#WriterWednesday March Edition of the Boost Your Brand Challenge 

If you’re anything like I was when I started writing, you were ready to write, ready to see sales, connect with readers, and see some of the action that everyone was saying social media could take me to the next level. 

Only that didn’t happen right away. 
It didn’t happen until I started making an organized concerted effort to Boost My Brand. Now I’m sharing the tools that I used to Boost My Brand. 
Are you tired of having a headache? 
Low engagement and low sales making you doubt your skills or the reason you even started writing?

All the marketing gurus telling you stuff, but not telling you how to implement? 

That means it’s time for you get creative and Boost Your Brand. 
Take control of your branding and marketing efforts while having fun is truly possible. You don’t have to do what I do the way I do it, but you can learn the tips and tricks that have helped me create a thriving author brand. 
“This challenge was so power packed..Nigeria Lockley truly delivered value…no fluff and made me discover ways to boost my author and inspirational brands that I didn’t know before.” Abigaelle Coly, February Boost Your Brand Participant
Doors are now open for the March 17 Ways to Boost Your Brand Challenge. Doors close on the 16th and we start promptly on the 17th. Get in where you fit in and prepare to #GetyourInheritance
Small action leads to big success. Building your author brand, marketing, and promoting it won’t be easy especially when you either do a smattering of things here and there or take huge sweeping actions and then stop. 
I know you just want to write the books; that’s all any of us want to do. However, there’s this moment where writing the books  isn’t enough and you actually want to sell the books. 

Before sales can kickoff you have to tackle brand recognition. If that’s been your struggle then I have something for you. 

The 17 Ways to Boost Your Author Brand in 2017 Challenge. 

Take this 17 Day challenge: 

  • Boost your brand’s visibility. 
  • Increase your brand’s promotional efforts effortlessly.
  • Increase engagement.
  • Increase your brand’s influence and income.

On 3/17 the Challenge kicks off, but you can register now.

That’s low investment of $34 will yield high returns. By Day 2 she had 3 months of content. 

3 Months of Content 😲😲😲
Blog content being written and published. Immediately!
I gave her a road map for her funnel.
Transform your mindset about promoting and marketing your brand. 
Branding and marketing doesn’t have to give you a headache. 
Searching for and connecting with your ideal audience shouldn’t feel like attending a series of several bad blind dates. 
Stop feeling under dressed for the occasion.

Jump in and take the challenge. Click here to take the 17 Ways to Boost Your Brand in 2017 Challenge
When you sign up for the Brand Challenge you will gain access to my secret group Make Your Mark. 
I hope to see you on the 17th. 

#WriterWednesday Boost Your Brand Challenge 

Small action leads to big success. Building your author brand, marketing, and promoting it won’t be easy especially when you either do a smattering of things here and there or take huge sweeping actions and then stop. 

I know you just want to write the books; that’s all any of us want to do. However, there’s this moment where writing the books  isn’t enough and you actually want to sell the books. 

Before sales can kickoff you have to tackle brand recognition. If that’s been your struggle then I have something for you. 

The 17 Ways to Boost Your Author Brand in 2017 Challenge. 

Take this 17 Day challenge: 

  • Boost your brand’s visibility. 
  • Increase your brand’s promotional efforts effortlessly.
  • Increase engagement.
  • Increase your brand’s influence and income.

On 2/17 the Boost Your Challenge kicks off, but you can register now using code: vday to take $3 off and take the challenge for $14

That’s right $14. A low investment that will yield high returns. Transform your mindset about promoting and marketing your brand. 
Branding and marketing doesn’t have to give you a headache. 
Searching for and connecting with your ideal audience shouldn’t feel like attending a series of several bad blind dates. 
Stop feeling under dressed for the occasion.

Jump in and take the challenge. Click here to take the 17 Ways to Boost Your Brand in 2017 Challenge
When you sign up for the Brand Challenge you will gain access to my secret group Make Your Mark. 
I hope to see you on the 17th. 

