Growing Pains…Trying to Advance to the Next Level

I thought I was ready. I felt prepared. I was under the impression I could move on from beginner’s to novice level in some of my tactics. My skills are still too green. I read about and educate myself on many new exciting DIY tricks, but I am not quite there.

I have Hootsuite, an app that gives me room to schedule my tweets, my Facebook posts, and my Google+ posts. I could use it for more apps but right now I thought those three were enough. I thought I was using correctly. I was wrong. I have the wrong handle accepting my tweets. I have my page on Facebook accepting my posts but not my group.

Another scheduling mishap I noticed was WordPress. I scheduled multiple works for November. I have not received any likes or followers since I scheduled them. I felt that was odd. I have no drafts so I thought the previous blogs were sent. I have no idea what happened to my posts.

Hhhhmmmm….I’m curious where I went wrong on these. I should check my trash. It’s a shame, I was gaining momentum with followers and likes on my posts (not many, but for a newbie, it was nice to see).

Another next level mishap, not segmenting my email list. Okay, let me explain. You have your giveaways from your book (let’s use mine so we don’t get confused). “Wendy’s Song” is given away for free as long as people sign up on the email list. This information goes to Mailchimp (my email subscriber app that helps keep the names and addresses for me). Let’s say I have another person that found “John’s Journey” and signed up from buying that book. I have that information as well.mailchimp monkey

A person that signed up because of the free giveaway is less likely to be a reader than the one that bought my book and signed up for my reader magnet after the fact. I need to ‘segment’ (separate) these lists and try to weed out the ones who don’t reply to my future emails.

I have read some advice but so far, nothing I have done has worked. I am not sure if it is my approach or if it is too early. I have little patience (we all know this). I can admit I’m a bull in a china shop when it comes to subtlety. I am an acquired taste, like beer. I haven’t seen many replies coming from my readers for a while.

So, how do I hustle these people into becoming my readers? I guess I can’t. I did receive a polite email from one of them. I looked in my emails, I was SO EXCITED! Then, reality hit me. It said: I don’t know how you got my email address but I have never read any of your books. Please take me off your list. Thank you.

Oh my, I thought. There goes my beautiful day. I had a few unsubscribes before, twenty or so up until today. I was upset that this person just didn’t hit the unsubscribe button. I don’t go around looking for unfamiliar email subscribers. That costs money and is a waste of my time. Not that I need to explain to this person. They already made me want to jump off a cliff.

man jumps from to water
Photo by Jacub Gomez on

I have about one hundred twenty subscribers on my list, not counting the other site that I need to import. I will do that tomorrow right before I send my next video.

I try and send video messages on Fridays called “Forbidden Fridays” (my series is called Regrettable & Forbidden). I am encouraging my readers to engage on my Facebook and Twitter accounts with ‘forbidden phrases’ and ‘regrettable selfies.’ I am offering a free forbidden tee for the winner of the best and worst of both.

Tomorrow I will announce the winner of the selfie. I will do this on Facebook Live (another new thing I am trying out). I am also rerunning the contest for a coffee mug of their choice up until the tenth of December. I hope they will get it on time for the holidays. Lord knows with online shopping, I don’t want to promise anything out of my control.

Anyways, I noticed my little engagement may have to do with my approach. I added Snapchat to my phone. I have been placing bizzare pics on to my Facebook group to encourage others to participate. I was adding ridiculous posts before but now it looks as though a few of my friends are having more fun and enjoying the game.

Here are a few of the selfies I posted:


I don’t comment about the tee shirt anymore. I just post something up and say hello. I don’t want to saturate my readers with the contest. If they weren’t willing to participate before, they aren’t going to now. I still want them to engage and have fun, even if a free tee or mug is available to them for doing nothing but adding a selfie or commenting with a silly phrase.

I made the rookie mistake of sounding like a salesperson instead of trying to just play a game. I will comment tomorrow and state who won. Then I will say the contest is starting over for a coffee mug. Then add that once to social media. After that, only fun and hello, hahaha, good night (if I feel like saying goodnight).

Less salesy is getting more attention. I knew this but I didn’t realize I was doing wrong.


The third and final mistake I will discuss today (I can keep going but we all have things to do), is Audible books. I will just say this, wait until you have the money and the research is in place.

I don’t have the funds for a $200 an hour of a finished product like everyone says. That is the average rate, supposedly. I heard a few auditions and offered $75 per finished hour and I felt that was reasonable. My books are easy reads and novelettes.

I heard a great voice for the first book. The woman sent me a piece based on the script and I accepted. Then she turned me down. She stated she had other things and didn’t want to be spread so thin. Okay, fine with me but then don’t do the second audition. Even if there were other things wrong with the book don’t do it. I am sure there may be other issues if you read further. Possibly the language (I warned the producer), or the content. Maybe the writing isn’t her style. I don’t know but don’t start it, waste both of our time and then say no.

The second book was also in the auditions. I wanted to hear it in a male voice. I listened to a male audition and I loved him. His fifteen-minute piece sounded choppy, as if he stopped at each line, not pausing for a comma or period. It was strange. I gave feedback not sure if he has fixed it. How could someone be great for an audition then not know where a comma or period is in a simple book?

I am worried. I will find out soon enough.

I went to another company to check out other producers/ narrators. I heard a woman for my third book.

Checking out voices is free. I don’t have the money to invest right now but searching for someone so I know how much to save up for is what I am doing at the moment.

I think she could be a good fit for my third book, I might hire her for the first and fourth as well. I can keep it consistent. I looked at the price I would have to pay. $150 per finished hour. That would mean I need to shell out $200 dollars per book. I have to save $600 for her alone. That is on the cheap side, and who knows if she would say yes or even be a good fit after the fifteen-minute audition.

I think the audible books are a great idea to find a new audience but I see why there aren’t as many out there as e-books. This is an expensive and laboring task.

I tried to produce my own audible. Believe me when I tell you it will be easier to save up the money for the other narrators. It was a disaster.

black headset hanging on black and gray microphone
Photo by Barthy Bonhomme on

It took me a half hour to get the ‘name of author,’ ‘title of book,’ and ‘name of narrator’ correct and loud/soft enough in the microphone. After that was complete, I attempted (I use that word loosely) to read the first chapter in Wendy’s Song. This took me about an hour and a half. Mind you, this story is a total of 70 pages if reading the print version of a 5×8 paperback. An average reader could finish it in two hours if uninterrupted.

As I read the first chapter, I heard myself cough. I accidentally burped at one point (probably from all the water), I skipped lines, I reread lines, I started an accent I never had before. You name it I probably did it.

Once I got through the fiasco of chapter one, I look onto the recording. It was on pause. That’s it. I’m done. Let’s look up how to hire someone.

walk human trafficking
Photo by Tookapic on

As I am learning and growing in this business, I look back and think “I had it so easy in the beginning. Why didn’t I just stick with the little things? Why am I branching out?”

Then I see how much I know now and how little I knew then and laugh at that thought. I was TERRIBLE and ignorant back then. I am going in the right direction, I need to just slow down a bit before I smack into a tree or wall.

Every level will have its issues. I am happy to be on the verge of leveling up. Soon I will be laughing at these posts like you are now and have my own personal producer to read my two-hour novelettes while I scamper around the world wasting my day away.

It’s nice to dream.

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. - Thomas A. Edison

Have a fabulous day newbies. Happy writing!


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