How often should you post on your blog (and announcement on the future of this blog!)

After a prolonged absence, I’m back and thought I’d talk about how often you should post on your blog. And why I haven’t posted regularly for a while.

Most advise you to post often on your blog. I used to post every week, but after a few months I found I was running out of ideas. This blog was meant to be talking about the writing process and my experience with self-publishing, but once I had explored most subjects (at least that’s my impression), I found myself rehashing the same subjects through a different lens. And I wasn’t enjoying writing anymore. This is partly why I haven’t posted regularly. I prefer to not post anything, than post something I have written halfheartedly.

To this effect, I’ve been thinking about diversifying this blog and write other pieces, not just about the writing process. So I will be rearranging things on this blog and publish something different soon (I’m thinking along the lines of short stories and free poetry).

If you’d like a sneak peek, you can go to my instagram and look at the highlight titled “Thoughts” where I’ve started posting free poetry and quotes.

I appreciate every one of my followers and I’m very grateful you take the time to read what I post. I hope you will like the new stuff I will post soon. Stay tuned here for the next post and thank you for your support until now!

You will receive an email/notification when I post something on my blog (if you’ve subscribed to this), but I will also announce any new blog post on my Facebook Author page and my instagram page, so be sure to check those platforms for regular updates as well.

What would you like to read on this blog? Short stories or free poetry? Or something completely different? Leave a comment below. 🙂

Looking back on 2020

It’s been a long year and a rather hard one. I remember thinking on New Year’s 2019 that 2020 would be my year. I had lots of plans and they didn’t really happen. But that doesn’t mean it was a year wasted.

I thought that 2021 will be much better because Covid19 will be under control. With the latest news I’m starting to think 2021 will be just as challenging. But I’m determined to make the best of it. And therefore, I also have to look at 2020.

While I didn’t write as much as I had hoped during 2020, I maintained this blog and I’m working on the sequel of When Colour Became Grey. This year was exceptional because the world was very stressed about the virus and the unknown it represents. It’s hard to feel inspired and write on your fantasy novel, when you’re thinking about money and preparing a plan in case you lose your job.

Now, I know what’s coming. I know the governments can with very little to no notice close all borders and impose restrictions. It’s still incredibly stressful to have this unknown around you, to be scared of going outside and being isolated from others, but I know what the restrictions will be. And you learn to live with the fact that you can’t plan in advance.

In a writing context it means that I have to be flexible with my writing schedule, and at the same time I need to stick to it a bit more. This year I’ve let myself go, but next year I need to be more productive. I have another idea brewing in my head for a short story that I may slip in before publishing the sequel of When Colour Became Grey, but I haven’t fleshed it out enough to start writing it.

I definitely have writing targets for 2021, and once I’ve moved, I will visually display them so I keep an eye on them. 😉

And while 2020 might not have been what we all hoped, 2021 will be better. I for one will not let Covid19 derail my life more than it already has. I will make the best of it, however I can.

What are your writing goals for 2021? Did you reach all your writing targets for 2020?

The number 1 lesson learned from my first book launch

Perseverance.

There is no overnight success, it takes a lot of time, a lot of energy and money. The money to me is not so material than the time and energy aspect. The fact that promoting a book takes money is obvious to me, but I had underestimated the amount of time and energy it would take.

Naively, I thought that by telling all my friends and family, colleagues and anyone I vaguely knew about the book, everyone would buy the book, leave glowing reviews, and it would somehow take care of itself and sales would just multiply exponentially with Amazon’s trending features etc. I’m not saying you can’t have a bit of luck and you publish the book that everyone has been secretly dying for, it’s read by masses of people around the globe who all rave about it and suddenly you’re on Oprah. It’s possible, but highly unlikely. And I’m not saying this to discourage anyone. I’m saying this to prepare you for the marathon ahead of you.

Your network will read and promote it, but your network is not enough, unless you already have a large robust network of readers. And creating a network takes time and effort.

Firstly; no one knows you. Why would you buy a book from someone you’ve never heard of? The cost of a book is low compared to other activities, yes. A paperback is basically the price of a glass of wine at a restaurant and an ebook can be priced as low as 0,99GBP. But when is the last time you bought a book from someone you had never heard of? That’s the first hurdle.

Secondly, and heavily linked to the first point; your book has no or very few reviews. When is the last time you bought something that had no or a very low number of reviews? How much would you pay for something that you basically can’t return because the book is not like an iPhone cover you can return if you don’t like it?

And thirdly, linked to the second point; if you buy a book, you’re committing to reading it. And that means you’re asking a reader to not only pay for your book, but also spend time reading it. And if you’ve ever had the experience of reading a bad book, you know how selective you become especially towards unknown independent authors.

These are the three main hurdles as I see it. So you can’t rely on your network to do all the work for you. You’re the one who wants to make this book a success, so you have to promote and advertize it.

And simply throwing money at it doesn’t work either. If you want to advertize and promote your book, you need to understand the options you have, and dedicate time and energy to figure out target audience, ad words and search terms, create promotional text and pictures, analyze sales and adjust your campaigns.

However, all this is not said to discourage anyone. It’s to let you know publishing a book is just the first step. It will be a long grind and this is just the beginning. But it is worth it. Every time I read a positive review it makes my day. Because even if I know it’s a good book, it’s nice to share this with other readers and be confirmed that it’s not just you that holds this belief. Especially if you’ve faced criticism before, or been told that no self-published author can ever “make it”.

All you can do is keep at it. Making a book a success is a lot harder than it looks, but also very much worth every sweat and tear.