#WriterWednesday How to Create in Chaos

When life seems to be throwing obstacles faster than a batting practice machine do you drop you pen or have learned how to create in chaos? If you’re an author who just stops and plunges themselves into the throes of life rather than write this Wednesday it’s all about you. 


Creating in Chaos

1. Commit to yourself. In order to create in chaos you have to make a commitment to yourself. When you’re life is falling apart brick by brick you still summon the strength to show up at your day job. Why not commit to showing up for you? Your writing is a necessity. 

2. Consider the consequences. What is going to happen if you don’t create? If you hate  your 9 to 5 shutting down is only going to keep you there longer. If you don’t create, right now what would happen? What would that mean for you, your bottom line, and your career? 
3. Take the parameters off. Just sit down and write something. Often we stop working because we’re afraid of the quality of the writing during those chaotic moments in our lives when in all actuality this might be the moment that our new and truly artistic self could be born. Forget about judging the work just create, so that you keep yourself fresh and you don’t have to work so hard trying to restart when this moment is over. 
Are you an author that’s able to create in chaos? Share your thoughts and experiences with us. 

#WriterWednesday I’m Into Distribution: Do You Need to be in a Bookstore to Sell Your Books

Why did you become an author? To sell books or see your books in a bookstore? We all want distribution, nationwide distribution, but does being in a store actually sell your books? 

With my latest release, Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion, I attempted to answer my own question. I didn’t do what I would typically do, put it on sale through Ingram for distribution purposes, instead I put it on sale on Gumroad and directed all traffic there. 

Initially, there were only a few pre-orders, but since it’s release at the end of October I’ve sold almost 100 books and shipped them across the country and internationally. Now maybe to you 100 books isn’t a lot, but since according to Bookscan most books don’t sell more that 250 copies within the first year of its release I’m good. 

So, do you need major distribution? According to one my students if your book isn’t in stores then you’re not doing good. You may be of a similar mindset, but that’s the wrong mindset. If a bookstore doesn’t have my book when a customer asks for it they lost a sale. While I’ve built in exclusivity for my book and I am able to keep a majority of the money from the sale. 

A bookstore doesn’t sell your book, you sell the book, your marketing efforts sell the book, readers who recommend your book sells your book. With the whole world at your fingers, literally it’s time for you to be like me–I’m into distribution. 

Is this what your dream really is?

Why sell your book to a bookstore for a deep discount with no guarantee that the book will ever leave its shelf? If you can partner with an independent bookstore that’s going to help you move the books great, but if your book is just going to become another book on the shelf–I wouldn’t recommend it.

I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to the traditional model. My ebook will still be available on Amazon, but I’m enjoying the liberty (and my dinero). 

You may be wondering what I’ve been doing to move Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion. Well, I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing: 

1. Praying. I made sure this book was soaked in the Holy Spirit. 

2. Working my marketing plan. 

3. Praying. 

Now if you need help any of these I got you–Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion: Prayers for Creative Christians and Entrepreneurs will teach you how to pray over your passion instead of slaving over your passion and if you want to work with me on your marketing, writing, or both book a Publishing Pow-Wow NOW and #getyourInheritance 

So, what’s it going to be? Is it a must for you that your book is seated on a shelf in a bookstore or are you open to exploring your option? 

#WriterWednesday Coach, Consultant, Strategist–Same Difference, right? 

With the flexibility of online learning and more and more authors opting to self-publish we also have the emergence of writing coaches, consultants, and strategists. If you’re not familiar with business then it all sounds the same and it seems like you don’t need any of it, but  it’s not the same difference. Most likely you will need or want to work with a coach, consultant, or strategist. 

Why? 

Writing may be an art, but publishing is a business and if you plan to sell your art you’re going to need help. 

So, let’s breakdown the difference. To make this very clear, I’m going to treat each one like a relationship. 

Coach–Long term relationship 

If you hire a writing coach or business coach you two are in it together for a long period time. 

