Welcome to indie author diaries. A weekly diary with two indie writer mums. Show hosts Sarah Gai and Lisa M White chat about how they are fitting writing into their every day lives, their writing process from idea to published novel, and more. A podcast for beginner indie authors. Sarah is the author of The Curvies trilogy (a sweet, plus size, romantic comedy), contemporary romances, and Christian fantasy) Lisa is the author of A Touch of Magic (a women's fiction contemporary fantasy) & she's currently writing more. She's also the author of 13 cookbooks.
To help new indies put out their best work, Sarah & Lisa chat with Ian Andrew (award winning author and founder of Book Reality Academy) about how to format books so they look professional. In this chat they discuss:
*how to make your book look professional
*how to avoid rookie mistakes
*the simple tool that will help you format your book (& other programs that can help you format the book)
*programs that help you create epub and mobi files
*some things to think about when it comes to print formatting (digital, print, hard cover and large print)
*how to avoid weird spacing in your books
*ecourses that teach you how to format your ebook
*winning awards as an indie
It's a lively chat (very lively - as Ian was in Bali while we were recording this episode and there was an earthquake in the middle of our recording).
Last episode Sarah & Lisa chatted about "Putting your best work forward" and so this week they chat with cover designer, and author Angela Stevens about creating good covers. In this chat Angela discusses:
*the different cover options available from self-made to pre-made and custom
*how to choose compatible fonts for your cover
*Angela's tips for author name to title ratio
*the importance of budgeting for a cover and the things to avoid if you are designing your own
*how to avoid the one thing that most says, "I made this cover myself"
*different cover design programs
*different cover dimensions and templates (for digital, print and hardback) and things to be mindful of when approaching your designer
*checklist of information you need before you commission a cover
*comprehensive list of information you need for digital, print and hardback covers (e.g. what information is needed for the front, spine, back and dust cover)
*designing covers in advance and finding a cover model that matches your hero or heroine
*tips for designing covers for books in a series
(it's a really good chat!)
In this episode Sarah & Lisa chat about:
*their struggles with imposter syndrome (self doubt and lack of confidence)
*when you can call yourself an author
*how many achievements you need before you can call yourself an author
*strategies they use to help them feel more comfortable about using the A word
*the importance of putting your best work forward
*making readers upset when you don't put your best work forward, and Sarah's bad cup of coffee analogy
*an update on the words that have been written this week
*a chat about grief, taking time out and writing with friends
As an indie author, writing from home, there are plenty tasks to do, and there are plenty things that can distract you from getting the writing done.In this episode Lisa & Sarah chat about:
*Their main distractions (cleaning, phone calls, coffee dates, researching, TV shows, groups and more) and the strategies they're currently using to minimise them.
*What "the one thing" is, and why your long term writing career is better when you stop waiting for it to happen.
*Holidays to recharge and reduce burnout, and as a source of new story ideas (Lisa chats about her recent holiday to the USA)
*Meeting author buddies in real life (Lisa & Sarah met for the first time)
*Their goals for the next year. (Sarah's got a new method she's been using for the last few weeks and she's got a lot done, and Lisa's got developmental editing notes back from her editor).
In this episode Sarah & Lisa look back on their goals from Episode 1 and share their plans for the next three months.
*new pen names
*how much they'd like to write by the end of the year
*the next 10 episodes of IAD
You need to look after your health if you want to keep writing books. In this episode Lisa and Sarah chat about the things that are important in health:
*getting enough sleep
*tips for getting more exercise
*drinking water (not just coffee or other drinks)
*setting writing time hours
*getting fresh air & sunshine
*keeping mentally strong and setting boundaries
*and the importance of checking in with your doctor
In this episode Lisa & Sarah also update their on their goals from episode 1
Most successful authors will attribute their success to being consistent. In this episode Lisa and Sarah discuss what 'keeping consistent' means to them, and they share the strategies they've used.
*being consistent in appearance (author branding)
*being consistent in actions (e.g. newsletters, social media etc.)
*challenges with changing habits and some strategies to help make it easier to form new habits.
*setting business/ writing hours
*setting goals that are achievable in the time you have, so that it is easier to keep showing up and be more consistent
*reducing barriers to showing up and reducing interruptions and distractions
*having a buddy to help keep you motivated and showing up
Decision fatigue is the reducing ability to make good decisions after you've been making a lot of decisions.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed as an indie author because of the sheer amount of decisions you need to make to put your book into the world.
In this episode Lisa & Sarah look at a detailed list of 60 different decisions indie authors need to make in the following areas when releasing a book and getting started as an indie author:
*writing the book/ story
*everyday writer life
*publishing the book
*creating the book, design, layout and interior
*website decisions (including the pages an author website needs)
*marketing decisions and choosing ad platforms (including releasing the book)
Sarah and Lisa also discuss some strategies to reduce overwhelm and they also share some of the decisions they've made along the way to help reduce decision fatigue and overwhelm in their day-to-day author life.
In this episode Sarah & Lisa review their past book launches.
*what they spent
*what they did to advertise the release of the book at the time including: blog tours, ads, PR campaigns and live events
*how the different launch activity worked
*a chat about why Sarah feels launching is harder now
*why Lisa prefers to think of it as a 'book release' rather than a 'book launch'
*how they've learned to manage their expectations around book launches and the importance of having a budget for launches (especially when things aren't going viral)
Sarah has 14 titles (16 by the end of 2018) across 3 main genres including, plus size rom com, contemporary romance, Christian fantasy and short stories including a romantic thriller).
Lisa has 14 titles in two genres (13 non-fiction cookbooks and 1 contemporary fantasy novella).
It's easy to let costs get out of hand when you're an indie author.
In this episode Sarah & Lisa share:
* Their indie author costs and they compare what they were spending per year when they first began publishing, to what they are spending now.
*How (and why) they reduced their ongoing costs so they could continue writing.
*Why having a budget is important.
*How much they spend on producing and publishing books.
This is a great episode for beginner writers.
In this diary Sarah & Lisa discuss:
*How people have a habit of using clutter to keep them from doing the things they love (e.g. finishing the book)
*Choosing social media platforms and assessing honestly what you can do with the time you have (so you're not trying to do everything)
*Simplifying processes so there's more time for writing and the other things you love
*Talking into the void, and how it's easier to share when you have an engaged audience
*Making changes in business and changing buying behaviour
*Pruning followers, and
*Pen names - the agony and joy of creating a new one
Sarah and Lisa also chat about their progress from last weeks goals, their goals for the new week and what they've been reading through the week.
*Sarah's discusses how many words (and the unexpected place) she was writing to make progress toward her upcoming books Juniper & Aphrodite's Letters.
*Lisa discusses her progress with the Werewolf series and how close she's getting to that first royalty payment.
*They discuss the current view of what it takes to be an indie author (and what it means to your income and health if you're a rebel and don't want to follow that advice).
*They discuss how important it is to know yourself so that you don't create an indie author 'lifestyle' that you dread.
*They discuss the fear of 'being visible' and 'self doubt'.
*They talk about their current favourite TV shows, books they're reading (text and audio) and podcasts they're listening to.
*They discuss their goals (word counts), every day writer tasks, diaries and creating a tally of words written for the year.
This is the first diary entry. Sarah and Lisa chat about:
*what they have done over the last week (and previously) as indie authors
*what their goals are for the next week and next year
*what they have earned/ are currently earning from their books
*what they're reading, watching and listening to at the moment
*their current writing process