Chapter Book Challenge Update – Nearly there #ChaBooCha

Chapter Book Challenge 2016

Chapter Book Challenge 2016

It’s nearly the end of March and things are going really well. I have two stories that are progressing well, but the biggest surprise of all happened last weekend.

Last Thursday, I ran the usual Teen Writers Group at the local library and we had some Easter goodies as writing prompts. These included eggs, bunnies, chickens, and hot cross buns. I started writing a story called “The Great Easter Egg Disaster”, just for fun.

When I got home, I decided to keep writing. I had a chat with my friend, Julie Anne Grasso, author of the Frankie Dupont Mysteries, to get some tips on writing a mystery, and then kept writing.

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Review Copies of your book

Review copies of your bookThis is a marketing tip I did last year, and plan to do when my next book comes out (marketing has been a bit quiet this month while I’ve been working on my book for the Chapter Book Challenge).

With every book you publish, put aside a certain number of books that you can send to reviewers. These can be either print copies or ebook copies.

Sending review copies can help your book get reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, on blogs, and the print media, spreading the word about your book. Reviews are a great way for readers to discover new books.

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Attend an Event

Attend an eventOver the weekend, I attended a competition run by Speedcubing Australia as part of the Arnold Classic Australia. I’m not really into cubing, however my 14 year old is. Last year, he challenged me to write some stories that feature kids who are cubers (people into solving a Rubik’s Cube). I am working on this at the moment and the first of these books is due to be published in the next couple of months.

This event was great research for one of my Chapter Book Challenge stories, as well as being an enjoyable time with my son.

I was also able to talk to people!

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Chapter Book Challenge 2016 – The first two weeks #ChaBooCha

Chapter Book Challenge 2016

Chapter Book Challenge 2016

I can’t believe this years Chapter Book Challenge is half over! If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know I usually write a blog post with my progress each week! For some reason this year, time has slipped away.

At the start of the month, I had two stories I wanted to work on. One was a new Green Oaks Primary School story, and the other was one I was playing with last year, then for some reason, another idea popped into my head last week!

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Submit to an Anthology

Submit to an AnthologyFor anyone who has followed this blog, you will know that I have stories in a number of anthologies. I haven’t been paid for any of these, though I am able to sell copies from my website after buying them at wholesale.

In general, anthologies will allow you to have a bio either with your story or in the back with all the other authors, and this includes the URL to your website.

As well as the bio, this is a way to share samples of your writing with a whole new audience as anthologies will be distributed to people you may not easily get in front of. With most of the authors involved promoting the anthologies through their networks, as well as the publishers promoting them, the books will reach a wide audience.

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Be interviewed on radio

Radio InterviewsLast week, I responded to a call out from Vision Christian Radio. They were looking for some Australian Christian authors to interview. I responded and was interviewed last Wednesday! It was a lot of fun chatting with Matt and Richelle, and reading a section from my book Swallow Me, NOW!. You can listen to the podcast on their website here. (It’s in the tab that says “Afternoons with Matt Prater”)

While this interview may not have directly resulted in sales, I did see a spike in traffic along with some new likes on my author Facebook page. It was also a whole lot of fun!

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Be interviewed on YouTube

YouTube InterviewsI’m in the process of planning the launch of my next book, as well as about to start the Chapter Book Challenge, so the next few marketing ideas will be ones I am booking in ready for launch in May.

One thing I’ve just booked is to be interviewed on the Nat Cubes YouTube channel. Quite apart from the fact he’s my son and he inspired the book, it’s also a channel that reaches a lot of people who are in to cubing, and it’s steadily growing. He is also active in the cubing community, so it’s a great way to reach potential readers who would like to read a book about a kid who solves the Rubik’s cube.

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Getting ready for a Challenge!

My first ChaBooCha winner badge!

My first ChaBooCha winner badge!

I’m so excited. In a matter of days, the 2016 Chapter Book Challenge kicks off. For anyone who doesn’t know about this, it’s a challenge held every March to write the first draft of a children’s or YA novel in a month. I have been participating since 2012 and have used my first winners badge in this post because I’m too excited to wait for this years images to be ready to post about it!!

Last year was the first year I didn’t complete a full manuscript, however the following month I did. That story is about to be published! We are aiming for a 12 May launch.

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Share Sample Stories

Share Sample StoriesIf you’re anything like me, you have a stash of small pieces of writing that has been done for workshops, challenges, or just for fun. Use these stories as part of your marketing plan.

I have an Author Site, and I’ve decided to share a story on the first of every month. For purposes of this blog series, I’ve back dated the first story! You can read it here. This was one I have previously published on this blog and I’ve edited it slightly.

One of my aims is to showcase a variety of stories. They are stories that may have been published elsewhere, for example on my blog, or may have been written as a fun exercise. I figure they may be used as promotion for my writing.

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Weekly, monthly, or….?

How often...?

How often…?

If you’ve been following this blog a little while (at least since the start of the year), you’ll know I’m challenging my self to do more book marketing/growing my platform this year. (You can see what I’ve shared so far here.)

There are a number of promotion things on my list that would be regular things, such as sending a newsletter, or posting on my author website. One thing I’m trying to work out is how often to do these things.

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