Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Lonely & lost in Cyberspace: An Indie Author's Return to Networking

A year ago I was announcing the nearing launch of my first Young Adult novel, 'Units'.  Unfortunately there was a huge delay in my commitments to finish the book and at one point I wondered if I would ever look at it again.  And for a long time, I didn't.  But you know how a good story grips you and you simply can't put it out of your mind?  'Units' was exactly that.

I have fallen back into my text editor, where life around me stops for a short time whilst I indulge in the life of my protagonist, Pearl.  I have finally found the new journey in which the book is about to embark on and I can't wait, myself, to find out what happens in the end for my girl.  I've somehow connected with the characters in a way that actually surprises me.  They are clearly figments of my own imagination and yet I feel that I know them as beings in their own rights.

Indie Author, Networking Indie Author, Dystopian, Dystopia, Self Publishing, Dystopian Young Adult Fiction, Book Reviews, WAHM, YA Fiction

What's been hugely difficult for me since returning to writing is not so much the story.  In fact, that part is refreshing and growing more mature as the recent days pass.  It's networking that i'm struggling with now.  I had already began building a small audience for the release of my first dystopian works and have since lost them over my long drawn out break.

Returning to Twitter, I am seeing the same familiar Twitterers I remember from a year ago, but I'm now feeling somewhat like a ghost, unable to reach out to them and I'm afraid I'm already forgotten.
It's not a good sign for my book, which last year had people excited, curious and waiting patiently to be the first to read my dark & daunting book.  When I started networking about my upcoming novel, I was surprised to see the level of interest.  It confirmed I was on the right track, that perhaps I could release a story that would be loved by readers all over the world.  Queue celebratory music.  I imagined the potential future of 'Units' being a success after seeing several people had added it to their 'to-read' list on Goodreads and few had already commented expressing their interest in what I had to offer.  Tweeting a sneak peek into the first chapter of the book had quickly escalated into more than few re-tweets and here I am now, desperately hoping it can pick up again.

I wonder now how I pick back up with all of this, finding it increasingly difficult to find a spot in cyberspace to lay down the roots of my future as an indie author.  I'm conflicted by which face to address my fans.  Should I blog and tweet from here, my blog that's all book related, or do I start a blog for my book alone and network from there?  Do I tweet as myself or as 'Units'?

So for now I feel that whilst I regain my audience, I'm best to stay put here, where it all began with a love of reading and connecting with other like minded people.

I'm here *waves* and waiting for my welcome back parade, but until then, i'll settle for a cup of tea and a natter.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Blog Me Beautiful

Blogger Design, Blog Templates, Premade Blog, Custom Blog, Blogger XML, Cute Blog Templates, Etsy Design, Blogspot Design

Print Me Prettiful primarily sells printable wall decor and stationery.  But you'll find on my Etsy store, that I also make and sell Blogger templates and elements too!

Blogger Design, Blog Templates, Premade Blog, Custom Blog, Blogger XML, Cute Blog Templates, Etsy Design, Blogspot Design

With prices starting at just £12.00, you'll find the start of a small collection of affordable templates that are perfect for everybody over at my Etsy store.

Blogger Design, Blog Templates, Premade Blog, Custom Blog, Blogger XML, Cute Blog Templates, Etsy Design, Blogspot Design

My Blog kits are full of pretty elements with most of my templates include the following:

> XML Template File
> Customised Header
> 4 Page Navigation Links (e.g Home, Contact, About, Links etc.)
> 4 Customised 'Follow' Labels (e.g Facebook, Twitter; Pinterest, Instagram etc.)
> 5 Customised Sidebar Labels
> Blog Background
> Customised 'About' Image
> Installation Tutorial (psst... It's super easy to do!)
> Blog Post Title Icon

Blogger Design, Blog Templates, Premade Blog, Custom Blog, Blogger XML, Cute Blog Templates, Etsy Design, Blogspot Design

I absolutely love designing blogs. Our online webspace is something that's personal to us and the use of design is what sets our blogs apart from the rest so it's important to really enjoy the look and feel of the space in which you use to reach out to others.

Don't be worried if you have no knowledge of blog design.  All of my templates are super easy to install and come with a complete tutorial on how to do this.

Blogger Design, Blog Templates, Premade Blog, Custom Blog, Blogger XML, Cute Blog Templates, Etsy Design, Blogspot Design

So if you're in the market for a blog template that's affordable, pretty & easy to set up, do stop by the Blog Me Beautiful section of my Etsy store and feel free to contact me for something a little more customised if this is something you would prefer.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Print vs Printable

It's been an exciting start to business.  Since launching the store last month i've been busily creating new items, networking with other seller's, bloggers & fans and experimenting with what works best for my customers.

When Print Me Prettiful was launched, the immediate plan was that i'd sell my designs digitally, enabling my customers to print their items at home.  The reason I chose to do it this way were simply because it kept costs low for my shoppers, especially those who live over seas.

After some reflecting, I decided half way into my first month of business that I actually wanted to sell my designs as physical prints.  I rearranged my Etsy Store first, changing prices accordingly, adding postage and feeling content that my shoppers simply ordered and received their prints with no hassle.
But I noticed shortly after doing this that my listing views lowered & sales stopped.  Working from the UK, it became evident that many of my customers were from the USA and my hefty postage costs were putting buyers off.

See, ordering a digital printable isn't actually a big task at all.  Once your order is complete, you have two easy, affordable options.  Most computer users have a printer so home printing is great and there's no waiting. Once you click to print, it's instant.  I always recommend premium weight paper is used (minimum of 200gsm) but majority of printers are capable of printing my designs in a beautiful way and you've saved many weeks waiting for your print to arrive in the post.

There is another option too.  You can take your digital file to a local printer and have your artwork printed professionally and quickly too whilst still saving money.  Alternatively, you can even upload your digital file to an online printing site that delivers locally and again, you're saving money and time compared to the costs and waiting times for me to deliver the print to you in a physical form.

So being true to the original idea of print Me Prettiful, I have changed my listings again. My prints will continue to be sold as printables and stay affordable for everybody.