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More On Indiegogo Perks

Family Secrets JournalI launched the Indiegogo campaign last week for the sequel to my novel The Secret of the Storm.

I’ll be honest with you readers, it has never been more important for me to have something work the way it is intended. I am on the verge of releasing a new series – more on that in another post – but, I don’t want the writing to stop there. I also want to be sure that I’m giving my reader base something it wants to read. So, the fact that there has been such positive feedback from it has made me take a second look.

I think that all art is, to some extent, crowdfunded. I mean, we create things, people will either like them and buy them or they won’t. This is true for all forms of artistic expression. But why crowdfund this particular project? It is simple really. I need funds up front.

Why do I need funds up front? Aside from living costs that I incur every month for myself and my family there are also the costs of hiring out some services to speed the process along. I need to hire a fresh pair of eyes to edit the book if I am going to produce it in a short amount of time. There is also the cost of a cover artist to design a catchy cover for these editions coming out. And then the costs of continuing to market it to a larger audience through advertising and a book tour to meet readers and sign books.

There are many ways that you can help me. Not every way requires a monetary contribution. The main way that you can help me is by spreading the word to others. It is only by directing people to the project that they will know about it.

Don’t want to tell them about it directly? Just direct them to my facebook fan page or my blog. There is more information there and I’ll be posting about it enough, making it visible, so that you don’t have to ask them to contribute.

BookCoverPreview1Every person who buys my book, tweets about it, shares it with their facebook followers, or even shares my work with a friend is contributing to the success of my life-long dream. Without people to read my work, what use is it to write? (Granted there is some personal satisfaction to seeing a story finished but, it is always better if someone reads it and lets you know that they enjoyed it.)

I don’t like asking people for help. I especially don’t like to ask people to shell out hard earned money and get nothing in return for it. With Indiegogo I was able to set up a number of perks. Some of these are as simple as pre-ordering your copy of the book in various states. There are ebook, paperback, and collectible hardback editions. Some will be signed, others won’t. But there are some other things that are limited and those are things I would like to make you aware of.

First of all, I am commissioning a jewelry artist to create only five necklaces from the first story. Each one will be numbered and a collector item. They will feature the keys to the chest that Ansen Walsingham left Elora. These will be available in the limited number of perks in the upper level ranges and will likely be part of a contest that I’ll be hosting here on the blog. The biggest perk of them all is at the highest level in which I’ll give up an afternoon of creation time to talk shop or whatever the person who claims that perk would like. Pick my brain about my process, publishing, writing, or life in general. If you’re in East Texas, I’ll make it a lunch on me. If you’re away it can be redeemed through Skype or other Video Chat service. It is a chance for the person making the most investment to get a behind the scenes look at everything that happened in the creation of, not only the sequel, but the whole series to that point.

The perks build upon one another. All those who contribute will be listed on the blog in a new page called “Made Possible By”. There will also be a special dedication and a list of sponsors in the book when it comes out as well. There will be emails sent to all the sponsors to let them know what stage I am in production. This will likely happen only once a month until it is released. But, the idea is to keep all those who invest in the project in the loop on how it is coming along and when they can expect to receive their books and other items. Sponsors will receive books before they are ever available to the public. I anticipate sometime in May 2014 will be a release day for the sequel. But, I also know that it could be sooner.

old file case Family Secrets#2Be a part of making a writer’s dream happen. Take a click over to the project, look at the perks and, if you can, consider donating. You’re not helping a publishing company pay a corporate executive here. You’re helping one woman put her life back together and tie up loose ends. You’re helping a family put food on the table and a mother at home with her daughter to focus on education and developing her character. You’ll be helping that child to go to dance classes and have what she needs to do well in her activities. You’ll be helping me to, in turn, help another struggling freelance editor and artist to provide for their families as well.

Indiegogo Is A Go For Launch

TSOTS COVER ADIn May of 2013 I published my debut novel The Secret of the Storm. As a new author, I am excited at the response from my readers and that it has been so positive. I will admit that I was very surprised when I kept hearing the same feedback from readers; when is the sequel coming out?

Truth is, I hadn’t planned to make a return trip to Slauson Cove. When I finished The Secret of the Storm, I didn’t exactly think that people would want to hear more about Elora and the Walsingham family. I even moved on to new projects including a major series. How wrong I was though. Nearly everyone who has read the book has been calling me out for another book about Elora and the Walsingham family. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I wouldn’t mind going back to the sleepy little seaside town and telling more about what happens after the prophecy seems to be fulfilled.

People want to hear more about Elora and her family and friends. This is great for me. It means that I did something right in crafting that story. Producing another book is definitely on the to do list but, as I said previously, I did move on to other large scale projects that are eating a great deal of my time. One of those is nearly ready to hit the press. Taking the time to write another impromptu book is going to take resources that I don’t have.

old file case Family Secrets#2I’ve started an Indiegogo project to fund what I need to get another Slauson Cove book in the works. There are so many things that go into producing a book. I want to do this right and I want to be able to pay other indie-artists and freelancers to help me make it the best it can be. That means I need funds to work with. Not only will I need those to pay the people helping but, I’ll need money to help me promote it once it does come out.

I’m trying to raise $4,000.00 through Indiegogo. The campaign will last 60 days starting August 1st. I’ve chosen to go with the flexible funding option so that if we don’t reach the total goal I can still keep working on a more limited budget for those who do want to see the book come out.

