Be Intentional

Be Intentional. If you do nothing, then nothing will happen.


Tony C, Franklin

6/17/20243 min read

Be Intentional. If you do nothing, then nothing will happen.

This is a six-month review of being a published author.

June 15, was six months since I released my first novel, Programmed to Steal, which I refer to as PTS.

I felt a little down this morning and asked myself, "What have I learned as an author?"

1. I released PTS 'Wide' on December 15, 2023. Wide means not exclusive to Amazon. This required setting up Amazon, Google Play, and Draft2Digital accounts, and learning how to format and upload the document to each distributor.

2. I learned how to set up an author website. Three actually, the first two didn't do what I needed them to do. Free is not always the best option.

3. Monday Motivationals became a blog. I post them on my website and Facebook each Monday.

4. Then I set up an Author Facebook page to post authorly things.

5. Learning to use Canva to make Facebook headers, book covers, etc. has been fun.

6. I released The End of the Road, 'Wide' but I have since pulled it back and it is exclusively on Amazon's KU and KDP.

7. I have used Amazon Ads, without success, so I need to keep learning and tweaking. (Keywords, categories, blurbs, and book covers are much more important than I realized. See, I'm learning.) I will experiment with The End of the Road on Kindle Unlimited to learn more about running Amazon ads.

8. I completed the first draft of my third book, and now have it back from the editor for revisions. This will become Fall From Grace, Avenging Angel - Book One.

9. I released an audiobook of PTS. It is now available on Google Play, Spotify, and Kobo.

In Review - There is a program called Couch to 5k designed to help non-runners go from not running to being able to complete a 5k (3.1 miles) race in 8-10 weeks. It's not designed to make you an elite runner. Its only goal is to get you across the finish line.

Comparing my author experience to the couch to 5K program, I've crossed the finish line twice. I've learned a lot of new things and made improvements along the way. I may never be an internationally elite author, but maybe I can become an author who entertains and makes a little income along the way. I will cross the finish line (publish more books) a few more times, and each time I will strive to improve.

Wow! That's a lot in six months. But, wait - it took me four years to write the first book. I learned a few things on that four-year journey. As soon as I published the first book, I learned there were many things I didn't know. The big thing I didn't know was marketing, therefore the learning continues.

The big lesson is to be intentional. If you do nothing, then nothing will happen.

What will happen in the next six months to complete the first year as an author?

1. I will set up my author email newsletter.

2. I've set the release date for Fall from Grace, for Sept 31.

3. I need to find a few beta readers. Any volunteers, please reach out. (Based in Heber Springs, Arkansas, Fall From Grace is about a young couple who just want to fall in love, but they get pulled into her Game Warden dad's deadly feud with some outlaws.) Beta readers get to read the book first and help find last-minute typos, or plotholes that need to be fixed before release.

4. I need to find ARC (advance reader copy) readers, to get early reviews on the release day/week.

5. Then I need to set up more Amazon and Facebook ads to promote the release.

6. Setting up a Bookfunnel account for beta readers and ARC readers to download free versions of Fall From Grace is also necessary.

7. I need to test and complete the Tagline, blurb, and book cover for Fall from Grace.

8. I want to finish writing A Little Bit Pyscho, Avenging Angel - Book Two and release it about six months after Book One.

9. The Painted Pine, a novella, is a side project based in Ashley County, Arkansas. I hope to finish it by the end of the year.

And those are just the big things on the To Do list. More things will pop-up, they always do. Am I going in the right direction? I don't know, but I have a map. Sometimes it seems to be written in Russian. I'm still following it, though. I know where I'm going. I'm just not sure about the names of the stops (lessons) in between.

So be intentional. If you do nothing, then nothing will happen. If you fail, it's a lesson on how not to do things. If you succeed, it's a lesson well learned.

Have a great week,