Monthly Archives: May 2015

The 24/7 Indie Author Experience: Writing & Promoting On Your Own

I’m sure that almost every seasoned Indie Author will tell you that the majority of us work endless hours with little pay in the beginning. This has been my own experience thus far. After I published my first romantic thriller novel, Shadows of Deception, I was proud of my achievement, but then I realized that Amazon wasn’t going to just miraculously sell my book for me. I spoke with my cousin, a well established Indie Author, and she warned me of the obstacles and hard work ahead. The purpose of this post is to give both new, and already established authors, some insight about my own experiences in this industry so far.

Start marketing before you write your book! 

Indieblog1I can’t emphasize this enough. I won’t lie; I had no idea what twitter was, until after I published my romantic thriller novel. No clue! With the exception of my own personal Facebook and Goodreads pages, I established all of the following accounts after I published my novel. It takes time to build these accounts; months and years. Here’s a basic list of platforms that you need to establish immediately, if you want at least 1 person to know your work exists:

My Personal Accounts Include:

Authors Support One Another:

It’s important to connect and communicate with people in your field. When you show support for fellow authors, bloggers, artists, and your readers, they are likely to reciprocate. Talk to people, be kind, and don’t just selfishly throw your book ads around and expect others to help you, when you don’t bother to help them along the way. Join groups and discussion forums on Facebook, Goodreads, and wherever else you happen to stumble across them. These groups offer an excellent learning opportunity. You get a taste of what other writers are experiencing, how they advertise, and you can even find beta readers for your books.

I believe in Karma & I’m also a very nice person:

I’m connected with so many authors on twitter, and like myself, they run some incredible book promotions to promote their work. If their book is free, I download it to my kindle. It may sit there for a month, maybe longer, but I eventually get around to reading it, and I post a review if I like what I read. They say it’s important for writers to read as much as possible, so it’s a win win deal to me! I have had several supportive authors buy my book and/or short horror story recently, and I try to reciprocate as much as my budget will allow.

Don’t Be an %@$#*%# 

I’ve also had authors download Shadows of Deception and The Black Shadow during a free book promotion. They then contacted me to inform me of their IndieBlog5“purchase”, rudely demanding I buy their book (NOT for free) and review it as soon as possible. It seemed to be more of a threat than a friendly request. There was no personal conversation to get to know me prior to these requests, and I had no idea who these authors were, so I was very turned off. I always appreciate support from my colleagues, but I do not negotiate with terrorists! Again, build relationships. Please.

Paid Advertising:

Clearly, if you are in a situation similar to mine, you don’t have a ton of cash to toss at a major advertising campaign for your book. Through my research and growing connections, I have stumbled across plenty of free advertising routes. Readers Gazette, for example, offers a ton of services and support for authors, and Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook are other useful, free options.

I have paid a reputable book promotion service to tweet my book for a week, and it didn’t have any significant impact on my sales, however, they also tweet about my blog posts upon request, which has driven a significant amount of traffic to my website. I have also dumped about $150 into paid Facebook advertising, but I did not find that to be very helpful. However, as an emerging author, I have not yet established a large fan base through Facebook, which I believe would make my ads visible to a much larger community of readers.

Taking the leap to become an Indie Author has been a major learning experience for me. I have made some excellent connections and friends in just a few months, and I value them greatly. My best advice is to do plenty of research before and while you are writing your book. When I’m not writing, I spend at least 5 hours of my day on book promotion and research about the industry. To effectively promote your own book, you have to be prepared to work around the clock, and it requires lots of time and patience on the part of the writer (and their significant other…..and toddler, in my case).

Thanks for reading,

Corey Carter

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Irresistible Kindle Countdown Deal: Shadows of Deception Only .99c! Limited Time!

Don’t Miss Out on this Irresistible Kindle Countdown Deal for Shadows of Deception:

  • Highly Rated Romantic Thriller Novel
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Highlights from reviews on Amazon & Goodreads:

  • Fast Paced
  • Well Written
  • Exciting Plot
  • Relentless Villain
  • Hot Hero
  • Strong Heroine

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Book Detail: 

What would you do if you found out that your entire marriage was based on a lie, and your seemingly perfect husband was actually a money hungry psychopath with a dark and twisted past? One phone call from her husband’s mistress was all it took to unravel Annabelle’s otherwise perfect life, sending her on a dangerous journey of fear, paranoia, and unshakable nightmares. After a yearlong divorce process with the man she once knew as a handsome, charming, American hero, Annabelle learns that Evan Montague has been stalking her for months, and he is not at all the man that he claimed to be when they first met. In order to protect herself from his violent threats, including his attempt to extort all of her money, Annabelle is forced to leave her charming Virginia estate.

