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Writer Mom Life Episode 4: Amy Maroney and Editors and Beta/ARC readers

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It was great to talk to Amy Maroney about her author journey, which is a bit different than what you usually see in the indie conversation. She’s set a 5 and 10 year plan, and it will be several years, not months, between her books. However, she is still meeting her financial goals, and has set high ones in the future that, even if she doesn’t meet them, will push her to go further than she’d have otherwise dared. Everyone’s journey is their own, and Amy is a great example of ignoring all the noise and focusing on what you want to (and can) do right now.

 

In the tips section, J. R. gives some ideas on how to use your skills to help others and bring in additional writing income, as well as the difference between beta and ARC readers.

 

After a brief moment of gushing about Nick Stephenson’s accent, Amy and Daphne go on to talk about more serious things like:

 

  • Why she’s okay with not having 1000 subscribers yet

  • How much she’s making per month

  • Her long-term goals

  • Her work before writing fiction

  • How beta reading can help you hone your skills

  • How much writing time she gets in with 2 teenagers in the house

  • Her slow approach that isn’t often seen in the indie world

  • Genre impacting how fast you can publish (= historical fiction takes a long time to write. It just does)

  • Mentors and who can be one

 

Amy's links: 

Her book can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Oto-Amy-Maroney-ebook/dp/B01LWAHC4H (it looks soooo good you all!)

 

To find out about the research behind the book, receive a free prelude, and get news about the sequel, sign up for her e-mail list at her website: https://www.amymaroney.com!

 

 

J. R.'s tips and links:

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  • If you have some talent in any of those areas we mentioned last time: editing, cover design, formatting, etc, you might consider hiring yourself out to help other authors and earn some extra money to invest back in your own books!

 

How do you know if you know what you're doing? Answer these questions:

  • Do you have any kind of professional training in graphic design, copy writing, creative writing, or formatting?

  • Do you have a lot of hands on experience with any of these, even if no formal education?

  • Do OTHER people constantly tell you that you're good at any of the above?

  • Do family, friends, coworkers or random strangers often come to you for help in any of those areas? (And do they offer to pay you for these services?)

 

If the answer is YES to any of these questions, you are well on your way to having a marketable skill!

 

Next, find other people offering the same type of services and take note of the following:

  • How much do they charge for these services?

  • How are the services broken down into levels or categories?

  • Do they seem to have a lot of clients? (Look for reviews or testimonials or portfolio examples)

 

Then, model your business structure off of the successful ones, only make it even BETTER! ;)

 

Editors vs. Beta Readers vs. ARCs!

 

WHAT DO BETA READERS DO?

  • They read your book BEFORE you publish, but AFTER you do a first round of self-edits.

  • They are NOT editors.

  • You should have beta readers, but don't have to.

  • They may point out typos or help with very basic proofing.

  • They will read your book AS A READER WOULD.

  • Don't get too many beta readers! And don't have even numbers!

  • Recruit people who read your genre!

  • Remember that beta readers are not always right. Consider their feedback carefully, and weigh what to take to heart and what to ignore.

 

Where do you find beta readers? 

  • Offer to do a beta reader swap with another author 

  • Reach out to readers on your mailing list

  • Call in favors from family and friends (but only if they can commit to reading!)

  • Ask in any Facebook author group, such as:

  1. Our Writer Mom Life FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/978873795588257/

  2. A daily word sprinting group, Motivated Pigeons (we mostly use FB chat feature, but if anyone wants to join, join the group and we can add you to the chat!): https://www.facebook.com/groups/1659741007664425/

  3. Are you an LGBT author or do you write LGBT books? You NEED to join Queer Sci Fi: https://www.facebook.com/groups/qsfdiscussions/

  4. Sterling and Stone's Smarter Artist group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/smarterartist/

  5. Jaime Raintree's the Motivated Writer: https://www.facebook.com/groups/powerwritinghour/

  6. 20Booksto50k, full of successful indie authors: https://www.facebook.com/groups/781495321956934/

  7. Bryan Cohen's Selling for Authors (very helpful for feedback on book description, blurbs, etc): https://www.facebook.com/groups/509197505915958/

  8. Katie Cross' Indie Author Life group (not exclusive to parents, but there are a lot of them!) https://www.facebook.com/groups/indieauthorlife

  9. 10 Minute Novelists (great for writing motivation and craft questions!) https://www.facebook.com/groups/10MinNovelists/

  10. An Alliance of Young Adult Authors (Feedback Fridays and Tuesday Teamups are awesome for well, feedback and teaming up for promos) https://www.facebook.com/groups/YAauthoralliance/

 

WHAT IS AN ARC READER?

  • An ARC reader is an Advanced Reader Copy reader

  • An ARC reader is NOT an editor

  • An ARC reader will be the person who reads your book RIGHT BEFORE you publish it (usually they will be given an early, free copy of the book - the Advanced Reader Copy - thus their name)

  • ARC readers help you promote your book AS SOON AS it's published by leaving reviews on launch day, sharing the buy link to social media, and spreading news of your book release by word of mouth

 

How do you find ARC readers?

  • Ideally, these should come from your mailing list

  • If you don't have a mailing list, call in favors from friends and family (again)

  • You can also check the author FB groups listed above

  • Some of your beta readers may also like to volunteer as ARC readers

  • NOTE: you can not force or demand  that someone review or share your buy link, even if you give them free books! It's all on the honor system!