NOTICE:

2/2020 NOTICE - To fight back against spam comments, I am closing comments to all older posts. Current blog posts will still have comments open. I apologize for this inconvenience.

Wednesday, April 1

COVID-19 and Authors / IWSG


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.


I came across a post talking how people were saying this is not the time to promote books (unless they're free). The creator of the post said authors had apparently received direct messages telling them they shouldn't be promoting a product right now.

This is so wrong.

While it's true that sales may tank because people aren't buying as many books right now due to money concerns or stress, authors need to keep promoting. Promoting our books during this time doesn't mean we're being insensitive. Rather, we're doing what we have to do for our careers, our sanity, our happiness. It is more important now than ever to keep doing normal tasks.

Social media feeds are full of posts about the virus, shelter-in-place orders, worries, lay-offs, bare store shelves, and politics. We need to see bright colors and pretty covers in our feeds. We need to share excerpts/quotes that make readers laugh or swoon. When readers see book promotions, they are relieved, happy...it's a bit of normalcy in this stressful time, and reading is an escape for them.

And for people to say that only free eBooks are the ones that should be promoted right now is short-sighted and unrealistic.

A lot goes into planning a book's release. Authors can't just postpone the releases of their new books. They may lose money or their publisher may not allow it, and no one knows when this situation will end. Many authors rely on publishing for income, which is likely not great to begin with, and to have to delay releases for months could hurt them. (If authors are able to delay their releases with ease, they're lucky but...still stressed and worried.)

Also, authors can't give away all of their books for free. It's wrong to claim that authors should be providing free products or nothing at all during a time when everyone is suffering. Even them.

Authors are doing what they can. They are providing happy places and worlds readers can escape to. They are offering 99 cent sales or marking their eBooks as free for a limited time.


Facebook meme.

No one should be telling authors 99 cents sales aren't enough.

Or we're capitalizing on the pandemic when we offer 99 cents sales. (Traditionally published authors can't mark their eBooks as free as easily as others can.)

Or that all of our books should be free.

Or we shouldn't promote our books, unless they're free.

Or we can't celebrate our new releases and post about them.

NO ONE should be ridiculing authors during this difficult time when we're suffering, as well, and trying to do what we can for readers and for ourselves.

Don't forget... we're small businesses being impacted now, too.

(This is a tweet that was shared widely on Facebook.)

Authors:
1) If you want to promote during this time, do it! But treat it like a normal promotion, not related to what's happening in the world. (I do caution against promoting just because people are stuck at home.) If you have a new release, shout it from the rooftops and don't stop.
2) If you want to mark your eBooks as free (or 99 cents) to help others out during this time, definitely say so. That's wonderful and will be appreciated by many readers.

I marked all of my mom's picture books to free for this reason. With all the kids not in school, Sammy the Teddy Bear wanted to make sure parents and children would have stories to read.

TIP: To get Amazon to mark your eBooks to $0.00, you first have to mark them as free elsewhere. Doing this through Smashwords (if you're there) is super easy. When you do this, other retailers are notified. Within hours your price is dropped. The best way for authors to get Amazon to drop a price to free is through this KDP link. Click on the "pricing" and then "price matching" options and follow their directions to send them an email. I never have a problem doing this for my mom's eBooks.

SIDE NOTE: Right now, I’m not offering 99 cents sales on my series because, after seeing a post by another author, I wondered if people would want to read about natural disasters during a pandemic. Would it be too much?? As it is, I don’t promote during real natural disasters. I especially avoid promoting the book in which the disaster appears in. As you can imagine, this is tough, and not something I anticipated before I started this series, so while this situation is new for most authors, this is something I deal with several times a year.


Until next time...

Stay healthy, everyone!


Monday, March 16

Do I Need a Website / Vlog + Gabe's Guardian by Beverly Stowe McClure


Thank you for coming to a vlog edition of Write with Fey!

In this video, I discuss an important question that many writers ask "Do I need a website?"

