Target Audience

One of the things a writer should identify when starting to write a novel is their target audience.

When I wrote A Charming Bequest, in my mind I generated a vision of my reader, who was a lady, probably 40+ who enjoys a good, page-turning contemporary romantic novel to get lost in. There is a little bit of eroticism in it, in the context of a love story and having a bit of fun, and there is the uncovering of a family story.

It’s not necessarily about gender, age or demographic, but more importantly what s/he enjoys reading to achieve a bit of escapism during his/her rest and relaxation.

I guess I thought mostly females would enjoy it, although I know a couple of men who’ve read it … to the end … 😉

Based on this, if you choose to give it a try, I hope you enjoy it.

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Which is the hardest – the writing or the marketing?

If anybody has ever dreamed of writing a book but suffers from the notorious Writer’s Block problem, take heart. I know how difficult it is when Muse takes a hike and all you see is the cursor flashing on the screen. Procrastination.

The solution is … Just write. Anything. As long as you write something. Once you create a daily writing habit (it takes about a month of practice to get your neural network to create a new pathway, I believe), one day your writing hopefully turns into something meaningful and constructive. And once you get a story out of your system and onto paper, virtual or real, at least you have something, a manuscript, to work with and edit, hone, revise and improve.

The next problem, if you’re anything like me and have very little self confidence, is finding the courage to get it published, whichever way you choose. Given editing and perfecting permits and you decide to go for it, I wish you good luck.

The next hurdle is huge. Marketing. It takes even more courage and a very steep learning curve but it is essential.

I’ve been researching, reading and learning about ads, keywords, affiliate links, and all the other things I need to do to try and get my novel seen and turn clicks into purchases. Let’s face it, £2.99 isn’t a huge investment for the Kindle version for most people – probably the equivalent to a cup of coffee, in a coffee shop. So even if the buyer doesn’t enjoy the product it’s not a huge financial disappointment, is it? (I will admit the paperback investment is more, more like 3-4 cups of coffee… but a sizeable chunk of that is needed just to cover the printing costs.)

Marketing, as I understand it, means learning how to find the target audience receptive to taking a chance of clicking and buying the product. If it’s a type of product, in the case of a genre of fiction that they read often, a person is more open to buying. Taking a chance. So it’s a case of how do you focus advertising to the right audience? I’m still investigating that one and reading a book by Mark Dawson and the Reedsy website.

With regards to pricing, it depends how you look at it. Do you take an accountant’s perspective of recouping your investment in the outlay of expenses as quickly as possible? Or a salesman’s perspective of pitch the price lower and go for mass sales? It takes more sales perhaps to recoup the investment, but more people might be tempted if the price is right. And then there’s another consideration; if a buyer doesn’t have Amazon Prime, for example, they might have to pay for postage anyway. So do you price it to include free postage anyway?

So much to take into consideration!

I’m only relaying my story of getting my debut book Out There. Others may have a completely different journey. I’m enjoying the process, but I think the next one I might do differently and providing I can make enough sales not to lose access to certain facilities I’ve signed up to, I’m sure it will be easier next time, now the foundations are in place.

If publishing a book something you want to do, try it. I’ve found it, at times, exciting and gives a sense of achievement. There’s nothing quite like holding a copy of your work in print.

If you’d like to support me and try my debut novel, A Charming Bequest, I’d be very grateful and hope you enjoy the story. Providing potential enjoyment and escapism was my purpose in writing it.

Kindle: https://amzn.to/352vEVo

Paperback: https://amzn.to/3csrj1Y

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Thank you

Thank you to everyone who has purchased my book. I really appreciate it and I hope you enjoyed it.Amazon have prompted me today about promoting it again.

Here’s the blurb: Sophie is young and building her career as a freelance writer. She’s a good researcher, so her Great Uncle asks her to find out about his sister Sally’s life story.

She begins with internet searches, and on a forum she meets Philippe who is looking for information for his grandmother.

