Hello there my lovelies! It’s Sunday and this week has been a rollercoaster, because if you haven’t already heard, my novella Irish Whiskey is LIVE! It’s available now on Kindle Unlimited so go download it and leave me a review! If you're not a KU user, it's only $2.99, so if you're reading this, please do me a huge favor and go grab yourself a copy! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CJLZD4XM
I set a deadline for myself to have it published by the end of summer, and I’m so incredibly excited and proud that I got it done. But I think it would’ve been so much easier if I’d done a few things better, so today I’m giving you My Two Cents on What I’ll Do Differently Next Time. So let’s just jump right to it, shall we?
First and foremost, the thing I plan to avoid next time is giving myself a hard deadline. While I think goals are good, and I do have a date in mind for releasing my next book, I struggled so much with being really hard on myself this time. I announced months ago that I wanted to publish my novella by the end of summer, and while it was a worthy goal, so much happened in my life that made it REALLY hard for me to get there. I won’t go into all of it, but let's just say, writing isn't my only job. It isn't even my second or third job. It's a hobby, and while I hope that one day it can be more than that, at this point in my life it isn't. And I mostly write just for the joy of writing. So why I decided to put so much pressure on myself to meet an arbitrary deadline, I will never know. But I did, and while ultimately I met the deadline, I didn't completely meet it. My ebook is published, and proof copies are ordered of the paperback, but it'll be at least another couple weeks before I'm ready to put the paperback up for purchase.
So one thing I'll for sure do differently next time is not announce an official release date until I'm absolutely sure I can get there! Luckily the next book I'm publishing is already complete (so unlike Irish Whiskey, I'm not scrambling to finish it). But I still have a couple more rounds of editing to go through and I want to be more prepared to publish on time next time. Which brings me to my next thing.
While I managed to get it published almost right on time, Irish Whiskey was actually available for purchase a couple hours before my deadline. I knew this already, but Amazon has a deadline if you want to schedule a release. I think it's by midnight 5 days before the release date. So since my book was set to release on 9/22, I had to upload the final file by midnight on 9/18. But you know what I didn't know? It's midnight GMT. I planned and planned to have my file ready, and technically I met the deadline (I was done by 11pm CDT), but I cut it WAY too close, and I ultimately missed it because I didn't pay attention to the time zone.
Benefits of scheduling include, allowing pre-purchases, and sending the link to ARC reviewers ahead of the book actually going live. Also, there's no risk of the book publishing early/late (because it's scheduled to go live at a certain time). There's also a lot less stress on the author, from trying to guess how long the “review” period (a period where Amazon assesses your book before it goes live) will take. Ultimately, I don't think anything was necessarily “wrong” with the way I did it. My book went live one the day I wanted it to, but it could've been a lot less stressful, and a lot easier if I'd just planned ahead enough to schedule it.
I worked with my favorite editor Heather Hudec of Simply Spellbound Edits on this manuscript. She, of course, is a consummate professional, and gave me my final edits exactly when she said she would. But I put her in a really tight turn around. Again, I wasn't completely done writing the story by the time I announced the deadline. Which meant not only did I have to finish writing the manuscript, but I also had to then get beta readers, and make adjustments in a really tight time period. And I really only gave Heather a week or two for edits. She did an amazing job and did her part, but I never want to stick her in that position again.
This is more or less already a non issue for my next book. I have already finished writing, it's been through developmental edits, and multiple rounds of betas, and edits by me. But not only that, I already also have an edit scheduled for November and a final proofread in January. So Book 1 of the Nashville Singles Series should be good, but moving into future books, this is something I need to keep in mind.
Okay, this is a thing I think I did too right this time. Because I was trying to keep expenses low, I decided to design my cover myself. And because I'm indecisive, I made two. Then I loved them both so much I couldn't decide which to use, and I belabored the decision WAY too long. I put it out for readers to vote and literally, they were split 50/50 too. Mostly because one was discreet and the other was steamier. Ultimately I picked the steamy guy cover, because that felt more right to the story, but I will eventually probably also release the discreet cover as an alternate cover.
Basically, for my next book, I plan to just make one cover (?) maybe. To be honest, I've already made multiple covers but none feel 100% right. I want to hire a cover designer to do my next, but I haven't quite found one of those who feels 100% right either. So, I guess I'm saying, I hope to do the cover better? But, idk.
Ok, admittedly we're only on day 3 after the release, so it really hasn't been live long enough to count my efforts successful/failure. But I gave advance copies of Irish Whiskey to more than a dozen early readers. That's not very many, but honestly, it's not terrible considering the rushed timeline I gave myself. But from those almost 2-dozen copies, I've gotten 4 reviews. So given those odds, I probably want to multiply that number by at least 10 so I can get more early reviews.
Next week, we have another indie author, Kathryn Kincaid, author of Play Your Part, doing a guest blog on how she got this part, really, really right! And I plan to follow her lead when I release my next book, and if you're an aspiring indie author, I think you should too.
So here’s my final parting thoughts, don't forget to give yourself time to make your release the best it can be. Also, if it doesn't go exactly to plan, don't forget to give yourself grace. We're only human, and most indie authors are juggling more than just their writing, so it's okay if you don't get it all exactly right the first time.
And finally, this is something I've had to remind myself of A LOT the last few day, don't forget to congratulate yourself for the win! I'm a published author! Which was the goal. Was it perfect? No. But is anything ever perfect? Not really. And I feel incredibly proud of myself for putting myself and my work out in the world for people to read!
So that's it folks, that's My Two Cents on What I’ll Do Differently Next Time. Unfortunately, I didn't get everything right, but that's why I decided to release this novella first! I want my series to go smoother, and no matter how much research/help I get on the topic, it's not the same as doing it yourself. So now I feel more prepared for the next book, and I can wait for you guys to get the more ready, better version of the published indie Author Rose Rayne Rivers in 2024 when my romance series comes out.
One more time, if you haven't had a chance to read it OR leave a review if you have, then go check out Irish Whiskey today! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CJLZD4XM
Have a good week friends!
-Rose Rayne Rivers
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