Blog

Searching for beta-readers

Hello friends,

I’m toying with the idea of independently publishing an adult romance with light sci-fi elements that I wrote.

To get it in the best shape possible before sending it to the editor, I’m searching for beta-readers to give me constructive feedback.

If you’re interested, please email me at kalicecompeau@outlook.com and let me know you’d like a copy.

Here is a quick blurb…

Hearts Mingling

Cory Winters finds herself in an out-of-this-world romance when she meets a man from another galaxy, who leaves her feeling used, and when she questions the reasons behind her feelings for him, realizes that she was overlooking true love closer to home.

Thank you!

Allie

Blog

Free today only – to celebrate a fantastic start

Crushing it so far!

At the end of August, I had 100 followers on this blog. The goal I set to achieve by the end of September was to double that number. I’ve been working hard to reach new followers, and I’m already at 128 subscribers! Woooohoooo! Thanks to everyone who has followed me. I really appreciate it, and I feel like I’m going to reach my goal.

giphy-2

You should set more than one goal, girlie!

Why stop at the number of people who follow your blog, Allie?

Great question! Why am I stopping there when I know that I need to work on my email list and the number of reviews I have on my book? Okay, well, here’s another goal…get more people to sign up for my author email list (which I NEVER give out anyone’s information and I NEVER spam people with.) I just want to keep in touch with my readers should I ever lose access to my blog or social media accounts.

I also need more reviews on my book ASTER THE SPIRIT TALKER on Amazon and Goodreads. Indie authors, like me, need reviews to reach new readers. I know I check out reviews before I decide to buy any book and so few people leave them.

giphy
Your reviews helping me 😂

 

So what are you going to do about that, Allie?

I’m so glad you asked! (Wow, I’m a nerd.) 😂 😂

To try to get more readers that I can stay in touch with via my email list (and who will hopefully leave reviews on Amazon and/or Goodreads 🤞🏻 🤞🏻 🤞🏻 please and thank you) I’m going to gift a Kindle ebook copy of ASTER THE SPIRIT TALKER from Amazon to anyone who signs up on this terrific Tuesday (extending this to anyone who stumbles across this post) by clicking here!

Wooohoooo! Getting people to sign up for email lists has got to be one of the most difficult things I’ve tried to do as an author. No one wants to do it. LOL! I get it. I’m reluctant to do that as well but I can promise you that I’m not going to bombard you with emails. I’m just a nerdy author, standing before a group of readers, asking them to take a chance on me.

giphy1

Blog

Being open to new experiences

Being open to new experiences

I read a blog the other day which discussed self-publishing. The author of the blog said while they understood the reasons that authors would self-publish that they didn’t feel it was worth the risk of reading them. Then she went on to say that she picked up a self-published book and it was full of errors and she couldn’t finish it. I’ve had that happen, too. I’ve also picked up traditionally published books that made it difficult to get through the first paragraph, let alone the first chapter.

cringe

I actually “liked” the blogger’s post because I know there are a lot of self-published works that don’t get the care that the book and the reader deserves. Many times I see poorly made, homemade cover art, no editing (done by a professional), and crap writing. There are even scammers out there stuffing books with crap just to make a quick buck.

The blogger of the article questioned why she should spend money on a book that’s self-published because it might not be worth her money and she’d rather spend her money on books by Random House. That’s fine. But why should self-published authors have to give their work away for free if it’s good just to get you to read it? When I read, I honestly don’t look to see who the publisher is. If a book sounds interesting, I’ll try it. I’ve found a lot of great things to read that way, and I’ve been disappointed in books that were on a list somewhere or published by the big five. But I had no problem with the article. If that’s what she thinks, it’s what she thinks. After all, risking $.99-$2.99 on an ebook might be difficult for some.

scrooge

The disappointing part of the blog post, for me, came when a book blogger commented saying she wouldn’t even consider reviewing self-published books. I mean, if you’re asked to review a book, you’re getting it for free. So what’s the risk? If it sounds interesting, why wouldn’t you want to read it? Why would you ever pass up the chance to give the readers of your blog a fantastic book they might have never heard of? Be open to new experiences, discover new things, step outside your comfort zone.

giphy5

There’s nothing I can do to change opinions like these since these are the type of minds that are entirely closed off to anything “risky” or new. But I can do my best to make my books the best that I can. I always hire a professional editor and professional cover artist and will continue to do so. I will also always encourage other indie authors to do the same.

