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Happy Insecure Writer’s Support Group Wednesday. Thank you again to Alex J. Cavanaugh, the creator of the group. The first Wednesday of every month is dedicated to this group of supportive writers. If it’s something you’re not familiar with, then please click on Alex’s link above for more information and to sign up!

Well another month has flown by. I can’t believe it’s already February. I don’t have as many exciting things to report as I would’ve liked. My final book in the Lorne Family Vault series, Archanum Manor, will be released on Friday. I had wanted to be well into my first draft of my next book by this time, but my schedule seems to keep slipping. I’m a little disappointed with that lack of progress. And I think part of this lack of progress lends itself to insecurity. I’ve kept busy with a lot of author related tasks, but the writing keeps getting pushed down the list. Procrastination plain and simple. I feel like I’ve been working late every night, but I have no words to show for it. I need to rectify that this month.

So instead of writing, I started experimenting with Facebook ads to grow my mailing list. After some ad tweaking and landing page adjustments, I was able to average approximately $1.00 per subscriber. I would like to get that number down to $.50 or below, but $1.00 per subscriber is a decent starting point. I also did some experimenting with Twitter ads. The cost per subscriber was better on Twitter, but the open rate of my emails is very low. So I’ve stopped with Twitter to focus on Facebook. Soon I’ll start testing out Facebook sales ads and see if I can turn a profit, which will hopefully help leverage the amount I’m spending on list-building ads.

Another cool thing is that this is my first dictated blog post. I set up Dragon NaturallySpeaking on my laptop and bought a new microphone. My little studio is all set up and now I just need to work on my speaking word flow. Definitely an adjustment. And right now I’m speaking slower than I type. I knew this would be awkward at the beginning, but with some daily practice, hopefully I can get over the learning curve in the next few weeks. And hopefully by next month, I’ll have some real word count successes to share.

Last and certainly not least, last week I signed up to attend the Smarter Artist Summit, put together by the authors of the Self Publishing Podcast. It’s going to be held in Austin, Texas, at the end of March. Two full days of self-publishing submersion with top names in the industry like Joanna Penn and Nick Stephenson. I’ve been listening to some of their podcasts over the past year, and it’s going to be interesting (and intimidating) to meet  these successful authors in person. The thing that really excites me about this conference is that it will have a max of 200 attendees. A fairly small group. Great for networking. I’ve been hiding behind my computer screen for far too long. It’s time I get out and meet some fellow indie authors in the real world.

Well, that’s my report card for the month. Inching forward with my author business, but stagnant with my writing. I probably deserve a C+ (which always reminds me of A Christmas Story). I definitely would like a better self-assessment grade next month. Starting new story ideas has been my biggest challenge. What about you? What has been your biggest challenge for the first month of 2016?

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