I know this may sound insane, but I went back to 6th grade last week. Why in the world would I do that? To market my story, of course. Though the idea wasn't entirely mine.
A few months ago, one of my writer friends asked me if I could write a Discussion Guide for my first book that she'd be able to use with a girl she mentors at a local middle school. That was the first moment I thought, "Maybe my story could be more than just an adventure."
You see, my #ElenaRansom book characters are based off real people that I've known in my life. And, even though this is a dystopian/sci-fi type genre that takes place 300 years from now, a lot of the typical teen angst situations are present throughout the series.
Because of that one request, I realized that I might be able to go into local middle schools to speak with students about more than just a book. I could go in to speak with them about... well... them. And guess what? It worked! It worked so well!
I had 2 events alone last week. At one school I spoke with 600 6th graders over the course of the entire day. I was SO tired, but I've realized something extremely important for the future of what I'm doing. I need to be in front of teens. All. The. Time.
I need to speak to where they are in their lives, and let them know there are others out there struggling just like they are. I'm finding that when a student can talk about what a book character is going through it takes the pressure off them trying to decide their own feelings. I'm finding that a lot of teens still like to read a good adventure story. And, I'm finding that everyone still gets excited about a plain, old-fashioned tshirt raffle!
If you are a teacher or know a teacher that would like to have me for an Author Interview, please let me know. I'm starting to schedule fall events now.
When I opened Amazon this morning I couldn't believe my eyes! I have almost reached the top 100 in the Sci-Fi/Dystopian category. This is AMAZING to me!
How did this happen? Because of you. Because you bought my book. Because you gave me a review. Because you have been clicking on links to my books. This one little thing going right this week is super exciting! But this isn't the only thing I'm celebrating.
I'd still really love to sell more books in the coming weeks so I can get below the #100 mark on Amazon.
The “Elena Ransom” series I'm writing chronicles the lives of Elena Ransom and her friends at Grimsby School of the Republic. It's a fantasy adventure story for ages 11-14. Although the setting takes place in the future, it is truly a coming of age story that deals with making friends, death of parents, death of classmates, handling bullies, problem solving, betrayal, and numerous other topics throughout the course of the (eventual) 6 books.
Also, I'd love to get more reviews. EVERY. SINGLE. REVIEW helps! If you've read my book(s) please consider giving a review today.
Thank you, friends! Happy Reading!
So... I'm really hard on myself as a writer. The picture above is of my edits AFTER the copy editor read my manuscript. Are you really critical of your writing? Or perhaps you're really critical when you're reading novels by other authors.
Once upon a time, I had anxiety over the amount of editing I felt I needed to do. After the first draft of my Book 1 manuscript was complete I read it and thought, "Wow! This is REALLY, REALLY terrible!"
I was even sad about it for a few days. But then I realized... I. AM. A. WRITER. Which means that I already possess the ability to make my story better.
What do you tend to do when you have anxiety over your writing?
For me, time is Key. I am writing a 6 book series. Because all the books together are one completely story, it's super important to me that each book follows along where the previous one left off. I want all my characters to have appropriate development in each book. I want my readers to feel surprised, anxious, and excited as they follow my characters. I want my readers to laugh and cry (which most tell me they do both of). Therefore, I always take the amount of Time I need to tell the story so I don't feel rushed.
My advice for today is, don't stress when your manuscript bleeds red. It means there's an opportunity to make your story better.
I've joined a lot of Facebook groups lately with writers, authors, and aspiring authors asking all the right questions about self publishing... Aaaannddd... asking all the SAME questions about self publishing. So, I'm planning to vlog about common self publishing questions over the next few weeks (or months) as I think of things, or as you have questions for me.
My first video features the 4 Key Steps you would need to follow if you're planning to self publish a book.
I've published 2 books myself, and have also helped one of my clients publish 4 books and 2 manuals using Create Space through Amazon.
My #ElenaRansom series chronicles the lives of Elena and her friends at Grimsby School of the Republic. Although the setting takes place in the future, it is truly a coming of age story that deals with making friends, death of parents, death of classmates, handling bullies, problem solving, betrayal, and numerous other topics throughout the course of the (eventual) 6 books.
If you have any questions about self publishing or if you'd like me to vlog about anything specific, please fill out my Contact Us form now:
When people ask, "Do you want to hear the Good News first, or the Bad News?" what do you say? Do you always pick one over the other. Or does it depend on the person or your perception of the information that's about to be delivered?
My Good News last night: I went to my first school event of the year, and my very first Book Fair. I was so excited to be able to display my array of #ElenaRansom books, tshirts, pens, and bookmarks. I took goofy selfies where I was smiling far too much before the fair began.
And then... I waited.
The Bad News: Only 2 families showed for the Book Fair. Two families out of an entire middle school (Feel free to insert your favorite "failure" noise).
After an hour of sitting there, and realizing that the fair might just not happen, I took out my journal and began to pen some notes for Book 6. That's one good thing about this job I do... I can do it literally anywhere.
I'm so tempted to give up. I'm so tempted to resign myself to the fact that a lot of people don't read anymore. In fact, I'm a member of so many writers groups and read hundreds of posts each day from aspiring authors, and I think to myself, "Wow! A lot of people still want to write books, and are writing books. Where are all the readers that we're writing for?"
The bottom line is, I love my story. And that's why I keep writing. Maybe my words will never impact the masses, but for the few that have followed me along this journey, THANK YOU!
It's not just me. We all go out of our houses looking for a place to buy books and just can't find it anymore. A couple weeks ago I hit the pavement to look for bookstores to carry my new series, but alas, nothing. In response to the lack of book-selling-places in my area, I've joined together with other local women writers to plan an old fashioned, local book fair. The fair won't be until September, so what am I doing now?
