Indie Author Weekly

140: Welcome back! Author update and the future of this podcast

March 28, 2023 Sagan Morrow Episode 141
Indie Author Weekly
140: Welcome back! Author update and the future of this podcast
Show Notes Transcript

WELCOME BACK to the Indie Author Weekly podcast! We went on hiatus back in December 2021, and we are finally ready to RELAUNCH this podcast! Woohoo!

In this episode, we discuss…

  • More details about WHY we went on hiatus for such a long time (15 months rather than our originally-planned 2 months).
  • Update on what Sagan’s been up to in her author life over the past year — book writing (several books), planning and mapping out 24 book ideas, self-publishing updates, working through imposter syndrome, and joining TikTok for book promotional purposes.
  • The future of Indie Author Weekly (what to expect, both from the content and logistics)

WIN BOOKMARKS featuring Sagan’s novels when you publish a review of any of her books between now and April 30, 2023!

All you need to do is write and publish a review of any of her books on Amazon, Goodreads, Kobo, etc (any book platforms of your choice), and then email hello[at]saganmorrow[dot]com with the link and your mailing address — and then Sagan will mail you bookmarks!
Resources & links mentioned in this episode: 

Let’s chat about this episode:

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Hello and welcome to the indie author weekly podcast, where you get to hear about the behind the scenes journey of my adventures as an indie author. I'm your host Sagan Morrow, and since 2016, I have written and published seven romantic comedies in the polyamorous passion series, plus several business books for solopreneurs.
This is episode 140 And we are back I am so excited to be here. Today, because we took a hiatus from the indie author weekly podcast quite a while ago.
What was initially planned to be about a two month hiatus roughly turned into a 15 month hiatus. It has been a while and it feels so good. So good to be back here. So in case you're new around here, back in December 2021, I announced that I was going to take a break from this indie author weekly podcast, and I said, you know, it'll probably be for a couple months I didn't want to put a particular timeframe on it. And it is now March of 2023. And we are finally returning hooray. Oh, I'm so excited. I'm so excited. So in this episode, because it has been a while I just kind of wanted to give you an update on why I decided to pause it why decided to go on such an extended hiatus with this with this podcast.
I also want to share with you an update of what I've been up to with my author life over the past year, year or so. And then I want to give you an update a little preview of the future of this indie author, weekly podcast as well. I have little giveaway that I'm doing and I want to share that at the end of this episode. So definitely stay until the end. Okay, so let's begin with why we paused indie author weekly in the first place.
Now I explain some of this back in episode 139, or previous episode of the indie author weekly podcast. So you can tune into that app Sagan But let's today expand on some additional aspects, some additional reasons for why we paused it that I didn't really address at that time. Okay, so there's a few things that were going on there. One of the things that was happening, one of the things that I found that was something I was kind of struggling with back, you know, 15 months ago with the podcast was that I was doing episodes here on indie author weekly for the wrong reasons. I was really creating episode, content and publishing episodes for the sake of it because it's called indie author weekly, rather than because I actually wanted to do it. So I really wanted to make sure that I was releasing them on a weekly basis. But if I wasn't actually keeping up with my with my book writing then I kind of felt like oh, I don't really have anything to share. So then I was kind of just scrambling and trying to figure out something to share on the podcast, rather than doing it because I actually had something that I truly wanted to say. So, that is something that you know, in my in my other the other component of what I do for my work is that I am a coach, specifically around anti hustle productivity and success and life coaching and solopreneur coaching. So I teach a lot through that lens of anti hustle productivity about making sure that we're being very strategic and intentional with things, not just doing things for the sake of it. So when I kind of saw that I was really just going through the motions and releasing episodes for the sake of it. I was very much thinking okay, you know, now is the time to pause this because I do I never want to do anything in my business or in my life, just for the sake of it. So that was one of the really big reasons where I decided it is time to take a step back.
Another piece that was frustrating me at the time, was that I was kind of getting lost in the style of episodes that I was doing. So I was starting to do a lot more of tips and how tos, which really diverted from the into the original purpose of this podcast, which is about sharing the behind the scenes journey of being an indie author. It's not about writing tips and self editing tips and you know, self publishing tips. That's not what this is really about is much more about sharing behind the scenes. What is what is happening, right what I'm kind of doing, what I'm working through, my struggles, my wins all of these different types of things that go into writing and self publishing books as an indie author, and I've really gotten away from that. Now don't get me wrong. Tips and how to guides are fantastic. Very very into them. But there are a lot of other resources out there for indie authors to be able to do that. That was not the original purpose of indie author weekly and frankly, that's just not what I wanted to be sharing on this podcast. I don't want to share you know, 10 writing tips or 15 self editing tips. That's not That's not what I want to be doing with this. I really want to share with you what my life is like as an indie author, what books I'm working on what things are happening with my characters, the different components of this whole journey of writing and self publishing. Books. So I was getting kind of lost in in the style of episodes that I was doing. And again, I kind of realized, okay, this is really diverting from what I want to be doing with this podcast, it's time to take a step back.
