#KeepinTouch: 5 Reasons you should subscribe to my blog

I’ve been working on my blog as part of my author platform for a while now. The truth is, it’s become so much more.

As I write this, I’m already thinking of what other things I will add to my blog to make it more interactive for my readers. Not just those who read my books, but those who drop by on occasion to keep in touch. I love the alerts when someone likes a post I’ve read or when they send me a message about something I’ve written. It feels good to be connected.

So, I want you to come here more often. I want you to send your friends, your frenemies, and the all that you believe will be interested to my website. I’m more than just books and here are five reasons you should subscribe to my blog and keep in touch.

 

Mama Stories/Wife Things

I’ve only been a mother for three years. I’ve been a wife for nearly eleven years. My years alone with my husband are a very telling part of my being a romantic. My years with my children were the catalyst for me to stop ghostwriting. Already, I’ve gained a lot, learned a lot about myself and the world around me that I didn’t notice until my children were born. Their births kicked my writing into gear and I love it. Often enough, I found myself writing about their influence as I blogged. It has now become a permanent and intentional writing point. I’m a #MamaAuthor. It is a major factor to my work. If you are a mama/ wife who has found yourself influenced by your children or your spouse to commit to your other passions, these stories are for you.

Book updates, snippets and conversations on publishing

My blog came to exist because I am an author. It is a place for readers to connect with my books. So of course, there will be updates for what I am working on, new release information, and soon there will be snippets of works in progress. I write shifter romances with African-American leads. If you are into that sort of thing, subscribe! keeping in contact here will allow a greater chance that you will see what’s coming next, first.

Goal Digging

This is a big thing for me. I’m always working on other projects. It’s not that I just prefer to be busy, but I prefer to expand on my purpose. My blog deals a lot with my goals from the stand point of an author. However, the tools and methods I use can be applied to anything. I’m all for accountability. When I’m writing to you, I am asking you to hold me accountable for the dreams I have made public. When you comment, you are inviting me to do the same. It is a small thing, but a very useful one. Together we can inspire each other toward the lives we all want.

Exclusives and Giveaways

Now that I am getting the hang of this blogging thing I’m offering a lot more. My writing career is officially kicked off and while establishing my dream team, I’m in the process of developing exclusive swag for those who join. In addition, the excerpts and #freshpress work that you find here is exclusive unless otherwise noted. When you come to my website, I want your experience to be one fluid invitation into the creative space of my life. I aim to make that as seamless and welcoming as possible.

We’re All Family Here

You may have stumbled upon my blog. You may have gotten here through a search engine or some other method of funneling. Whatever the way you got here, it is because you were looking for something. So is everyone here. I’m writing African-American centered shifter romances because I couldn’t readily find them when I was looking. Maybe that was what drew you. Stay for the coffee and conversation. Stay for the insights on publishing, and the struggles I face while trying to write what I love. Comment with tips for dealing with anxiety or other ways to balance work and wife/mama life. We’re all connected here. We are all here for a reason and I am working to nurture those reasons for all of us.

There you have it. Five good reasons you should subscribe to my blog if you haven’t already.   You can simply follow me from the site or you can sign up  for my newsletters for updates on the latest going on here and with the books I am publishing. I’m sure you have your reasons for coming. These are reasons to stay. Don’t break my heart. Leave a comment below about some of the things you’ve liked about my growing blog so far. I love to hear from you.

Joy.

 

#ReleaseDayMagic

We made it! The Alpha’s Dream is live on Amazon! One-Click your Copy or read it free on Amazon today!!!!

Release day is final here and I am so excited. After months of hard work, it feels intensely rewarding to have this project complete and in your hands.

I’m not foolish. There is still a lot of work to do. There is a lot of promoting that will continue to go on in my quest to become a bestseller. I am determined to leave my mark on this genre.  All that, the knowing that the work isn’t finished, doesn’t stop me from having an abundance of gratitude for being this far.

I have loved writing all of my life. Every step I take toward being a known writer brings me that much closer to the dreams I have of being internationally renowned. My dreams are much bigger than one released eBook, but it starts here.

It’s started with The Alpha’s Dream and two unlikely characters who fell in love. I am proud. I am filled with all manners of thank you’s and Amen’s. My cup runneth over.

I have learned so much along this process. My instincts are sharpened, my skills as well. I trust my voice and the voices of my characters. I trust what I am doing and all that comes in between. Every moment that I’ve spent creating this has burned into my brain that writing is purpose.

I’m willing to grow in my writing even more and learn everything I can to be the best in my field. I expect that every project I work on will bring me more growth.

It is such a simple thing when it’s all said and done to see my name as author on my release page, but it doesn’t feel simple. Even setting up my Author’s page on Amazon brought tears to my eyes. I feel light. I feel lifted and honored.

I’ll be doubling my promotional efforts after this, but today. I’m only going to enjoy being a published author. I’m going to enjoy saying to my littles, this is what Mama has been working on all those long hours. I’m going to bask in my husband pride at the work being finished. This is a dream realized and nothing can dampen that feeling. Nothing at all.

Joy.

 

#marketingmayhem

Being an author has many layers. It is easy to imagine the creative process is something most of us enjoy. However, it is not the only process that must be addressed. Particularly in cases like mine where the all facets of writing and publishing fall on my shoulders.

Almost three years ago now I started a small self publishing company called Moody Writer Publishing, LLC. There have been a few titles published under my little label and ultimately I’m proud of its minor success.

As I made the decision to  finally publish my own work, there is one thing that has remained to be true. It doesn’t matter the work. It doesn’t matter how many long hours or how much love or how great the book is that is produced. What determines sales is how well it is marketed!

For most authors, this means starting to build an audience well before the first word is even written. It means long hours on social media, and popping into groups, and any other forms that could prove to be beneficial in even minute ways.

The author platform is to be taken seriously, because cutting right through the love of the art is the realization that it is work.

Writing is a business. Even those who write as a hobby know that if they want more than their family and close friends to read it they must save some energy for marketing their work.

This is precisely where I am. In truth, I’ve been editing and revising my marketing plan for The Alpha’s Dream since its inception. I’m still clumsy about it. I have no idea if the methods I am using will work, but in business you do what must be done.

Right now, I’ve limited the companies that I will work with until I can see what results will come. As a family of soon to be three children, my husband and I have to be extra critical of how we spend our income. There is no room for waste.

Everyone knows that what you can’t pay for in money, you pay for in time. Marketing  for The Alpha’s Dream has proven that to be true over and over again. The fact that I have to limit the work that I outsource doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need to get done. It only means that I have to do it for myself. The late nights have not ended with editing .  Instead of staying up to write that last chapter, or edit that last paragraph, I am sending out arc copies and blasting other blogs.

When you have a small publishing company, you are essentially self-publishing. I am my own PR person. I am my own secretary, hype woman, beta reader, first tier editor, and somewhere in there the author too.  Self-published authors are always at work.

It would be easier to take my polished manuscript and send it off to publishing companies and imprints and just wait for someone to pick me up. It’s a strong, and beautiful romance novel. I have faith in it and that is exactly why I do the hard work.

I hate marketing.  I hate the business of writing. The courting and researching, and logistics of sales are taxing on my introverted, right brain, and creative heart. However, I am more determined to be successful than I am to have it easy. So, I put in work.

When you see The Alpha’s Dream blitzing everywhere, know that’s just me being extra for my dream.

Joy.

 

 

#AprilShowers

I have to say, I’m not upset that it feels like this year is breezing by us.  I have a little bit of an added incentive to rush some, because in May I will be welcoming my third little love. I’m only hoping for healthy happy baby. So every month brings me a little closer to that reality.

In other news. April is super important as The Alpha’s Dream will be released later this month. So many things are still left to be done, and here are the ones I will get to expressly before the release. Plus, updates on any migrated goals.

April Goal List:

-Format The Alpha’s Dream

-Decide on KDP Select Exclusivity

-Pick New Release Date for Second Project

-Execute Promotion Phase 2

Migrated Goals:

-Send The Alpha’s Dream to the Editor

-Complete Shifter Shorts

-Finish Second Novella

I should be more upset about not finishing the novella and the shorts than I am. The truth is very simple, I overestimated what my time would be like while completing edits. At this point, I have to take them off my list. They will be added at some point after baby is here and settled, but I’m not going to pressure myself to have them  done a minute before hand.

While dream building and executing, it is important to know your limits. Give every goal on your lists your best shot, but understand when things are beyond your control. Those books just got away from me. So, I will reset and get back on it. After my second full release, I will reevaluate.

How have your goals been going? Are you hitting them all or just barely getting by? Leave a comment below.

Joy

#GoalDigginUpdate

Alright, time to check in.

When I last updated you guys on Year of the Leap Author goals, I was in wobbly shape. I’m happy to report that February was a good month! I didn’t hit all of my goals, but I did get to most of them. So let’s check on my February Goal lists.

February Goals:

-Create Newsletter

-Select Shorts Premises

-Create/Edit Shorts

-Develop Marketing Plan

-Choose Final Editor

-Finish 2 Novellas

-Prepare Second Drafts

If you followed along last month,  you know there are two goals on that list that are carryovers from January. Suffice to say that  at least one of those thin I being migrated again. the good news is that I did create my newsletter, and you can expect it the fifteenth of this month. Premises for my short are selected and outlined. My marketing plan is tentative, but strong. I still think I’ll do some editing to it, and my Editor is picked. I’m supper exited to work with her.

