BTS035, Developing a Writing Habit After Months of Struggling | August Author Diary Update
I hope you are all well and are staying safe.
I’m super excited to announce that I’ve finally developed a writing habit after months of struggling. And in this episode, I share the tips that I believe helped me to achieve this goal. During August, I start chasing reviews for Missing on the Amazon US store. In terms of writing, I started working with an alpha reader, and I discuss what I’m doing differently this time around. While listening to a podcast, I discovered a new service, Buy Me a Coffee which is a fun way to tip a creator, and I go into the various ways that I’ve implemented this into my author business.
So stay tuned for all of this and much more.
About the Episode
Just to let you know, this episode was recorded on Tuesday the 8th of December, so this show is primarily me looking back at August. In the same spirit as the previous episode, there is a backlog with the show due to the Lockdown that we’re all facing. After a while, I’ve managed to figure out how to work from home with my husband and do most of the things I would typically achieve. If you’re on YouTube, you’ll notice that I’ve gone back to an audio-only version of the podcast. I’ve had to pull the plug on the video podcast episode because I couldn’t do everything and something had to go.
My writing progress for August.
A Writing Update for Book Two
During August, I did fifty-five hours of revision spread across ten days. I’m super happy with this progress. Honestly, I think this success comes down to putting stickers on a calendar on writing days with the hours completed. If I haven’t completed any writing for a few days, I start to feel guilty because the empty space on my calendar is staring back at me.
For now, this seems to be working.
In order to start working with my alpha reader, I performed line-edits for the prologue through to chapter fourteen using Grammarly and Pro Writing Aid. These chapters are essentially the first act of my story, plus the first chapter of the second act.
A Heat Wave
Unfortunately, my writing progress was put on pause for a week due to lack of sleep because of a heatwave in London. My inner Australian is laughing now that I’ve said this, but it got too hot for me to function and there no air conditioning in my flat. The British house’s and flats are not designed for hot weather because they retain heat.
Post heatwave, I finished rewriting and line editing chapters fifteen to twenty-one. As I was line-editing, I Identified two chapters that needed further rewrites, but my alpha reader didn’t have any issues with this chapter in act one. Before I make any changes, I’ll wait for further feedback from beta readers, just to be sure the chapters are not confusing. Now, all I have left is two final chapters left to rewrite in part two, which takes me to the midpoint of the story. I’m going to make this a celebratory milestone.
Working with an Alpha Reader
With the help of Book Funnel, I sent revised chapters of Duplicity in ebook form to my alpha reader. Even though the revisions are in progress, I’m splitting the book into four parts, so my alpha reader receives one part at a time. All I want is to see if my alpha reader enjoys the story and whether they can guess the whodunnit aspect of the mystery because if that happens in parts one or two, then I’m giving too much away too soon. And, that’s a massive problem. But, I do get corrections with spelling or typos, which is fine. At this stage, I am correcting the typos because I want to create the best version of the book as possible then hand over the story to my editor. I don’t want an editor correcting mistakes that I already know about.
Chasing reviews for Missing
On Tuesday the 18th of August, I signed up for a Get reviews service on Authorsxp.com. For the sake of clarity, Get Reviews service is a service where authorship shows my novella, Missing to a pool of readers who like mysteries and like leaving honest reviews on Amazon. The price for the service was 50.00 USD, and the price has not changed since I made the purchase.
Over on Book Funnel, I created a separate download link for this service, so I can track the downloads. So far, I’ve received eight requests, but only two “download the book here” emails have been sent because six of the readers have a backlog of books, and it is company policy that readers cannot download too many books at once. At the end of August, there were no downloads reported in Book Funnel.
What I Didn’t Like
To be honest, I really wanted to love this service, but once again I’m a little disappointed. The reader communication platform is quite limited and you cannot easily send the readers an email written by you, it’s all automated. I found this weird because in the instructions received after purchased the organiser tells you to be nice and complimentary to the readers, and there’s no clear way of doing this. On top of that, it’s not clear as to whether I can communicate with these ARC reviews in my own email service, because I don’t know how the readers signed up and whether they opted in for emails sent directly from authors. What I’m trying to say is I don’t know whether the service is GDPR compliant, and I don’t want to assume it is, plus I’m too scared to ask.
I got back into sharing my behind the scenes author update email with my list. For some reason, I dropped the ball with this activity. Although, now that I’m thinking about it, this could be a shyness issue. During August, I shared the newly edited version of the Lawn with my list, because it’s still a freebie upon sign up. In the same email, I also shared a new seven-chapter teaser of Duplicity which includes the new chapters I wrote last month. On top of all of this, I shared the books I’ve read with short reviews and with a star-rating. But I once again, I forgot to add links to the books online. A bit of a fail on my part.
On my list, I have 45 email subscribers and I have a 57% open rate which is great considering I haven’t been consistently emailing my list. At the same time, it’s not hard to achieve. If my list was bigger, it would be different.
While I’m on the topic of emails, I’ve started emailing the subscribers of The Authorpreneur Podcast who signed up at my website. Due to the ages of this list, I’ve had two people unsubscribe but that’s fine, it happens. And since these people subscribed the podcast has changed a little.
Buy Me a Coffee
While listening to an episode of Self Publishing Journey’s I heard Paul Teague mention, a service called Buy Me a Coffee. Essentially it’s a tipping service where people can support the creators they love by buying them a coffee without any monthly commitments. But the service has that option. I price my “coffees” at $1.00 each because it feels obnoxious asking for more. Nevertheless, I do have a monthly subscription option where I provide people with a bonus question and answer episode every month.
How I’m Using it
After signing up, I just added this service to my websites and at the bottom of my emails for the podcast and mystery author websites. Originally, I started off using the WordPress plugin but decided to copy the provided code form the Buy Me a Coffee dashboard. This month, I had someone support the podcast by buying me three coffees via buymeacoffee.com. Honestly, I didn’t expect anything to happen, but I’m super grateful for the support I’ve received.
My point for sharing this is if you have an audience who supports your fiction you can use this as an alternative to Patreon, especially if you do something like share flash fiction or short stories your blog. I’ve also recorded an advertisement to place in the middle of the podcast, but you’ve probably already heard this because I’ve inserted it into the last few episodes.
So, that’s all of the tasks I completed in terms of writing and email marketing. During the next month, I want to direct my focus to finishing the rewrites for book two, scheduling a professional beta read, scheduling professional editing, and launching my Advanced Reader Team. Next week, I will release another diary episode, where I will continue to discuss my writing and book marketing endeavours.
If you have any questions or have tips on book marketing that you would love to share with me, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Thank you for listening, and happy reading and writing, everybody.
Have you found the blog and podcast useful? Wish you could buy the host, Amelia D. Hay, a cup of coffee? Now, thanks to Buy Me a Coffee and PayPal you can!
I’m Amelia. When I’m not hosting the Authorpreneur Podcast™️ and the Book Nerd Podcasts, I write Mystery Novels under the pen name A. D. Hay. And, I’m the author of Suspicion, the Lawn, and the Candidate.
On this blog, I help new writers to finish their first draft, prepare their manuscripts for professional editing, and when they get stuck in the first draft phase or are confused about the revision process.
Right now, I’m editing and preparing my soon to be published mystery novels, Suspicion, Duplicity, 24 Hours, and Immunity for publication.