She travels to the Outer Banks of North Carolina; the last place her ex-husband would think to look for her. Although she has not spoken to her childhood sweetheart in years, she turns to Cole Cross for help. Cole owns an oceanfront beach house and several rental properties on the Outer Banks, and he is generous enough to provide Annabelle with a cottage to serve as her temporary refuge. Once Annabelle reunites with Cole, nothing can extinguish the fiery passion that they harbor for one another; not even the malevolent stalker that waits in the shadows.

As two detectives work tirelessly to put Evan in prison, Annabelle fears that her ex-husband may find her before the police are able to apprehend him. The last time they spoke, Evan vowed to kill her if she didn’t pay up, and there wasn’t a chance that Annabelle would even consider meeting his demands. When a flicker of light from a beach bonfire reveals Evan’s face from the nearby shadows, Annabelle fears that he has somehow found her; or could it have been her overly anxious imagination?

Paperback & eBook Versions Available Now:

http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Deception-Corey-Schultz-Carter-ebook/dp/B00QL0ILCC/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1431389106&sr=8-1&keywords=shadows+of+deception


My Story of Anxiety & Persisting Shortness of Breath

Every one of us experiences stress, and we all handle it differently. Unfortunately, it’s just one of those unavoidable parts of life. I have always suffered from mild anxiety and occasional panic attacks throughout my life, but severe anxiety has affected my life substantially within the last year and a half. Around the time that I was planning my own wedding (hold the jokes), I began having shortness of breath. I thought the worst; I have COPD or some horrific terminal illness. Web MD only fueled my fears, although anxiety was often at the top of their list.

From August to November, I lived a double life; stay at home mom by day and a writer, publisher, amateur graphic designer, and social media marketer at night. This was a particularly stressful period for me. In December 2014, I finally published my first romantic thriller novel, so I thought that my stress level would drop, and perhaps I’d be able to breathe normally again. I was wrong.

anxietybloogThe shortness of breath, which had started off slowly, only increased in intensity as the year rolled along. It eventually got to the point that it would occur for hours at a time throughout the day, causing me to constantly take deep breaths or yawn to feel like I was getting what still seemed to be an inadequate amount of air. It was both physically and mentally exhausting. In case you have not personally suffered from this sort of medical condition, the feeling of not being able to breathe is REALLY FREAKING SCARY. I went to the doctor, and he ran every test imaginable to ensure that my heart and lungs were in healthy working condition. He even checked my thyroid. Everything was fine in all of those areas, so he determined that it was anxiety, and he started me off on a low dose of Zoloft (daily) and Xanax (as needed). Neither seemed to help.

My doctor slowly increased my dosage of Zoloft, until the problem was resolved. A yeanxietyar and a half has passed since the onset of this problem, and the shortness of breath is almost nonexistent. Occasionally, I’ll have a few seconds of breathlessness, but I can manage those few seconds easily when I remember the hours of struggle that I used to suffer through. I opted not to continue with the Xanax, because of its addictive properties and the fact that the Zoloft alone works for me, but there are still people who do require that extra measure to control their anxiety. I’m hoping to slowly stop taking any medication in the near future, and through my research, I’ve created an awareness board for anxiety and depression on Pinterest, which offers many ideas and solutions to mange these issues with or without medication.

I felt alone for a while; Like something was wrong with me that I could not explain, and no one understood. When I tried to search for answers, I came across so many stories about other people who suffer from this same condition. I hope that people going through this same struggle will read this deeply personal story, and check out my awareness board to find that they are not alone. There are natural and medicinal remedies for anxiety related shortness of breath as well as depression, but you have to recognize and address the problem immediately, so it does not take complete control of your life.

For a growing board of resources to help overcome and spread awareness about anxiety and depression, visit https://www.pinterest.com/coreyschultz/anxiety-depression-awareness/

Thank you all for reading!

Corey Carter


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