I’m also going to start a book review tab on my website, and I’m going to stay open to reading and reviewing anything I find interesting. So if you’re an indie author, feel free to send me a review request at kalicecompeau@outlook.com. If I start reading your book and I don’t like it. I just won’t review it. I’ll also share my reviews here, and on Goodreads, for any book I pick up…because it looks interesting.

adult-attractive-beauty-255268 (1)
Hmmm, that’ sounds good. Yes! I’ll read it.

If you’d like to take a chance on my independently published book, ASTER THE SPIRIT TALKER, click here. 

Blog

Accepting Constructive Criticism

Accepting Constructive Criticism

Hello Friends,

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since I’ve started sharing my work with others, it’s that if many people are telling you something needs to change, no matter how much it may hurt, you should listen and make changes.

I got a dose of constructive criticism that hurt yesterday.

I had a group web call with other authors and my book coach. They all agreed that the title of my book needed a change. It was like a stab in the gut. I liked the title but they all agreed that the title itself wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t a good fit for a middle-grade fantasy novel. More than the rejection, I’d have to change all my cover files, interior files, website, and review copy.

Fortunately, my cover artist, Ashely Byland of Redbird Designs (Click here indie authors if you’re looking for an incredibly talented and easy to work with cover artist) made these changes for me quickly and painlessly. Did I mention that she’s incredible? She’s incredible!

So my book will no longer be titled…

GreatConnection3D

But will now be known as…

AsterSpirit3D

Now I could have closed my ears and insisted that I was keeping my title because it’s my book. But these other authors have more experience than I do. They gave me solid reasons why my first title just didn’t cut the mustard. And my book coach is a best-selling author who is a wiz with titles and marketing.

I want to succeed. I can write books. I’m not doubting myself on that anymore (now don’t call me cocky–I just said I know I can write them, not that I think I’m talented. The imposter syndrome is still strong in me) I’m still learning when it comes to marketing and book promotion. But I know the best way to learn (in any situation) is to keep an open mind and accept constructive criticism in a way that allows me to learn and become more successful with each step I take.

 

Blog

Writer not writing

Writer not writing

Hello friends,

I cannot remember the last time I opened up my laptop and worked on my novel. Was it in June sometime? Has it really been since May?

So what’s keeping me from writing… writer’s block?

Not at all. The slow down started when I began querying my romance novel, Hearts Mingling. The querying process is extremely time-consuming, but more than that, it takes all the joy out of trying. As a matter of fact, querying kind of makes me feel like I hate writing. It’s a misplaced emotion. It’s not actually the writing I hate, but it does make it all seem pointless–like I’ll never find readers for my work if I can’t get by the gatekeepers.

giphy2

 

I’ve also been taking a few courses. One–a marketing course for a small business I’ll be part-owner of and do the marketing for. The second–another marketing course, but this one is specifically for authors. As you know, in addition to my other small business, I’ve started my own publishing company, WhistlePig Publishing, to independently publish my children’s novels. Who knows, someday I may also be publishing my adult works as well.

All my time and effort has been going into these ventures, but at least I feel like I’m moving forward with my writing and my quest to find readers. I’m no longer stalled out in the querying trenches, spinning my wheels, and feeling like a loser.

I’ve begun building my book launch team and have been fortunate enough to have received excellent feedback from my readers. (And btw, all of you who have joined and been kind enough to let me know how you’re enjoying the book–THANK YOU! You have no idea how much it means that you’re willing to help. I suffer from imposter syndrome and doubt myself daily, so your words pull me out of some serious self-despising darkness).

If you haven’t joined my book launch team but would like to, click here to sign up to get your free review copy. Those who join, download the free ebook on launch day, and post their reviews will automatically be entered to win prizes.

giphy3

It’s tough to be a writer who’s not writing, but at least I’m getting closer to writing again. I am now a writer who is planning on writing and feeling the excitement bubble build inside. The bubble that will grow until it bursts and forces me to sit down and write because I won’t be able to think about anything else.

giphy4

I’ve decided to finally write the final two books for The Great Connection and turn it into a trilogy. I originally planned to do that, but then the query process smashed that thought into a million little pieces.

