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Authors Need to Network

Authors Need to Network

(This post last updated September 2, 2020)

Hello Lovely Writers,

Networking is probably one of the hardest things for authors, and also one of the most important activities we can do besides just sit down and write. Good networking will help with every step of the writing venture. But we chose writing, a solitary profession, because it’s just not so people-y, right? I completely understand. I prefer to stand on the outer edge of the crowds. I don’t like shaking hands, or meeting people, or traditional networking. It is stressful and uncomfortable. But authors must network for a host of reasons- from keeping up on industry trends to having people who get how maddening this business is.

 Most authors feel the exact same way, to one extent or the other. It is a huge part of why so many indie authors struggle. We chose to live with the stories in our heads because the real world is… not so easy. Some authors are opposed to networking because they feel like other authors are their competition. They feel like other authors are judging their work. (PS, we are. And you do too when you read other writers’ work. Don’t let it stress you out.)

The reality is that authors also tend to be the most vociferous readers. They are who you want to market to as well as the people who are likely to become your biggest supporters. See, most of us think we don’t like people, but that’s because we have mostly been exposed to people who aren’t like us.

People who feel awkward when silence extends more than a few seconds. People who do not want to spend an entire evening talking about the awesome story in your head, or even the latest hot book you read. People who talk about people, not ideas.

But when you network with authors, you find people just like you! We geek out about awesome stories, we want to talk for hours about the character in our head driving us crazy, and we want to listen to you do the same. We love brainstorming marketing ideas, helping with plot holes, and critiquing one another’s work. 

I have a ton of great author communities that I am a part of that have helped me keep going on this very solitary journey. They have helped me through every step of my writing adventure. Beta Readers and Critique Partners Facebook group is a great community for anyone who needs editing support but can’t afford an editor yet or just need feedback on your work. Books Go Social is another supportive community focusing on how to promote our books through social media. LitCon is the continuation of B2B CyCon, an amazing event put on by indie authors.

That’s where I met Joe Compton of GoIndieNow, Kori D. Miller of Back Porch Writer, Angela B. Chrysler of Brain to Books, and connected with tons of amazing authors who help each other out with awesome support, marketing, brainstorming, and sometimes just having the chance to vent! Support For Indie Authors on Goodreads is an incredible community that helps with all aspects of writing as well. My very own group, Authors Anonymous is also there as a great networking and support group.

All of these groups are there to provide support in our very solitary venture. Go join some groups today. The authors in this community are so great about not only supporting one another in buying each other’s books, posting reviews, offering opportunities to cross-promote, and giving feedback on any struggles you are having, they are also awesome in letting you geek out, vent, and remember why you wanted to be a writer in the first place.

What are your favorite networking opportunities for authors? Share in the comments below.

Until next time,

 Keep Writing!

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Thoughtful Thursday- Midway to New Year’s Resolution Check In 2017

Midway to New Year's Resolution Check In

Hello Lovelies, 
Anyone else out there still working on their new year’s resolutions? I haven’t reported since the first week of the new year! 

I have been really great about working on mine, but not always so great about tracking/ reporting.  As a matter of fact, it’s been so bad that I realized that I never even told you all my goals for the blog! Woops. The only thing I mentioned was my reading goal of at least 50 books for the year. That one’s not going as well as I’d like. I’m only up to 7 so far… Here are the other goals I listed and forgot to tell you about, and how they’re going. 


1. Read every day

This one has been going pretty well. I may have skipped a few weeks around launches, but other than that, I have been pretty good about it. I have it set up for at least 1 chapter at bedtime. However, given how far behind I am with my reading goals, I am upping my reading frequency. I am now reading at least 3 chapters a day, reading during breakfast and lunch, and at bedtime. Hopefully this will help me get caught up on my reading goals. 

2. Increase blog community

I started the newsletter middle of the year last year, but didn’t really know how to increase our community. That was a big goal this year. It’s going pretty well. The newsletter membership has almost quadrupled this year (From about 280 to 896) and engagement has increased as well. (currently at a 26.9% open rate, and a 4.3% CTR) I’ve seen the number of visitors on the web analytics increase as well. Last year, the average view per post was in the teens, now we are in a happy several hundred! I would like to see that keep growing. Do you know anyone who you think would love our group? Invite them to join us! That would be great!

3. Figure out how to monetize the blog

For the first five years on the blog, I monetized by using Amazon associates on the book links. Unfortunately, in five years I have not made enough money in click through purchases to pay for a cup of coffee each month (let alone buy more books)! Sure, I’m not sharing all the bookish goodness with the goal of getting rich, but this blog takes up the equivalent of a part-time job. I need to do what I can to pay for more books! I am sure most of you have seen that I’ve added a Tip Jar to the blog, allowing people to leave a tip when they are grateful for the content I provide. This tip can be as much or as little as they like and can be a one-time payment or done monthly. I’ve also begun a Patreon account for monthly subscribers and combining all the bookish content I create from Instagram posts to booktubing, and posts from the blog and guest posts I do on other blogs. I’ve created several different levels for the convenience of my fans. Anything from $1 a month to $15 a month, based on your budget. The part I am most excited about with the Patreon account is that it will allow me to share the bookish wealth, by providing books to my patrons. Once I hit 100 members, I will do monthly e-book giveaways, at 500 patrons I will add paperbacks to the e-book giveaways, and when I get to 1,000 I will start doing monthly bookcrates! I will also keep doing the Amazon Associates, and have been adding ads to my booktubing account as well. These have all been set up in the last couple of months, and hopefully it will take off soon.

4. Add more books to my TBR

This has really blown up. I started the year with 50 books on my TBR.  Now I have 186 on Goodreads, and more than twice that many on my Amazon wish list. (That’s the best place to make sure that they end up purchased for me for holiday gifts.) I look forward to this list continuing to grow!! 
So there’s my check-in for my New Year’s Resolutions for An Angell’s Life. How are your resolutions going? Can I help? Let us know in the comments below!

Until next time, 

Keep Reading!

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Event Marketing & Networking

Event Marketing and Networking

This post was updated July 1st, 2020

Hello Lovelies,

As much as authors complain about the pantsing vs plotting debate, get frustrated trying to overcome writer’s block, and argue about the Oxford comma, we all know that writing is actually the easiest part of being an author. It is the part we love as much as we hate. The hardest part for most authors is the business side of writing. From whether to incorporate, whether to buy your own ISBNs, where to publish- the business end is HARD. Two of the hardest parts for most authors are A. Marketing and B. Networking. Marketing is tough, even for those of us who love doing it. *Heidi waves to the crowd* 

It takes a lot of resources and time. And figuring out where best to put your limited marketing dollars is a trick of the ages, let me tell you! But one of the best places I have found for marketing is at conventions, particularly conventions geared around books.

Book Events

I have gone to some great conventions over the years, Y’allfest, Aiken’s Makin’, Dragon con, Momo con, AWA, SLC Comicon several times. Most conventions are 2-4 days long, renting booths at the bigger conventions is not cheap, you also need to pay people to manage your booth if you plan to be on any panels, get a chance to eat or go to the bathroom, or get to enjoy other parts of the convention! Those conventions can get pretty darn expensive. If I broke even at a convention I counted myself lucky. The most I ever made was like $900 profit. Brutal.

And conventions mean crowds. Even as an extrovert, I would be completely sapped after a convention and need two or three days to recover. Most of us authors did not choose the writer’s life because we love hanging out in crowds, am I right?  Still, there is something amazing about live conventions and being able to go to author-focused conventions like Storymakers, 20 Books to 50K, and more are a great place to network with business professionals and grow.

Online Book Events

 My first experience with online book events was B2B CyCon.  Online events are phenomenal because you get the benefit of marketing at a convention without the massive expense. You get the benefit of rubbing elbows with readers without literally having to rub elbows! There are tons of awesome events that will provide you with evergreen marketing content that you can keep sharing.

The first B2B CyCon I attended I ended up adding over 100 subscribers to my blog, adding almost 400 people to my social media sites (across Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google + and Goodreads!) and that was with less than 1,000 attendees.

One of the best parts of B2B CyCon that seems to rarely get talked about is the networking. Why is networking important, you ask? I met a ton of awesome authors and groups through B2B CyCon, including Joe Compton of Go Indie Now, Joshua Robertson of Crimson Edge Press, Angela B. Chrysler of Brain To Books, Kori D. Miller of Back Porch Writer, Richard Mulder of SciFan Society, Karina Kantas of Author Assist, to name just a few. I also met tons of amazing authors who have been kind enough to share their platforms with me as I announced book tours, sales, and promotions. Those authors in turn introduced me to other amazing networking opportunities such as 20 books to 50K, Authors Supporting Authors, Support Indie Authors, Instafreebie, and many many others.  When we all lift each other up together, we see tons of indies hitting bestseller lists all over the country. We see indies really making an impact on the publishing industry.

Don’t give up! I believe in you all. A {writer’s} a {writer}, no matter how small! And you very small {writer} will not have to die if you make yourselves heard! So come on, now, and TRY!

Heidi Angell’s interpretation of Horton Hears a Who.

That networking helps in many ways, not the least of which is sharing one another’s audiences and helping with book events. Your colleagues are also great to talk with about what is and is not working with marketing, where to find beta readers, cover artists, and other services. The greatest support I have found is that when I am feeling overwhelmed, and like I can’t handle the writer’s life anymore, these amazing authors rally around to offer support. (I know I’m not the only one! This writing life can be SO HARD, right?)

  One of the benefits of Covid-19 is that a lot more conventions have chosen to have online events this year. So be sure to jump on this fantastic opportunity to grow your network of authors and readers.

What online book convention are you a fan of? Let us know in the comments below.

Until next time,

Keep Writing!

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2017 Planning Schedule for An Angell’s Life

Hello my Lovelies!

I have been super busy planning out my 2017 schedule and I am actually really enjoying this experience!


Last year, I worked on Jeff Goins’ Intentional blogging course, and reviewing that has me into this major planning mode. I started researching long term planning for entrepreneurs and started putting together goals for 1, 2 and 5 years, and the goals were great. (I have done things like this before, but have not been able to hit the follow-through which is really frustrating!) Using C. S. Lakin’s tips on Live, Write, Thrive I have been able to develop the most comprehensive plan and work backward from my goals. Incorporating Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever, I have been able to focus on good strong goals for this year, and using The 90 Day Plan, hopefully, I will be able to stay on task! 

Last year, I took Jeanine Blackwell’s “Promotional and Launch Planning Calendar” and tweaked that to apply to my needs as a writer/ publisher. Her methods for planning out your launches on a physical calendar using sticky notes have been absolutely inspiring for me as a tactile person! Plus, I LOVE sticky notes! I do feel a little bit guilty about killing trees, but I am an author so… I will plant extra trees this year. I am excited to combine this with the 90-day plan to increase my productivity!

I have been able to lay out not only my product launch schedule (IE, new books. There will be three this year! You are welcome!) but also plan out my marketing, my content releases, and my other work. It has made everything feel more real, and more achievable.

This year on the blog you will be seeing a lot more book reviews, author interviews, and character spotlights. I will keep doing the Friday poetry as well. As this blog is for you, I would love some input. Do you have any suggestions of what you would like to see added to the blog?

Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Keep Reading!