The Alpha’s Dream was one of the novellas I was hoping to finish and edit. It turned into a novel one all was said and done. I’m excited about its growth and pretty happy to have it flesh out so nicely. I’m excited to share it with you guys as soon as possible. Second drafts are immediately underway!

The elephants in the room are the things I didn’t get done. So here is the list of things that I am carrying over to my March Goal lists.

Migrating Goals:

-Finish 2nd Novella

-Write/Edit 2 Shorts

I love keeping you updated on the progress I’m making, and I’m just as interested in the goals you keep. How is your year going so far? Did you hit your February goals? Leave your comments below.

Joy.

#Goals :My February To-Do

One month down and eleven more to go! This year is already shaping up to be  one of madness and massive shake-ups. My personal life is a little more tame. I’ve broken my major goals down to monthly tasks and as you have read from my Gut Check,  I already missed three major goals for January. I’m fresh out of holiday excuses and I cannot afford another upset. I have work to do.

In the vein of accountability. Here is my edited February Work Goals List. Five tasks that will aid in progressing my brand, and my books.

February Goals to Accomplish:

-Create Newsletter

-Select Shorts Premise

-Create/Edit/Finish two Shorts

-Develop Marketing Plan

-Choose Final Editor

Migrated Goals from January:

-Finish two Novellas

-Edit two Novellas

-Prepare for Second Draft

It’s no joke being an #Authorpreneur. The work is endless, but so is the love. I’m going to complete everything on this list by the end of the month. Watch me work. What goals did you migrate? Ready to tackle them now? Talk to me in the comments.

Joy.

The Year of the Leap: A confession.

I am always afraid.

I wish that was a rhetorical statement, but it is the truest of my truths. I am always, always afraid. It has been crippling, anxiety driven, irrational fears that have largely led me to a life of  happenstance. Instead of charging forward for what I want, I have done the bare minimum so that I am not utterly destroyed if things fall apart. There have been some successes, but mostly there has been mediocrity. A mediocre life does no one justice.

News flash things will fall apart. It is sometimes inevitable.

That isn’t to say that preparedness wouldn’t have helped. On the contrary, preparedness at its base allows for worst case scenarios. It is ready for the expected outcome, and the diversion when the plan changes. It is not dictated by fear. It girths itself for battle. It faces head-on the unforeseen war.

That takes courage and courage takes control over fear. I have learned this the hard way more times than I care to honestly relive. Over the last five years, I have faced head on unforeseen wars, because I have had no choice.

Fall or Fly.

I was pushed from those ledges and I have been navigating blindly ever since. Until now.

In the midst of being pushed an opportunity came my way that I was not prepared for. The only difference this time, was that I had already faced some of my deepest fears. I had courage, because I had nothing else to lose.

Sink or Swim.

I took the opportunity, unsure of where it would lead. It brought me to a hidden dream. One that I had spoken out loud, but never believed I would come to see exist. I didn’t know how to draw it out of myself. I didn’t even know if I could.

Tread Water or Drown.

It was overwhelming and far more than I had expected. If I had known then what I know now, I probably would have convinced myself to say “no”. Someone else could have done it more justice, made it more successful. I wasn’t the one who  could do it right, but I did it well.

I surprised myself. I have aimed to keep surprising myself ever since.

This year, is my Year of the Leap.

Instead of waiting to be  pushed, pulled, or dragged kicking and screaming from my comfort zone I am jumping. I am writing the books for myself that I love. I am building a brand even though I know nothing about branding. I am working long hours, away from the children I prayed for so that one day they will see their mother’s name in print and be proud. I am cracking open.

I am afraid. I  am always, always, always afraid.

There are so many unknowns and the Virgo in me hates unknowns. (Hates!) I want guarantee’s and there is none- save these. I have fallen before. I have flown. I have sunk before. I have swam. I have learned how to tread water. I will not drown.  I will not drown.

I am always afraid. But what is a dream if it does not prompt the absolute need to stare into the monster of the abyss and face it down?

As I look out  into this year, and the unknowns curdle like spoiled milk in my stomach, I know this will be another year that shapes me. I know it will mean some very long nights, and longer prayers. I will force me to admit what I want for myself and those I love. It will force me to confront my shortcomings in a way that I will never believe myself capable of doing. I will have to challenge my most private thoughts in order to accomplish my vision over my life.

It is hard leaving the ledge for an unknown landing, but I have decided to be transformed. I hope it transforms you too.

 

Joy.