This is a video from 2017, but still worth watching. :)

Enjoy!

Do I Need a Website?


Length: 7:46


Thanks for watching!


Feel free to comment on my blog and/or on the video on YouTube. To go to this video's YouTube page, click on the title located on the video.

QUESTION: Do you have a website (separate from your blog)? Why or why not?

***

Just released today -
The latest from Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. 

Gabe’s Guardian Angel

By Beverly Stowe McClure



Young Adult Fiction: Boys & Men / Loners & Outcasts / Bullying

Print ISBN 9781939844668 $15.95

EBook ISBN 9781939844675 $4.99


BOOK LINKS:




Gabe never asked for an angel…

Gabe Montana’s clumsy. He’s overweight, and he’s dyslexic. Worse yet, the bullies make his fifteen-year-old life even more miserable—so miserable he wants to die. 

Charley, his guardian angel, says no to that idea, and comes up with a different plan. He’ll give Gabe self-confidence so he can solve his problems, not run away from them. But Gabe wonders why the angel doesn’t just help with the bullies. What’s with this self-confidence stuff?

Can Charley help Gabe stand on his own two feet? Will Gabe give up hope life can improve for him? Or will he finally listen to the angel’s advice?


PRAISE:

“An important read for young adults and their families.” - Donna McDine, multi-award winning author of stories for children

“It takes a tough subject and handles it in a positive, uplifting way. A must read for teens and tweens.” – Sandra Cox, author

“Gabe’s Guardian Angel is a good read for any youngster who has ever felt isolated and bullied.”– L.G. Keltner, author


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Most of the time, you’ll find Beverly Stowe McClure at her computer, typing stories young voices whisper in her ears. When she’s not writing, she’s snapping pictures of wildlife, flowers and clouds. She’s sometimes known as the “Bug Lady.” She’s not telling why.

www.beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com



Wednesday, March 4

Dear Author with No Reviews / IWSG




We've decided to do something different and have TWO book options for you to choose from. You DO NOT have to read both books unless you truly want to.

The Lovely Bones
Chill Factor
Discussion Day is March 25.

We will have open discussions with a few optional questions for The Lovely Bones and Chill Factor on March 25. We will pay both books equal attention.


Join the book club: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/214387-the-insecure-writer-s-support-group-book-club 


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.


Dear Author with No Reviews,

Last year, I saw several authors (not from IWSG) complain about not being able to get reviews for their books, no matter what they did. They panicked because reviews = sales. The thing is, it is hard to get reviews, and it’s even harder now than it was, say, five years ago.

Reviews are very important to authors. It's true. That's why you may see posts from authors on social media encouraging readers to post reviews. (These types of posts are gentle reminders. They're not trying to be rude or selfish.)

With self-publishing growing every year, with small publishers signing dozens of authors a year, and with many authors publishing several books a year, no wonder it’s hard to get reviews, because all of these authors are looking for reviews, too.

Reviewers are back-logged. They either don’t respond to review requests anymore or have to pass. Even if they accept, there’s no guarantee that they will finish the book. Or like it. And the important thing to know is that they aren’t required to post a review, even if they accept a book to review.

Every author is facing these odds. (Unless, of course, you’re a big name or are published by one of the Big 5 with a team pushing your book.)

Simply put, this is just the way it is. And, again, everyone is struggling to get reviews (and sales). Honestly, it sucks, but that’s the publishing climate we are in, and we have to accept it and adapt.

Reviews may not pour in, but you should cherish every little one that you get simply because they don’t come easily or often. And, please, don’t hate on any reviews that you do get, like a four-star review that is nit-picky (I did see a post ranting about this), because a four-star review is awesome. Take it!

There’s a saying that reviews are for readers, not the author, so if a four-star review gets you down, don’t read your reviews anymore.

I don't actively go looking for newly posted reviews of my books, and I am much happier for it. Once you come to term with these things, you will be, too.


