When I listened to a lot of advice from other writers, I rapidly learned that most were myopic and vague. They only saw what worked for them specifically, and immediately recommended it to others.
"FB ads have brought me loads of readers,” “Twitter works so much better than Goodreads,” “these promotion sites give back the most downloads,” “you need to offer free things on your site,” “Book Bub is an amazing alternative dimension of great sales.” “WRITE BOOKS IN MY GENRE.” “Book Bub always rejects me, I think I’ll look elsewhere,” “I’m all about LibraryThing’s giveaways,” “newsletters, newsletters, newsletters. Great authors have strategies to utilize this POWERFUL tool, the newsletter, and you should too,” “I hate Amazon.” “I love Amazon.” “I published with a site other than Amazon.” “I’ve had great success with podcasts.” “AUDIOBOOKS.” “Keep up a courtesy blog every couple of months so people know you’re alive.” “Blog daily.” “INSTAGRAM.”
And in the midst of all buzz, I’ve found only one thing that worked for me—follow your heart.
In this deeply commercialized writing world, I found a lack of clarity about who the readers actually are. The goal is to be the same as some other author you view as successful. When the truth is that authors are individuals. They are thinking about what their readers are thinking about.
Finding your path is about finding your readers, who may or may not be on Instagram. Or Twitter. Or be interested in podcasts. Or audiobooks. Or book conventions. Maybe they never read blogs. Or maybe they love using a site in an unexpected way, like getting a feel for an author’s personality on Goodreads instead of using it for books. Whatever your readers are thinking about, that is what you should think about. There’s no use going to lots of FB groups if your readers hate them and would never hang out there. It’s pointless going wide on ebook sales if your readers only download from Kindle. Do your readers want paperbacks and hardbacks? If they don’t, don’t bother buying author copies that will lie around in your house. EVEN IF OTHER PEOPLE DO IT.
Follow your heart. What would you do? It’s what your readers do.
And there will be more updates.
Welcome to Sarah Scheele.com newsletter subscribers! Some of you signed up so long ago you probably don’t remember—some just a few days ago—and some months back but haven’t heard from me. It’s nice to talk to all of you again. Be aware I struggled managing my lists earlier this year and I have subscribers overlapped from different lists. If you usubscribed from one list I might have accidentally had you on another list and that's why you're getting this. This was an honest error and I apologize. Feel free to unsubscribe again.
There’s a lot to catch up on! This week I linked the blog into the newsletter, which means you’ll be getting inbox posts from me weekly instead of monthly (or even less often.) I follow a lot of mailing lists and I do feel a lot more engaged when I get frequent emails, even if I never open half of them. Emails will go out on Saturday, so if you're also looking at this post through the website, you'll get an email tomorrow.
I’ve continued working on revision of my books and enhancement of my website. Both of those are in a much (MUCH) improved condition as of now and I’d like to invite you to browse around the new SARAH SCHEELE.COM. If you’d like a snapshot of what people have been looking at, see my Most Viewed Posts.
I have FB chat on my website now! I discovered this cool new feature when ramping up my FB fan page earlier this year. The widget is installed on the “News” page as a Messenger pop-up. Type in a conversation with me there and start chatting with me from my website!
Facets of Fantasy Blue is free on Kindle on Friday Jan 4 and Saturday Jan 5. Be sure to check it out on those days to get the sales rankings up (and enjoy the book too, of course.) 😊 I finally decided on the grouping of stories I wanted for this collection, an alternative to the complete Facets of Fantasy with the purple cover. Just in case you didn’t see the blurb—here it is:
Three fantasy stories that take you to amazing worlds--three mysterious royal families in need of investigation. A boy learns a dull political convention might hold a palace secret and more adventure than he could hope for. A girl leaving her ancient country home finds unlikely allies in her family’s ancestral enemies, elf-like spirits who can take the form of wolves. And a girl from a minority group that’s never noticed by the monarchy is forced to attend a royal ball—in someone else’s ridiculous dress—when she receives an unexplained invitation.
I plan to do a lot more promoting this year. I usually put my books on promotion on Friday and Saturday so be on the lookout for that.
And there will be more updates.
I'm doing a review of this year's work and this blog title is self-explanatory. I've blogged more than in any previous year because I wanted to lay down a consistent web presence at last, instead of hopping around. Most posts fall out quickly and aren't looked at again. But some made it to the top consistently in views each month, or at least near the top which is amazing considering how old some of them were. So I've made a category called (Duh), "Most Viewed Posts."
The majority of these posts deal with personal relationships, especially feedback/book responses and unattractive behavior. A few are about characters, especially heroines, but social topics took precedence over actual discussion of books this year. The list excludes posts from December. They are of course near the top in views because they are new and haven't had time to sort. November is still pretty recent, but I've had a couple months with multiple posts near the top and November could be one of them. So I've included November posts.
Most Popular Posts of Last Year (excl. December)
Heroine Spotlight ~ Faye
What I Find Attractive
Faye and Helene: The Gal Pals
Memories and Moving Ahead
5 Words That Should Be Illegal
Step by Step
The Backwards Game
Yes, Yes, It's Hot
Heroine Spotlight ~ Violet
Genres and Their Ways: Fake-History
Stirring on the Way
A Year with the Harrisons is Here
Just when I think my work on old books is done and I can (finally!!) get to some new material, I get another setback. Of course, “setback” is an angsty way to put it and quite incorrect. In fact, each time I’ve had to redo a book or a portion of my website, it’s been a really good step and I’ve been grateful for the result. But when you’re trying to move forward to producing new books, delays to get things right again can happen. It’s just part of the process.
Anyway (lol), just a word of update on the books as they’re being processed now:
And there will be more updates.
Singing, dreaming, telling stories . . . I live surrounded by cultivated fields that rapidly give way to wild flowers, wild plants, and wild life. I love to write more than I love to read, but nothing equals a book that draws me in to find its story. Most recently publication: A Year with the Harrisons, a contemporary comedy about three sisters and a family mystery. Next year's publication: Temmark Osteraith, a futuristic fairy-tale adventure.