#MayShowers

I’m firmly on baby countdown time, but there are still a few things on my list for the month.

After finishing April off clear and my launch going pretty well, I’ve been thinking more about what the rest of the year looks like in my writing. As all of us know, we can only take one month, one week, one day at a time and so on. I’ve been trying to be realistic about what to expect from myself since my earlier goals seemed a bit loftier than I was able to accomplish.

My aim every month is to execute every goal that I express to all of you. It isn’t just for the surge of success from getting the work done. It is because I believe that one of the best ways to motivate each other is by sharing in success. With all of that being said, here are the things that I hope to accomplish during the month of May.

May Goal List:

-Focus on blog growth and promotion

-Begin a Shifter Short Series

-Continue Promotion of The Alpha’s Dream

-Have a healthy and happy baby

-Throw a wonderful birthday party for my oldest little

Just four short things on my list right now. The bulk of my energy will definitely be going to being a new mama all over again. Every time I give birth, I feel like I’m starting over from scratch. It’s the same awe, and sleeplessness that I had the first time. My goal list reflects this in my workload. I can’t stop being an author because I am a mama. I am both. They both need my energy and attention.

I will accomplish everything on this list and keep you updated. Keep your eyes peeled for my special delivery posts once baby is here. In the meantime, stay occupied by reading The Alpha’s Dream and signing up for my newsletter. Don’t forget to leave a review!

Joy.

 

#AprilAccomplished

Aprils is out of here. You know after deciding, to reset on some of my goals, this has been my most successful month yet.

It was a hard decision to drop the migrated book goals that I had, but it was necessary. As I drew closer to the release of The Alpha’s Dream and the coming birth of my third little one, I had to be honest about my time. A very tough thing to face is knowing that I still want to get those things accomplished, but don’t have a specific timeline for them.

I will have to figure out something, because I’ve already started mapping out my  next release. More updates on that later.

So, here is a goal gut check for the month of April. I’ll tell you exactly how I did.

April Goal List:

-Format The Alpha’s Dream

-Decide on Amazon Exclusivity

-Pick New Release Date for Second Draft

-Execute Phase #2 of Marketing

I completely dismissed all of my migrated goals.

Like I said, it’s been a pretty successful month. I got to everything on this list even though some of the things accomplished were in a more abbreviated fashion.  To break down the list, everything got done. I formatted the Alpha’s Dream after getting it to the Editor. It didn’t make it back in time, so there was a little mix-up with the pre-orders. Alas, all is well. I decided on a release date for my second release, but I’m not going to disclose that yet. When I decide whether release number two will be an  short or a full length release, I will give you all the details.

The hardest thing on the list was deciding on Amazon Exclusivity. For this release, I have decided on the exclusivity.  I struggled with that decision as I would like to make my releases as available as possible. It makes more sense to expand to other platforms and once the three month exclusivity clause of Amazon is up, that is exactly what I plan to do. At this moment, it simply felt like a better choice to exclusively publish on Amazon.  As I grow my book list, we will see what happens next.

The final thing on the list, e xecuting marketing phase two is an ongoing process. Yes, I have begun to work out the kinks of my marketing plan, but it isn’t something that simply ends at a certain point. I’m constantly evaluating what I am doing and working to expand my reach. One of the things I’ve done of late is to set up my author Pinterest account. You can see it here. For visuals of the heroine and hero muses I use to model my characters after and writing resources I find crucial to my process, follow my boards.

I’m proud of the work I have been able to accomplish. My goals are super important if I will end the year the way I plan too. I know your goals are important too. Leave me a comment about some of the ways you’ve managed to stay on track. And, tune in next week for what my May goal list brings!

Joy

#LeaveaBookReview

The Alpha’s Dream has officially been live for several days now. I’m not freaking out anymore. Maybe I should be, but I’m just so proud.

The truth is that I could write for myself and allow no one to read it for the rest of my life. I would be mostly content. My mother has done it for years. On the other hand, I don’t want to be a closest author. I believe in this writing that i do, and enjoy it. However, it is more than just a labor of love. It is how I contribute to the support of my littles. I didn’t publish The Alpha’d Dream so it could die on Amazon’s buy lists. I published it so it would flourish. I wanted more than myself to enjoy it.

