Thursday, July 30, 2015 | By: Jennifer Stinger

Self-Promotion and Marketing: My new dirty words

Those things, yuck!
I'll admit, I thought going the self-publishing route and being an Indie Author was going to be awesome. While it has been very "freeing" and given me total control of everything with my novel, from the cover art, editing, proofing, and end cost of my has been exhausting to just get the word out and get my novel into reader's hands!
For one thing, no one on Amazon wants to even take a look at my novel unless it meets one of two criteria.
1. It has reviews. And I will tell you from experience that it is nerve-wracking to wait for the first reviews to come in. At this point, I want anything. Reviews and feedback, I'm hungry for them!
2. Free. People love free stuff! I ran a promotion on Amazon where the Kindle version was free for five days and it "sold" almost 150 copies world wide. There was no small measure of pride to see that two copies were downloaded in Austrailia! But still, it had to be free for it to happen in the first place.
I've blasted it on twitter. Not annoyingly so, at least I hope not. That's one of the things I've been careful about. You certainly want to promote yourself on social media, but not to the point that you are constantly "shouting" it. I'm going by the breakfast, lunch, and dinner mentality. Also, I say other stuff as well. I like to put little inspirational things up on twitter, keep people pumped up about writing and just make people feel good. It doesn't cost me anything and I like to leave things better than I found them.
I also found this Giveaway tool that Amazon has. You pick a "lucky" number, you pay for the taxes, shipping + handling, and people basically do a lottery to try and get a copy of your book sent to them. The kicker is that they have to follow you on twitter. Amazon sends you the email with a button to post it to your twitter with a hashtag and you're all set. My inbox exploded! I did a lucky number of 25 with 3 books. Man, did I shoot too low on that one. But, 3 more people will have my book and I will, fingers crossed, have some more fans. All in all, it's a great tool to use.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 | By: Jennifer Stinger

Do I really feel like writing today?

You're writing? That's fantastic! Trust me, there's no better feeling in the world, most of the time. Why do I say most of the time? Because there will be times that you don't want to write and you will feel like it's a chore and you don't want to write. Do you know what I say to that?
That's right, don't write if you don't feel like it. The reason why I say that is because if you don't feel like writing, it will come through in the words that you put down. Sure, the first draft that anyone puts out isn't all that spectacular to began with, but you don't want to put out something intentionally bad knowing that you will have to go back and fix it anyway.
Almost anything you ready about writing will tell you to spend at least twenty minutes writing your piece a day. Okay, sure. But, what good is that if you have to go back and take out X amount of chapters and re-write it because it was something that your main character wouldn't have done? Am I telling you not to write? Nope. I'm just telling you to make sure when you write something, make sure it's something worth your time and effort. Quality now will save you headaches down the road.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 | By: Jennifer Stinger

The Dreaded First Blog Post

So I started a blog…
I will admit, I was and still am, reluctant to blog. After all, I’m just me. But, every now and then I have something to say.
But what to say now? I guess you will want to know a little about me. Well, my full name is Jennifer Stinger. I’m a wife, mother, writer, full-time employee, and day dreamer. Those things don’t always fall in that order, but you get the idea. Oh, and I love my commas. My editor loves to love me for them. I put them everywhere. Maybe it’s for my love of the dramatic pause, but I overuse the crap out of them. I don’t think I will every be able to stop, call it a habit I don’t intend to break.
I love a good pun, much to my husband’s chagrin. My father-in-law will have one-up competitions that will make my honey-poo walk out of the room. I get a good laugh, though. And that, my friends, is what’s important.
I guess we move on to the writing now. I’ve always had a story or two floating around in my head, never really took the time to put them down. My husband and I met through an online writing forum (no, I’m not going to say which one!). I will admit right now that I think he’s a much better storyteller than I am, his flair for the dramatic is far more grand than mine will ever be. However, he will say that he cannot come up with a storyline to save his soul. I guess that’s where I come in. I can plot and plan until I turn blue and pass out. But, when he and I get together and bounce ideas off of one another, we will lose track of time and it will be three o’clock in the morning on a work night and we will be hurting the next day. Yes, we can get that passionate about things.
That’s going to lead me up to my point, do what you enjoy, what you love. When the things you enjoy stop being fun, stop doing them. Life is too short to turn everything into a chore. Sure, the fun might not always be there, but the pros should outweigh the cons by a long shot.