#JuneGoals : My June author goals and the larger picture.

I’m living a new normal. I honor that with my determination.

My vision for my life has changed over the years, but probably none more than this year. With every new challenge I face,  I reconcile that my time is not my own. Every minute is borrowed from something ( someone) precious to me. I know that and it forces efficiency from my time. I’ve accomplished a lot on a personal front this year. I’m growing as an author/writer on a professional front. There is so much for which I still hope.

No matter what alters my personal life, I can’t forget that I am an author.  My new life is more time consuming and burst at the seams with joy, but there is still much to do as I build my career/dream. I have to work hard, and smart or else all the things I’ve been working toward thus far will be in vain.

I’m building.  My work as an author is only one piece of the puzzle. The ultimate goal is to use it as a cornerstone toward financial security. I owe it to my shifter mate for all he’s done for me and to my littles for all they give me. It is the least I can do.

To work smarter, I must work within my limits and keep my eyes peeled for the right opportunity to push further. I’ve altered my June author goals to reflect this belief. I have taken some of my own advice in the  editing of my goals as I get back to “normal”.  I’m giving myself the summer to wobble, but only the summer.

In my wobbling, there are still some things I have to accomplish. I want to publish two more full length novels before the year is out. Not to mention,  at least two shorts for fun. I still have a ton to learn from a marketing stand point, and my ultimate goal is to hit the best seller mark.  I’m a dreamer at heart. Keeping this running tab of my years goals is helping me to remain present in my pursuits. It is not an easy task for me.

Piece by piece, I build my creative life and I’m thrilled watching it transform.

Having this monthly break-down of goals helps me to manage what I want in a realistic way. So here are my author goal milestones for June. Every task completed strengthens the foundation of my dream and I can’t lose focus now.

June Author Goal List

Title Brainstorming for Second Release

25,000 words on second release

Evaluation of Second Release date

Choose a new editor

Third round of marketing for The Alpha’s Dream

New responsibilities require adjustment. If I find that I can do more than my projected word count then I will. It is important that I move the bar for myself as often as possible. Pushing the limits of what I know I am capable of is only going to make me stronger, better at channeling my abilities. It doesn’t matter that I am figuring it out as I go. It only matters that I am willing to wobble and still pursue my vision.

What about you? What are your June steps toward your years goals? Comment below with your summer plans.

Joy.

#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.

 

#OwnIt: My most prominent book launch mistakes

There were mistakes made in my launch. Here’s how I feel about them.

Alright, so you’ve seen my excitement about The Alpha’s Dream being released. It is heaven to see my work finally published and available to those who wanted it. I’ve been stalking my sales, and pages read through Kindle Unlimited almost hourly. Seriously. It’s to the point that my husband has put me on a schedule. He gets me, but he also knows I’m crazy. It’s true love.

Now that I’ve had a little time away, my feelings for my launch are finally sorting. Here comes the part where doing it all on my own takes its honest toll. I worked for months in writing of The Alpha’s Dream. It was originally only supposed to be a 20,000 word novella to open my career. I was nervous about attempting more.

In the end, Nathaniel and Euphoria took on a life of their own. They knew what they wanted, and their story. They desired depth and space to come to terms with the lives they were living through the pages. I was honored…am honored to have done that.

As with anyone, I realize there are limits to  talent. So, even in my writing there were things I had to prepare for in order for my book to be a success. So, I made a plan.

I would write the book. I would then do a secondary edit of the book to fill plot holes and  catch minor grammatical errors. I would then hand the book off to a great editor who would fine tune what was missed. They would return the book to me to make final adjustments.

It was a simple plan with modest expectations and nothing extravagant in terms of what other authors are doing.

I am prone to Murphy’s law. Everything that can go wrong will generally go wrong when it comes down to the wire.

My editor bailed. My secondary choice was great, but not as good. In the 25th hour I ended up doing a lot of it myself. I’m not an editor. I am a writer. It shows in my work.

