I’m going to try and start blogging here more. I figured that blogging is something I know I can do regularly. I struggle with newsletters, though. So if nothing else, I’ll have about 20 days or so of things to potentially write about in the newsletter, which should help keep me from completely drawing a blank.
So welcome to my new blogging streak. Let’s see if I can keep it going more than a day!
Kristine Kathryn Rusch wrote a series of blog posts on using Kickstarter to sell books. She’s focused on talking about how Brandon Sanderson’s Kickstarter is a game changer. Naturally, we’re not all Brandon Sanderson. Some people have written off the idea because their fan base is too small. I’m here to say that’s wrong.
I took WMG Publishing “Kickstarter Best Practices for Writers” course. Dean Wesley Smith, the face of WMG classes, mentioned it was good publicity. As a tiny, baby writer who can’t support a full-blown daily Starbucks chai habit with her writing most months, I am all about free publicity.
First, I had a new series that I was planning to do rapid release, which meant all three books were finished. They were a paranormal cozy series in which the main character was assisted by a ghost cat. I just needed an editor. I contacted the editor I use when I need a faster turn around and got a quote for the series along with a related short story. I padded that number a bit and came up with $850. This goal felt high enough that I wouldn’t be crushed if I failed but low enough to be doable.
Second, I looked at my assets.
I may not have much of a reader fanbase, but I am connected on social media.
I have over 500 friends on Facebook and some followers (no idea how many of those).
I also have Facebook pages for me as an author, me as a publisher, and for my cats. My cats have well over 1,000 fans.
I have my not very active newsletter.
I am a member of several writing groups.
Many of the people who ended up supporting me from the writer’s groups I am in were friends that I know and network with regularly, others were a surprise. One woman I hardly know who writes cozy mysteries that have cats posted on her Facebook page. It’s hard to buy that kind of targeted advertising.
Kickstarter gives you the option of putting down where you’re located. This was a cozy mystery and setting is important. I live near the fictional town I use so I put in my location and also mentioned that this book was set in a fictional town outside of Lexington Kentucky. This did bring in some supporters.
What did I get?
I paid for my editor
I got publicity for these books,
I got publicity for my author name.
I appear to have gotten a few new readers–maybe they’ll stick around?
I have a better idea of what I can get and how far I might be able to stretch should I do another Kickstarter.
What could I have done better?
If I hadn’t been so shocked at making my goal, I could have continued mentioning my Kickstarter on all my pages and perhaps pushed the amount a little higher.
I could have used Instagram, which is another social media site I am on.
I normally write contemporary fantasy and gothic novels rather than paranormal cozies. It would have been better if I had had a series this short in the same genre I normally write. This would have increased the chances that new-to-me readers would stick around, plus it would have offered me the ability to use other books in related series as rewards, giving people more options, and higher reward options, thus increasing the amount I could have made on Kickstarter
If I had written a longer series of books, I also would have had more reward options. Reward options and my limits on those were probably the biggest hurdle I had on the Kickstarter.
Despite that, I learned a lot. Got my name out. And sold books. While I have some other things on my plate right now, I would definitely consider doing another Kickstarter at some point in the future.
For anyone considering doing a Kickstarter, I highly recommend the WMG courses on Kickstarter. Many of the basic ideas I got for my Kickstarter were here. It was also another place that my Kickstarter got listed, which put eyes on it, and I’m sure I got some support from people in the class.
I can’t believe I missed October completely. I thought I had written something but apparently not.
I am still writing along. I finished a book that I wasn’t happy with. I think that was the struggle to get it done. I’m in the middle of another one, sort of feeling bogged down but that often happens in the middle, where I’m trying to get characters from point A to point B. I like this one better. It’s been rattling around in my brain for a long time and I finally got what I wanted to do with it.
This year has been a struggle to keep writing. I don’t know what my issue is. The stories I am starting don’t excite me the way they usually do. I don’t know if it’s the phase I’m in or the stories themselves. But I keep working on them. Although my publishing output will likely be down, I figure I’m learning something about writing through each new book and story.
I am starting to gear up for the Anthology Workshop in Las Vegas in February 2019. Soon enough we’ll be starting to write stories for Fiction River. I like the challenge of having only a week to write something on a particular topic and then getting editorial feedback on it. It helps me pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in what I’m writing.
Goals for November are to keep up the writing, to make sure I have fun, and to put together a set of short stories, one of which just came out in Fiction River: Pulse Pounders Countdown. I have another version of that story that went long and I want to combine the two into an interesting image of two sides to the same tale, so to speak. I don’t want to say more or I’ll give away the twist. It should be fun.
This summer has felt busy. My husband and I are working on having a new home built so we’ll be moving one more time. Hopefully that will be it for a very long while. I hardly have things unpacked for this round. I got as far as I did because I had no idea we were going to move again, at least not so soon.
I finally got a book out again. Unnatural Secrets is available at Amazon and Kobo for pre-order and will be available at all other retailers on the seventh.
I was pleased with how well this read through so I’ll share the blurb here:
It’s easy to check in to historic Kernroote Castle but checking out could be a different story.
Newly divorced Becca Winters hopes to write away her sorrows on an extended stay at the new Kernroote Castle hotel. Unfortunately, the Castle and its companions may have other plans for her.
The desk clerk is creepily serious and cold. The hallways are too silent and dark walking down them. Footsteps without a source thunder down the halls at night. Gardens change before Becca’s eyes. Certain she is having a breakdown, Becca intends to tough it out. However, even she has to acknowledge what her senses are telling her.
Unfortunately, her acceptance comes too late. Her tires are slashed and she is trapped at Kernroote.
Now, in order to save her own life, Becca must unravel the horrifying secrets of the ancient castle and the family that lives there.
“Elizabeth immerses her reader in the quintessential atmospheric horror, complete with the tension of the panicked fleeing from past nightmares, a foreboding Gothic Castle, and a looming terror that merges modern struggles with a slowly unraveling historic mystery. Make sure you bring a flashlight before you dig in. Oh, and maybe some Holy Water for good measure. Because Elizabeth isn’t afraid to drag you through every conceivable dark and shadowy corner.” — Mark Leslie, author of Tomes of Terror, I, Death and One Hand Screaming and editor of Fiction River: Feel the Fear and Campus Chills.
I’d also like to thank Mark Leslie for the input on a better teaser! And I hope that if you like a few thrills and chills, especially now that Halloween is coming, maybe you can go over and give him a bit of reading love.
I’m slowly getting back into things. I’m still not back into the free short stories and may scrap that for the rest of the year. I’m just not quite with it enough to make that work out like I had hoped.
I got back from a short visit to family and I’m beginning to do some proof-reading on the first two books of the Appalachian Souls Trilogy so that I can finish the third book, hopefully this month.
I have been feeling a little bit lost on the short stories. I’m not eager to write them. I am still writing them, simply because I feel between projects but I doubt I’ll continue to push myself on them. Still, I have so far managed over 70 short stories. I’ll easily make 80 before the end of the year and that’s close to my initial goal.
If you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll soon be getting another email and this one offers you the chance to do some beta-reading. Hope you enjoy that.
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