Your coach will deal with the whole man. Besides helping you set up systems for your business they will make sure that you have a mindset for success, hold you accountable, and offer encouragement at the same time. 

This relationship should be fruitful. Your offspring will be–a plan of action and your coach will even assist you in implementing the plan. 

Consultant–The one night stand

First of all saints, don’t worry I haven’t lost my mind nor am I promoting fornication this is merely an illustration. 

The consultant has one job to do and they are in and out. You probably will not be getting a call back neither will you be receiving emotional support and mindset management beyond your initial evaluation and the consultation. 

A consultant has one job to do. 

Consult. A writing consultant will review some or all of your work in progress, provide you with feedback and respond to your immediate concerns and after that they’re gone. 

In terms of your business, they will review the parts that are non-functioning or malfunctioning, for example your marketing or branding. Next they’ll teach you a new strategy to jumpstart that broken piece and provide you with a plan to enact the strategy or strategies laid out. They may or may not do a follow up call after implementation. It’s entirely up to the consultant, but they are not obligated to remain on board throughout the duration of the project or roll out of your marketing plan. 

I like to be supportive, so most often I operate as hybrid of a coach/consultant. 

Strategist–That guy/girl you have in the friend zone. 
A strategist has the ability and potential to be so much more, but you just want the good time and smooth sailing they can offer. 

You tell the strategist your problem and they hammer out a solution with exact steps for implementation. Clearly, this person understands the business and could do more, but that may be all they’re offering or that may be the only service you want or need from them. 

So, which one is right for you

1. Do you know any thing about business? 

Yes, then you may only need a consultantation to become an indie powerhouse. 

No, then invest in a coach who will tell you over the course of a few meetings things that you’re going to spend hours researching on Google. 

2. Are you intrinsically motivated? In other words are you a self-starter or do you need a push? 

For the self-starter a consultant or strategist is all you need because you’ve already got things up and running, but your systems aren’t working well. Most likely once you get some solid directions you can move forward. 

If you’re not a self-starter and tend to fall apart or don’t follow through on your own, you need a coach standing on the sidelines calling the plays to you. 


You need someone who will see this project through and that’s what a coach will do. 

Ultimately you know yourself and your commitment to the success of your book(s) and writing career. If you plan on succeeding make the investment in one or all (of course you can start with me)

I want to hear from you. Was my dating analogy good? Have you ever worked with a coach, consultant, or strategist? What was your experience like? 

#WriterWednesday 3 Ways to Set YourSelf Apart From the Pack

To be a successful published author you don’t have to do what everyone is doing. Of course there are experts out there that say you must do it exactly this way in order to replicate my success. The question is as an author did you go into publishing to be successful like them or a successful version of yourself? 

Embrace what makes you different as an author. 

Own it. 

Do it intentionally. 


It might make a few people upset, but if there was only one way to do right, if there was only one way to tell a story and make it successful we probably wouldn’t have the Gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each author owns there style–Matthew is an author of precision, Mark is the king of brevity, Luke though he is a trained physician is an expert in writing informally, he writes like he’s just telling a story to his homeboy, John is poetic with his parallelisms. 

There are many ways to own your space within your genre: 

1. Your book covers. Three authors I can think of you use their book covers to stand out from the rest of the authors in your genre are: 

Adrienne Thompson, a romance author whose book covers are typically artistic, handdrawn reflections of the story or characters. 

Click for more info on this author

E.N. Joy, writes Christian Fiction and her book covers are as distinct and dramatic as the stories she crafts. 

Click for more info about this author

Unoma Nwankwor writes Christian Romance. Her covers always depict a unadapted hero and a beautiful heroine that could easily be you or me. 

Click for more info about this author

2. Stand out with style. Like the writers of the gospel make some intentional stylistical choices that set you apart from the pact. You can write heavily episodic pieces, great conversational pieces, be the sultan of sultry, or the queen of sass. Do something that will help the readers recognize your voice. What’s your writing super power?

