It's July, that means it's a good time to go camping, right? And I am doing exactly that! Although I may do some real camping near the end of the month, what I'm talking about in this blog post his Camp NaNoWriMo. If you're not familiar with it, it is similar to the main NaNoWriMo event in November but with more flexibility. You can choose your own target word count, and you are not expected to be working on a new novel. It's a good way to work with other writers and get caught up on an existing project or start a new one.
One feature that encourages working with other writers is that you can join a cabin, which is basically a team of up to 12 writers who can support each other, keep each other accountable, and just chat about writing and life as a writer. Read more if you would like to know how I am using Camp NaNoWriMo this year.
If you have a young reader in your family and would like a chance to load up your Kindle with some inexpensive summer reading for them, go take advantage of this weekend's special offer where multiple authors agreed to price their children's books at 99 cents. This is a promotion that I set up with the intent of promoting my own children's book (Two Boys, Two Planets) as well as books from as many other authors as possible. Due to a last-minute pricing glitch, I didn't get to include my own book, but of course I wasn't going to cancel the promotion just because of that. Books included in the promotion cover a wide range of reading ages from beginning readers up to middle grades.
If you like stories with mystery, suspense, and thrills, this is a great weekend for you! Over thirty Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller books have been marked down on June 11 and 12 to the affordable price of… Free! This is the latest multi-author promotional event that I have joined, and in this case you can go to the promo page to get a free copy of Extra Credit: Loyalty! for the Kindle. Be sure to check out the other titles from the other authors, as there are many to choose from. Considering that my book in this promotion is the second in a series, I thought it would make sense to make the first book free also. Therefore, you can also get a free copy of Lesson One: Revolution! for the Kindle on the same dates as the main promotion. Read on for even more information about multi-author promos.
I could give you a pretty long list of the mistakes I made when I self-published my first novel, but in this blog post I want to focus on one specific area where I could (and should) have taken a completely different approach. If you're moving toward publishing your first book, you can learn from the mistakes I made and set yourself up for more success... or at least less grief. Certain things about publishing deserve great care the first time, because there won't be a second time.
As a relevant example, I can't start over with the books I have on the market under my own name. "Stuart J. Whitmore" will always have novels about Dan Starney, even if I were to decide to take those books off the market or re-release them under a new name. The existing ones are out there, and will always be out there (even if only as "out of print" listings). They will permanently act as a potential distraction or point of confusion for potential buyers as I try to focus my writings—and my audience—more on my "true loves" in writing, i.e., fantasy and science fiction.
Read on for three facets of managing your author identity now so that you can avoid causing problems for yourself later.
Are you an indie author? Maybe you self-publish your books, or maybe you publish through a small publisher that leaves you with most of the burden of selling your books. If this describes you, then you have a job to do—the business of publishing needs your attention! You can't just occasionally publish a title and hope that it somehow finds readers. This can happen, but if you don't put much effort into publishing then you shouldn't expect much out of it.
Since it can be hard to know what to do, to maximize your sales, I set up a new forum specifically to discuss the business side of indie publishing. There are many places online where you can engage with other writers to talk about the craft of writing, but it's good to have places to talk about the business of publishing too. My new forum certainly isn't the first, there are others. Read more to see why you might want to join Indie Authors United.