Written by Chanel Faye
I started reading the romance genre in my early teens. I fall in love with book boyfriends and stayed up to the early morning reading until the main characters got their happily-ever-after. However, most of the heroines were white woman falling in love with man from different cultural backgrounds and race. Though I loved the books, it frustrated me because I wanted to read a romance that had a heroine that I could identify with, and read about a black woman being desired, wanted and loved. It was in my late twenties when I discovered books about black women, written by black women, and I loved it and wanted more of it.
Writing Hollywood Love
When I got the idea of Hollywood Love, I knew I wanted to contribute to diverse romance. The heroine would be a black woman on her journey towards love and her male character, Alex, happened to be white.
The first image of Hollywood Love I had in my mind was the meet-cute between Jordan and Alex in the coffee café. The story haunted me until I had it all written. At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to publish it, but I loved the story so much I knew I wanted to share it. I bit the bullet and first published the story on the storytelling platform Wattpad. The story received favorable reviews from readers on Wattpad and that’s when I got the inspiration to self-publish.
Researching Self Publishing
When I realized I wanted to self-publish, I went into research mode to see how to go about it. I joined writer groups on Facebook.
The Facebook groups, Writing Gals, 20BooksTo50K and Self-publishing Support Group were informative on the importance of professional editing, an on-genre cover for your book, keywords for your genre (if you are publishing on Amazon) and marketing. The information from these groups was invaluable in my self-publishing journey. I also did free online courses, such as Kindlepreneur and David Gaughran.
Journey To Publication
I realized the importance of strengthening my storytelling skills and this led to me looking for a critique partner on CritiqueMatch.com. After I felt I had edited the book to the best of my ability, I looked for an editor on Facebook to do my copy/line edits. To find the right editor for my manuscript, it was important that I requested sample edits from them to see if they could keep my author’s voice while editing my manuscript. While looking for an editor, I also searched for a cover for my book. I knew that a professional cover will attract a reader to click on my book and an edited book will help me give my readers an enjoyable read that will allow them to focus on the story I was telling them.
Budget wise, I opted to buy a premade cover instead of commissioning a custom made one and I had a payment plan with my editor. A writer friend from a discord group did the last step of proofreading my manuscript. The entire process of the idea of the book to it being ready to be published on Amazon took me two years. It was a huge learning curve I’m happy to have taken because I know that with my second book, I’ll be a bit wiser than when I had first started self-publishing.
My Author’s Brand
Forming an author’s brand and having a marketing plan was also a steep learning curve. I learned I needed a website before I even published the book. I learned I had to get a domain name, have a web hosting platform and create a website, which I learned to do by watching YouTube videos.
I also had to have a mailing list for my newsletters for any subscribers garnered from my website and newsletter promos I would join from platforms such as StoryOrigin and Bookfunnel. All these are important for marketing a current book and any future books that I would write.
To make readers aware that I had a new book that was about to be launched, I formed a Facebook page for my author’s name, in which I promoted my preorder and also joined book promotion groups on Facebook. All these were extremely helpful in bringing attention to my preorder, that even though I was an unknown author, I got six preorders for Hollywood Love.
The Release Of Hollywood Love
Leading up to my book launch and release date, I did a social media blitz on my author accounts with graphics and a call to action to buy my book or read it on Kindle Unlimited. So far, I’m happy with results from the social media campaign.
The next steps in my author journey are learning more about Amazon Ads, Facebook Ads, Bookbub Ads to continue marketing Hollywood Love to romance readers and working on my second book, a romance suspense book titled Cooked.
More From Chanel Faye:
My website: www.chanellfaye.com
Amazon link to my book
Hollywood Love: http://Amazon.com/Hollywood-Love-curvy…/dp/B093Y1ZWJ9/
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