My journey on Kindle Scout so far...
So I’m trying out this new program of Amazon’s called Kindle Scout. Basically, you put up your novel for 30 days, people vote, then Amazon decides whether or not to publish your book under their label.
Now, for people who have a massive social networking following this potentially would be easy-peasy. But for writers like myself, it’s quite difficult. Marketing is always difficult in any field, especially if that’s not your forte.
This has been my biggest hurdle so far on my Kindle Scout journey. I feel like once I announced it on FaceBook and Twitter, that’s it. I don’t want to bug my friends by constantly advertising my book and asking them to vote. I feel like they’ve supported me so much by purchasing my previous books that it’s almost rude to ask them to do more. I know this is silly thinking, but it’s the “people-pleaser” in me that holds me back from being a “salesman.”
I chose to do FaceBook/Instagram ads instead. So far, it seems to be working pretty well, I’ve been on Kindle Scout’s Hot & Trending list pretty consistently since my campaign started five days ago.
The only issue I have is keeping the momentum up. 30 days is a long time to keep people interested enough to want to vote.
I’m going to keep going though! I’m excited to see what happens. I figure, even if I don’t get picked, I’ve had 30 days of promotion and exposure for when I publish it myself! Either way it’s a win-win situation!
As for now, I have to keep on promoting!
If you'd like to nominate my book here's the link :-)
3 Ways To Stop Writer’s Block
What is writer’s block? It’s probably different for everybody, but for me, it’s when I stare at a blank page for hours on end and can’t seem to think of anything to write. What’s usually the most frustrating about it is the fact that I have an outline sitting right next to me telling me EXACTLY what I need to write. But for some unknown reason, I can’t get the words on the page.
So what can you do when you’re mentally STUCK?
These 3 methods work for me, so I thought I’d share and hopefully they can work for you as well!
1. Take outlining to the next level.
I realize some people are Pansters and some people are Planners. I’m a Planner, but this advice works for both, especially if you’re stuck.
What I mean by taking “outlining to the next level” is: outline the next scene only. You don’t have to outline your entire book. If you’re like me, you already have, and usually each chapter has a brief summary of what’s supposed to happen in that chapter. But, for me, sometimes it’s the little details I’m unsure of that lead up to the main event of the chapter that get me stuck.
So, plan out the next scene in full detail. Writing a description of everything that happens in the next five pages will help you get past your block and write! This is the number one method that works for me!
If you're not familiar with the term "sprinting" it's when you sit down for set amount of time and write. No interruptions, no Internet surfing, no phone calls, just you and your computer or pad of paper.
If you have the discipline to do this on your own, you’re awesome.
But if you can’t seem to make yourself sit down and sprint I suggest you call or text a fellow writing friend and ask if they’d like to do a sprint with you. Chances are they’re going through the same writing struggle as you and will welcome a way to get out of it.
I usually do one hour sprints, but some people like doing shorter bursts like 10 minutes or 20 minutes. Sometimes even a 5 minute sprint can get you out of your writing funk.
If you don’t have a friend that’s around at the time, you can always find someone on Twitter using hashtags: #writingsprint #NaNowordsprints.
Also, Jane Espenson (one of the greatest TV writers of all time!!) does writing sprints on Twitter. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a rut and found that she was starting a writing sprint. Follow her @JaneEspenson.
3. Character rants.
This helps me when I’m in a crazy-super-block and no matter how much I outline or attempt a sprint, I’m still staring at a blank computer screen.
I call this stream of conscious writing. Wherever I’m at in my story, I just start writing whatever my main character is thinking. Rambling, really. Whatever comes to my mind: how she’s feeling, how she wants to get out of the mess she’s in, how she feels about the other characters around her, etc.
This is a good exercise no matter where you are in your project. It can help you connect to and understand your character better. Sometimes I get bogged down in plot and action, so it’s nice to remember that you’re trying to create characters that people can relate to and connect with.
So, that’s it! I hope these tips help you get out of your rut!
My journey to limit Internet Surfing!
This is hard. And I mean hard. When I’m writing and I’m having a lull, my first instinct is to check my Face Book. That leads to me finding articles, which I then read, which leads me to other articles, which I then read, which leads me to…
You get the idea.
My laptop and my phone have become one big bad habit for me. Basically, whenever I’m not writing, I Internet surf. Sometimes I even do this while I’m watching TV. I try not to do it when I’m with friends and family, but every once in while, there’s just something I have to look up!
It’s almost like an addiction in some ways.
Unfortunately, marketing my books requires me to be on social media so I can’t drop it completely. Going cold turkey would almost be easier in some ways, but like it or not, I have to stay active.
I gave myself limits: 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night. I time it. And as soon as I’m done, I close out the windows on my computer or phone.
Of course, since 5 minutes is such a short amount of time, I have to make to-do lists, so it’s time well spent. But it’s difficult. I allow myself to research via Internet for my books and projects, but that’s it.
The best part?
It’s strangely liberating!
I feel really great not falling into the Internet surfing vortex I found myself trying to swim out of every day. I’ve been getting more writing done. I’ve actually been getting a lot more things done.
Granted, I still spend most of my time in front of a screen. This can’t be helped, I’m a writer. But I can limit the amount of time I waste on the Internet and my phone.
Try it and tell me how it worked for you!
This is one of the hardest obstacles a writer must overcome. Distraction comes in many forms, usually of our own making.
Distractions are really just another word for the “P” word: Procrastination. During a month like NaNoWriMo, distractions and procrastination can run rampant if you don’t cut them off at the pass.
So here are three things I do to buckle down and stay on task:
1. Make a to-do list as soon as you wake up in the morning or even the night before.
This may seem like it’s only propagating the need to distract yourself, but it actually works. Give yourself 2-3 hours to complete the entire list because once it’s done, it feels as if a weight has been lifted off your chest. It gives you the freedom to sit down and do some writing without guilt!
If you have a full time job, complete the to-do list as soon as you get home, but in this case I would limit the time it takes you to one hour. You want to make sure you don’t talk yourself out of writing later on with excuses such as: “I’m too tired,” “I work all day, all I want to do is relax.” Trust me, you won’t get any work done if you use these excuses. You’re always going to be tired, but you have to learn to push through it if you want to succeed.
2. Write in a place that doesn’t have Internet or TV.
If you’re like me, the main culprit of distraction is Internet browsing or watching television. I’m often amazed at how much time passes while I’m literally doing nothing but checking FaceBook statuses. Sometimes I feel like a zombie has taken over my body and I can’t stop scrolling down my FB page reading about people I barely know. It’s even worse with Twitter, because most of the people I follow I definitely don’t know and yet I just have to know how their day is going. It’s insane!
So if you just go to a place where you don’t have access to the Internet like a park, that’s most of the battle right there. As sad as it is, it’s really hard not being “plugged in,” but I'm telling you, it can be liberating at the same time.
3. Turn off your phone.
I’m a texting fiend. I text all the time and receive texts all the time. This can be the biggest distraction because you’d be amazed at how much time it takes away from your writing. The funny thing is I’m usually texting about how frustrated I am that I’m not writing lol! So decide how long you want to work and turn off your phone for that amount of time.
There are many more ways to limit your distractions, these are just the main three I use. The bottom line is: if you want to finish your project, you have to buckle down and do it. We’re our own worst enemy and distraction/procrastination is usually a huge factor for most people. Learn what works best for you and make it apart of your daily routine. Creating good working habits is key to getting what you want in life.
So stop reading this blog and get back to work! You’re procrastinating :-)
I'm a writer of YA fiction, fiction, comics, television and movies. I try to make all my stories full of jumbly goodness :-)