So, you have the book.. How do you like it?

Yup. This is one of those post. I’m asking if you like the work I’ve done. You’ve watched me fight with it for me. You’ve read about my anxieties, my aims, and my reasons for writing it. You’ve been there through every high and low of it. Now, I want to know hat you think of it.

Keep in mind here that your honesty is most important.

Also, keep in mind I’m sensitive about my work. As much as I want that to have a barring on your opinion, the truth is that a gentle lie won’t help me get better. It also won’t fool anyone who reads the reviews. Readers see through all of the cowardice of saying something is good when it is not. Say you like it. Say you didn’t like it, but don’t sugar coat it for me.

I’ve said it before that reviews are important to authors. They are particularly important to those of us who are small publishers or self-publishers. Every review whether good, bad, or mediocre has a direct result on the work we’ve published. With the great rise in self-publishing, most of us are writing to the same or similar audiences.

I believe readers are generally discerning. Everyone wants a book worth the time and money. When an authors work is heavily reviewed, it allows readers the opportunity to gain unbiased insight about the work they are looking to purchase.

The Alpha’s Dream is in a competitive market. Shifter romances have quickly gained a reputation for being great reads and fun books. It comes without saying that it is difficult to stand above the crowd as an unknown author. Which is why reviews and readers like you who leave them are such an intricate part of the publishing process.

So, I’m coming to you with a genuine plea. Once you’ve completed The Alpha’s Dream, take a few minutes to post on GoodReads and Amazon a review of the work you’ve finished. It is important to my career, to the quality of my work and to other authors who would come after me. It is important to any breakout authors you come across.

Your simple admittance about what you think of the work is one of the factors that will encourage other readers to read The Alpha’s Dream. It doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to include exclusive details, and it I would prefer no spoilers. It does however need to be honest.

If you don’t like the book, then I can take that. If you love it, then I can take that too. I’m not going to hunt you down for a detailed explanation. I’m not going to insist you take down a negative review. I only want your subtle influence. Tell me what you think of my work. Tell all authors what you think of their work, because it matters.

I cannot thank you enough for being on this journey with me. Your presence has been a driving force and continues to validate why I work so hard at my writing. Don’t take for granted that your three word review or your four sentences won’t make a difference, because it will. I read every review. I aim to be your new favorite author. Don’t doubt that for a moment.

So, when you are down falling in love with Nathaniel Blanchard and Euphoria Atkins drop me a line. Tell me how The Alpha’s dream was everything you’d hoped.

Joy.

 

#PostBabyBirthWerk

I’m currently 35 weeks pregnant. I’ve always delivered at 37 weeks, almost down to the minute. I’m not expecting anything different this time.

As I write this, there is still a ton of baby preparations that need to take place. In two weeks.  Don’t look at me like that, I know I should be done with baby prep. I normally would be mostly done at this point. Things are a little different right now due to the release of The Alpha’s Dream. My time has been stretched to the limits for the last five months to say the least. So, there have been…delays.

I’m worried about  getting it all done, but that isn’t new. I’m always nervous about getting it all done. Somehow, I pull it off. Could be the craziness makes me focus. Or, it could be that I thrive on last-minute details. Whatever the inspiration for finishing, it gets finish. That is what matters, right?

To add a little more pressure to an already pinching situation, my eldest turns three at the end of May. So, there will be a birth, a birthday party, and yet more promotions for The Alpha’s Dream going on at the same time. What can I say? I live on the edge.

Just, not so close to the edge that a slight wind will blow me off. That translates into lots of preparations as my clock winds down. As much as I would like to be one of those women who give birth on a Friday and race back to work on Monday, I’m not.

I need recovery time. I need a couple of days at least to snuggle up with the new little and assure my older littles of their permanent places in my heart.  It is just as important to me that my darlings know how valuable they are to me as it is that my writing career thrives. So, I take precautions. I make hella plans, and it is no different this time around.

