World News, Quite A Happy Birthday!

I’ve been, maybe, the worst blogger in the history of the world.  I apologize (it feel’s like I’m always saying “sorry” here … sorry for that!) …

I just returned from a trip out west, the place where it all started for me.  365 days I stood on Rialto Beach and said “it’s time to figure my life out and live it authentically.”  I knew what that meant, where I needed to go and what I needed to do … now, I’m published.  It was a crazy year, but the accumulation of it couldn’t have been more justified … I needed to stand there again and feel the completion, the accomplishment.

Today, I turn 29.  The first year of writing has come and gone so quickly, I don’t really know whether to celebrate or cry because it was an amazing year, and I know I’ll never go back.  I’ll be that innocent again, or at things so simply.  It feels like I grew into this so quickly.

But here’s what’s crazy.

The day I turned 28, I decided to write a novel … the day I turn 29, I have an article about that novel feeding out of World News.  I don’t know if it gets better than that … it was a fluke of timing or the natural unfolding of things.  But either way, it’s amazing.

World News Article About The Milestone Tapes

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So You’ve Written A Novel … Now What?

A while ago I announced that I would be working hand in hand with a dedicated publicist on the launch of my novel … unfortunately, plans have changed.  I will not go into the gory, bash-your-head-against-a-wall details, but I will say … it was not without sadness I had to reject the opportunity.

That’s the thing with being an independent writer or an independent business person in general … there is simply no forged path that you just blindly follow, sometimes plans have to change or rework themselves.  And you have to learn to roll with those punches, take the lumps as they come.  This, what happened to “Plan A”, was unavoidable … and I’m thankful to the kind soul who took their time to share an experience that changed my mind.

I ended up (somewhat frantically) trying to find a replacement promoter.  I knew that it was key to the success of my novel to invest myself and my time widely in promoting the book.

I ended up meeting Dorothy Thompson of Pump Up Your Book Tours … from the moment we spoke, I knew I could relax.

What Dorothy offers writers through her services is the chance to take a virtual tour.  Since most of us writers won’t go on a month long book tour, this is a happy medium.  Dorothy, like many other promoters, works to place you on blogs through guest posts, interviews, book reviews and features.  Where Dorothy differs is that she offers a guarantee.  That is a beautiful word when you’re thinking of using your marketing dollars.  Of course, naturally she doesn’t promise sales … but she promises that she will open the door for you.

Some of Dorothy’s connections feed into syndication … publications like USA Today, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Chicago Times and other coast to coast news outlets.  Another, was ranked both Google and Yahoo’s top blog.

If you’re looking for someone who will really work for you … and work hard, check Dorothy out!

Burn Out

So, I’ve been a bad blogger.  I can own that.  I have signed on with a few companies, at the same time, to run promotional blitzes for my book … this means, I’ve been blogging — it’s just not here. And what I am writing is for the future, and it’s stressful because these are little blogs are nothing like my own … these are syndicated blogs going out to worldwide publications.  I’ve been running 14 hour days, getting up at 5 and going to bed at 12.  I’m working almost around the clock at this point between my real job and writing.  I can’t shut my mind off — and yet, I’ve run out of good ideas.

In two words … burn out.

Right now, I’m exhausted.  Tired to the bone.  Frustrated with my own limitations.  And, I’m sick.  I have a sore throat and headache that won’t lighten up.

I’ll be a better blogger again soon … complete with tricks and tips for publicity.

A Chance To Win The Milestone Tapes!

I’ve partnered with Goodreads to give away 5 autographed copies of THE MILESTONE TAPES in March.  If you’re interesting in getting your hot little hands on an advanced reading copy complete with name scribbled in black sharpie … now’s the time folks!  Get while the getting’s good!

Direct link to entry

But, don’t worry if you don’t luck out on this deal … I’m scheming up all sorts of sweet swag winning opportunities as the launch draws ever closer.  We’re talking e-versions, print copies, and hey … maybe even your very own Kindle preloaded with the book and shipped with love!

