Tag Archives: self publishing

Seeking CPs!

It took me years to find a core group of critique partners who I felt like I could really trust. It’s the closest experience I’ve ever had to online dating and the thought of having to relive all of those awkward introductions and “first dates” has led to me putting off finding new CPs altogether.

In the past few years most of my CPs have either gotten agents or the all elusive book deal, meaning they don’t have time to read for me anymore. Others have decided to take a break from writing and some even switched careers. And when it comes to the few CPs I can still rely on, I feel so guilty asking them to read something new from me every 6 months, which means that it’s probably time for me to meet some new people.

It feels like I’ve been out of the self-publishing world for a while, even though it was just last October that I published the last book in my paranormal romance series. Still, it’s been a long time since I was in a routine and drafting one manuscript while revising another. I miss that routine and I’m hopeful that the summer break will help me find my way back. And now that I know what to expect once the new school year starts, I can do a better job of avoiding burnout and staying committed to my creative practice.

Obviously, the title of this post says it all. I’m in the market for new critique partners and I’m open to other indies, traditionally published authors, or any advice on where I might find quality CPs.

A little about me, in case you just stumbled upon this blog by accident–>

*At this point in my self-publishing career my books have been downloaded over half a million times and I have a loyal readership that’s almost 4,000 strong.

*I tend to genre hop and write everything from historical fiction, to contemporary young adult, to paranormal romance.

When it comes to a critique partner, I’m not necessarily looking for someone with similar sales numbers. I remember what it was like to only sell a couple copies of my books a month and how hard it was to make connections with other writers who were more successful. Because of that, my main goal is to connect with CPs whose writing skills are equal to or better than my own. In other words, I want to connect with people who I can learn from and who will push me to become a better writer. Not only will I try to offer that as well but I will also be excited to introduce my CPs to my readers and hopefully grow their audience in the process.

There are excerpts of my novels all over this blog and the first book in my paranormal romance series is perma-free for those wanting to check out my writing quality and style. FYI, I’m currently working on a contemporary YA romance that I would love to get feedback on in June. If you think we’d be a good fit, feel free to email me at lzkbooks@gmail.com or on twitter @laekanzeakemp.

Let me know what genres you write in, what you’re currently working on, what you’re looking for in a critique partner, and what you think you can offer as a CP. A short writing sample will also be helpful, whether that’s personal writing on a blog or an excerpt from a novel. If I think we’d be a good match I’ll definitely be in touch! If you don’t hear from me, it will either be due to differences in quality/style or because I’ve already found what I’m looking for.

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July Totals

July

JulyTotals

Better late than never! July was steady and actual sales remained pretty level throughout the entire month. Downloads finally started to trickle downward but it makes sense if you think about the fact that most working indie authors publish something new about every six months in order to make a living. The first three months after I changed the tags on my books my sales and downloads rose at a constant rate. Ever since I hit the three-month mark at the end of July both sales and downloads have been on a slight downward slope. I’m anxious to see at what point sales trickle out altogether or if they ever do. Since book four in TGIB series won’t be out until 2016 I’m hoping sales will at least hold long enough to make 2016 the YEAR OF BEING A REAL LIFE ACTUAL AUTHOR! I’ve got a specific number in mind that I’ll need in order to make that happen but even if it doesn’t, at least I know that once I have more time to write making a reasonable living will actually be possible. And more good news, now that my first semester of grad school is over I’ll actually be able to tend to this blog, which has been severely neglected. Well…for two weeks until the next semester starts again.

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June Totals

JuneTotals

June1

The upward trend has finally steadied and all I can do now is keep my fingers crossed that this journey isn’t nearing the end. I have a total of six books out but only one series and I know that taking advantage of my current momentum is the only way to keep it going. That’s why the most successful indie authors are putting out something new every six months in order to counter the ebb and flow of their sales. But I’m in school full time and I work full time and every day it gets harder and harder to show up and waste 9 hours of my life when I could be writing. But I have to be patient. I’ve never experienced success like this before and I’m not sure how long it will last. I need to be sure that it’s sustainable before I make any life-changing decisions.

