Posted in Author Interview, Dreams, Writing, Writing Wednesday

My journey as an indie author – Guest post by Kellyn Roth

Hello everyone!

I’m so excited to have Kellyn Roth guest posting about indie publishing as part of her blog tour for Souls Astray. So without further ado, here’s Kellyn:

Hey readers!

Kellyn Roth here. I’m the author of Souls Astray as well as the rest of the Kees & Colliers series (and some other books, but they’re not the ones we’re talking about). I independently publish these books—which basically means I’m the publisher.

I’m in charge of writing and revising the book like every author … but I’m also in charge of hiring editors and cover designers, formatting it, deciding on the pricing, picking publication dates, and all the media stuff that comes along with it.

Being an indie author is far from simple—nor is it easy or immediately lucrative. But it’s also a very real form of publication that’s becoming more and more popular.

So today I’d like to share a bit about my journey to becoming an independent (or indie) author! It’s not much of a story, I’m afraid, but it might be helpful if you’re considering traveling down this path yourself.

Well, I started writing when I was six or seven, but I only got into it when I was twelve and finished my first longer project. Since then, I’ve been writing like a maniac.

Then I decided to publish my first novel, The Dressmaker’s Secret through Createspace (now Kindle Direct Publishing for both paperback and ebook). Now, I did this in a highly unrecommended way—with no professional cover designer and no editor and no preparation. I put the book out on January 10th … and realized that I’d missed a lot.

The first thing that hit me was marketing. Putting my book out there. Getting on social media. Sharing about my book. If you don’t build a platform, you won’t sell books—that’s the simple truth of it.

I was pretty stressed. There was a lot for me to go over! But perhaps, thought I, it’s doable. So I dove in and got started.

I primarily had my blog, Reveries, to start with, and that was a good start to my marketing. Writing for Reveries gave me a good idea of what I wanted to say, what my writing voice was like, and how I could talk to people (both through the posts and comments).

This first social media I got was Goodreads, a site for readers which allows you to rate, review, and otherwise keep track of the books you read. I got signed up for an author profile, and I primarily used it to connect with other readers—no book marketing involved. Just to share my love of reading with the world. That’s the only way to go about it. You can find my profile here.

After that I got Facebook. Now, remember this for Facebook: always create a professional author page and use that for marketing instead of your personal profile. Mine can be found here. It took some convincing, but my parents eventually came to understand how vital it was for my chosen career.

Next came Twitter followed by Instagram. Both are very useful platforms, though I’m still figuring out how to use them, I’ll admit. I love Instagram but will never be very professional on there. I’m still playing with Twitter. Honestly, it might not be for me.

Another important form of marketing is … email marketing! I use MailChimp to put together an email list/newsletter (you can subscribe to mine here) and offer some free ebooks to subscribe. Then I get to send info about my books straight to their inboxes!

Then there are street teams. A “street team” is a group of people who agree to help you share about your novels (usually in exchange for free ebooks or along those lines). My street team is called Readers of Reveries.

So those are some of the things I did to launch my career as an indie author. But a lot of it is just hard work, being a good citizen of the writer community and trusting people to help you out in return, and sticking to it.

A couple other things you can do is find a group of indie authors who write in your genre and get to know them and learn from the pros as well. But of course perseverance is the most important thing. Stick with it, keep learning, and you’ll succeed!

Thank you so much Kellyn for your awesome tips!

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour here and read her books😊

Here’s a quick teaser of her book, Souls Astray:

Posted in Book Reviews, Writing, Writing Wednesday

Sex, Purity and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart

Hello everyone!

This spring, I’ve been so honoured this month to be part of the launch team for Girl Defined’s third book, Sex, Purity and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart.

And, oh my goodness, it’s a book that every woman, young and old, should read.

So without further do, here is the blurb of the book.

About the book:

For the modern Christian woman living in today’s sexually charged society, embracing God’s design for sex and purity can often feel like an impossible pursuit. As the culture seeks to normalize things such as pornography, erotica, and casual sex, both single and married women of all ages feel immense pressure to conform. With alluring temptations constantly inviting them to join in, they might even begin to question whether God’s design is truly good. They wrestle with questions like

– What is the purpose of my sexuality?
– What does it mean to pursue purity?
– Are my sexual longings good or bad?

In this encouraging book, Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal share honestly about their own struggles and victories, and invite women on a personal journey to discover and reclaim a biblical vision for their sexuality. Kristen and Bethany help women understand why God’s design for sexuality is good, relevant, and leads to true hope and lasting freedom

My review:

Oh. My. Goodness! There were so many questions I had about where to learn about sex and purity in the Bible, but I never knew where to begin. Kristen and Bethany not only showed where to read about those topics, but also EXPLAINED what it means.

Talking about sex and purity on church can be awkward at times because you don’t know people’s past stories, and people can be very frightening about the whole thing . Kristen and Bethany clearly knew this because they made their book a very comfortable space to ask questions and get them answered.

Having them open up about their own past sexual struggles was really inspiring and comforting, because knowing that they, who are now huge inspirational figures for Christian women, had dealt with sexual struggles meant that I along with others will never be alone with overcoming issues.

And finally, how can I talk about this book without mentioning the amazing message of grace and redemption. Even as a Christian girl, when I mess up, sometimes it takes a while for me to realise that God has truly forgiven me, and I don’t have to live with my head down because I’ve repented. This encouraging message is talked about so well, and I know that other girls will be blessed by this too.

So who is this book for? It’s for any Christian girl and woman 12/13 +( with parental permission if you’re under 14 simply because of the topics that are covered, e.g. lust, sex etc.) who want to go deeper into God’s Word, and also get their questions about sex and purity answered from other Christian women who’ve been there. And most importantly, it’s for Christian girls and women who need a reminder of God’s amazing grace and forgiveness.

So go and order the book! You’ll be very blessed by it. And check out Kristen and Bethany’s website Girl Defined for more articles on what God’s design for women is, and how we should deal with issues in the 21st century.

Note: I received this boom free in exchange for an honest review