Updated to Add: Amazon does make it extremely tough for people to post reviews and for authors to keep the ones they have. Half the time, I can't post reviews there. Many commenters have mentioned Amazon turning down reviews, but there's a reason why I didn't talk about Amazon in this post, and that's because Amazon is not the only place where reviews can be posted. Reviews anywhere are helpful.



Friday, February 28

About Us by Elizabeth Seckman / Free eBook!


Elizabeth Seckman has a new eBook and it's FREE!


Blurb:

Hayden Matthews isn’t looking for love—she’s trying to get as far from it as possible. She's already wasted eight years in a failed marriage and is ready for a good life. A peaceful life. One where she can raise her daughter to be strong, independent, and happy. But to make that happen, she must fix her own life first.

Cam Vorelli has loved Hayden since he was in grade school. Always in the friend-zone, he stood on the sidelines, his heart breaking, as she said I do to the wrong man. A man he knew didn’t deserve her, who could never love her as he did. But what could he say? She was marrying into his family. Cam would never break a holy vow much less be disloyal to his kin.

Until he sees the bruises on Hayden. Abuse is a game changer.

Leaving a husband like Tag, who has a hot temper, a badge, and a gun is tricky. When Hayden calls Cam for help, she isn’t trying to lure him into any romantic webs. She needs someone she can trust and knowing her soon-to-be ex fears his former NFL cousin is a bonus.

When Cam comes to her rescue, he isn’t doing it to win her love. He does it because it’s the right thing to do. But if she starts to feel the same for him…couldn’t it be fate?

Excerpt:

Was she a monster for wanting to be happy? Screw happy. She didn't start the divorce process so she could be happy.  She wasn't a child. She knew happy was an elusive, often selfish goal. Being happy was Tag's thing. He wanted every day of his life to be some sort of party. 

She hadn't asked for anything so impressive. She didn't ask for a big house or a new car. Hell, she didn't even expect vacations. All she wanted was a simple life, a peaceful life. A life where she knew when her husband said he had to work late that he truly was working late, not diddling the bartender or dropping the grocery money into a slot machine. 

She'd have been content with a marriage that simply wasn't miserable. 

Kobo: FREE


Elizabeth is a multi-published author of books for people who are believers in happily-ever- after, true love, and stories with a bit of fun and twists with their plots. The mother of four young men, she tackles laundry daily and is the keeper of the kitchen. She lives along the shores of the Ohio River in West Virginia, but dreams daily of the beach.

FacebookBlogWebsite


Please leave a comment for Elizabeth!

Monday, February 17

Real-Life Memories in Flaming Crimes / Vlog


Welcome to a FLAMING edition of my vlog here on Write with Fey!

In the first video, I share the fiery memories from my childhood, which I added to Flaming Crimes.

In the second video, I talk about my first experience with fire.

In the second video, I read an excerpt.

Enjoy!



Real-Life Memories in Flaming Crimes


Length: 12:59


My First Experience with Fire


Length: 6:44


Author Reading of Flaming Crimes


Length: 4:32



THANKS FOR WATCHING!


SHARE: Your experience with fire.


Feel free to comment on my blog and/or on these videos on YouTube. To go the video's YouTube page, click on the title located on the video.


Wednesday, February 5

Dear “I’m Still a Nobody” Author / IWSG




We recently had a poll up for our February/March 2020 fiction book selection demonstrating characterization. The top two books tied. Instead of the book club moderators voting for one selection, we've decided to do something different and have TWO book options for you to choose from.

The Lovely Bones

Chill Factor

Discussion Day is March 25.


You DO NOT have to read both books unless you truly want to.

As a matter of fact, you don't have to read either one, but as always we encourage you to try or to join in on the discussion regardless.

Having two options provides more opportunities for us to learn and expand our skills, and it allows more members to participate, so we are excited about this.

We won't do this every time with our fiction book reading period, but if voting is close, we may allow our members to choose which of the top two books they want to read.

We will have open discussions with a few optional questions for The Lovely Bones and Chill Factor on March 25. We will pay both books equal attention.