As I proceeded to go through the work, I cleaned it up as much as I could and pressed forward. It would not be perfect. The flawless finish I wanted did not come. Editors, like authors, have very specific skills. I know my role well, and I know the limits of that role. What I offered was not the pristine product I’d hoped.

To further exacerbate my anxiety, the placeholder copy I used for the pre-order setup was even less perfect. It took several failed attempts to submit the first edition final version of The Alpha’s Dream. However, it was too late to prevent some of the pre-orders from receiving the completely unedited placeholder copy.

I was mortified.

My big launch, my debut to the world was marred by a completely jumbled amateur move. I couldn’t get it out of my head. Immediately, I went into recovery mode. I researched and reached out to those that I could about the copies they received and offered edited versions. I hoped for the best.

The feedback I’ve been getting for The Alpha’s Dream has been predominately positive. When I look at the reviews, I realize that I wasn’t the only one looking for books like I’ve chosen to write. It heightens my desire to create a great work. At this point, all of the Amazon reviews are glowing. The GoodReads ratings, not so much. I Love GoodReads. I love the people represented there are truly just there for the books. So even a two star rating ( at this point I have 2 two star ratings) has a significant purpose.

I see the complaints in my writing and the calls that there are grammatical errors still. It is embarrassing to work so hard and still have some prominent flaws. I sigh. I cringe. I know there is still more work to do. I’m up to the challenge.

In the coming weeks, as I prepare for even more changes in my  personal life I will be looking for another editor to see if I can finally get it right. I want a flawless project and the second edition of The Alpha’s Dream should be that.

Overall, I am still in awe of this process. I’ve learned some hard lessons and have come to terms with my shortcomings. I take my work very seriously.

This isn’t a hobby anymore. It isn’t simply what I do to pay the bills, and when that work is complete it is my responsibility to make sure it is done right. I don’t take that lightly.

As I move forward, looking down the barrel of a new baby, second edition to The Alpha’s Dream, and plot future works I keep in mind that nothing is without hiccups.  I love that The Alpha’s Dream is doing well. I hate that it isn’t perfect, but I am not intimidated about plucking away until I get it right.

What are you guys working on? Anything you’ve taken a second look at? Comment below.

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

#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.

 

#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

#MarchRevisited

March was a busy month. I’m running behind schedule as seems to be the story of my life, but still there was a lot to get done and even more as April flies into view. So let’s get an update on what my March goals were and see where we ended the month.

March Goal List:

-Send off First Newsletter

-Send The Alpha’s Dream to the Editor

-Build up my ARC Lists

-Execute Phase #1 of my Marketing Plan

Migrated Goals:

-Finish Second Novella

-Write/Edit 2 Shifter Shorts

So here are the updates.  The list is still long. I successfully created my newsletter, but have not sent even one out. The Alpha’s Dream did not make it to the Editors as I’m still working on my second draft Edits and the novella and shorts are just plan out of view.

The only things I accomplished completed were Building my arc lists, which is an ongoing thing, and executing part one of my marketing.  Those are two important things and I’m working hard on them, but my aim is always to complete my goal lists.

I’m torn between being completely disappointed that I’m not hitting my lists and also recognizing that I have more time constraints than I give myself credit. This isn’t a fun thing to come to terms with, but it must be done.

I have to just adjust. Adaptability to the circumstances of my life are the only things that will keep me put together right now. My husband, my children, my pregnancy, and all the other events going on have a level of priority that I have to respect. Sigh.

It will only get harder when baby three is here in may, but I have to find a groove. My dream needs to flourish and it means I have to make the time.  No one else is going to do the work for me. Every part of my dream come with it’s on obstacles. I cannot let myself forget that.

Over the next month I will be taking a serious look at my time constraints and determine what are the most important things I must do to keep pushing toward my end game. Hopefully, the conclusion will be a more efficient schedule and better execution. We will see.

Joy.