If you’re an indie author who’s already made the decision to write full time how did you finally make that decision? What benchmark or end goal were you aiming for before you finally decided to take the leap? I think the smartest thing to do would be to monitor my progress for the next 6 months (6-8 months being the average amount of time it takes me to complete a novel) and see how much my sales fluctuate and how greatly they’re effected by a new release (specifically TGIB book 4, which I hope to release in spring of 2016). I hate reducing this experience to numbers but I can’t get ahead of myself. I have to be smart. I have to be patient. Very. Very. Patient…

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My Big List of Book Reviewers

As an indie author I know how difficult promo can be when you’re doing it all on your own. I spent the past three months sending out hundreds of emails, prepping blog posts, creating media kits, formatting review copies, and corresponding with readers and bloggers in preparation for my book tour for The Girl In Between and it’s during times like these that I’m reminded why self-publishing is not the easy way out. I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted but promo is just another part of the job and an important one seeing as obscurity is an indie author’s greatest adversary. The good news though is that there is an entire community out there of book-lovers turned bloggers who are willing to help authors in any way they can.

When I started sending out review requests for my first novel two years ago I had no idea how difficult it would be to find book bloggers who accept indie and self-published titles. For that reason, I’ve been compiling a list of every indie-loving reviewer out there and now that my blog tour is underway, I’ve decided to share that master list of reviewers with all of you! My master list will now be visible in the menu bar so if you’re interested in checking out any of the blogs I’ve discovered, follow the navigation or just click here.

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Call To Indie Authors!

The blog tour for The Girl In Between series starts in just three weeks (EEK!) and I’m offering Indie Author Spotlights every Sunday throughout the tour in an effort to share the wealth! If you’re interested in swapping spotlights please send me an email at lzkbooks[at]gmail[.]com. I’m pasting my original “Call To Bloggers” post below in case anyone needs more information on the tour.

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The blog tour for The Girl In Between series officially starts on November 1st and runs through the end of December. If anyone is interested in hosting a giveaway, book spotlight, author interview, or posting a review in exchange for a spotlight on my blog, please keep reading!

The Girl In Between is already available for purchase and the second book in the series, The Boy In Her Dreams, will be released at the end of this month on October 31st. The third book in the series will be released by EOY as well. I have Smashwords coupon codes available and am looking to give away a TON of copies so please contact me if you think your blog readers would be interested. I know a lot of my fellow indies like to swap spotlights and may have other memes or features available, so if anyone is interested I LOVE conducting interviews and am planning on featuring every indie author who participates in the tour.

If you have a new release or even just an old release that you’d like some exposure for, or even if you’re unpublished and would just like some exposure for your blog, I’ll be posting spotlights every Friday throughout the tour to an audience of almost 1,000 followers. Each spotlight will include a brief interview and whatever other promo you provide. FYI the last time I ran a blog tour for my novel Breathing Ghosts, my stats were exponentially higher and I was getting almost 100 views a day. That may sound like small beans to some of you with more successful blogs but if anyone else out there is struggling with getting traffic, a spotlight during my blog tour could provide some decent exposure. Also, if you’re just looking to score some new content for your blog, maybe on a day you don’t have time to prepare something, I’m open to writing guest posts or any other content you can think of.

If anyone is interested in review copies I have The Girl In Between and The Boy In Her Dreams available in MOBI, EPUB, and PDF files. Send me an email at lzkbooks[at]gmail[.]com if you’d like to post a review during the tour or even if you’re busy and would like to post one after. My goal is to get at least ten reviews on Amazon by the end of the month so I can potentially experiment with some promo sites like Bookbub, and then relay my results here on the blog of course.

If after reading all of this anyone is interested in participating in the tour, drop a comment here with your email address or shoot me an email at lzkbooks[at]gmail[.]com ! I appreciate everyone who took the time to read this post! Thank you all for your support!

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