Sparks' Notes: Weekly Writing Reflections by Author Lindsey Sparks

Episode 22: Endless To-Do Lists, Chronic Illness, and Facebook Ads, Oh My!

January 03, 2022 Lindsey Sparks, Lindsey Fairleigh Season 1 Episode 22
Sparks' Notes: Weekly Writing Reflections by Author Lindsey Sparks
Episode 22: Endless To-Do Lists, Chronic Illness, and Facebook Ads, Oh My!
Show Notes Transcript

Happy New Year! I'm Lindsey Sparks, author of books featuring hidden worlds and twisted myths. Welcome to my weekly author's notes podcast! This episode was recorded on Monday, 1/3/2022, and I would love to share some of my reflections from this past week with you.

Echo in Time
Starter Library for newsletter subscribers

With beta readers: Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars (Fateless Trilogy, book 1)

Eye of the World (Wheel of Time, #1) by Robert Jordan, narrated by Rosamond Pike

The Tomorrow War

New year, new podcast!

The joys of chronic illness...

WACKY GOOGLE SEARCHES (in the Name of Authoring): 
N/A - not writing or editing this week

Facebook Ads!

...are plentiful!

Crushing my to-do list!

Hi there I'm Lindsay sparks, author of books that include hidden worlds and twisted myths. Welcome to my weekly authors notes podcast. Today is Monday, January 3rd, happy new year. And I would love to share some of my reflections from this past week with you. Okay. So as usual, uh, the current free book that I have is echo in time which is the first book in my paranormal romance time travel series. Called the echo trilogy. And also you can get all of my series starters for free in my starter library by signing up for my newsletter and the link for that is in the show notes. So that includes echo and time after the ending ink, which legacy of the lost and also sacrifices the centers and resonance the two novellas. So yeah, definitely grab those. If you don't have them already, those are all in ebook form. Okay. So my current work in progress is song of scarabs and fallen stars. There are no new updates on this really. It's still with beta readers. This is the last week, uh, that the book is with beta readers and Yeah, I'm, I'm excited to get the feedback. I guess there's one little update. So I did, so I think last week I had had my first bit of feedback on the first half of the book. So now I've had my first bit of feedback on the whole book from a different meter reader and she had like one tiny thing. But nothing just like about, uh, something that I repeated that got a little bit redundant, I think so that's it. So I'm really excited to get the. Uh, remaining feedback from the beta readers. And I'm hoping that revisions are not going to be too intense. Uh, so that would, that would give me that would, if I could get through the revisions early, then I could start the out-loud read-through early which would be really fun and exciting. And I've been going back and forth about, well, I'll probably, I'm not sure if I'm going to do it, but I've been thinking a lot about it. So I think I might. Read it I might have. So I started a discord server for my readers, you guys, uh, and I, uh, I'm in there. I'm like, you can listen to me work, usually just typing. But I'll talk to you if you're, if you're in the in my writing cave with me, which isn't one of the channels in there and I am like, you could listen to me right now. I'll I'm recording, but I am thinking I'm probably going to have just like let people, if they want to listen to the me read the book out loud. Because I mean, you would have to like really rearrange your schedule to like get in there. Every time I'm reading it. So I don't feel like anybody would be able to. I mean, I think it could be fun, you know, people can just hop in and, and hear some if they want, I will, of course give a spoiler morning. Yeah. I dunno, we'll see, probably most likely I'm leaning toward it. Another thing I'm probably going to be doing well, I guess I'll put that as my high. I didn't type that in here, but I'm really excited about it. So I'm going to add it even though it hasn't actually happened yet. And, uh, that's a little bit of a teaser for what's to come later in the episode. Okay. Anyway I am currently reading LA haven't read any more of this than I had last episode. So I'm still the very, very beginning of I, of the world. The first book in the wheel of time series by Robert Jordan narrated by Roseman pike. And nothing against it or her. I just haven't had any time I've been well I have, I have had time to listen to things, but I have been listening to a lot of podcasts, author podcasts, and marketing and admin, or not admin, but marketing podcasts and craft podcasts for authors. Just because those fit with kind of the phase I'm in right now with trying to like crush my to-do list for all the marketing and admin things for my author business. So that is what I have mostly been doing. And we are watching we're finishing up the final few episodes of the latest season of Yellowstone. Which it's very rare for us to be watching a show while it's being aired. And then I think we're going to probably start the spinoff 1883. And see if we like that. Uh, we like westerns, so we'll see. And then we also watched, well, two movies. We watched the tomorrow war which in terms of time travel, I feel like was the like time travel paradox. Was very illogical and didn't make any sense. I guess extremely paradoxical. It, to me, I was like that, no, but it was super entertaining and we did enjoy it. So the illogical part of it didn't really matter. And then we also watched most of no time to die. Then I think it's the newest James Bond movie. And I was so tired that I wasn't even able to able to finish it. I don't feel like I can give an honest like recommendation or not have that. I don't know. I mean, maybe the bond movies are just not, so I guess here's one thing, even though he didn't finish it, I am going to just like, Go into it