Episode 55 – How Does Imposter Syndrome Affect Your Writing?

People who struggle with imposter syndrome believe that they are undeserving of their achievements. They feel that they aren’t as competent or intelligent as others, and someone will discover the truth about them. It’s that nagging feeling that you aren’t good enough or that you fall short compared to those around you. People in the highest, most successful positions can suffer from imposter syndrome.

Most people can be affected by imposter syndrome to a greater or lesser degree. Comparing ourselves to others can limit what we can achieve.

When do you experience self-doubt?
How does imposter syndrome manifest itself to you?
What kind of things are you telling yourself?

Episode 54 – Get More Book Reviews

How to get more book reviews

Book reviews are important for all books, but especially so for self-published books because most sales are online. Whether you are a new or an established author, one of the hardest things to do is to get readers to leave a review of your book. After all, it takes time and effort to post a review, and most people are too busy trying to fit everything into their day. So how do authors get reviews?

First of all, what are the different types of review available to an author? An internet search identifies many websites that offer professional reviews of individual books. There are even options to pay for or arrange your own virtual book tour.

Writers can even try to get experts in their field or famous authors to endorse their books.

ARC reviews

An advanced reader copy (ARC) is a pre-published, almost-complete version of a new book that is circulated to people who read it before print. These might be professional reviewers and book bloggers, or readers. Advanced copies allow people to read the book before the publication date so their reviews can coincide with the book’s debut.

Amazon Reviews

When it comes to selling books online, it’s Amazon reviews that can make or break interest in a book. However, Amazon is keen to ensure that all reviews are genuine and this affects, which results in reviews disappearing or not being accepted at times.

Use of External Services

There are many external sites, such as Booksprout and Story Origin, that aim to grow ARC teams and mailing list and help authors get more reviews.

We’d love to hear about your challenges or triumphs in getting reviews.

Episode 53 – The Wonders of Beta Readers

What are beta readers?

Beta readers review finished manuscripts before they’re published and provide the author with feedback from a reader’s point of view. They can answer author questions, such as, which characters are interesting and since beta readers highlight issues writers become blind to during the countless revisions. They can identify where a reader would be more likely to stop reading or where the pacing doesn’t work.

How to find beta readers

Friends and family can be beta readers probably the easiest people to ask but they may not be the best. If they don’t normally read the same genre as the manuscript, they may be overly critical of the wrong elements or they may be reluctant to be honest. Readers groups or swopping manuscripts with other writers might be a better option.

Qualities You Need in a Beta Reader

  1. Your beta readers should enjoy reading and not see it as an academic exercise.
  2. Preferably, they should read the same or a similar genre.
  3. Your beta readers need to be reliable and able to work to a deadline.
  4. Your beta readers need to be willing to be honest and you may need to encourage this by being grateful for all feedback. This is not the same as acting on all feedback.

Episode 51 – Newsletters

Every author needs a mailing list, which means sending out regular newsletters but how do you decide what to include? Does your audience want personal facts or an insight into your daily living or should you keep things professional? This is something Marielle and I discuss in episode 51.

Episode 47 — Kanban for Writers

In this episode, Mariëlle explains how she has started to use a Kanban board to keep a track of her projects and enhance productivity.

What looked frightening to me and Mariëlle referred to as a monster, turned out not to be so scary when I understood the various sections. If you dream of the perfect planning system, this episode is for you.

Designed by a Japanese company to keep track of productivity, Kanban is used to organize individual writing projects with the option to develop it to serve as an overall production schedule.

For authors with multiple books, it aids tracking or for those with a single project; it breaks down the writing process into manageable chunks. If you tend to take on too much, use it to reduce the chance of becoming overwhelmed.

Marielle developed her ‘crazy’ version of the Kanban to incorporate long-term goals and planning for the year. We plan to review the process in spring 2021 to see what worked well.

If you want to know more:

Kanban for Writers: Organise book releases, revisions and more with the project management boards

Daily Kanban for Writers: Managing big picture projects, tasks and works in progress day to day

How to set up your Kanban board to reach your writing goals in the next 90 days

Have you used a Kanban? If yes, did it meet your expectations? If not, do you want to give it a try?

Episode 46 — Planning for 2021

I’m blaming Lily (pictured) joining our family as the reason for failing NaNoWriMo this year. Although, it’s not over yet so who knows.

In this episode, Mariëlle and I talk about the process of business planning for 2021.

Yearly plans serve different purposes. They are a tool to moderate expectations or to increase productivity.
Any plan must be flexible for those unexpected curveballs life throws at us. Ultimately, a new plan allows for a period of reflection.

In the next episode, I will ask expert planner, Mariëlle, questions about her Kanban Board to discover if there are elements that might be useful to a tentative planner. So, if you have any questions, leave them in the comments below and I will ask her.