Because I write for tweens/teens, I contacted all the local middle schools in my county to see if I could schedule some kind of speaking engagements.
One school is allowing me to come for their book fair at the end of March. Another scheduled me for an entire day to speak with their 600 6th graders! A woman from a local mentor program asked me to write a Discussion Guide for my first book so that she would have something to talk about with the girls she mentors.
So, I'm prepping old school style. I've ordered copies of my books. I've ordered tshirts and personalized pens (though I am crossing my fingers that they will arrive in time for the book fair at the end of this month).
Marketing my book series has been challenging, and confusing at times, but I keep trying because I love my story. And because I have a feeling that soon it might end up making a huge difference in the life of a tween/teen struggling with social anxiety, or feeling hopelessly lonely, or a kid that feels completely misunderstood. After all, one of the reasons I started writing was so that I could express my own feelings about life.
I am writing this series about teens and for teens. The “Elena Ransom” series chronicles the lives of Elena and her friends at Grimsby School of the Republic. Although the setting takes place in the future, it is truly a coming of age story that deals with making friends, death of parents, death of classmates, handling bullies, problem solving, betrayal, and numerous other topics throughout the course of the 6 books.
As a teacher or parent, you can be part of helping teens talk through their issues, too. Order and read my books for yourself. Encourage your teens to read them (perfect for ages 11-14). Download my Discussion Guide and start a conversation. Get involved! Being involved can make a huge difference in the life of a teen.
I am a self-published author looking for 35 more reviews of my first book "Elena Ransom and the Firebird Unit."
The “Elena Ransom” series chronicles the lives of Elena Ransom and her friends at Grimsby School of the Republic. Although the setting takes place in the future, it's truly a coming of age story that deals with making friends, death of parents, death of classmates, handling bullies, problem solving, betrayal, and numerous other topics throughout the course of the 6 books.
In the first book, Elena Ransom is 13-years-old, but she ages one year in each book. So, I'm marketing the first two books to 10-14 year olds.
Today, getting 35 reviews sounds like a HUGE number, but I know getting more reviews will increase my chances of my book being seen on Amazon.
The deal is, if you read and review Book 1 on Amazon, I'll email you the second book "Elena Ransom and the Catalan Atlas" for FREE.
For today only, go download my first book, "Elena Ransom and the Firebird Unit" and help me get the reviews I need!
As an author, it's always flattering when someone asks if they can interview you about your work. I did the following interview for Alex's blog, www.thereadingcornerforall.com.
I met Alex on Instagram. She read the first book in my #Elena Ransom fantasy adventure series for Tween readers (ages 10-14) even though she is not in this age range, and she's currently reading the second book, "Elena Ransom and the Catalan Atlas."
Alex gave me an awesome review of my first book "Elena Ransom and the Firebird Unit" on Amazon as well:
Because Alex has been so generous with her time, I feel like giving her the moon. Book reviewers like Alex are helping my huge author/book publishing dreams come true.
Would you like to review my first book "Elena Ransom and the Firebird Unit" for FREE? The deal is, if you give me a review on Amazon I will email you the second book "Elena Ransom and the Catalan Atlas" for FREE as well.
Why am I giving my books away for FREE. First, and most importantly, I want to inspire a new generation of tween/teen readers. But also because I know that tweens will LOVE the #ElenaRansom adventure. These books are written about teens, and for teens.
I'm working hard, looking for reviewers, and looking for 10-14 year olds that will read these books! If you have a tween/teen that loves to read, email me for your FREE copy or have them request one on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ransom.elena.
When I say, "I have a FREE eBook download for you in exchange for an Amazon review" you'd think that would be an easy sell, right? Well, IT. IS. NOT.
Getting people to post a review about #ElenaRansom has been super tough. Why am I looking for reviews? Because it looks more credible when you go to buy a book and more than 14 people have reviewed it ;)
Now, I can't complain too much because I did have 440 downloads of "Elena Ransom and the Firebird Unit" this month. That's really amazing to me! Especially since one of my goals in writing this series is to inspire a new generation of Tween readers. But, will some of those 440 downloads turn into Amazon reviews? I'm crossing my fingers!!
The deal is, if you read "Elena Ransom and the Firebird Unit" and can prove that you reviewed it on Amazon, I'll email you the second book of the series "Elena Ransom and the Catalan Atlas" for FREE.
Why am I doing this? As an author, one of our goals is to sell books, not just give things away for free, right? Again, I'm trying to get more reviews and I'm trying to get more Tweens to read my books. I have 4 more books coming out before this series is complete, but if I can't get these first 2 off the ground then what's the point it finishing all the others?
If you would like to Read & Review #Elena Ransom on Amazon, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I've realized this past week that it's not enough to promote #ElenaRansom by myself. In this case, learning to be more involved with social media is actually a good thing. You see, I love my books! But more importantly, I want to inspire a new generation of readers. So, I'm officially moving #Elena Ransom out of the YA book series category and putting it in the #Tweenbookseries and/or #childrensbookseries category. It seems that this will help me when I go to promote #ElenaRansom on Amazon.
Honestly, I have no idea what I'm doing yet, but I'm going to give it a try! And I'll let you know how it turns out.
Meanwhile, you can always order on Amazon. And PLEASE give me a review when you're done reading.
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Dear Epic Inkers,
I felt out of place as a teen...more than once. But the truth is, we're only as alone as we choose to be. I'm not saying it's easy to make friends or feel connected with people, but don't be discouraged!