The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.

Dear “I’m Still a Nobody” Author,

Boy, do I know how that feels. I have said these words many times. “I’m still a nobody!” I bet nearly every author has said that at least once. That phrase, that criticism, that expectation, that wish would lead me down the dark tunnel of depression again and again. But once I looked past myself, I realized that I’m in an ark full of authors who feel the same way, authors who are literally in the same boat as me.

Do you know the average number of books that are self-published each year?

There was a record number of over 1 Million books self-published in 2017, according to Bowker.

What about the number of new books published each year?

According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 2.2 Million new titles are published worldwide each year, and that data is from 2013!

With that many books coming out into the world every year, plus more, no doubt, it’s going to be hard to get our books noticed. Yes, even if we have 10 books published! The market is over-saturated with books, and social media is full of authors posting promos, so that means most readers will not know who we are.

Now-a-days, authors who self-publish or who are published by small presses are known by much smaller numbers, most likely in the circles they network in (blogging, local writer meetings), groups they are members of online, and/or events they frequently attend as featured authors.

What I realized was that I needed to be thankful for the readers I did have because they are awesome and I wouldn’t be where I am without them (that’s why I created my Reader Group on Facebook: Fey’s Sparklers). I also get out more locally, which has gotten me new readers, plus more confidence through experience.

Saying you’re “a nobody” is highly negative, and the universe is listening when you say that. Instead, say “I’m somebody!”

While you’re at it, express your gratitude to the people who do know who you are (everyone who follows you on social media and everyone you know in real life).

And please don’t forget that you are in excellent company the next time you think you’re an unknown author. We can cry about it or we can accept it and move on (keep writing, keep believing, keep dreaming…and keep publishing). I hope you choose the latter. <3 

Please consider joining my Facebook group. I don't post daily. When I do post it's a contest to name something in a story, a giveaway, an update, or an announcement.



Keep Writing With Fey: The sequel to Write with Fey is already available for pre-order in advance of its July 14th release!

Catch the sparks you need to conquer writer’s block, depression, and burnout!

When Chrys Fey shared her story about depression and burnout, it struck a chord with other writers. That put into perspective for her how desperate writers are to hear they aren’t alone. Many creative types experience these challenges, battling to recover. Let Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout guide you through:

· Writer's block
· Depression
· Writer's burnout
· What a writer doesn’t need to succeed
· Finding creativity boosts

With these sparks, you can begin your journey of rediscovering your creativity and get back to what you love - writing.


PRE-ORDER:


HAPPY IWSG DAY!!!

Monday, January 20

A Man Like Donovan / Vlog



Thank you for stopping by for this vlog post on Write with Fey!

A reader of the Disaster Crimes series (Toi) asked me if there is or ever was a man like Donovan in my life. Here's my answer. ;)


A Man Like Donovan

Length: 3:47




Feel free to comment on my blog and/or on the video on YouTube. To go this video's YouTube page, click on the title located on the video.

QUESTIONS: Do you create your leading men/women after people in your life? Or do you invent new people?


Thanks for watching!


Wednesday, January 8

Every Author's Path Is Their Own / IWSG


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.


I wish my January post was cheerier, but I have some stuff I need to purge. Therefore, this is long. What can I say? I’m a wordy blogger.

Social media is TOXIC. (Raise your hand if you agree.)

I’m not going to reiterate about what’s been going on with Romance Writers of America or comment on the authors involved or the shit-storm that followed. What I will say is that I’m glad I never had the money to join RWA (I always wanted to because wasn’t it what all romance authors did?), never had the money to enter their RITA competition (and I had really wanted to enter Tsunami Crimes for years), and never had the money to join a chapter (because I’d found a local one). Yup, I am glad!

On to another topic…

Recently, in our own FB group, I saw a post about the daunting statistics of signing with an agent, and the comments took off to say things like “trad querying is a waste of time” and how you realize what a “bullshit racket it is and self-publish.”

