I joined a mastermind group of eight other women, who I met through the 20Booksto50K Facebook group. We are all newbies to published writing, and will chat regularly about what we’re learning/problems we’ve having, and hold each other accountable to writing goals (there’s a spreadsheet). I’m excited to have people to talk to about this who are still at a stage close to where I am. The group is from all over the world, and write in different genres, so it’s going to be fun to get different perspectives.
20Booksto50K focuses specifically on self publishing with an eye towards writing for profit. Most of the people in the group are hoping to quit their day jobs in as little time as possible and write for a living. I’m not sure I’ll ever be a rapid-release author, but the group is, so far, very supportive of anyone who wants to learn more about self-publishing and marketing.
I’m also lurking in a ton of other writers/readers groups specifically for Vella writers, moms who write, people who want to/need someone to beta read or edit, and book promo ideas. So far they’ve all been pretty positive experiences.
I had three people from a Vella group read my first three eps and give me constructive feedback, so that has helped to get me moving on my revision. I made some pretty significant changes to the first two eps and reposted them, edited my story description (with some advice from a Vella author who has been very successful), and changed a few of the tags. I’m hoping to attract more attention to the first ep, so that I can get a better idea of what’s working. Right now I can’t really tell if I’m not getting reads because the book isn’t any good, or because readers aren’t finding it. If I can get more first ep reads, I should be able to make some kind of assumption based on whether they give it a thumbs up or continue reading the next ep.
Then I took the revisions of the Vella eps and started revisions for the novel. I’m making some changes for pacing, and combining episodes to make longer chapters.
I have rough drafts and titles done for the blurbs for the next two books, and I started blocking out the plot for Book 2.
That’s probably as far as I’m going to get until I get some more reading done. I need to get notes taken on Save the Cat, and I’m waiting for some PaperbackSwap books that I think might be comps when I get around to sending out queries. The first draft is pretty slow and angsty, with a lot of stuff in the MC’s head (largely because I was in my head when I wrote most of it). The finished books are meant to be more quirky, snarky, and have higher stakes, so I grabbed some paranormal YA for inspiration.
I really do feel like the paranormal mystery genre has been overlooked in YA in favor of paranormal romance. (And I know other people feel that way because one of the reader groups I joined was “All Slaying, No Laying Urban Fantasy Books” LOL). Prove me wrong.
Other resources I’m working with right now:
- Save the Cat! Writes a Novel
- This workbook I posted on Instagram
- Jim Butcher’s Advice on Writing (via Karen Woodward’s blog)
- Chris Fox’s talk on Writing to Market
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