a little bit. My husband and I both agreed. We were like, we felt like it was referencing stuff that we didn't understand or know like that were maybe from previous bond movies. And that frustrated me because I had always felt like bond movies were supposed to be one of those things that you can watch, like all on its own. You don't need to have watched. It's not like a Marvel movie where you're going to be confused. If you don't understand the. The references from the previous movies. So that was a little bit I don't know, annoying and maybe part of the reason why I didn't push through my tiredness to finish it. I'm not sure. And let's see here. So my highs this last week were well, does, is I always feel like I get a little bit of a rush. Starting a new year. So it's 20, 22. It is the third day of 2022. And I am feeling very excited about this year. I'm putting all my plans together for writing and my business and just the things I want to do this year with my books. W which is exciting. And one of those things is the thing that one of the things I'm most excited about this year, besides song of scabs and fallen stars, which I'm really excited about I'm really excited about getting that one out to you guys. But, uh, I am pro this is like 99.9% sure that I am going to be starting a new podcast. And it is, uh, going to be me because who wouldn't want more of that? Uh, I don't, I don't know if you would or not. Uh, but apparently I like to talk lots. And I don't get to do that a lot. Except for two, my one-year-old and my three-year-old, uh, but I love reading out loud. I love reading my books out loud. My out loud read through is that, which is one of the final phases of my Like book production process is one of my favorite things to do. And so I decided I am going to record and podcast myself reading the first books in each of my series. So, uh, I'm probably going to start with echo and time and, uh, it'll be kind of like what I did with all world online, except for that one was written specifically to be podcasted. So. I will break up the book into chunks and I will record them and really SIM probably weekly. And I'll do it in seasons and each season will be a different, uh, of my first book. So I'll do echo and time in which legacy of the lost all probably do sacrifice of the centers. And. But, I mean, maybe I'll do a sacrifice of the centers. I'll probably do song of scopes and fallen stars. But I probably wouldn't get to that until next year. Like thinking about time constraints and stuff. Uh, and I would maybe do after the ending, we'll see if Lindsay Pogue is okay with that. And then I want to talk to some other of my author friends and see if they want to come on and write. And they can kind of either have their own seasons if they want to read their whole book or they can, uh, be kind of like in between seasons if they want to just read a few chapters. And so I think it could be really cool. I've found some, some great new readers through the all world online podcast which is just me reading one of my books. And I. It's I really, really enjoy reading my books out loud and. Nice to see that people like to consume my books that way as well. So I'm really excited about it. And I would say, keep an eye out or an ear out for that, uh, in a few months. Okay. So my, my low this week was it wasn't a surprise or anything. It was a scheduled medical procedure, but I don't think I've talked about this before on the podcast or if I have, I don't remember doing it. But I have a chronic. Condition chronic illness, uh, which is called Crohn's disease. It's an inflammatory bowel disease, which is the most glamorous kind of a condition you can have. Let me tell you that. Anyway, uh, uh, it is, comes with very exciting things like regular colonoscopies. So I had to have that this last. Which comes with lots of fasting and preparation and is just not fun. And also comes with, uh, increased, not fun. Part of just like having my whole tummy. You feel upset afterwards from the cooler. So the only part about it, that's kind of fun is the sedation. So I've never had surgery or anything like that. And so I'm totally fascinated by the like sedation process. And it's just a really weird feeling. I don't know. Uh, but my nurse who was sedating me, I mean, this is, I know how TMI this is. Sorry, but I'm gonna keep going. My nurse told me that apparently this is not funny, but she told me that the sedative that they use for me. So it's like, uh, they want you to be awake so you can. Listen to them and respond, but you don't necessarily remember. And she said that the sedative that they use is actually one of the commonly used date rape drugs, which is fascinating. But not, not like the main one. I'm not sure what it is. But yeah, so that was really interesting to learn, uh, and just. I don't know if you have a chronic illness or a silent disease. Uh, I feel, yeah, like it's can be really frustrating and I wish you the best of health. Yeah, so. I don't have any wacky Google searches for you this week, just because I'm not writing right now. I am just purely in the admin marketing phase. And my Google searches are super boring at the moment. This week's obsession, uh, is a marketing thing. So Facebook ads, I am currently in a course, uh, for authors, which is called author ads intensive. And, uh, this is a new course for me. I've previously done other ones. So this has been, uh, just helping me kind of refine my, some of my marketing, uh, tactics or strategies. Probably strategies is the right word there. Uh, so I'm just having, having, uh, I do enjoy, I do enjoy the creative process behind advertising and Enjoying figuring out new ways to reach new readers. And I guess the thing that I like about it is it comes with the fun part of like looking for looking through stock photos of, uh, like really pretty like magical looking like women floating through the air and also super