New Book Coming October!!

In case you missed it, today I sent out one of my rather rare Authory newsletters, inviting people to join my Launch Team for my next book which comes out at the end of October.

Screen Shot 2018-08-27 at 22.49.33

I’m beyond excited for this one as I’ve learnt so much since we launched The Lion and the Peacock last year, and with over 11,000 downloads with that book, we’re hoping to do even better with this one. I’m a little overwhelmed with writing and guest opportunities at the moment but I feel they’re all important in different ways and for different reasons. And most of all they propelled me forward and gave me the extra courage I needed to make this happen.

So while my health has been a huge problem lately and we’ve been living out of a suitcase for 8 weeks now, bed for me means artwork, writing, and doing all the behind-the-scenes things that make a book happen. And I need to get them behind me so we can finish editing this book!

We fly to Malta tomorrow to find a new temporary home and get ready to head for the UK and the campervan for October on the road (more about that later).

So if you’d like to be a part of the process and hadn’t yet signed on for the emails which are no-spam, behind the scenes, personal, and get a hint of the publishing process (good and bad) then it’s not too late! Sign on here: http://eepurl.com/cvljU9

You’ll also get to see the cover first, the artwork first, and have the opportunity to win prizes and be part of the online launch party 🙂

Or, if you have any other questions, shoot me an email on JPeaSmith@KingsRoadChronicles.com

IMG_3536

Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

YouTube |Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith
Advertisements

Is Yours a Luke-Warm Sea?

img_1061What breaks my heart are brands (authors & others) who don’t succeed, not because they have no support, but because they drown in a sea of luke-warm support. An army of people who sign on in order to “be kind“, to “boost their numbers“, to “see what it’s like” and who all assume someone else is doing the beta reading, the reviews, or standing on a soapbox down on the corner. And when every single one of those people assume that everyone else is at the epicentre of the campaign… no one is!

We, therefore, need to have some committed Brand Ambassadors who volunteer, hold those posts, and do so proudly! Some people who totally get that they are “it”. That the buck stops with them. The rest of the crowd are great because a portion of them, either intentionally or otherwise, will still do bits and pieces here and there, and that is vitally important as well. But the people in the middle, those who have your back, can make or break us. They are the dozen or so disciples who will pass a word on, tell a friend, chat about our brand with passion, and it is them who will be our greatest allies.

They are the dozen or so disciples who will pass a word on, tell a friend, chat about our brand with passion, and it is they who will be our greatest allies. These people, are our Tribes. Our Brand Ambassadors. Our Heroes. Our Village.

I am building a tribe. We are about a dozen and we all believe in each other. Our purpose is not to review. Our purpose is to build a tribe and have each other’s backs. When each of us launches, the rest of us shout about it. We multiply the voices, we speak on each other’s behaves. We point to the one in the spotlight.

Who is your Tribe?

IMG_3536

Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

YouTube |Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith

Building a Launch Team 02

Ok, so let’s talk about some super basic but important realities while we are still in the beginning of the process here. Firstly, everyone knows there is no such thing as a free lunch! Yes, there is “paying it forward” which I am a firm believer in, and there are many good souls in the world who would do just about anything for free. However, we don’t want to take advantage of them, do we?

If I ask people to join my launch team, then I need to offer them something in return. I don’t have a bottomless pit of money and there are so many costs involved in launching a book that I can’t pay people or even give them all a free signed book. Which I would do by the way if I could print the books for free, but we can’t. No one can.

So what can I offer them?

I think it’s important to offer up some free, signed copies. A chance to win a copy is a great hook and as the team will never be that big, the chances of winning one of say half a dozen copies are actually very high. I can have giveaways where the winners are drawn at random, or as I’ve seen on some other launch groups, members can earn “points” along the way and those with the most points each month win the book. I like this idea because it rewards those who put in the most work, and it also means that people enjoy the ability to do something to attain the prize. I’ll talk more about this in the days to come as I work out how I’ll do it for my group.