While managing my home front, I have to honor that writing is my business. I have to take care of the business even when things are going a little haywire in my home life. So here is a list of about five things I am currently doing to keep my feet firmly planted in both worlds as I welcome a new life into mine.

Pre-Planning my Blog Post

I love my blog more than I would have ever imagined. It is much more han just a place to talk about my releases and other important book publishing information. It’s a little like a second home when it comes to my connection to my work. I love it. However, It is time consuming. I’ve been working to really create a platform that I feel represents me in the multi-facets of my life. It probably isn’t the best way to run an authors’ blog, but its how i like it.

I suspect I won’t be working much once baby is here. So while I’m working on my blog editorial, I’ll make more notes than usual on the blogs I will post. In addition, I will schedule as many as possible. I won’t consistency in my blog and I like to keep you guys connected. The love is real and mutual. So, I will be sure to keep you in mind while I’m in recovery.

 

Post-Birth Book Giveaway

With The Alpha’s Dream finally being live, I’m planning giveaways of the digital copy for while I’m away. I have all the details in place except one-the start date. The giveaway will began the day after my little is born. It’s a celebratory event of the great changes that are happening in my life. So many dreams coming true at once makes my heart full. I want to share it with you, and what better way than this.

There is no purchase necessary. To qualify, you must ‘like’ my Facebook fan page and then leave a comment on the pinned post specifically about the giveaway. Winners will be chosen at random.

Catching up on some reading

Writers should always be readers too. There are quite a few books I’ve been meaning to dive into and I plan to do  just that between feedings and naps. I’m not going to be overly ambitious about how many books I’ll get to, but I do have an extensive list. I’m going to compile them and post  asap. I would love to hear what you all are reading. Be sure to leave a comment below with any I should add to my list.

Social Media and other Interactions

There are still some hands on things I will have to do despite being mostly pulled away.  I can schedule some of my social media, but I have to make personal time for somethings. I’ll be on Instagram and good reads periodically just to check in. In case you didn’t know,  my Goodreads author page is finally  up and running. I have no friends. You should come and be friends with me there.  I promise it’ll be fun.

Recovering

The only way to be an effective business woman and an dedicated author is knowing when to take time away. I have a few projects I will love to dabble in while trying to sleep and shower. What I know is that if I don’t take my time and allow my body what it needs, I won’t be up to the hours it takes for me to craft a great book. I want my second release to be as fun as my first has been and that won’t happen if I’m burned out.

I’ll take at least one long mama-is-having-a-moment-bath. I will eat lots of snowballs, and neglect the laundry. I will indulge in all the baby giggles I can while still balancing the noise level for a hopefully good sleeper newborn. Let me dream big, okay?! Just let me have these moments.

I don’t know what life is really going to look like once baby three is here. I have absolutely no foundation for what it will mean to put everything together. What I do know is that it will be worth the wait. Every moment will change me a little more. It was the same way with my older two and with the conception and release of The Alpha’s Dream.  The methods I’ve listed here are just part of the way I intend to find balance. Work is work. Family is family, but i need them both to thrive.

Any other mama’s out there balancing work and children? Leave me a comment below on how you make it all work.

Joy

 

 

#TeamJoy: I’m building a street team and I want you to join it.

One launch down, numerous to go.

As I wrap my head around being a published author a few things come to mind. I can’t do this alone. I need your help. I need your ears, your eyes, and a little bit of your free time. I’ve decided that now that I have an idea of what my launches will look like, I should build a street team. Here you’ll find all the specifics, and decide if being a part of the team is for you. Loved The Alpha’s Dream? Great! Here’s how you can help me bring you more.

Street Team Requirements:

-Like Jocelyn F. Young Facebook page

-local distribution of flyers to coffee shops or other reader friendly locales

-minimal promotion assistance, I.e. tweets, retweets, ig, and Facebook promo

-launch week reviews of projects

 

Obviously, I don’t expect you to do any of this without incentive. I realize you are giving up your precious time. So, here are the things I will be giving to those who join the team!