It’s really real … and it’s happening so soon!

It’s Alive!

After working on the website for just shy of a month … worrying all the details like font and imagery … writing all sorts of copy, and then bashing my head into a wall, and rewriting it again … exchanging e-mails with an amazing designer in a far away place … it’s ALIVE.  My website, my formal “how-do-you-do” is up and running.

It’s sort of whimsical … very beautiful … and it speaks of my dreamy nature.  Scarlett nailed it down perfectly, and I really don’t believe I could be happier.  Actually, I know I couldn’t be happier.  It was exactly what I wanted.  It’s very “author” and equally user-friendly.

I’m excited to formally introduce you all to my professional door step …

www.ashleymacklerpaternostro.com

The site will be slower than my blog … I won’t be frantically updating it unless there is something important to say.  It will be … above all … professional.

 

Paying It Forward

I have to say, I got lucky.

When I decided I wanted to publish my book, and when no agent wanted in on my project and no small press had room for me, I able to access a wealth of knowledge by joining the right forums and asking a lot of questions.  Their kindness and wisdom made this process of going it alone, while not exactly “easy” absolutely easier, all things considered.  I think, as with all good fortune, paying it forward is the key to real gratitude.  So, I’ve decided to do just that the only way I know how … with a blog.

I’m launching a new spin-off site of La Bella Novella, The Indie You, to give the information back.  Send it out into the world so that someone, like myself, can stumble upon and find (hopefully) what they need to make their dream of being an author come true.  Let someone else harness the belief that wild dreams are possible and give them the tools to make it happen.

While I’ll be the first to admit … nope, I’m no expert … I think there is real power in the meeting of minds.  There is no “one size fits all” formula when it comes publishing a book … so what the point of the new blog will be is to explore all avenues of self publishing through experiences, professional knowledge and plain old talking it out.  It will be part forum, part resource center.  Nothing will be off-limits … and every question will be addressed head on.

I will build a directory of freelance professionals, and unlike on this site where I feature only those I’ve worked with, The Indie You will welcome everyone to sign up and list their skills-for-hire.

The Indie You is rough right now, but, I will be focusing time in the coming days to launching it.

So …

While I’m building the site, I’m also opening the door for communication.  This is what I’m looking for right now …

– Are you a cover artist or editor? Formatter? Offer another important service? Interested in offering your time to be a beta reader?  E-mail me at theindieyou@gmail.com and let me know, you’ll be added to the list of resources.

– Are you an independent author with a story to tell?  E-mail me at theindieyou@gmail.com and let me know, I’d love to feature you.

– Have questions you want answered about self-publishing?  E-mail me at theindieyou@gmail.com, I will be more than happy to open them up for addressing.

Stay tuned for the official launch … needless to say, I’m excited!

 

 

Like Me–I’m On Facebook!

It’s official!

I started an author page on Facebook to give everyone a chance to connect with me and live chat.  You’ll be privy to spur of the moment comments that may otherwise not make it onto the blog.  You can find the link to “like” me on on the right hand margin.  I’ll be doing giveaways and making announcements as THE MILESTONE TAPES prepares for release!

Like me and join the fun!

It’s Just A Little Crush…

Author Katherine Hawkings is featuring me on her blog today for my unrequited love of Stephenie Meyer as part of her “Girl Crush Mondays” guest blogger series.

Such an honor!  I’d like to thank Katherine for the platform and encourage you all to visit her site.  It’s a little rehashing, a little unashamed glowing and hopefully–it’s all relatable.

…On A Spooky Note….

I recently did a guest appearance on Spirited Worlds … during the month of October Ruth, the blog owner, has been kind enough to the host ghost stories of other authors to put us all in the Halloween spirit.

Swing by, get scared and say hello!

About the Blogger:

Ruth Barrett is the author of the book BASE SPIRITS, a gothic horror story set both in the shadowy past of the 1600’s and present day. BASE SPIRITS is available for purchase on Amazon.