hot guys. So you know who doesn't like looking through lots of pictures of those things. Next week's goals. There's lots and lots of them. Because I guess it's this week this week's goals, uh, there are lots and lots of them, uh, and I need to cross off all the stuff on my to-do list before I get into revisions of song of scabs and Paul and stars. So I have one week, one week left, and these are the main things that I need to do. I need to. At least get roughly outlined and start lining up some of the things I need to book for the song of scabs and fallen stars, uh, release. So it's probably going to be something that's going to span all of March because the book is coming out on March 29th. So I need to figure out all the stuff that I'm going to be doing leading up to that, to keep everybody getting more and more excited about the book. And then figure out what I want to do to celebrate the release. So that is one of my main things that I'm going to be doing this week. Uh, another one is I really need to update my bookshop, which is, uh, located in two places and located on my website, which is where you would be able to find it. And it has also like the inventory that you see in my bookshop is. In my office, which is behind me. I mean, I'm in my office, but the bookshelf that has all this stuff is behind me. And I need to, I need to update, like to give, put an actual inventory in there. I need to look into some like shipping stuff because. I'm really frustrated with how much people have to pay for shipping. And I need to figure out if there's like a way for you guys to just get a better deal on shipping, because it seems ridiculous to me that it is so expensive, but I'm having a feeling that it's probably because books are heavy. And even when I do like the flat rate stuff, it's still expensive. So I'm trying to figure out ways to make that better for you. But I also, the other thing I want to do is I want to add set up a way for you to. You readers, anybody to buy e-books and audio books through my website instead of through a third-party platform like Amazon or Barnes noble. Uh, so that is part of that update bookshop task. Uh, and then I also need to come up with my 20, 22 social media plan. So there's a few things that I know I'm going to be doing. I know I need to be better. Actually like post stuff on Facebook and Instagram. Because I know there are people who follow me there and they don't want to join a newsletter or they don't want to join a Facebook group. And I don't want them. If you're one of them, uh, I don't want you to think that I don't care. Uh, and I do. It's just like a lot of stuff. So I am trying to figure out what exactly I want to do with each of those platforms. I also, you know, just as I'm sitting here whining about like so much stuff to do I also am going to be taking a course on Tik TOK to see how I can add that into my kind of like bag of tricks. And I think it would be. I'm thinking that I will find it fun. I have heard that it can be a huge time suck but we'll see, uh, video is fun, right. So we'll see how it goes. The courses I have, uh, there's like a challenge and of course that I have signed up for, and both of them are targeted or are aimed specifically for authors teaching. They're like to teach authors how to use Tik TOK. So hopefully I'll be able to find a way to do it. That won't be like too all consuming. So I don't fall into like a black hole of tick-tock. And, uh, but I am excited about that. I think it could be, could be really fun. I know for a fact that last summer, I think it was last summer. It might've been the summer before last, but I'm pretty sure it was last summer. I don't know, I could be confusing my years. Anyway, one of the last couple of summers, uh, a book talker found echo in time and did a video talking about it. And that book started telling lots and lots and lots of copies, which was really neat, but it was also really confusing to me because I didn't know why it was all of a sudden selling so much because I hadn't done anything differently. So I am excited to experiment and see what I can do in there to engage with you guys, and to engage with new readers. Uh, yeah. So I think that'll be fun. And oh, I also, this is like probably the number one thing that I need to do. I need to write the book description for a song of scabs and fallen stars. And when I say write the book description, I mean, write out the synopsis and talk about all the like tropes and describe the characters and all that stuff. And then send it to the people that I hire to write my book description, and then they'll write it. And then I will get it back and I will go through it because I like am a control freak, and I will go through it and probably change it up a little bit. But it's just nice to have somebody else do the first draft of it. So I can like somebody who specializes in writing this kind of thing, because it's a very different kind of writing from like writing a whole book and like figuring out how to. Attract the right readers, the people who are going to actually like really love the story without giving away the whole story because you don't want to spoil it for people. So yeah, so those are the big, huge tasks on my to-do list. And I really thought this was going to be a quick episode, but apparently it's not. So, okay. What am I looking forward to this week? The last thing I am looking forward to just totally crushing my to-do list. I've already crossed off a lot of things. I've added a lot of things, but I am just really excited about really just like just crossing things off, like crazy. So I am. I'm hopefully going to get everything done. But at least I'll get the things that I just mentioned done. Those are the big ones that really really matter. So I think that's it for me this week. Thank you so much for listening. I will be back next week to ramble some more and until then, happy reading.