Sophie visits Philippe and his grandmother in France, where she meets interesting people, and gleans unexpected information. She receives far more than she imagined.

She returns home to uncover the rest of Sally’s story, her true family history, and a surprise.

I hope you enjoy it and would ask, please can you leave a review and spread the word.

Kindle: https://amzn.to/352vEVo

Paperback: https://amzn.to/3csrj1Y

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Happy Bank Holiday

We’ve arrived at the end of a windy and rather wet month and the forecast is for a sunny bank holiday. Yay! 🤞🏻

Please forgive me the opportunity of a promotion again – I’m still trying to learn marketing techniques. Anyway, have a happy relaxing weekend 🌞 and for around the price of a cup of coffee…

A Charming Bequest – Researching a family story, Sophie finds more than she expected. A slightly erotic, contemporary romance. https://amzn.to/3c3ui0O

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Happy May Bank Holiday!

We’ve had lovely sunny April weather, here in the U.K., if a bit chilly, and now we’re around to the bank holiday and the weather is a bit duller. So perhaps not quite beach weather – unless you’re very hardy.

Have a great weekend anyway!

And if you fancy a bit of escapism for around the price of a cup of coffee 😉 https://bit.ly/3dGJz93

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A short promotion

A Charming Bequest – Researching a family story, Sophie finds more than she expected. A slightly erotic, contemporary romance. https://bit.ly/3dGJz93

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A Charming Bequest

A Charming Bequest – Researching a family story, Sophie finds more than she expected. A slightly erotic, contemporary romance. https://bit.ly/3dGJz93

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Promoting and marketing thoughts

I’ve posted before about how the inspiration and actual writing of a book can be tricky enough, but at least once you get a manuscript written then you have something to work with. You refine and hone it. You find beta readers, a proof reader and editor, and you edit, edit and edit again. (And by now, you’re missing some tiny errors because your brain knows what you meant…) And even they aren’t perfect and miss some errors.

Anyway, then you reach a point you have to send it out into the world, to find out if your story is ‘good enough’. (What does that mean? Liking something is subjective: what one person dislikes intensely, another person enjoys.)

This was the point I decided that as mine is a debut novel I need professional guidance, and I approached an organisation to support me. They liked it and were willing to help. (It’s a great boost to your confidence.) Then to actually hold a physical book that contains your work felt 🤩 And to see it on Amazon is unbelievable.

Then at the top of your sales page, on a narrow strip, you read the small print …

Reality dawns. How can I make my book stand out against the competition?

So far my initial steps have been –

Amazon: Author Central (create an author page), Kindle Direct Publishing (produce an ebook version) and Amazon Associates (so you can create affiliate links and hopefully earn a little bit from clicks that result in sales, etc)

My blog: MoorScribbles – you’re reading it, thank you. Talk about your book, include the affiliate links, etc

My website: http://www.carolinescottcollins.co.uk, ditto

FaceBook: @CarolineScottCollins, ditto

(Which then got me sidetracked into linking my website and blog with my FB page)

The next couple of suggestions I’ve been given are –

Create a mailing list and issue a newsletter (even if it’s just once every 3-6 months)

Get some printed copies and negotiate with local bookshops and share profits (but the profit margin is scant)

Find other outlets

And then I had a conversation with a salesman, rather than taking an accountant’s perspective 🤷🏼‍♀️🤔

In the meantime, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that good old fashioned word of mouth and positive reviews from purchasers on Amazon might help a bit.

So if you read A Charming Bequest and you enjoyed it, I’d appreciate your positive review. Thank you.

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Do you dream of writing and publishing a book?

One November, about a decade ago, every day I wrote for a couple of hours – 2500-3000 words. I’d read about NaNoWritMo and tried the principle. I found that getting into the daily writing habit, with a deadline for finishing the manuscript for a novel within a month, was highly motivating – even doing it alone. I succeeded, not least because the month led up to getting on a plane and heading off to the sun for a holiday.