I do art work in my free time and many times over the years I have made books marks for charity. Not paper ones, but metal ones like these:

So I’ll be making a bunch of them over the next week. I like the idea of more than just a few members of my team being able to win things and these have always been popular (and of course are still book related). I will do a video tutorial on them if you’d like to do similar, as I think that even those without a lot of skill can still make them, depending on what you make them out of.

Of course, people always like to be thanked. I’m not sure I did that well enough last time, so this time I hope to do a better job of it. I plan to design a certificate of appreciation that I can send to all the members, but again, I still need to work on this idea. Many of my supporters live around the globe and international postage is huge, so I need to navigate this somehow. Maybe a printable, emailed version could work? Ideas would be very welcome if you have any!

Lastly, before I go too deep on any of these points, I have also observed that members and authors can quickly become frustrated. They all seem to feel that they give, give, give, and yet also feel that the author is always asking for more. While at the same time I constantly hear from the authors that they feel they were given assurances and then so often let down. So I’m going to try and do things a little differently this time and divide up the jobs. As authors, we need people who can only do a few things, but we need them to do them well, and we don’t need ANYONE to do everything. So I’m going to split the jobs so to speak.

I want to create a Blue Team for those who are certified Amazon reviewers or are able to offer other vital reviews through the first month or so as the book is launched. By launch-time, many of them are sick of hearing the author ask for help in other ways, so why not leave them out of the shouting until they are needed? Because we need them to sign on early and to be committed. But then don’t bombard them with Red Team job requests.

Red Team members might not be able to offer certified reviews, so I won’t nag or even ask them to. But they are the people who are great on social media or their own networking circles and will help create the buzz and excitement in getting the word out there. The best Red Team members will even belong to a Book Club or Community group who are happy to become involved and get behind the author. They are the people most likely to turn one of their meetings around launch day into a launch party of sorts and post the pics on Facebook. Other red Team members can be truly effective by simply following and sharing many of the author Facebook Page posts to get the word out there.

I will still keep both teams under the Launch Team banner as all members will still have the opportunity to give feedback on art work and book covers, to download the book on its free days and to give general, specific, or other feedback, and all of them will be able to receive an ARC (advanced reader’s copy) of the book. The Facebook group will then be all about fun, giveaways, photos, background info, and not all about asking asking asking (although there will be a little, but at least people won’t feel bombarded if it isn’t aimed at them all the time).

I will talk more next week in depth on each of these ideas and give you all the opportunity to cater your support to your own needs.

To join my Launch Team, click HERE.

@JPeaSmith
 
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Building a Launch Team 01

FullSizeRender 24

Welcome to the countdown to my new, as-yet-un-named book due out at the end of November this year! (16 weeks today actually!)

A whole bunch of you have followed my earlier series on Launch Teams and asked me about self-publishing, so after a couple of months hiding and travelling (actually very busy on other important things), I am now back in full swing and plan on taking you through every step of this exciting process. From the very beginning to launch day and beyond.

Step one is to set up a private Facebook Group which I have done HERE. The idea of this group would normally be to gather around a team of supporters, and that will still be the case for me, but this time it will also include a bunch of people who would like to observe the process and learn. It is an interactive group with giveaways, news, updates and so on, creating some buzz but also keeping an eye on the processes and progress. It is also a space for an author to be more vulnerable and share hiccups, fears, and even ask for feedback or help when stuck.

This group is usually the first to see book covers, have a say in book covers and titles, layouts and the like. It is a wonderful place for fans and readers to get close to the action as well. So please feel free to join me there, or let your friends and family know, if you think they may be interested.

Once we gather some decent numbers we can move to the next phase, but I will keep you all up to date with how it goes 🙂

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!

@JPeaSmith
 
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Two Tier Support?

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-12-58-35-pmI am toying with an idea here, and I need to know what you think. It is somewhere in the space of having two distinct groups in my launch teams.

