Finding new tools: the good and the bad

Sometimes it’s challenging to be an indie author.  You have to handle all aspects of the book industry (marketing, covers, etc) and create a compelling story at the same time.  It can be daunting but to paraphrase Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, always have your tools.  A writer, no matter if they’re a NY times best seller or just starting out, has to have the right tool for them at their disposal.

When I started this journey, I didn’t have anything really at my disposal.  But now I’ve got some sites that really love and some that while I don’t particularly care for but can’t escape using.  I should note that none of these sites have paid me to say anything about their products or services.  This opinions are strictly my own and for fun informational purposes.

  1. Istock.  This site is great if you have to make your own covers like I do.  You can buy some credits for $20 but you can get three maybe four covers out of that.
  2. Notebook.ai  This is a new discovery for me and I’m in love.  It helps you organize and link up every character, world, culture or what not you have. You don’t even have to link anything until you have a place to put it.  So if you’re like me and flashes of cool ideas come all the time, this site helps to store and organize until you are ready to use them.
  3. Storiad.  Another new site.  This site offers a lot that I don’t really have the time to go into but the main keeper points for me are the marketing plan that they help you make, the pricing calculator, press release kits, and industry networking.  All of these things I needed help with so it’s great that it’s all in one spot.
  4. Twitter/Facebook/Instagram.  I have a love hate relationship with social media.  I’m the type of person who can easily become obsessed with something that continues to stimulate me.  That’s the main reason why I’m not on Tumblr.  No one would ever see me again if I got on that site.  But social media presence is crucial to building an author’s platform or at least getting your name out there.  I try to allot a certain amount of time on each site at any given time to make sure that I stay on track.

These are all that I’m going into today.  If you want, check these sites out or research them to see if they’re the best fit for you as a writer and serve your needs.  If you have something that you think I might like, let me know.  I’m always on the lookout for new resources and tools.

 

Until next time peoples!

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Out of Balance

I have finished my first year of teaching and boy did the rest of my life suffer for it.  Almost everything got pushed to the side while I tried to keep my head over water.  I had no energy to do anything, and I mean anything.  Most nights I came home and instantly went to sleep.  Now bear in mind I got back home at 3:30.  That’s crazy.  I stopped working out.  I stopped reading.  I stopped painting and I especially stopped doing anything writing related.

I felt terrible.

But now it’s summer so I have the time to catch up on the huge pile I have on the back burner.  This blog being one of them.

My third book is due to come out at the end of next month but I’ve done almost no marketing for it.  I have no idea what I’m going to do.

I need a drink and start getting my life back on track.

Until next time my peoples!

I have a conundrum

Greetings friends,

I am a country girl, born and raised.  I rather live in the middle of nowhere with my animals and a decent sized garden.  I don’t really care much about the latest and greatest whatever is on the market, nor do I care about status symbols.  Simply put, I’m a simple girl.  My darling husband, however, is not.  He is a tried and true city boy who loves new gadgets and doesn’t want to miss out on anything.  We get a long pretty well despite our differences but the one thing that we tend to class over is city vs country.  I loath cities, while he dreams of them.  Over my Christmas break, we spent a week with his family in New Jersey, just a short drive away from NYC.  On Christmas they decided that they wanted to go walk around the city and see the tree and other touristy things.  I groaned and went along.  Now this isn’t my first major metropolitan city.  I was stationed in DC where I met my husband.  That area only further cemented my dislike for cities.  But New York City is different.  I don’t know what it is but I actually liked it.  My husband smiled smugly stating that we were going to move closer.  I shutter at the thought but in the same breath think that it wouldn’t be that bad of an idea.  Oh dear lord, what am I going to do!

The Hardest Month of My Life

Jesus, I’m so happy this month is finally over.  I have been running on fumes since Thanksgiving.  My novel had taken the back burner to my job, which feeds my feelings of inadequacy, family obligations and the anniversary of my grandmother’s death.  All a potent mixture that drags me down into my own personal tar pit.  But now that the holiday season is winding down, and I had a few days to myself, I can breath easy again.

Now, I’m not the type of person who makes new years resolutions.  I don’t really see the need in trying to commit to something new just because the year started over.  I try to work on myself throughout the year.  With that being said, the one goal that I made for myself this year (yes I know I just said I didn’t do these things) is to find more balance in my life.  I’m one of those people to always bites off more that they can chew.  I love trying new things and my house is often littered with half finished projects that often get pushed to the side when my life becomes crazy.  Unfortunately, my job (special education teacher) means that my life will always be crazy.  I need to find some semblance of balance with all the loves in my life.

On that note, I wish you all a Happy New Year!  Here’s hoping it will be better than the last.

 

For a Friend

Another lifetime ago, I was a Marine.  I know they say once a Marine, always a Marine but as the years increase between my time in and now it becomes harder to still feel like one.  The one thing that hasn’t changed is that I still talk to may of the people I served with.

Yesterday I got a message from one of my friends from my last duty station.  She has been a long time supporter of my writing career and a constant cheerleader and critic.  Like so many veterans, she suffers from PTSD.  She deals with it by helping other service members work through theirs.  This girl is amazing and is a source of inspiration.

Any who, she asked me to ghost write her story for her.  And I instantly said yes.  I mean how could I say no.  I’m a little nervous because I’ve never done anything like this before but she has the utmost faith and all I can do is try.  She said I was her first choice when the idea came to her.

Now I can help the person who has helped so many learn to live with or defeat their demons.  Let’s go Team Liz!!!!

Surprise Book

A few weeks ago (I’ve been terrible about posting regularly) I received a book in the mail that I didn’t order.  At first I was confused and a little worried.  Had someone ordered something using my card and forgot to change the mailing address?  Was this a gift from one of my relatives who are notorious for randomly sending me things?  Was I buying books in my sleep?  Of course my husband, who called to tell me about the book, was no help at all.

Well as it turned out it was none of the above.  Every now and again I sign up for a Goodreads give away.  This book was one such book.  The give away hadn’t ended and I didn’t receive an email notifying me that I won.

 

It’s an uncorrected proof and it’s free.  Plus I will never turn down a book.

Three cheers for surprise books!

 

I love my new job!!!!

This year, I was able to obtain a new teaching position at the school where I already worked at as a teacher assistant.  Nearing the end of the first 9 wks, I finally feel comfortable.  The first three weeks felt like pure hell and I didn’t feel like a teacher at all.  But now, I’ve found my groove and things have started to settle down.  With that being said, many of my projects, including my novel have had to take a seat on the back burner because I needed to focus completely on figuring out just how in the world was I going to work this teaching gig.  But I think I have it mostly figured out so it’s time to get back at it.

I wish I could share the pictures of my kids with you guys, they are something else.  But I have to respect their privacy.  However, they are the cutest little demons I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  ha ha

Until next time ppl!