least a word of ‘Sorry, I was busy’ would be nice. Now I keep wondering if they got hit by a train or something.
It was the first time I used Fiverr. I did so much wrong. I ordered a promo by a girl that said she needed three days to set it up (I opted for ‘the whole hog’ package). I didn’t realize you actually had to order it three days before you wanted it, not 5 days in advance. I managed to contact the girl and ask if she could do it later, on 1 or 2 September. No problem, she said, not mentioning what day she was actually going to do it. I had to try and get a response from her again. I finally did. 1 September she said. Okay, sorted, I thought. She didn’t do it on 1 September. She contacted me on 2 September to ask for the text of the tweet (I thought I had given her enough info (and money) for her to sort this. For some reason or other she didn’t run the promo on the 1st and assumed the 2nd would be okay. Not. I never got my money back as Fiverr keeps it’ in my account for future use.’ As if I ever want to go through that again. Lesson learned. Day 2 wasted (and my money).
Even though the word ‘launch’ should make it clear that a launch team is there to help your book upward, some people have a problem understanding the system. They insist on rating the book according to how they compare it to other books they’ve read. Obviously, I can’t dispute their rating, but being in a launch team is not about ‘them.’ Team members are there to help the author rise in the Amazon rank to be seen by more people and hence be able to get more people to see and read your book. You can ask team members to contact you if they have a problem giving it four or five stars, but like I said before (see point 4), not everyone reads your posts.
When I already missed two days of advertising, I quickly made a video for my book and advertised it on Facebook (it took me half a day to make, more time of my promo time wasted). I still have no idea how it works, but I paid over £20 for five people to click on the ad. There is no way I can check if they bought it afterward. I stopped it as soon as I realized that this was a very expensive way of advertising.
Even though your ranking will plummet into the abyss immediately after the free days ended (I ranked #2557 the day after the promo), don’t give in. Don’t give up. Keep at it. Keep promoting your books and keep writing more! Remember that perseverance is stubbornness with a purpose 🙂 .
Reading image by Thought Catalog
Running image by Clem Onojeghuo
PS: The header image was taken at a book fair in 2016, showing my first book
I finally did it! The second book in the Suckers Trilogy has been handed in and will be published on Amazon the 28th of August! I’m so glad it is done. I need to tweak the blurb still, but the manuscript is as good as it can get.
Now to work on advertising…
An article by The Wayfinder gives me inspiration not to despair during my first book publishing process
As I am preparing for my first ever book launch and realizing how little I know and how unprepared I am for this process, articles like the one below give me hope.
By the way, I still post articles to my Flipboard magazines. The article is from my Writer’s Corner, but check out the new articles in Pretty Pictures, Sci-Non-Fi, Heath Herald, and Focus on Filming.
Writing Insights Part One: Becoming A Writer by The Wayfinder
Image: A Divine Humour (Creative Commons)
Header Image: Thought Catalog
What I’ve been doing while you didn’t hear from me.
I just wanted you to know I’m still alive. In case you wondered.
I’m sorry for not posting for over a week now. I actually have been on holiday, but my dear husband didn’t want me to announce that while we were away. As I had just read the news that a famous football player had been burgled after he posted an image of him and his family skiing in Europe on Instagram, I agreed with him. We didn’t get burgled.
Where did we go? Tuscany, Italy. It was beautiful there, albeit a little hot. At some point, we had the car registering 45°C! We went there with my husband’s family and had a great time.
In the meantime, we’ve been back for a week now and I’ve been working day and night on my Book 2 promotion. It is so much harder than I expected! Nothing seems to work with me.
I have been struggling for about two days to get my three books (the Prequel, Book 1, and Book 2) to look the same (formatting-wise). I have been wrestling mostly to get the header and footer lines on the same height. Not that eBooks need headers and footers, but I had them originally formatted to be printed books (something that I’m going to postpone for now). Somehow, Word totally ignores you when you hit the ‘delete header/footer’ button. Yes, the text/numbering disappears, but the actual header/footer stays. So annoying. It took me forever to get them exactly on the same height (and not a mm off). If anybody else struggles with them, don’t hesitate to contact me. I think I can say I’m an expert now 🙂 .