And so as a result, I knew that I needed a break. I needed a break to determine what I really wanted from indie author weekly. I didn't know what I wanted to do with it. And so when February of last year rolled around, which was kind of the tentative date that I said, I would probably come back with this podcast. By the time that rolls around, I had zero interest in returning to this podcast, not that I wanted to, you know, do away with it entirely. I knew that I wanted to come back to it at some point. But at that point back in February of last year, over a year ago, I was just I was like, You know what Sagan we're still not at that point. I've been able to return to this. So I just really trusted myself that I would be ready at some point. And it's been at the back of my mind. It has been something that I've been mulling over the back of my mind a few different times throughout the past year. I've thought maybe I should restart the podcast. But it just wasn't. It wasn't exactly the right time because I didn't know exactly what I wanted. So it was really good to be able to take a step back and really explore what do I want with this podcast? What do I want to change about it now that I've taken a hiatus, I can make some changes to it right and making sure that I was really ready to return to it and really getting excited about doing it again. And now we are here. We are here. I'm excited about it. I have so many different ideas for things that I want to share with you. And this is this this is this is perfect. I'm just very happy to be back at it.
So that's kind of a little bit more about why we went on hiatus in the first place. Now let's get into an update of what's been going on since we last chatted together just over a year ago. Write an update on what I've been up to over the past year or so with my indie author life. So one of the big things that happened was I had a lot of impostor syndrome with book writing. I'm going to talk about that in a different episode because that is a really big piece that I want to dive into. But at the time of me going on hiatus with this podcast, I was also just struggling with the book writing processes itself. I was experiencing a ton of impostor syndrome around my author career specifically and and that was also another part of why I wanted to take a step back from the podcast because I really needed to get my mind my mindset straight. You know, I really needed to work through a lot of things. So that is one of the things that I've been working through over this past year, a lot of imposter syndrome around book writing.
Another thing that has happened over this past year is I have finished writing small town stilettos which is a novel that I've talked about in previous episodes. I've been working on it for what feels like a very long time it has literally been years of on and off book writing. And it is a rom com it's called Small Town stilettos a modern marriage of convenience. It's a lot of fun. It is set in the same world as my existing currently published rom com novels in the polyamorous passion series. But it is adjacent to polyamorous passion so you do not have to have read the series in order to get a lot from the book and really be able to enjoy it. So I managed to finish that book which has been great. What I am waiting on now the reason why it has yet to be published is that I am waiting on my cover illustrator. So she and I have been going back for again I think it's now been like a year and a half maybe it's been a while.
The timing kind of what has been a funny sort of thing where she overbooked herself at one point. And then I was having impostor syndrome with my book writing so I was like my book isn't ready yet. And then by the time that I finally finished the novel this past summer, last year Last summer, I had reached out to her and she said I'd love to yes, I'd love to still work on this with you. My earliest opening is February of 2023.
And so we've connected last month she's a bit behind on projects. So she's starting to work on the cover, but I don't know exactly when it's going to be done because again, she's she's gotten a little bit behind on things. So I don't know exactly when small town stilettos will be published. But the book is finished. Because I'm still waiting on that cover design. I will be doing one maybe two more rounds of proofreads with the novel, but it is it is done. So I'm really excited to keep you posted on when that book is going to be available for your reading pleasure. Now in the meantime, because I had finished writing that last summer I started working on a couple of other novels which has been great. And by the way, just a little sidebar, the full details about all of my books can be found at Sagan And also all of my previously published novels and books are available on all major e bookstore platforms. So you can go and check them out there. But one of the books that I started writing while I've been waiting for small town splitters to be published, is the sequel to that novel, which is called Love by design. Now the benefit of waiting for the small towns to let us cover to be made is that I've been working on this sequel, and I've been adding some some small details to small town stilettos as a result of working on Love by design.