Can you twist a plot like Brian W. Smith

I deliver grit, realism of the city streets, and our urban architecture, which sets me apart from a lot of other Christian Fiction authors whose books are primarily set in southern cities or don’t give their setting a large role in the story. 

3. Don’t just be one dimensional. Create interactive social media profile across platforms incorporating some of your other strengths. If you’re very visual use Pinterest to build worlds connected to your novels or poetry. Use YouTube to vlog–you can review, rant, or express your ideas verbally, go LIVE and give your people a chance to interact with you and your content in real time.  Or take your readers on shopping trips with you via Instagram or Snapchat stories like I do (don’t forget to follow me on IG). If you need help using Instagram to promote your book and build your brand click HERE to download 5 Free Tips for promoting your book and building your brand using Instagram. 

So, what is it that makes you distinct from other authors within your genre. What can or what do you offer readers that sets you apart from the pack?

#WriterWednesday: Tackling Theme

So, it’s onto the fourth book for me now and I thought maybe I should try outlining now. Children of God is a different type of story for me. Each one of my books (Born at Dawn, Seasoned with Grace, Tempted to Touch) have been stand alone books, but none of them have ever been set in the midst of an external conflict.

Children of God is set in the Dominican Republic and will deal with the ramifications of the governments antihaitianismo (anti-Haitian prejudices) which led to a massive overhaul in citizenship status of the Dominican Republics Haitian residents. Particularly this summer. Many Haitians and Dominicans of darker complexions were sent to Haiti (voluntarily and by force). I usually don’t write such charged literature, so I figured I’d need an outline.

Outlining is terribly stifling to me and time consuming when I have so little time to write as it is, but upon engaging in this activity I discovered in addition to the characters and conflict a writer must have a theme in mind that they want to work with it.

Theme is the illusive element of the story that teachers use to torture students with and any good con-artist posing as a student can use it to trick a teacher into thinking that they’ve done some great analysis of a story with the right blend of evidence from the story, but what is theme really for an author?

Tackling Theme

Generally theme is considered the message of you want readers to take away from the story, for example Love conquerors all. When you work in a particular genre there are often themes that are associated with that genre. I write Christian Fiction. Stories in that genre don’t just honor morality, but often take a biblical theme like there is healing in forgiving someone and expound on that using the narrative.  

Sevgiliye
Theme- the message hidden within the text.

Let’s elevate the status of theme. Instead of theme being shoved into a car that is driven a character with a huge personality or flaw or riding on the back of a motorcycle with a crazy plot what if theme became the driving force of the novel? What if when outlining and planning we crafted scenes that would illuminate theme?

As I attempted to outline Children of God the less I thought about conflict and plot and the more I thought what’s the point of this? What are the characters supposed to get from these experiences? What is the reader supposed to get from these experiences? 

Now, in true Neophyte Author fashion I can tell you that I have some working themes. Will they remain I don’t know because when I write I’m never writing alone I’m working with the author and finisher of my faith, Jesus and His will must supersede mine. 

Exercise

What is the theme of your most recent work or WIP? 

Name at least three scenes that develop this–try finding one from the exposition, climax, and denouement (or around there)?

How would you reconstruct those scenes or what would you add to them if you had planned the story with executing the theme as your main objective? 

How can you use this thought process to influence your next piece of writing?

 

#WriterWednesday: Periscope for Writers Branding and Building a Community

Just when you think you’ve gotten a handle on your social media management another app pops up. I’ve never really done a post about social media before, but I really want to talk about this new app, Periscope ( I LOVE IT).

What is it?

Periscope is an app for streaming live video. As you record your followers can tune in. They can comment on the broadcast periscopeas you stream and they can share your broadcast with their followers on Twitter or their followers on Periscope. Within the app the replay of your broadcast is only available for twenty-four hours. There is another app called katch me  or periscopevault.com in which your broadcasts can be replayed. 

Is it for Writers?

