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What it Takes

Dear Reader,

Thank you for stopping by today. It does truly mean a lot. I want to tell you a little bit about what it takes to be an indie author, for those of you visiting who are that rare unicorn of a writer, please feel free to chime in for skip down to the next section.  Being an indie author or even a traditional (trad) author you take a huge risk every day. You write the words you have floating around in your head that are just trying desperately to escape. You type them out, you string them together and then you actually let someone else read it. Yes, you should get a bravery medal for handing off your work to another person for the first time. It is one of the scariest things you can do. Once, you’ve done that and survived you think okay, I’m going to publish these words for everyone to see. And you hit the publish button and something really amazing happens. No one sees your words. You just put your heart and soul into a book, you took a big personal risk and put it out there and somehow the world is clueless about your words and your efforts.  Now what?

Now comes the part that hopefully you prepared for, but maybe didn’t realize just how hard it would be, marketing. Yes, marketing, as in that business class in college you skipped or maybe a friend was taking. Marketing as in that thing they do on “Mad Men”. Yep, you publish a book especially if you’re an indie, and now you are not only the author but the marketing director, the event coordinator and the accountant.

Not only did you pay for a book cover, an editor and maybe even print copies of your book so that you could attend a book signing, but now you have to pay to advertise your book. So the world knows your story and all the hard work that has gone into it.

There is no one “right” way to market your book. There is no one marketing strategy that will help you recoup your investment. There are as many ways to market your book as there are genres. So part of the challenge is finding what works the best for you and your story.

If you enjoy the works of an indie author please consider supporting their efforts through the purchase of their books if they have multiple books, but if they only have a few books available look for the author on Patreon. Patreon is a great way to support authors who are just getting started and it is a lot of fun, too.

You can support my indie business efforts at https://www.patreon.com/MilissaStory.

 

 

 

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The “Write” Tool for the Job

Dear Reader,

On occasion I enjoy a bit of antiquing and a trip to a series of shops proves relaxing and sometimes I find a little treasure. I have a very modest collection of manual typewriters and recently acquired a 1926 Underwood No. 5. The No. 5 was probably the most massed produced of the Underwood’s in the early part of the 20th century. It is in wonderful condition. Not quite mint, but it has a lot of character. Some of you, like me may have taken actual typing classes in school, not keyboarding skills. It takes a bit of strength to hit those keys hard enough to put ink to paper,  my laptop’s keyboard could attest that some habits are hard to break.

I found this typewriter at one of my favorite shops Marketplace Antiques13925117_1227218503997761_4490336340250310049_n

The folks at this shop are some of the nicest you will meet anywhere. Always, very helpful and make the shopping experience special.

I have a romantic notion that one day I will type out an entire novel on one of my manual typewriters and have it bound.

Apparently, Tom Hanks also have a love of manual typewriters and has written a book about these wonderful machines. A dear friend gave me a copy of the book, and it is on my “to be read” list. But, Uncommon Type, looks fascinating.

Uncommon Type

As a writer, these excursions to the antique shops are a wonderful way to take a break from writing and also find inspiration in the process.

Another of my hobbies when I am not writing is knitting, this week also includes a baby blanket for a friend with a new grandson.

I’m also finishing up a ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) for another author who will be launching their book next week. More about that later.

Enjoy the impending weekend!

 

 

 

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Spring, into Action

We are finally past March here in coastal Virginia. It was a wild one, four Nor’easters in one month bringing, rain, snow, wind and ice. And it was much worse for our coastal neighbors to the north. Mother Nature was certainly an over achiever last month. Today on this first day of April the weather is not anything close to “spring-like” but, we still have hope of warmer days ahead.

As the weather turns warmer and the days are longer we start to venture outside for a little sun and exercise, lets also remember that we are all part of a larger community. It’s easy to get comfortable in our routine of work, family, and errands.

This past week on a chilly and rainy Friday, members of a leadership group to which I belong went out and cleaned up the trash around the water’s edge at a local park. The park offers a boat ramp and picnic areas and it located in a residential area between a church and an elementary school. We had eighteen members and we worked for about two and a half hours. You can see in the picture the large pile of trash we removed. Some of the more interesting items were a tricycle, a small bicycle with training wheels, an old shopping cart, a tire, and old tube television, an old stereo, an area rug and a bible.  When we left, the shore line and the park were spotless. It is amazing what a small group can do in two hours. Not to mention the benefits of accomplishing something as a team. We all work in different areas, different departments, from emergency services to engineering. But, on Friday we were all one team with one goal, clean up the park in two hours. We accomplished our goal and enjoyed some comradery in the process.

As winter recedes in many parts of the country and you venture out once again to enjoy the sun please take a moment to consider helping in our local community in some way. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors, make a new friend, and be part of a solution.

 

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“Weather” or Not

Hello Dear Reader,

Things have been a little interesting here of late. I have been under the weather for about a week. I’m afraid my writing suffered a bout of the flu as well. I was not able to get much accomplished.

March in coastal Virginia is a wild ride. You can have a mild winter up until we reach  March and then you can get anything from snow storms, Nor’easters, spring flowers blooming and temperatures in the 70-degree range or all of the above in a months time.

Last week and had a unique Nor’easter. It was unique in that we have very little rain. We had terrible winds and wind gusts, but they usually bring several inches of rain with them. Not this time. We are blessed with beautiful rivers, the Chesapeake Bay, and the ocean, but that also means bridges and the winds caused one of them to have to shut down completely as it was too dangerous to attempt a crossing. The others had reduced speeds. The picture doesn’t do it justice out there on the bridge.

But, the good news is that my flu seems to have flown and Gray’s Requiem is flying off the proverbial shelf. Have you read it yet? You don’t want to miss out. Get your copy at these fine online retailers and Amazon.

Happy Reading!

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Unseasonably Warm

February and March are normally the coldest months of the year here in coastal Virginia. The water in the bay and the ocean are cold the wind is cold, the rain is cold and sometimes cold enough for snow. No so this year. This year December and January so far have been the worst. Now it is February and the daffodils are in full bloom. It has been in the 70’s (F). The rain will start tonight bringing a front with it. But for now, the warm air from the south is a welcome change and I am doing as much outside as I can. I fear March will be its old self.

Of course, some of us are enjoying a nice nap in the sun.

Nap Dog

If you need something to read this week check out my books on Amazon or at Kobo, Apple, BN and more

You can also visit me at Patreon

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The Big Day

Drum roll, please…

Gray’s Requiem the second book in the Maggie Gray trilogy is available today! This book had a couple of setbacks on its way to release day, but just like its namesake, it fought back and made it to the finish line.

Being an indie author is all about knuckling down and getting it done. Because no one else is going to do it for you. You have to write it, publish it, market it. But, there is also a learning curve. I’ve learned a lot from my first book, The Deceived and I know you will enjoy the second book in the series. There are a lot of people who have helped me along the way to get to this point. Some of them probably don’t even realize it, but that doesn’t make them any less important.

If you haven’t met Maggie Gray yet, you can get my first book, The Deceived for only .99 cents at both Amazon and Kobo. If you’re ready to continue the adventure with Gray’s Requiem, it is available today at these fine retailers: Amazon , Kobo, BN, Apple, Scribd, Overdrive, and more.