Small Town stilettos is a polyamorous romantic comedy. As with all of my romance novels so far and it features this main character Her name is Margaret, and the sequel doesn't follow Margaret. Exactly. So Margaret is a side character in the sequel. It's a different person who comes to the same small town and there might be some polyamorous elements to it in love by design as well. The fun thing about working on Love by design is that the main character is kind of like the polar opposite of Margaret from small town stilettos. And so as I've been writing love by design is very much as mirroring small town stilettos like as the story progresses. So the opening the first scene of the first chapter is actually almost the same type of thing that happens in small town stilettos but in reverse type of things. So it's like a it's like a polar opposite sort of experience. So it's been so much fun to write love by design and then like go back and make a few little tweaks to small town stilettos so that both of the books just complement one another so beautifully and just mirror each other very beautifully. So that's been a lot of fun. That's been a really delightful side benefit that I was not expecting and frankly that would not have happened as seamlessly if I was not waiting on this book cover design. So I really you know, I do really encourage you. The indie author, experience adventure life can be it can be wild.
It can be a bit of a roller coaster at times. And I would really encourage you to take advantage of these of these sorts of moments. I think that I could have been really frustrated that the cover design isn't ready yet. But instead I'm actually totally cool with that with like, I'm completely cool with it. I don't mind that it might still be another few months until the covers ready. I don't mind that this book is being put on hold for publishing. It just means that I can potentially write this I can get a lot done with a sequel potentially.
Which would be great to have that ready to go and be published very shortly after small town stilettos. So take advantage of these types of moments. That is that is recommendation that I have for you.
So that is one of the things that I've been working on. Another thing that I have done is outlined book eight in the polyamorous passion series. Finally, finally, I am so happy to have done this like outline book aid and I've written about half of the first draft of that novel. Book Seven of the polyamorous passion series. Her bad idea was published back in 2020 I think was it 2020 Oh my gosh, it was a while ago.
And especially given that you know, for so many of my books I was I was writing and turning them out and publishing them so quickly. So if it feels like it has been a very long time for my particular writing style and publishing style to have waited this long to be working on book eight, but again, I was working through a lot of imposter syndrome, and that kind of thing. So it feels really good to be back at polyamorous passions continuing on with starlet story she's the main character for those those last three books in the polyamorous passion series. So I've written about half of that first draft is coming along really good. I'm very, very excited about that. Something else that I've been working on over the past year is one of my Apocalypse novels. So that is something that I had written originally written during National Novel Writing Month. Years and years ago. I think at this point, it might have been like 10 years ago. It was a long time ago. And so I picked it up again and started making some changes to it. That is something that I'm going to share more about in another episode. I still don't think that that one's going to be published for a while yet. I really want to do small town stilettos and the sequel. And then I want to finish up polyamorous passions with book eight and nine. And then I think I'm going to shift over into the apocalypse novel.
The final the final thing that I did with all of these with like the book writing sort of side of things is that I mapped out all of the various books that I want to write it's on one of my many poster papers with color coded sticky notes on the wall behind me if you're if you're watching this episode on YouTube, you can see behind my shoulder you can see one of my poster papers of color coded sticky notes. I have an entire wall of that. So one of my poster papers has the different books that I want to work on. The main books that I want to work on. There are 24 at the moment. So there's a lot of different books that I want to work on. And there's many others that are just like side ideas that are not on that poster paper. Well what I did is I mapped out all 24 of these books that I want to work on in two different categories. So we have the first category is the polyamorous passion passions romantic comedy series. The second category is as seen in polyamorous passions so there are some there's some novels that my main characters talk about, that are fantasy erotica romances that are talked about in the polyamorous passion series, and I want to actually write those books. So those are, those are one of the things that I want to be doing at some point.
The third category is other romance novels are things like small town stilettos and love by design. The fourth category is other fiction. So that would be things like my Apocalypse novels, I have a few other really fun things. I'm going to write an action adventure spy novels. Well, there's some really good ones. There.
The fifth fifth category is business books. So like I said, when I'm not writing books, I am a coach for solopreneurs I do a lot of anti hustle productivity and that type of thing. So those business books would be on topics of solopreneur ship, that kind of thing. And then the last category is other nonfiction types of things. So I've mapped out all of those books. That is the other thing that I've been working on over this past year.
Something else that happened The final thing that I want to mention that I've been working on over this past year is that I joined Tik Tok. I joined booktalk really excited about it. I have no idea what I'm doing.
I joined about a year ago, I think it was there was some kind of a tick tock challenge. I think it was, I think it was a self publishing school did like a tick tock challenge to sort of teach authors how to join tic toc and that kind of thing. So I joined it. I have no idea what I'm doing with it. The little challenge that they created was really good. They have some really good resources on tick tock, I'm pretty sure it was self publishing school. I will post I'll go through it and like find the link and I'll post it in the show notes. If I have gotten the wrong names and I apologize again, check the show notes for for details on it.