But now that I’m an indie author I can officially say, “Whatever, I’ll do what I want.”

giphy

So take that, gatekeepers. You can’t tell me what to write and you can’t keep my readers from making their own choices!

 

Blog

Traditional publishing vs. Self-publishing

Hello friends,

As you all know, I’ve been sticking it out in the querying trenches, and it’s been hard on my heart. I know I need to develop a thick skin and over and again I’ve heard, “Remember, this is a subjective business.”

Yes, I know. I completely understand that. I know market trends matter. And I also know that nothing makes sense. Seriously.

giphy-downsized-large

Listen to this…

I have a friend who works as a literary intern. So basically, she wades through piles of query letters to sort through those the agent may be interested in and she also reads manuscripts for the agent as a screen before the agent reads them. Here’s an example of what I mean when I say I know that nothing makes sense. My friend read a book that, although it wasn’t her favorite genre, she couldn’t put down. It was a page-turner and was incredibly well written. She passed the book on to the agent who said that she really gobbled it up but wasn’t going to take it on. Why, you ask? Oh, because the author had approximately 11 books published through small presses. The agent actually called him a hack even though she agreed the writing was very well done. But it doesn’t stop there, friends. The intern asked if he could publish under a pen name. The agent said he definitely should but still wasn’t going to take him on. In the same conversation, the agent asks the intern to read another book. The agent had already read it and said it was “a mess,” written by a debut author. A MESS people! And why was she willing to take on a manuscript that is a mess? Well, because the author was a District Attorney. Goodness knows no one can write things unless it’s true to life. Good thing when I wrote my middle grade fantasy about witches, I really was one.

giphy

So here’s the point of this blog post. I’m starting to think it doesn’t matter what I do or how many years I spend writing new books. I can continue querying agents until my heart cracks one too many times and just becomes a pile of dust ready to be blown away like a fart in the wind.

Since I started this blog and started working hard on my social media presence, I’ve had countless people ask me where they can read my writing, tell me they enjoy my blog, and ask me when they can buy my book. Am I missing out on sales and sharing my work because I’m so wrapped up in worry about the stigma associated with being a self-published/indie author? One, who by the way, makes 75% of royalties rather than 15 or maybe 35%. It’s no secret that authors have to do their own marketing whether they’re traditionally published or self-published. Does it really matter that my book isn’t available in a bookstore? I can’t remember the last time I went to one anyway. I buy everything on Amazon.

Just out of curiosity I did a poll asking whether or not people buy books from self-published authors. While it isn’t a large sample, I was surprised by the results.

IMG_5803

Most people said they do or would read a book by a self-published author. I tried to think back to the time before I thought about publishing any of my work at all and wondered…did I have any bias against self-published books? No, I didn’t. Not at all. If I perused books on my kindle, I would pick whatever sounded interested. I didn’t care who wrote it. I didn’t check the publishing house. I didn’t even look to see if it was a self-published book.

So where did I get this idea that there was a lot of bad stigma surrounding self-published authors? I realized it was from other writers, authors, and traditional publishing.

As I query and collect rejection letters, I’m reminded again of all the times someone has said to me, “I love your blog, where can I buy your book? Or do you have anything else I can read?” And I’ve had to say no. Why? Oh, because it’s sitting on my computer where–quite possibly–no one will ever see it.

I know that there are quite a few (especially romance) indie authors who have done quite well for themselves. So why don’t I try?

I know I need to

  • Pay for proper editing
  • Pay for good cover art
  • Pay someone to format things correctly
  • Invest in marketing myself
  • Maybe hire a PA

But two of those things I’m going to have to do anyway. I’m not going to slap some poorly crafted, first-draft turd up on Amazon and call it a day. I’m going to work hard to showcase my work in a way that I can be proud of. Something that when I sell, I get to keep a large portion of royalties for myself, to invest in myself and future projects. I’ll also have more control over…EVERYTHING.

Yet here I am. Still questioning what I should do? But why? Perhaps it’s the validation. Maybe it is me wanting to be accepted by other authors as a “real” author. But I can tell you, I’ve read a lot of self-published, indie press, or yet unpublished work that I have adored and I’ve read traditionally published crap that I couldn’t bring myself to finish.

giphy1

I would love to know what you all think. Please leave a comment below.

And as always…

*If you enjoy my blog, please give it a follow and subscribe using the popup window. You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and I’m now on Pinterest. Please and thank you*