2020 update & resources for indie authors

Howdy!

I hope your 2020 is off to a fabulous start. Mine certainly is. My last day of work with my former employer has passed, so I am completely freelance. That’s right, I am a FULL TIME author now!!! 🎉🤩🎉🥰🚀

I’m thrilled to finally be able to focus 100% of my efforts to my writing and editing career. It’s a daunting task, to be sure, but I have the full support of my amazing husband.

This decision was not made quickly or lightly. It’s still difficult to discuss the details, but suffice it to say that our family suffered a tragic loss last year, one that spurred my husband and I to make some big life changes. 2019 was a time of massive upheaval, but I think – I hope – things are settling down now. My bearded half and I are devoted to our new endeavors, and although more change is definitely on the horizon, our hope is that we’ll be able to meet it with smiles on our faces.

SO! What does this mean for the Catalyst Moon series? Well, only good things, as far as I can tell. I’ve been able to spend a ton of time editing book 4, and it’s still on track for a Spring 2020 release. I’m thinking late April or early May.

If you’re interested in being an ARC reader (ie: getting an advanced copy of the book to check for typos/errors, and also leaving a review once it’s live), then please drop me a line: lauren@laloga.com

(If you’ve been an ARC reader in the past, I’ll be in touch soon! 😁)

If you or anyone you know has any editing needs (I prefer to edit genre fiction, but am open to anything!), check out my info page here: https://laloga.com/author-services Or just contact me at: lauren@laloga.com

Other goals include but are not limited to:

  • more informative blog posts about writing, story craft, editing, indie publishing, etc.
  • more posts with actual fiction/story content
  • more/better marketing for Catalyst Moon
  • writing stuff OTHER than Catalyst Moon (I love it, but sometimes I just wanna write fluff)

Is there anything you’d like to see on my blog? Let me know! 😊

Okay, on to the resources. These are a few of the valuable websites and tools I’ve discovered on my indie publishing journey. I hope you find them useful!

In no particular order:

Evernote: I use this for taking notes, as it syncs across my various devices and is SUPER easy to navigate. I like the free version just fine, but they have various tiers.

Reedsy: Holy cats, formatting my books was a HUGE headache until I discovered Reedsy. They have a formatting tool that’s quite basic, but the end result is clean and professional. Plus it’s easy for an Elder Millennial like me to navigate so 👍👍👍 They also have a ton of listings for editors, graphic designers, and a slew of other professionals.

BookFunnel: I’ve been trying to grow my email list and thus my readership, but Facebook ads just weren’t cutting it. Another indie author turned me on to BookFunnel, and I haven’t looked back. It’s a little cumbersome to get the hang of, but I have managed to get a bunch of new email subscribers (howdy, y’all!) and hopefully turn some of them into readers. You do have to pay for this service, but so far I’m quite pleased.

NotebookAI: Okay this is one I’m not using a TON right now, but I think it will be useful when I start planning the next series in earnest. It’s a way to organize worldbuilding ideas (settings, characters, etc.) and seems fairly intuitive. The free version has been A-OK for my purposes.

Pixabay: Great resource for free images you can use in ads, blog posts, or wherever. Easy to use, plus they have a decent selection.

Wonderdraft: This inexpensive map making program has a bit of a learning curve, but I think I’m getting the hang of it. If you’re creating worlds, I think this is worth looking into. In addition to creating maps for fantasy novels, a lot of folks use it for role playing games. 🤩

Fiction University: This blog by author Janice Hardy is FULL of amazing information about all things writing and publishing. I’ve come across a lot of writing advice in my time, but much of it sounds the same. Hardy actually gives new info (new to me, anyway) and troubleshooting tips, plus she assesses other folks’ writing on the blog itself (with the author’s permission), so we can all see what works, what doesn’t, and most importantly, WHY.

Helping Writers Become Authors: Another blog, this one by K.M. Weiland. Like Fiction University, this one is also full of great tips, tricks, and actionable writing/story crafting advice. Weiland also likes to break down popular books and movies (like her Marvel Storytelling series), which is super helpful when one is studying story theory.

The Creative Penn: Chances are my fellow scribblers have heard of Joanna Penn, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention her here. Talk about a treasure trove of information! Joanna is an indie publishing goddess who has over a decade of podcasts, blogs, interviews, books on craft, and more available on her site. Seriously, she is amazing and I cannot recommend her enough!

Okay, that’s it for now. I have ideas of creating a music-themed post, wherein I share my favorite playlists to write to, plus the various Catalyst Moon playlists I’ve created. (Yes, there’s one for each book. 😁)

Take care and stay awesome,

Lauren