But it's been good to play with Tik Tok and sort of explore how I can kind of use it as a marketing tool.
My tic tock again because I don't really know what I'm doing with it is extremely basic and bare minimum.
My videos probably look extremely, extremely amateur to anyone who actually is on Tiktok but it's fun. And again, I'm sort of looking at as a as a fun experiment with marketing my bucks. So I will share more about that in a future episode as well. I'm currently actually doing tic TOCs daily for a minimum of three months and seeing what happens with that because I've been very on and off Tiktok over the past year. And now I kind of want to explore a little bit more with it. So again, I'll share more about that in a future episode.
All right, so that is an overview update of the past year of my life as an indie author. Now let's talk about the future of indie author weekly podcast episodes. So I kind of want to just like talk briefly about the content side of things and logistically what's new. So when it comes to the content, as I mentioned earlier, I really want this podcast to be much more about documenting my journey as an indie author, and much less on how to guides or tips and things like that. You can share questions, ask questions, or give me topic requests at Sagan Sagan You can there's a little form that just has like a couple of questions around an opportunity for you to just share feedback or ask a question give me topic requests. Anything you're wondering about with the indie author life, I would be delighted to answer it in a future episode. But otherwise, I will just be sharing about types of things that I'm working on. What I'm struggling with what I'm succeeding with all of the different fun things that go into planning and writing and editing and publishing and marketing novels and books as an indie author. Now logistically, what's new around here one of the things that I am now doing is releasing these episodes as videos on YouTube. If you're watching us on YouTube, hello.
I have not really done this before.
So I'm doing you know sticking with the podcast, these are audio recordings as well of course but if you want to see my face, then come hang out with me on YouTube as well.
So that's just kind of a fun thing. I want to I'm playing a lot more with YouTube. I'm enjoying spending a lot more time on YouTube doing a lot more video. So I thought it would be great to share these episodes on YouTube as well. I do not think that I will be sharing previous episodes posting previous episodes and like repurposing them as videos on YouTube. So if you if you are watching these episodes, this podcast on YouTube and you are interested in previous episodes of Indiana weekly than I would just recommend going and checking out other podcasting platforms to get those episodes.
The other thing that we are doing logistically that is different from before is that the outline of these episodes is just that I'm using bullet points now and creating transcripts after the fact with otter.
Rather than writing the transcripts first, which is what I used to do. So I used to write out transcripts essentially for each episode and then read them and there would be like some small changes of course, but I would essentially write up the transcript and and that would be the episode because when I first started this podcast I didn't know about, you know, auto generated transcripts and that kind of thing. And so that felt easier for me to ensure that I was able to create content and make it more accessible. For people. But now I use otter to create transcripts for me. So that saves me some time. This does mean that these episodes are probably going to be less polished. Because I'm not speaking word from word from from a transcript and that kind of thing. So bear with me with that.
And again, this saves me some time for having to actually write everything out word for word and then read it on an episode. This is very good for me. This is this is a this is going to make my life much easier with this podcast.
Okay, the final thing that I want to share with you before we close out this episode is that I have a lot of bookmarks. I have a lot of bookmarks that are created for my books, and I would love to give them away to you. I need some space in my office so I would love to give them away. So when you post a review of any of my books between now and April 30 2023 So anytime between now and April 30 that gives you about a month anytime that you post a review on Amazon or Goodreads or Kobo whichever book platforms you want. If you email me hello at Sagan With your review and your mailing address. I will mail you some bookmarks that feature my books. I would love to do this. So these are going to be available while supplies last. I have a lot of bookmarks. So I really don't think that we're going to run out unless this happens to just go viral or something like that. I think we're going to be fine. I'm pretty sure that when you post a review, you will be able to get some bookmarks in the mail.
So again, all you need to do is post a review of my books between now and April 30. And let me know of course that you have done this and then I will mail you some bookmarks. So that's just a that's just a gift from from me to you. And I thought that it'd be kind of fun to do as our as part of our sort of Welcome back to indie author weekly experience for the next month.
All right, that my friend is a wrap for today's episode of indie author weekly you can access the show notes for this episode. Including all links and additional resources at Sagan And I would love for you to share your thoughts on this episode on Twitter or Instagram. My handle is at Sagan lips. Please take two minutes to rate and review indie author weekly on Apple podcasts. Or if you're watching this episode on YouTube, please subscribe to my channel and give this video the thumbs up. Thank you so much for tuning in and I will see you next week for another episode of indie author weekly