Life Changes

Old things pass away, new things take their place.

Shadow of a Hot Air BalloonSome changes are for the better; some are not.

Some changes involve friendships and partnerships.

I can’t describe all of the changes that have come my way over the last few months and you wouldn’t want to hear about them if I could. But I can say one thing. All of them have influenced my writing life.

I have no doubts Danielle can say the same thing. How can I be so sure?

Danielle is busy promoting her books, Journaling to Become a Better Writer and the first in her MailBoat series.

I’m writing art lesson downloads like a crazy artist to raise money for editing (yes, we do have to raise money too!) My art blog is growing beyond all expectation, I have a new portrait to paint, and—yes, in the back of my mind—I’m looking for the next story to write.

In short, our schedules have become so crowded with things that we’ve had to take a serious look at everything we’re trying to do and decide what can be let go.

Indie Plot Twist is one of those things.

Hot Air BalloonsOh, Danielle and I will continue to be friends, writing buddies, and brainstorming partners. It’s my personal hope that that never changes.

But our involvement with Indie Plot Twist is at an end.

At least as a blog.

On August 1, Indie Plot Twist will transition from active blog to website. All of our old content will remain, but it will be in archive form.

We’ll continue to publish a monthly newsletter. That’s where you’ll find fresh, new content.

For the time being, the newsletter will continue to be a free service from us to you. But it will become a paid service at some point. Existing subscribers will be grandfathered into paid subscriptions, so now’s your opportunity to jump on the band wagon before we set our subscription rates and launch the new newsletter.

Balloons in the Setting SunThank you to all of our loyal followers, readers, subscribers, and commenters. It’s been fun and informative for us. We hope it has been for you, too.

I’ll be going back to writing about writing at Carrie Lynn Lewis Writing Well. Danielle will be busy promoting books and providing periodic updates via her newsletter. And we’ll both provide monthly articles for the Indie Plot Twist newsletter.

Now, as they say in the last line of dialogue from Around the World in 80 Days (the old version with David Niven), “This is the end.”

A Special Gift for Our 100th Newsletter Subscriber

Carrie and I are proud to announce that, as I write this, we have 99 subscribers to the Indie Plot Twist newsletter! We decided to do something special for subscriber 100: A free, autographed paperback copy of our first creative writing guide, Journaling to Become a Better Writer

Afraid you won’t be the lucky one? Don’t worry. We have free books for all our subscribers every day! More on that in a minute.

2016--03-09 100th Newsletter Subscriber Free Autographed Copy

Journaling Front Cover lores (432x648)What do you get with the IPT newsletter? An extra, exclusive article every month, plus insider news and promotions! (Subscribers recently received a 50% discount with a developmental editor!)

What do you get with Journaling to Become a Better Writer? 200 pages of inspiration on how to harness the hidden potential in the mental ramblings of your personal journal. This copy for our 100th subscriber will be signed by the author, Danielle Lincoln Hanna. (Me!)

How do you join? Just click the button! All subscribers receive a free copy of the ebook edition of Journaling to Become a Better Writer, plus Carrie Lynn Lewis’s insightful and humorous book, Writing a Novel Is Like Walking a Cat.

We can’t wait to have you join us as an Indie Plot Twist insider!

Coffee Sack Button 01 Subscribe

My Indie Publishing Adventure to Date

2016-02-01 latte coffee laptop computer tableBrew Your Own Adventure: Post 1

We announced in the IPT Newsletter that we were about to start a new thing: Monthly progress reports on my (Danielle’s) indie publishing venture. Carrie’s and my goal is to make a full-time income writing through self-publishing. The Brew Your Own Adventure series will document my progress!

To get you oriented, this first post will summarize my indie publishing life thus far. Then I’ll end with my goals for the coming month. Let’s go!

2016-03-07 My Indie Publishing Adventure to Date

Where It All Began

I first heard about indie publishing in 2013. After some research, I realized this was exactly the thing for me. Why wait for a publisher to give me a nod of approval when I could sell directly to my readers? My research also revealed that a lot of work was involved. I wasn’t daunted. I love a challenge. And I was strongly drawn to the liberty to make my publishing decisions myself – from pricing and promotions to cover art.

My First Book

Journaling Front Cover lores (432x648)My first book happened by accident. It started as a series of blog posts here at IPT that did quite well. I decided to write up a quick booklet based on those posts. Well … it grew and became a full-length creative writing guide: Journaling to Become a Better Writer: Seven Keys to More Authentic Fiction. I self-published it in December 2014 – my first book!

How My First Book Did

I decided to go wide (non-KDP Select) and put up my book on both Amazon and Smashwords. (Smashwords is a company that will automatically publish your book to multiple platforms, like B&N, iTunes, Kobo, etc.) Like all authors, my best sales were at Amazon (which dwarfs the other platforms), especially during the first three months.

Then it kinda tanked. The 90-day cliff, as they call it. After three months, Amazon no longer promotes your book as a new release, so you’re on your own.

The old cover for Journaling to Become a Better Writer

The old cover for Journaling to Become a Better Writer

I floundered with marketing for quite a while, primarily because I wasn’t proud of my book cover. It was a home-made cover Carrie and I put together. I eventually realized I wasn’t going to market the poor thing until it sported professional cover art. So I kissed some money good-bye and hired a professional designer through 99Designs. Once I had a better cover, I was absolutely raring to go with my marketing.

One of the first things I’ve tried is Facebook ads. (Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Formula is the go-to for that info.) I’ve been running ads for a few months now and have been earning back my investment plus a little income over the top. Yay!

I also released a paperback edition of the book in summer 2015. Formatting it for the print-on-demand company CreateSpace – and holding my first book in my hands – were extremely satisfying experiences for me. Can’t wait to create another one!

What’s Next?

My goal is still to make a full-time living writing. I want to clarify that there’s a difference between full time hours and full-time income. I’m very lucky to have the former and still working diligently towards the latter.

DSC03349 (640x480)The more I study up on profitable indie publishing, the more I hear that you can’t expect a full-time living off one book. Having put my first out there, I heartily agree. I’m on the brink of putting out my first published fiction books, The Mailboat Suspense Series, which will contain four or five titles. Once I have multiple books, I can experiment with setting the first in the series at permafree or $0.99, see how follow-through sales go from that, and Facebook ads on the boxed set.

March Goals

2015-11-18 target bulls eye darts arrowsSo, what do I want most to accomplish in March 2016?

  • Finish edits on Book One of the Mailboat series
  • Invite fifty bloggers to read and review Journaling to Become a Better Writer
  • Mess around with a Facebook ad for signups to my personal newsletter

What are your goals for March? Let us know in the comments! I’ll check back in with you guys in April to let you know how I did!

We’re on Facebook!

2016-01-06 Facebook Icon (made by me)Exciting news, folks. Indie Plot Twist is now on Facebook!

We know how much you’ve come to enjoy pulling up a chair and a mug at our writing table. (Those of you who participated in our recent survey, I have three words in response: Awwww, you’re sweet!) We get bombarded with your tweets, re-tweets, and likes on Twitter. Now we’re giving you even more chance to hang out at your favorite imaginary coffee shop!

Actually, we’re here to write.

Phbbbt. Nah, I don’t buy that, either. It’s all about the coffee.

We’ve been keeping our page a secret for a little while, but now the cat’s out of the bag (along with a bunch of coffee beans). We’d love to see you over on Facebook – so pack up your laptop and order a latte and come write with us! Just click the giant graphic below and – boom – smell the creative juices flowing.

And the coffee. Definitely the coffee.

2016-01-06 Indie Plot Twist Now on Facebook