People who have their own launch teams tend to be way better supporters of others, and I have seen groups where they unwittingly land up with a group that is deeply connected and supportive, much like I spoke about in this post a few weeks ago. The problem with this is that it can backfire and if it does it will happen without notice, and it is irreversible, and you can land up losing your very best reviews.

This is just a thought that I am having, so bear with me, please.

What about having a two-tier support group or even two launch teams? is that too hard. But the benefits are twofold. The first is that you split your roles but secondly, you can grow your team way bigger (I think).

Team A: These people are full-on supporters. They read ARC copies, they download your book on its free day, they leave reviews on every country of Amazon and Goodreads and they blog about your book, share it on Facebook and so on. These people are a dream come true. They are FABULOUS. They are also people that you trust to follow through. These are the people that I would have on my launch team whether I had one or two.

But Amazon will not let them review our work if we are personal friends OR EVEN IF SUSPECT that we are friends. We need these people desperately but then all should agree to not connect on a personal level through social media!

Team B: These people are just as important. But they don’t have enough cred on Amazon to leave reviews, and/or they are family and friends that can’t review us anyway. They are the people who don’t want to be bombarded with all the info on the launch team site and they don’t have the time to read ARCs, and nor do they want to. They are simply happy to give us some love when our book comes out, share on Facebook and so on. I find that a lot of people lose these people from their launch teams because they are simply not that into the whole process. They just want to lose the bottom line.

They aren’t second best, they just play a different role. They can be friends on Facebook, they can love and support. But if we keep them out of the nitty gritty then more of them might stay?

Any thoughts?

Where Jennifer hangs out: 

@JPeaSmith
 
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Infiltrate or Collaborate?

screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-12-42-17-pmTwo completely different words, with completely different meanings, and yet some people get them totally mixed up! As you know, I am all about collaboration, “paying it forward”, and being a genuine part of a community. If an author wants to sell their books they need to build a launch team and if they want people to join them then they need to be a part of a community (a few of actually). And if you want to be a part of a community then you need to contribute. It is as simple as that.

But I need to make it abundantly clear so that you know where I stand. Joining a community that you aren’t prepared to genuinely participate in, congruently contribute to, and stay in for the long haul, is not collaboration! If your sole purpose is to use members for your gain, then you are simply infiltrating, and that is worse than doing nothing at all.

Many years ago I had the privilege of mentoring a young woman who’s husband struggled with addiction. I won’t go into any more detail than that, but as we sat in a coffee shop in the middle of a New York City winter, a couple of weeks before Christmas, she poured her heart to me. You see, the movie “Thanks for Sharing” had recently hit the big screen, and the main actor had done a brilliant job in one sense, of showing what sexual addiction was actually about (it is nothing like it is commonly portrayed I can assure you!). Her problem wasn’t just that this poor woman was dealing with a husband just like the character in the movie, she was now dealing with worse.

It turns out that the accuracy of the movie wasn’t a coincidence. The actor had joined her husband’s addiction group and as there are loads of other actors and famous people in many addiction groups, especially in places like LA and New York, no one thought anything of it, and the confidences were respected at every level. But it reality, the actor wasn’t a sex addict at all, he just wanted to experience being in an addiction group so that he could do his movie realistically! All the secrets he told were lies, all the hours over weeks and months, that he poured into those relationships were all fake. He betrayed the other members of the group at such a deep level that many of them, like this woman’s husband, stopped going.

Some of these men had only been going in the first place because it was part of their treatment and because they were assured of secrecy. No one broke the secrecy, no one did anything “wrong”, but this small group of broken, struggling men, were betrayed at one of the deepest levels. Over a period of months, the actor learned, got what he wanted, and then he left. He heard the others bare their souls, but he only pretended to bare his.

I know that that is an extreme example, but the point that I want to make is that joining a community needs to be real if you ever want them to support your stage, your writing, your blog. So don’t be an asshole like Mark Ruffalo and screw people over just so that you can make your million!

Where Jennifer hangs out:

Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith

“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman