Welcome to the final installment of my blog series, “Why I'm Beginning Again.” For those of you who may have missed any of the previous posts, you can find them all here:
Today, I'd like to share my writing, publishing, and marketing plan moving forward. As you've probably gathered by this entire series, I'm super excited about this new direction in my writing career, and I have incredible passion for the world I've invented in The Pearl Makers.
Sure, some of you know my writing from previous works published under a different pen name, some of you know me from this or another blog, and some of you may even–gasp–know me in real life. But for the most part, I am a brand new author, and I need to start right back at the beginning when it comes to building a catalog, finding a readership, and just generally making myself known.
I also haven't been producing a regular, steady stream of content for the past year, and I need to re-learn how to make writing a daily priority in my life.
This is why I'm pursuing two projects simultaneously. One is a traditional novel called Angel of Mine. In it, the Angel of Death falls in love with a woman he's sent to Earth to take. Each time he gets close, he refuses to let her die. All the while, her string of near death experiences slowly begin to open her eyes to the mystical realm, providing her the opportunity to love Death back, if that's one she chooses to take… And that's more than enough on that for now!
My other project is quite a bit different in form, though it too takes place in The Pearl Makers universe. It's called Diving for Pearls and is a hybrid short story collection, serial novel, and traditional novel, which will be released in a series of ten stand-alone short stories (of roughly 5,000 words each) that integrate to tell the larger story of protector angel, Elizabeth, and Daisy, the child she died bringing into this world.
So in order to build my reader base, develop an author catalog, and to hold myself to small, yet consistent, writing goals, my publishing plan looks like this:
- Release part one of Diving for Pearls in about a month
- Let everyone who's subscribed to my newsletter know that it will be free via Amazon for its first 3 days
- Enroll in KDP Select to maximize advertising opportunities, price at 99 cents
- After the 3-month KDP Select term is up, distribute to other channels via Smashwords–make the book free everywhere
I plan to repeat these steps for the next 9 short stories as well, meaning each book will be free for the first 3 days following its publication (and I'll make sure everyone subscribed to receive “new release announcements” via my newsletter is given plenty of notice. During the remainder of the first 3 months following publication, each short story will be priced at 99 cents. After that, each short story will be made perma-free on Amazon and on all major eBook retailers.
I will release each story 2-4 weeks after the publication of the last, depending on how quickly I can write AND do the story I've fallen in love with justice (and also how quickly my editor can edit).
Once I've published part 10 of Diving for Pearls, I will add roughly 25,000 words of new content to the story collection, integrating them into a full novel. All 10 short stories will remain free, but the completed novel will be priced between $4.99 and $6.99, depending on its final length and eBook best practices at the time of publication.
All the while, I will also be writing Angel of Mine and will hopefully be able to follow up with its publication a few months after the novelization of Diving for Pearls. Once I've finished my first hybrid project, I will consider doing another depending on reader feedback and interest as well as my own enthusiasm for and ability to write fiction in this crazy, new way (new for me at least!).
I've also brainstormed several other stand-alone short stories that will add depth to The Pearl Makers universe and will enhance my other readings. Theoretically, these could release any time. I'll totally let myself take writing tangents AS LONG AS I am staying up-to-date with my goals for Diving's serialization.
If you'll remember, I mentioned having to enter debt consolidation in this blog series' inaugural post, “Embracing the New Me.” I also mention that I spent over $35,000 marketing my work as Emlyn Chand in “Learning from My Mistakes.”
Needless to say, I plan to be much smarter this time around.
First, I've bartered my marketing and web design skills for editorial services (performed by an editor I already know and trust–and have worked with before). Second, while I've always been the first to emphasize the importance of professional cover design, I can't reasonably afford to pay for 11 separate covers for Diving for Pearls, especially when I'm giving away 10 of the books for free.
To that end, I've kept my fabulously talented cover designer, Mallory Rock, for my full-length novels, and she's even already designed Angel of Mine based on my concept. I first tried doing it myself and ended up with some major readability issues (among other things).
Seeing the two side-by-side proves the worth of a professional, I'm sure of it!
As I whittle away at my stories, I plan to keep bringing you all updates at least twice per week, so please also check the “New Posts by Email” option on my newsletter sign-up form.
If you have any questions about my new journey, please feel free to leave a comment or to send me a message through my “Connect” form.
For those of you who have been wondering, I will not close my current Facebook profile and open a new account. Ever since marrying Falcon, my name on Facebook has been Emlyn Chand (Melissa Storm). Now that I'm coming out as… myself, I will change my name to Melissa Storm (Emlyn Chand). If we aren't already Facebook friends, please add me! My profile is www.facebook.com/missambition.
As I mentioned earlier in this series, I believe in doing one thing at a time and doing it well. I will not be creating a Facebook author page or opening accounts on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, what have you. For now, let's just stick to you, me, this blog, and my Facebook profile, sound good?
Once again, THANK YOU for taking this journey with me. I've been absolutely overwhelmed by the outpouring of support you've given me here and on Facebook. I thought no one would notice or care that I was making this change–and, boy, was I ever wrong! Looks like I still have a bit of work to do when it comes to my self-esteem, but–hey–I'm embracing the real me, and that's a very important first step of this brave, new life.
Other posts in this series include: