Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Only in this with a mechanic

Only in this house...
Stop and make you think moment #1:

While your husband is used to you making dinner most nights, there are some nights he's fine to fend for himself. You come home and his hair is cut, the house is clean (to his standards), he fed himself (and the cat, this is very important and he should be praised), he's paying bills, relaxing fresh out of the shower...everything seems fine...

The next day you're making dinner and you grab the cheddar cheese out of the fridge for your scrumptious Mexican casserole, unwrap it and you're stunned to find this:

Grime and grease on the cheddar cheese.

This is what happens when you live with a mechanic.

You can't make this $h!t up...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Embracing the dratted "Author Platform" : Being a newer author Part One

As some of you may know, being a new, newer and/or newish author comes with many "To Dos" if you want to become a successful author. What is success? That's for you to decide, but for me, it's finding an audience that can relate to what I write, who makes the stories in my head and heart worth putting down on paper. It's an intense process, so I don't take writing lightly. But I can't find success for myself if my audience doesn't know who I am. Helping them find me is not only a big deal, but a big job.

                    Credit: Syda Productions/

Who's Lindsey Pogue?
Well, I'm a lover of animals and nature, of wine and Mexican food, and of baring my soul through writing. I'm compassionate and fiercely protective, and fascinated by the world around me on so many different levels. But who knows this about me? Not many people, at least not aside from my close family and friends.

Since the first Ending Series book was published in 2013, After The Ending, my co-author and I have spent endless hours focused on the success of the series as a whole--seeking out promotions and mingling with fans and building The Ending Series brand, and so on. But one important question I never took the time to consider was...what happens after The Ending Series has come to a close? We both always knew we wanted to take on our own projects once we had time to focus on them. But Lindsey Pogue is Lindsey Pogue. She isn't Team Lindsey. There won't always be a Team Lindsey. So that's why I need to focus on little, ol' me.

An author platform for yours truly is something I should have been building from day one.
Who am I?
What do I like to write? Why?
Who cares?
The list of questions goes on and on, and they are very important questions, because who I am distinguishes me from all other authors, keeps me connected and relevant in the writing world and to the audience that enjoys what I write, just like establishing an author platform will do for you.

Now what?
I'm finally taking the time to make my individuality a priority.
I read a books, books about the craft of writing, magazines, blogs...but last year I decided that I miss reading for fun. Since then I've re-evaluated how to best use my time as work toward building my own author brand, all while I continue to enjoy reading for fun and stay engaged and inspired in the ever-changing indie world of publishing. Here's what I know:

  • Webinars help me stay focused. I'm a visual person, and I lose interest in the daily flood of emails easily, the newsletters, the manuals and books, the magazines and websites. That's why I've decided webinars are generally the best way for me to learn, stay inspired, in the ever-changing loop of book marketing, as well as stay involved in the writing community. *There are some really great FREE webinars out there that you should take the time search out and attend. What can it hurt? Figure out who you like, who you don't, what you really want help with and what your focus should be. Don't get me wrong, paying $135 or $300 for a webinar isn't a bad thing, but why jump into something you're not sure you'll appreciate? As an author on a budget, I just think it's smart to be cautious before throwing money around. Overall, webinars are AMAZING tools all newbies to the publishing field should take advantage of whenever possible. The more experts you follow online (sign up for their newsletters or follow their blogs), the more "in the loop" you'll be with the services that are out there, available and waiting for you to take advantage of.
  • Podcasts are great. Constant updates in the writing world keep you up to speed on advancements and downfalls within the indie pub world. Hearing one author's successes and missteps in the book world, say with something like a book launch or audiobook production, can help you navigate with more ease when you decide to take such a task on yourself. All-in-all, podcasts provide us with a steady stream of reliable information, which is invaluable. I can listen while I driving in the car, doing yard work, perusing Facebook...
My favorite marketing experts:
  1. Tim Grahl - Out Think Marketing - has a great step-by-step program about how to build you author platform. I'm not sure why, but there's something about Tim that I love...I get the feeling he's just a really decent guy. Anyway, after listening to him, I was inspired to create my own action plan and timeline for my author brand. 
  2. Danny Iny at Firepole Marketing - Here are some free tools you can access
  3. Joanna Penn's The Creative Penn
  4. Author Marketing Experts Book Marketing Experts - I really enjoy their marketing emails
  5. Nick Stephenson's Your First 10,000 Readers - I haven't personally attending any of his webinars or enrolled in any of his programs.
Favorite Podcasts:
  1. Simon Whistlers, Rocking Self Publishing
  2. Bryan Cohen and Jim Kukral, Sell More Books Show
That's if for this week! Stay tuned for more newbie author insight next week! In the meantime, you can find me here:

Twitter: @LindseyRPogue

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Writer or Author? My advice to newbie authors: Introduction...

Courtesy of Pixabay
Are you a writer or an author? Are they different? They are for me.

First and foremost, I'm a writer. I love writing and telling stories; they've been bouncing around in my head my entire life, pleading to get down on paper. God knows I have boxes and binders enough to prove it. But when I wrote research articles for the historical society, was engrossed in my master's thesis, or jotted down opening chapters to stories that would never see the light of day, I never once introduced myself to someone as a "writer". It was a hobby, a passion, a past time.

Things have changed. This whole authorship-ism-ology situation I find myself in as of late is a lifestyle I've adopted, though still very foreign to me. I'm no expert when it comes to being an author. For me, being a writer by nature and becoming an author are very different. Now when I'm in public and someone asks me what I do for living, I say "I'm an author". It's been ingrained in me from the moment I wanted writing to be "a thing" that I need to get my name out there, to build a platform, and spread the word about who I am and what I do at every possible opportunity. It's only taken me four years to feel comfortable talking about myself and what I do for a living. People taking interest in you and what you do as an author is inevitable.

By veering away from writing as a past time and taking the authorship road, you're committing to a different lifestyle. For me, writing has changed, has become more--it's a science. You have to get the structure just right, watch your grammar, have a marketing plan, build a platform, all of which are very critical to your success. What? I used that word in the last chapter, crap, I'll think of something else. Wait which one is the inciting incident? I can't tell, better flesh that scene out again. Details and strategies matter.

Courtesy F.C. Malby
That's why I've decided to publish the upcoming string of posts for newbie and aspiring authors. These posts will outline my experience in the author world--my transition, what's worked and what hasn't, I'll name some great programs I love to use, provide insight into how to get going and stay focused for beginning authors to reference as they sail into the uncharted waters of authorship. They can learn what I have--no advertising or soliciting or preaching, but the plain and simple truth about what's worked for me along the way.

These are the 6ish topics I'll be covering over the next couple months (but perhaps not in this order):
  1. Webinars, Podcasts, and Social Media Tips - some experts in the field I've found helpful
  2. Helpful Writing Programs - to help keep you organized
  3. Genres And Finding Your Niche - my thoughts and struggles around this
  4. Book Covers - everyone's always going to have an opinion
  5. Co-Authoring - pros and cons
  6. Great Resources for Indie Authors
Keep in mind that these are my opinions and experiences, and they may not be for everyone. I like to share with people, so they can see the good and the bad, what's worked and what hasn't.

Each week, I'll be posting one of these topics, so all you new authors, stay tuned!