Next, I’ve been really pissed-off (pardon my French) with Twitter. I used to have an account called @JackyDahlhaus. Somehow this got deactivated due to spamming (accidentally, according to Twitter). I had no clue then and opted for another handle; @DahlhausJacky. As I’ve recently been looking into spreading ‘my brand’ over the social media, I was advised to have my brand name the same everywhere. Hence I needed to change my Twitter handle to my first one. I contacted Twitter and asked them to activate @JackyDahlhaus. ‘Sure, no problem,’ they said. And they did.
That’s when the problems started. As they activated the first account, they deactivated the second account. I lost all my followers (about 2500+ of them). No problem, I thought. I’ll just build it up again from scratch and get ‘real’ followers this time. People who actually read and like my books, not sexy snap-chatters, car sales people, or phoney army guys wanting ‘a friend’ and the likes. But when I tried to use the old account, it needed an email address first. I typed in my email address. ‘Sorry, this email address is already in use,’ was the message that popped up. Duh, of course it is, as it is attached to my second account. As this was now deactivated, I can’t get in it to remove the email address there. I have to wait thirty days to have it activated again. I’ve tried in multiple messages to Twitter to make them see the issue here, but all I get is automated responses with suggested actions that don’t help. Aaargh!
I have solved the problem for now with another email address I had made a while ago, but didn’t use. I’ll do for now. I just have to wait thirty days before I can have the other account activated again and remove my email address. would have been nice from Twitter to warn me to do this before they deactivated it.
Photoshop is another one of my peeves this week. It’s a great program and I love it, couldn’t do without it. Sometimes it drives me round the bend though. It’s not their fault, it’s my fault. I’m just not always as focused as I need to be and then I suddenly can’t find my images anymore. Or the black background of one book is not as black as the others, even though it’s made with the same ‘stock’ image. Or I can’t change a component of an image for no apparent reason. Very frustrating.
I hear you think ‘She’s losing the plot!’ Not to worry. I’ll trundle on and make the most of it. I see this whole promo exercise as another learning curve. It’ll make it easier next time!
This is going to be a short post as I’m pretty busy organizing stuff at the moment (for my book of course 😀 ). I’ve learned a lot this past week about publishing and Damian Connolly, my friend from osfarg, has been tremendously helpful with this. He had his second book published recently and he shared his experience with me. I have also understood more about publishing with Kobo and other retailers online.
Most importantly, I have decided to let go of having my books available in print for a while. It is too stressful to get this done in time. I want to do it right this time round and will take my time to make it perfect.
Sorry for not getting deeper into what I’ve learned, but will let you know what and why later. I hope you still love me 🙂 .
Have to rush now as I’m going to watch the first screening of Aberdeenshire Film Production’s short film ‘Busted’!
Here are a few memes I gathered over the week. Note there are two Italian ones due to the fact I was chatting with my Italian twitter friend who studies foreign languages 🙂 .
Meeting Wendy Jones at the creative writing workshop organized by the Elgin Writers and the Scottish Association of Writers.
I just got back from a creative workshop in Elgin. It was organized by the Elgin Writers and the Scottish Association of Writers. The whole Meldrum Writers’ Club was invited, but unfortunately, I was the only one that attended from our group.
The morning started with a talk from Wendy H. Jones, a Scottish crime writer from Dundee. I was surprised to see her here. I knew her through the One Stop Fiction Authors’ Resource Group but had never met her in person. She was fun to listen to and had some interesting insights into marketing. The talk about marketing was the reason for me coming to the workshop and I’m glad I did as I learned some new marketing strategies from Wendy. It was also great to find out what a fun person she is.
You can get Wendy’s first book of the DI Shona McKenzie mysteries here. There are five books at the moment and the sixth one coming out soon!
Before lunch, we had a talk from a poet (unfortunately I didn’t catch his name) and were given some insight into how to write a poem. We had to fill in the blanks in a cathartic poem and some people read out what they had written. I found it way too personal and nobody is ever going to see what I wrote. Sorry 😀 .
After lunch, we had a talk from Claire Wingfield, a writer and editor. She didn’t have any visuals with her talk and it made it unclear what she wanted us to do in the workshop part of her talk. We figured it out when others began to cite their answers. She also gave us some insight in how she edits writers’ work and this was eye opening.
All in all, I had a great time, met some lovely people, made some connections, and learned some more on the business side of writing.
Due to work load…
My dear readers,
I’m sorry to announce that I will have no posts for at least three weeks. This is due to my deadline of making my first novel printable and ready for the book fair. If I want to pull this off I will have to work day and night!
My apologies for letting you down. I promise I will make it up to you in November!