Yes!!! It’s your own channel. You can talk about your books, talk about writing, talk about crocheting. Whichever way you use it make sure that your scopes are consistent with your brand. I write Christian Fiction, so it would be totally crazy for a viewer to log on and find me on there talking about how worried and stressed out I am. I’ve basically been dividing my ‘scopes into book ‘scopes and my faith ‘scopes. I am not too technical with my ‘scopes, but there are several others who you should follow that are using Periscope to build there brand and share their brand message. 

Building a Community

Since Periscope is so new you can establish you own community and expose your work to new readers. Periscope is not dependent on your Facebook friends following you or your followers from any other network. This is a place for you to network with new authors and readers. Hashtags are currency on Periscope. Add hashtags to the title of your broadcast to put yourself in front of new a readers. Be sure to engage with the viewers as they comment on your post. 

I Don’t Want  to Set Up a New Account

You don’t have to. Periscope is connected to Twitter. You don’t need to establish a new profile and every time you ‘scope the app automatically sends out a tweet to your followers. So, you don’t have any excuses. 

Who to Follow

So, you want tips on using Periscope. ]If you’re on there already but expand your network and community or you want to get a feel for the app before actually ‘scoping follow the people below. Of course you’ve got to follow The Neophyte Author.

@NewNigeria

Tiphani Montgomery @TiphaniMontgomery (entrepreneur)

Shelley Hitz @shelleyhitz (author coach)

Lashaunda Hoffman @SORMAG (author coach and book promoter)  

Are you on Periscope? Drop your handle below and what you ‘scope about in the comments.

#WriterWednesday I Know It’s Only Monday

I’m trying to get my life together, as many you of you know the writer’s life will have you all over the place. 

your vote matters phrase handwritten on blackboard with heart symbol instead of O

I’m currently planning my #WriterWednesday posts and I’d like to know what you want to know or have questions about. Of course, I might not have the answer, but I may know someone who does and as The Neophyte Author I know how important it is to receive a healthy blend of inspiration, motivation, and practical information. 

In the comments tell me what writing issues would like to see address for the remainder of August and  the month of September. 

#WriterWednesday: When Inspiration Strikes or Not

This is a late night edition of #WriterWednesday, but if you’re anything like me this is when you get your best work done. That is if you feel inspired, but what happens when you’re not feeling it?

I’m going to tell you what to do when you’re not feeling it. Treat your writing like your faith–keep walking anyway. As Christians we walk by faith and not by sight. It doesn’t matter what we see or what’s going on around us we’re supposed toGood idea stand. What do you think you’re supposed to do with your gift? Only write when the muse strikes or when you’re wearing your lucky green socks?

No…don’t worship the muse or wait for the muse that is idol worship. Worship the Lord, who is the giver of every good and perfect gift, in spirit and in truth and watch the words flow. Watch how you’re fingers fly if you just sit down and say “It’s not me, but it’s in you, Lord and I want to be used by you no matter the time–day or night and regardless of how I feel.” 

How do I know that this method will work? Because I’m doing it right now. I wasn’t feeling it. I wasn’t inspired and I have nothing to say, but I want to be consistent (as a good blogger should be), I want to be encouraging to new authors and share what I am learning (I am The Neophyte Author, right), but I don’t want to sound like a broken record either rehashing all kinds of lessons on writing that are available all over the internet. So, as I tried to think of what to write about this Wednesday I said a prayer and left my computer alone. I went about my day the way I normally do (pick up Boogie from camp, eat dinner, and hit up Bible Study).

Now it’s after ten and I said this night will not end with me offering something. In this moment the Jesusmet me (that’s the Lord I’ve been referencing if you want to get to know him see the What Must I Do to b Saved? page) and gave me these words. Don’t trust your gift, talent, or calling for they come without repentance (God gives you what you need to be who He wants you to be before you’ve even considered serving Him), but trust in the one who gave it to you. Yield yourself to him and do what you have been called to do, share your gift, and cause your talent to be multiplied and bring the bounty all back to him. That means work in spite of feeling inspired work as unto Him and He will take care of the rest.