Last Saturday, we held our October meeting, where Carolyn Jewel came to speak to us about the ins and outs of self-publishing, discussing everything from business strategies to technical tips. After experiencing many years of traditional publication, Jewel is now enjoying a great deal of success with her self-published book. In her presentations, she shared several pieces of advice on how to position yourself for success, which apply to writers in both spheres of the publishing world, including:
- Know who you are. Identify your strengths and your weaknesses, and use them to your advantage.
- Define your goals, and keep your eyes on them at all times.
- Always have a strategy – how are you going to get from point A to point B?
While Jewel pointed out the importance of recognizing that the same strategy doesn’t work for everyone, she did share some of the approaches that worked for her. For example, once she set a goal to increase her writing revenue, she went about it by giving away a book for free. That free book helped her secure new readers, who then went on to buy other books she had on the market. Jewel has applied similar strategies using boxed sets and short stories.
The afternoon portion of our program was dedicated to technical advice – and with a day job as a data architect, Jewel had a lot of it to share. One of the most enlightening pieces of information she shared was a how-to guide for evergreening, which is relevant to those of us that self-publish e-books which include links to other downloads. Additionally, she spoke about ways in which to optimize your author website to improve performance, protect from hackers, and prioritize your results in search engines. Some methods to achieve this include:
- Adding secure hosting to your site.
- Making your site mobile responsive.
- Favoring practicality and convention over “cuteness” when designing your site.
- Installing both Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools.
Whether self-published or pursuing the traditional route, every author came away from this meeting with some tidbit of useful information.
Our Member of the Month award was given to Michele Barber, for all of the hard work she does in greeting guests at the door of each and every monthly meeting. Without her, we’d never know who was in attendance!
As usual, our members had an abundance of Good News to share!
- Mary Galusha will be participating in the Ramona Library Local Author’s Day on October 24th from 10-3PM.
- Sarah Richmond sold a historical mystery romance to The Wild Rose Press.
- Barbara Garren registered her paranormal romance Infinite Potential for the San Diego Public Library Local Author program in November.
- Cynthia Diamond’s second book, Valkyrie’s Spear is out now.
- Tessa McFionn released Spirit Bound on October 16th.
- Susan Burns sent in several requests, including an erotic novella to Evernight, the first book in a steampunk series to Curiosity Quills, and a request for Samhain.
- Regan Walker won the RONE Award in the Medieval category for The Red Wolf’s Prize. She also released book two, Rogue Knight.
- Kimberly Field will have an essay on kindness published in a book for charity.
- Cheryl Pitones, Eleanor Nystrom, and Kristin Rockaway all collected their Orange Rose finalist pins at the Orange County Birthday Bash. Kristin placed second overall in the contest.
- Demi Hungerford self-published her third anthology, Bowman’s Inn – Autumn.
- Kitty Bucholtz made PAN.
Next month, we’ve got a real treat lined up: our literacy event, complete with our amazing basket raffle and the even more amazing speaker, Kristan Higgins! You won’t want to miss it.