-free finished e-book copies of future works

-exclusive team swag

-exclusive street team only giveaway

I already have the first giveaway planned. I’m really excited about growing with all of you and sharing in my success. So, join my street team and we will take Shifter Romances to a new level.

Joy

#ShamelessPlug

The Alpha’s Dream is officially released and if you haven’t gotten it already, then what are you waiting for?!?

I’m still not over the excitement of my first official release. It has truly been a crazy ride and I’m still learning the ins and outs of publishing as I work on my second project.  That doesn’t mean I’m not watching closely even the slightest movement on the Alpha’s Dream! I loved writing the book and I wanted to give you reasons to love it too. So, here are my completely biased and utterly self-serving, top five reasons you should purchase The Alpha’s Dream.

1.The Alpha’s Dream is a sexy and tension filled love story of how our past haunts us.

I’m a hopeless romantic. A sweet romance will always make me swoon, but real relationships don’t just fall into place. Case in point, Euphoria and Nathaniel. While you escape into an eventual happily ever after, the journey the two must go to be with each other is the ultimate focus. My hero and heroine aren’t expected to simply fall in love with each other. They are forced to address quiet insecurities and very noisy resentments just as they would in “real life”.

2. New Orleans is the perfect location for a little shifter magic.

I should have said Louisiana here. I’m a LA native, born and raised here. It means I have a special connection to all things paranormal. New Orleans, with its flurry of activity and torrid history offers one of the perfect locations to bring in a little more of the extraordinary. Of course there would be werewolves in New Orleans. Just like there would be witches, vampires, changelings, and strong women like Euphoria who bravely carve out their lives.

3. The sister love bond between Euphoria Atkins and her best friend Charlotte is enviable.

In a world that loves a good catfight, I find it most important to show women of color with strong bonds. Euphoria and Charlotte are the type of sister girlfriends who tell each other hard truths, fight for each other without reservation, and will not once let the other sit back on their greatness. They are the epitome of strong, loving support systems. All of us should have best friends like these!

4. Nathaniel’s eventual self-awareness.

Nathaniel doesn’t have a lot of time for introspection. He takes things as he sees them, is not easily persuaded otherwise, and ultimately only changes kicking and screaming. It was tough to get him to a point where he wanted to be someone different. He wanted to be a man free enough of his resentments that he could love Euphoria from a whole place. There is nothing more powerful than his resolution to make peace with his past and his love for Euphoria as the catalyst.

5. Diversity in all things romance!

It is a small thing that the characters of my shifter romance are predominantly black. That isn’t to say that it isn’t a very important thing. Often, in stories outside of the norm, almost stereotypical romance characters of color are excluded. On days when they are included, there is generally one primary character as a person of color. It is important to me as a reader to have characters like Euphoria and Nathaniel; strong people of color with rich lives, honest fears, and prosperous.

I love my book. You will too. Add The Alpha’s Dream to your shifter collection today.

 

Joy.

#LaborandDelivery

The Alpha’s Dream is officially live.

My heart is a toddler at Disney World. Excited, drunk with happiness, and over stimulated. All the insecurities I have had about this project are out of my hands now. What I know is that I’ve loved Nathaniel and Euphoria since their conception. I knew they were beautiful before the were flesh and bone and vibrant personalities. I learned them as they grew beneath my fingers.

I am happy to have introduced them to you, their village.

All of these metaphors are corny. I know, but they come from an honest and sincere place. They also come from my pregnant brain which as I write this is staring down the barrel at my due date. In theory, I have five more weeks. In theory.

All of my little darlings have come three weeks early. So, It’s very likely that I only have two weeks left. Birthing books and babies almost feels the same. Almost. One of those things is definitely more painful than the other. Nonetheless, they both come with fear and want. My heart swells when I think of the lives they will take on and they both make me feel like I am exactly where I should be.

The Alpha’s Dream is a manifestation of so many dreams. The newest little love who will soon follow is a manifestation of dreams as well. As they both grow and thrive,  my hope is  that I never forget these things were born of nothing. These things came to exist where once was only barren land. Gratitude above all things. Faith woven within and I am forever humbled.

Joy.