You’re due an extra newsletter this month, on May 21st, which I believe is next Sunday, with an extra promotional offer where you can take advantage of space adventure and swords and sorcery books.
Just a gentle reminder that your next newsletter is coming into your inboxes on this Saturday, May 13th. It will cover some of the interesting reads I was introduced to at last year’s Bradford Literature Festival that since stayed with me, and it will include an epic sci-fi and fantasy promo.
Good morning. I hope you’re enjoying April.
There have been some updates to my blurbs. Getting them the right length is important, so that they’re not too long with boring, inessential information and yet not so short that they’re missing logic that ties all the lines together. I’ve tried to add doubt into my blurb ingredients in the hope it generates interest.
Please do let me know if any further tweaks are needed or if better words can be used.
On a world of fortresses, gone is the age of barbarians when Aerol, their warlord, built his fighting force into warriors powerful enough to defeat any enemy standing before them.
Long-dead enemies haunt Aerol’s mind – enemies that should have been vanquished. He must show them no fear, even if it means sacrificing himself. But when the kind and beautiful Hermena needs Aerol to save an order of scholars from death he’s soon conflicted about his plan.
~ A Tale of Sword & Sorcery, Mana-wielding Heroes and Demons ~
2. On a world of fortresses, gone is the age of barbarians when Aerol, their warlord, built his fighting force into warriors powerful enough to defeat any enemy standing before them.
Now, with Aerol’s old friend bewitched, rumours of a dread sorcerer abound with the fantastical. Aerol refuses to believe the rumours – he cannot allow himself to, for the integrity of the fortress, but when assassination rears its ugly head he needs a plan.
The Fortress holds the key to Aerol’s salvation, if only he can find a way in.
~ A Tale of Sword & Sorcery, Mana-wielding Heroes and Demons ~
I’m reminding myself as much as you folks that I released a prelude for my Warlord of the Lonely Fortress series, and you can either get it for free by signing up to my newsletter, joining select book promotions, or purchasing it at your favourite retailer.
Excerpt of the first sentence: ‘Warlord Aerol was seeing obscure visual memories: formless limbs and faces. His eyes were closed, but he wasn’t sleeping.’
Some authors know where readers are, or rather, where their readers are. Some do not, especially those just starting out or those who’ve been unsuccessful at building their audiences. Nevertheless, if you don’t know for sure where they are you need ideas to find them.
Some of those ideas will come from yourself and include blog posts, social media posts, social group creation, and friend/author collaboration. Some ideas will involve hiring professionals for videos or booking stalls with event organisers. Some ideas will have to come from other people, likely authors in your genre who you read or follow or even a virtual assistant who may know the publishing landscape.
Although, it’s recommended you do your research and find inspirational people, I’d only recommend digesting as much as you can on a daily basis or a weekly basis and then following or engaging with those authors or writers whose goals match yours or who make you feel inspired. Otherwise, you’ll end up following authors and emulating what they do only to find out it wasn’t what you wanted in the first place. For example, are you a business-minded or entrepreneurial author? What would you do to make your book a success? What will you be able to manage – time and energy – to make your book a success? Are you prepared to spend a lot speculatively? Are you prepared to change your cover and blurb repeatedly to make the bulk of your fans happy, knowing it may cost money and time to do so?
The above are some of the considerations to think about; they’re some of the questions you need to ask yourself or even just be aware of as you continue on your writing and publishing path.
What will get your book out there? Reader magnets and newsletter subscribers? Social media research and advertising? Real events for genre readers? Literary events, reading, and book signings? Website blog posts and SEO? Referral from some friends or readers? You may no be certain you know at this stage and if this is the case I recommend limiting spending and trying a few strategies to see where they take you, monitor progress, and see how you felt about using the strategies.
Instinct can come into this question, alongside your writing and publishing goals i.e. the instinct to take advantage of an existing market or to otherwise act on the availability of certain outlets.
For example, when I learnt that there were ways I could DIY publish my own books without going through the rigmarole of sending submissions, following all these guidelines, and waiting for the right answer, I knew I was onto something that made more sense to me and which I felt was empowering and fair. There were real-life outlets for making my book available and accessible to readers both on Amazon and Leeds Steampunk Market who were kind enough to let me book a stall.
Your personal values may come into how you decide to publish. Are you a person who likes to do things yourself, with freedom and control? Consider self-publishing. Are you someone who is looking for someone else to take the reins: consider traditional publishing – open-submission periods and literary agent submission. If you’re looking for a publisher to bounce ideas with and promote your book among other authors who publish similar books then consider small press.
But if you’re happy with your end product/final draft, barring some writing or editorial improvements you’d like to see, consider hiring a professional editor who’s suitable for your book. How you publish after hiring someone is up to you. Editorial professionals can help with both self-publishing and submission requirements. If you know what you’re looking for beforehand.
It’s difficult to know what promotion is working when you’re an author, or an editor. Sometimes you feel as if you’re posting too much about one thing. With the tone, you can be too ‘salesy’, or too informal, or post about topics your fans are not expecting, or are uncomfortable with.
You can spend too much money, and get little in return, leading to loss, and utter disappointment! You can spend nothing and realise you don’t have the help to spread the word about your products or services.
Getting led astray is a problem, in my case, seeing what others are doing, apparently successfully, and attempting to emulate it using their formula, and then realising that the strategy was either better suited to them rather than you or that they may have just been boasting.
There is an element of follow the sheep that makes it up the hill, and this works for some people, but strangely, not everyone. It turns out that not everyone wants the same thing in business, exactly, even if people can get distracted into thinking that they do want something close to what others want.
These days, there is a technological element to nearly everything we do. Your audience is in one place for a few years, and then, after the market is saturated, your audience or the potential for finding it and growing, moves to another app, platform, website, etc. It’s hard to stay on top of the incessant movement of trends. You can learn some new skills and be satisfied that you’ve figured out how to do something, and then they can become obsolete, or you decide some strategy isn’t working anymore.
In other words, trying to find or grow an audience can feel like a pick-up and go affair and knowing how to spend your time and focus your attention can be difficult to judge. Personal experience and analysis can help you gauge how much time you spent and how much fulfilment or return you got from a strategy.
But to know where the next avenue for audience growth is, or which skills need to be learned next, to make the best use of your time may require more than hindsight.
Your next newsletter is due on April 22nd. It will contain details of recent launches you may have missed.
The newsletter after that will be arriving in your inboxes on May 13th, and it will include details about my day out at Bradford Literature Festival last year and the books that came to my attention at that time.
There may be an occasional book promo in your newsletters from now on. It’s not official advertising space for other writers but it does help readers find more books and authors that may take their interest. Hopefully, this will mean more readers can find me also.
Your next newsletter will be coming into your inbox on April 1st 2023 – April isn’t far off now. It will be about some of the recent autism insights I’ve had.
As it happens, beyond some autism and reading posts, for the foreseeable few months I’m posting in your newsletters Warlord of the Lonely Fortress extra material so if you want to get some new angles on the book or maybe decide if it’s your thing, you could sign up to my newsletter.
The Writing Resources section of my website has been revamped – the original resources have been repurposed for a future collection. It’s a revamp inspired by some of my communications with clients and some of the experiences I’ve had applying for proofreading and editing roles. It’s both informed me what writers like to know before hiring someone and it’s affirmed my beliefs in the editing services and approaches I prefer to offer.
If you don’t have time to look at it now I’ll share some of the resources later in the month.
Q: Have any applications or experiences informed you what to post about or affirmed your approach in how you offer your business?