I am an Australian romance writer and am delighted to be able to blog here at Savvy Authors about my experiences in becoming a self-published author. I hope my experiences will help other authors, whether they’re starting out as writers or need validation in their journey to publication.

Can you really make mistakes by working collaboratively?

This month, I wanted to talk about working collaboratively;  however, I got side-tracked by an interesting article I found – 5 Truly Horrible Mistakes Self-Published Authors make in 2016.

This article highlights some of the areas I touched on in last month’s post and also what I wanted to talk about this month.

In a nutshell, the article talks about:

  1. Not getting help,
  2. Having unrealistic expectations,
  3. Not building a list,
  4. Not focussing on what makes your book different,
  5. Not believing in yourself.

In my previous post, I talked about points 1 and 2. But as I’ve said many times, self-publishing is hard,  if you want to do well.

Writing is hard, but successful authorship is harder.

Anyone can upload a book onto Amazon, iTunes, Nook or one of the other online sellers, but if you want readers to find it, there is a lot of marketing and promotion behind it. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that it’s easy. It’s not. I confessed that I was thinking about returning to a corporate job. I had a professionally edited and formatted book with a beautiful cover, but the sales hadn’t covered the cost of producing the book (Falling for Mr. Wrong). I was disheartened.

But then a colleague recommended a marketing course for writers. Hooray! There was help available. I enrolled and learned a lot, but the best bit was meeting other self-published writers who were also eager to succeed.

Collaboration can make it easier and lead to success

I met some romance writers who wrote in my sub-genre, and they were interested in working with other writers. The result? We worked collaboratively, and I’ve been included in THREE boxed sets this year –

  1. Summer Bliss Bundle which included Falling for Mr. Wrong
  2. Romancing the Wine which included Bidding on Love, and
  3. A Christmas Boxed set which will include my romance, A Magical Christmas in Jerusalem

By working together, I had exposure to the other writers’ readers, and I could get my books out to new romance readers. Bonus!

Sales increased as did my subscriber list.

Successful writers work with other writers.

Everyone pitches in and does what they do best. There is a lot to organize from the marketing, promotions, cover, blurbs, Facebook parties and so many other details. I’ve loved working with these writers, though, and I’ve learned so much.

How often do we hear that writing is a lonely occupation? I’ve heard it many times. Well, I can tell you that this romance writer does not feel lonely at all. I’m part of a large romance writing community and feel valued amongst my fellow self-published writers. Even better, I have two writers who also live in Melbourne – Tracey Pedersen and Charmaine Ross, who live near me. Not only friends online but friends who lunch together…. and talk about writing of course!

Collaborative writers read each other’s books and promote them to their subscribers. There is no malice and no competition. If there is, you should find new writers to work with.

Even the most collaborative writers maintain a list of their own readers.

This leads me to my next point, building your list. Every successful writer, self-published or traditionally published should have a list. From my experience, I see that trad pub writers rely on their publishers to do this. Bad, bad, bad! The best person to promote you is you! You know your book best and who should go out there and tell everyone how good it is? You!

So, I encourage all writers to build up a list of subscribers. This means each time you launch a new book, have a sale, or have exciting news to share; you have a loyal group of readers to share this with.

Don’t rely on Facebook or other forms of social media. They change their algorithms all the time, and you cannot be guaranteed that YOUR readers see your posts. Don’t believe me? Think back to 2005. Remember Myspace? Heard of it lately? Nope, me neither. But it wasn’t that long ago that this was the site to be a part of. My advice – don’t rely on companies to promote you. You don’t know if they will still be around in the future, if they’re going to charge for membership or if something bigger and better is about to launch.

An email list is direct access to the readers who want to read your books.

Got any questions? Any burning issues? Then email me at [email protected] and I’ll answer them in my next post.

Joanne Dannon is an Australian author who writes to give her readers the experience she loves to savour–indulging in a sigh-worthy-happily-ever-after, being swept away from the everyday by diving into a delicious romance novel. Joanne is a happily married mother of two heroes-in-training who loves spending time with friends and family. She can be found on Facebook and her website www.joannedannon.com chatting about reading, writing, cooking, vintage-inspired dresses and all things romantic.

Falling for Mr Wrong

As a nanny, Tilly Walker is more comfortable with her young charges than dodging the English press. But that’s exactly what she has to do when unwittingly caught up in a marriage scandal with a highly regarded Minister of Parliament. Fleeing to the safety of her great-aunt in Jerusalem, the last person sheFalling for Mr Wrong imagines becoming involved with is an undercover reporter who follows her all the way from England.

Lone wolf Nathaniel Morgan-Young is a political journalist who must break Tilly’s story to vindicate past injustices, deceiving her to get the information he needs. But when Nate unexpectedly falls for the very real woman behind the Naughty Nanny scandal, he desperately wants her to know the truth.
Will he be able to convince her to trust him again, once he has his story? Can he find the right words to make her come back, mend his wounds from the past and make him whole again?

Praise for Joanne Dannon – “A handsome, mysterious Englishman; a feisty nanny and an exotic setting – what more could you ask for? Joanne Dannon delivers a sexy, emotional story with a relatable heroine and a hero worth falling for.” – Leah Ashton, RITA Award winning author.

Currently, Falling for Mr Wrong is only available on Amazon

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