Donating is simple and can be done via the campaign site using your Paypal account or a major credit card. Simply choose your level of support. Many of the levels include a tangible copy of the book sent to you when it is completed. The details of each level are there for you to see. Donors will be featured in a post here on the blog and will also have a special place on the main header as soon as the campaign ends and I receive the list of donors. This will likely be in early to mid October.

Work will be starting on the book in September. But books won’t be mailed until all is finished sometime in April or May of 2014. Writing a book takes time and I’m wearing a lot of hats. I’m a mom, a teacher, a writer, a publicist, a homemaker, and I am trying to market with social media and promotion tours here in East Texas.

For the next few weeks, you’ll see posts here about the upcoming release and the perks that I’m offering and why I’ve chosen them at various levels. If you can support the cause, please know that you’re not just helping me take some luxury vacation or buy some sort of trinket. You’re helping me get my career and life on track. You’re helping put a little girl in dance classes, paying for education costs, and helping enable me to stay home so I can focus on the two things I love most my family and my stories.

So please, at least read the campaign here. I know that times are tough and everyone else is struggling just as we are here. But there are other ways that you can help. Boost the signal and send it out to your social media. Tell people why you’d support it if you could. You never know, it may inspire someone else to contribute where you couldn’t. I will also be posting a flyer for you print off. You can post it wherever businesses will allow you to do so. Public bulletin boards are great places for this. You can also ask your local librarian, post it in your dorm, pass it around your reading and writing circles. There are any number of ways to get people to notice the project. The more people do, the more likely I am to reach my goal. And I can’t do that without all your support.

Thanks in advance for all the support you’re showing me. As a special celebration to get things kicked off, I’ve been able to lower the price on my Kindle Edition of The Secret of the Storm to $2.99. That will last through August 10th. So, it is a chance to get the original story at nearly half price. If you haven’t already read it. I suggest picking it up and getting to know Elora Castain and the Walsinghams.

Life Events & The Writer…

It’s no secret that writers keep journals. We have them everywhere; online, in our purse, in our car, in our backpacks, our desk drawers, and you can even bet that there is likely one hiding in the bathroom. Yes, we’re odd like that, keeping pen and paper within arms reach at all times. But, this little habit serves us well. It allows us to capture our thoughts, put down ideas for characters or plots, and it even allows us to record life events that we don’t want to forget. I had such an event happen to me this past weekend and I was so excited that I had my handy-dandy planner with me so that I could write the details down while it was fresh in my mind.

The month of May is turning out to be pretty eventful for me. Not only will I be releasing my first novel under my pen name (Anne Belle) but I also got engaged this past weekend on Mother’s Day. All these changes in my life are one of the main reasons that I decided to write under a pen name to begin with. I think that readers need consistency so, a fictional name is ideal given the fact that I don’t want to put my career on hold. In fact, I am very motivated to forge ahead with my plans to build up a readership and get this show on the proverbial road.

just-engaged-bridgette-bartlett-op-ed-on-black-bridal-bliss-1I took the time to write down my account of the proposal. It really was memorable and the roses that my ring was tied around are still beautiful in a vase where I can see them. And while I don’t think I’ll ever forget it, I still wanted it on paper so I could read it all over again and smile. And now, I’m signed up on http://www.theknot.com and thinking about planning a wedding and getting things organized while trying to start promoting the new book being released this weekend.

The truth is, I don’t know where to start. I’ve set up all these accounts and am feeling overwhelmed that there are so many things for me to update. I came upon Hootsuite once and then I promptly forgot about it during all the craziness that was the end of last year for me. Now that I’m back to trying to build my writing career and organize my life in general, I find that Hootsuite might just be the marketer’s best friend. I certainly intend to make good use of it. I am starting to live by my planner again. That’s very likely a habit I should have never gotten out of in the first place.

TSOTS COVER ADSo, in other news, the book is about to release in print and ebook format. So I am rushing about to finalize all the little details and create some sort of plan to market it. I’ll be doing a major post on the book in the next few days just to commemorate the release. But, I’m sort of just jumping in feet first to figure out the best way to reach potential readers.  I have read all sorts of things on platforms and marketing but the fact is that most of what is out there is information geared for non-fiction work.

It is easy to build a platform when you have a set subject. To write a book on a particular topic you have to be something of an expert in your field or have some unique perspective on it. I don’t claim to be an expert in anything. I have too many interests to really be an expert in any one thing. If I am well-versed in any one topic it would be the paranormal. That topic shows up quite often in my work but, every piece is different.  For example, this book is about a woman with a supernatural power and a mystery to uncover with a bit of romance thrown in. My next book/series deals with apocalyptic scenarios and angels. While another project is more steampunk. I’m sort of all over the map and I don’t want to hinder my creativity for the sake of putting myself in a marketing bubble. So, I’m going to have to start somewhere and just build on it and see where I end up.

I am excited though. There is so much happening all at once for me. There is a wedding to plan and an amazing man by my side to share the journey with me in all of this.  It seems like things are really taking off and I find myself wondering if I dare try to get back into singing on top of it. I think that might be a bit much on my time though except for the occasional karaoke night or singing at church. But, you never know with me. We’ll just see.

At any rate things are going super in my neck of the piney woods of East Texas. We’ll see what else comes my way in the weeks to come. So, stay tuned!