The next bit of advice was to take a break from the manuscript before working on it, so I did. Next, I confessed to some close friends what I’d done. They asked to read it and offered to feedback. I accepted. They were true to their words, and were all very motivating – ‘Go for it!’ After each batch of notes, I’d edit and put it away again.

Occasionally, over the years, I would re-read and tweak the manuscript, and put it away. Then another few friends, including one who told me he’d proofread and edited manuscripts, offered to read it and feedback. Again, I was told – ‘Publish it!’

I still lacked the confidence to send it out into the world. So I put myself on a self-directed study of creative writing (I read many books etc.) and applied what I learned to my manuscript. I was encouraged to find that it fitted various structure models.

Finally more research led me to explore various self-publishing options and I decided to give it a try and do it properly, not just get a box of books printed to live under my desk to give away. I did one final polishing edit, and plucked up the courage to send it off to a business who advise and assist with self publishing. To my surprise and delight, they accepted it.

I cannot describe the feeling of holding the proof copy of my work. It’s amazing. My book is now ‘out there’ and available in print, with the ebook version coming very soon. But, now comes the very hardest thing … Marketing.

Why is this so difficult?

Quite simply, I am a complete introvert and highly sensitive. I don’t ever seek to be in the spotlight – I much prefer being totally anonymous, shut myself away and keep my head down. To do marketing, I read, you have to stop hiding in the shadows. Oh no!

The way I’m trying to mentally deal with it, is telling myself that I’ve sent my book out into the world to stand for itself. It’s the book that needs promoting, not me. I know readers will either enjoy a bit of escapism, which I hope they do (because that’s the whole point of writing a story), or not (please be kind if you review it!)

In the meantime, I will learn marketing skills and pluck up the courage to put what I learn into practise …

… And I’ll hide away – to write the next one. 😉

So if you do dream of writing and publishing a book, my advice is give it a go or you’ll never know. Have fun!

If you’re interested in my book, visit my website or this is my affiliate link to Amazon. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

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Just write

I have a terrible habit of pondering. I’ve wanted to get down to writing again for ages (I won’t admit how long) but for many reasons I’ve just not been able to. At one point, I got 30000 words into a manuscript, hit a brick wall, and stopped.

I can, in my head because I don’t actually tell anyone what I’m doing, put it down to two feeble excuses – ‘writer’s block’ or Muse ran off. Until this morning. And I cannot make such stupid excuses to myself any more.

This morning I came across a really interesting website https://justpublishingadvice.com where I read a quote, which makes complete sense: There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write. ~ Terry Pratchett

On the article page https://justpublishingadvice.com/how-you-can-give-writers-block-the-boot-in-minutes/ I also read the remark about the mythical Muse; fundamentally it translates into wasting time.

If I’d stopped thinking of Muse as some helpful pixie who sits on my shoulder, whispering words of encouragement in my ear so I type furiously and get a complete manuscript out of my head onto paper (albeit digital on a screen), and instead actually considered the meaning of ‘muse’, I wouldn’t have blamed the pixie’s absence for preventing my progress.

I’ve read masses of advice, in various places, about how you can prepare too much, worry about structure, plotting, and all the other suggestions about how to write and why you can’t write, when actually all you need to do is simple…

Just write – anything.

Get into a daily habit of outpouring through a pen onto paper, or clicking away on a keyboard. Just write.

I finished my first manuscript using the principle of NaNoWriMo. I just did it and produced a complete rough manuscript to hone, edit, perfect and fit to a structure and a plot curve (although when I read, edited and checked, it fitted naturally).

With all my procrastinating about writing, I put myself onto masses of self learning about the processes of writing and publishing – to get it right. It wasn’t time wasted, but the main thing is just to write and then worry about all the other principles when I’ve got work to apply it to.

I am currently working on publishing project one and then perhaps, as I will have sent it out into the world for some readers to enjoy, I can get on with the next one. 😉

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