Comments like this bother me, but I never respond because social media drama gives me anxiety. (I’m even nervous about this blog post.)

(Let me add that, no, this blog post is not just about that one FB post. It unravels into something bigger because these things have been on my mind for a long time.)

I am querying. I will always query. I’ve chosen the path to traditionally publish long ago. I don’t think it’s a waste of time or a bullshit racket. Yes, it’s hard and the statistics are depressing, but I chose it for myself. And I do want a literary agent. I fully believe I’ll find the right agent for me when it’s the right time, so I’m not going to give up. By the way, I have been published by small publishers without needing an agent.

Every author’s path is their own. (Read that again.)

One may choose to self-publish. Another may choose to query. And yet another may try out both. All paths are valid. You’re not stupid for picking one over another.

We’re not all self-published authors in IWSG.

There are traditionally published authors here. (And hybrid authors, and let’s not forget writers aiming for publication. Even writers who don’t ever want to publish.)

IWSG is for every kind of writer/author.

And it’s the same with the publishing world. There’s room for us all.

Now that I’ve said all of that, I will state that I understand indie authors get frustrated because of the bad rap they get from self-pubbed books that haven’t been edited or are just plain bad. “So, then all self-pubbed books must be horrible, right?” That’s an awful stigma to fight against, but I’ve seen countless indie authors shatter that assumption. Indie authors are coming out in force. They are dominating in many ways. And that’s fucking awesome! (No, I did not want to bleep that out.)

I totally get the “I just want to get my book out there” mentality to self-publishing. That’s why it’s so great. Writers have that choice. Many authors who have self-pubbed tried querying and realized it wasn’t for them, or they knew right off the bat trad publishing wasn’t the way they wanted to go because they wanted full control and all royalties.

I’m aware that indie authors get flak by many, and it’s horrible. It needs to stop. It’s harder to get into bookstores if you’re self-pubbed, to get reviews, to get sales. (All of that is true for authors of small publishers, too.)

I am in awe of every indie author because I, personally, could never do it. I am friends with countless indie authors (many in this awesome group), and I admire them so much.

Indie authors are NOT less than authors who trad pub or who have agents.

Let’s flip the coin now…

I’ve seen indie authors say nasty things on social media (to their indie friends) about traditionally published authors or those who want to get an agent.

(If you’re an indie author, you may not notice this, but it happens.)

I’ve read comments saying trad authors are stupid to give up their royalties and full control. I’ve also seen them knock down writers who want agents, basically laughing at them like, “Does she hope to become the next J.K. Rowling?”

Who cares if she hopes for that? Hope fuels us!

And, no, a writer is not insane for hoping to one day sign with a big publishing house. And writers are not traitors for signing with big publishing houses (or agents). I’ll admit right here that I dream of both.

I am published by small trad publishers. I chose this path because I don’t have to pay for edits, cover design, or formatting. I wouldn’t have a single book published if I had to. THAT’S THE TRUTH!

The differences between self-publishing and trad publishing with small publishers stop there. I am in the same boat as indie authors. I have to do all the marketing myself. I  struggle with sales and reviews. And I will honestly say that it annoys me when I see social media comments stating it’s only hard for indie authors. No, it’s not. Or that certain things that happen only impact indie authors. No, it doesn't. They forget, or don’t realize, that small trad pubbed authors feel it, too. The book stuffers and scammers are in the indie author world, but that also hurts authors published by small publishers and, whether you believe it or not, big houses.

How we publish doesn’t matter! The only thing that matters is that we get there!

I’m in the belief that we’re in this together, no matter the path we choose, but there’s clearly a lot of division (maybe not here but on other social media platforms), and it makes me sad.

Let’s NOT bash the paths to publication that aren’t our own.

Let’s NOT bash authors who aren’t in our publishing communities/circles.

Instead, let’s remember that EVERY AUTHOR’S PATH IS THEIR OWN, and that we are, indeed, IN THIS THING TOGETHER!

I love you all!

Let’s do even better in 2020!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!



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