Marketing, Conquering my Fear of Failure

DC-WIX-shit together

Do me a favor? Put this on your wishlist? 

My first three chapters are here: Instafreebie

 

My last post was all about how I had stopped all social media marketing, discouraged and disheartened.

Today, I am happy to say, I am back at it.

As I listen and dance to ‘The Greatest’ by Sia, I am inspired.

I’m free to be the greatest, I’m alive
I’m free to be the greatest here tonight, the greatest
The greatest, the greatest alive
The greatest, the greatest alive

I truly am good at project management in my day job. One of the things I’ve learned is you need to create an end date and then put all of the tasks you want to do in front of it. If there isn’t enough time, move it back.

So here is what I did. I started with a date. I needed two weeks to ask ARC readers to review. That means my book had to be finalized two weeks before go-live.

Got it.

But I wanted to get some feedback from a few folks I know will be honest with me.

That’s another two weeks.

Now, what tasks can I do in those four weeks?

  1.  Go to Canva.com and make Twitter ads, Facebook ads, Google Ads,
  2. Using my ‘Mass Planner’ app, schedule my ads
  3. Schedule a newsletter and do swaps
  4. Define a Facebook audience, and take out some ads, see if any hit.
  5. Schedule my sale for one week before go live and one week after for .99
  6. Go to all the free sites or almost-free sites and schedule
  7. Pick paid promotions within those days
  8. Revise my blog daily, using key words
  9. Put first three chapters on Instafreebie

MARKET EVERY DAY FOR 30 DAYS BEFORE GO LIVE!!!!

Okay. The above may not be perfect, but I am not afraid and

I won’t give up, no, no, no.

 

If you like these posts…. you probably like my writing and might like to try a sample here http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B06XBCZGXL

 

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Marketing, My Fear of Failure

 

After the unremarkable sales of my last book, I dead-stopped marketing. The thought of updating my blog made me freeze, I couldn’t find anything worthwhile to post on Facebook and my newsletter went silent.

What the hell was wrong with me?

At first I was convinced that I wanted to focus on my writing, then I was tired, then my day-job was overwhelming. Yada, yada, yada.

While all these things are true, they’re not the root cause of why I stopped. I think I have atychiphobia, fear of failure, in particular fear of failing at selling my books.

Yikes.

I looked it up on line and have all the symptoms. For me, it boils down to this.  What if I put myself out there and people don’t like me?

ARGH!

My persona is that of a successful, positive, outgoing woman. However, my abused inner child sabotages me. I know this and yet when it happens, I’m blind-sided. Growing up, I never experienced unconditional love.

Dammit. That isn’t me. Not now.

I need to ask her to step back and let me try my hand at marketing again. Sure, I may fail but eventually, with enough practice, I’ll get better. While I’m learning, it doesn’t change who I am or my value as a writer or as a human being.

Starting at lunch time, here is what I am going to do:

Write this blog. Woo hoo. Mark this one done!

Write a marketing plan, complete with due dates.

Schedule no-excuse marking time into every week.

Break the to-do list down into small tasks

Create a new mantra! Repeat after me, “I am successful at marketing.”

Face your fear head on. 

Picture yourself as a marketing maven.  What does it feel like? Live there in your imagination. Write about her.

Define Milestones and rewards.  Maybe that trip to a warm island surrounded by sand?

 

I must thank this website for helping me to define my problem.

http://www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/marketingfear.htm

 

More to come… please leave a comment with your own struggles!

What’s Inside a Writer’s Brain.

It’s 2017 and I am determined to share more of who I am and what it’s like to be me.

I’m a writer stuck in the body of a software architect. I read somewhere I should always introduce myself as a writer.

Let’s see how that pans out.
“Hi, I’m Stella Marie Alden, Best Selling Romance Author”

Or

“Hi, I’m Susan Hammond, I work for Nuance. The company that makes Siri? Those phone programs that talk to you? Press one for one. Two for three? Or you can press operator, but no one competent will help you so best to stay with the automated system.”
I shouldn’t joke, that’s what pays my bills.

But sometimes, when I am in my day job, it doesn’t feel real. What feels real are the stories in my head. And there’s always stories. Even though I choose just one to focus on, there’re many clamoring in my brain.

People always ask me, where do your stories come from?

I say, how the hell do you guys shut them down?

I mean, how can you just watch people ahead of you in the grocery store, and NOT make up their life’s story? The handsome young man with potato chips, frozen meals, and razor blades. No ring on his finger, a cute dimple, nice leather jacket. Was he married? Did he leave a relationship?

What about the woman who’s dressed in high heels, designer jeans, diamonds? And buys Suave shampoo, hamburgers, and pita bread. Who’s she trying to impress?
It goes on and on. Because once I have the character, there’s no turning back. They live in my head, fermenting, waiting for me to say, “What should I write next?”

Me! Me! Me! They clamor.

SHUSH!

Stella’s New Year’s Resolutions

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Goal 1: I write to empower, to strengthen, and to uplift. A great story is more than a story. It can be life changing. I write with that in mind.

Goal 2: I am true to myself even if it means not following the bestselling herd.

Goal 3: I publish four new books this year.

Goal 4: I increase the number of newsletter followers to 10K.

Goal 5: I market efficiently.

Goal 6: I focus on the positive, ignoring trolls, negative naysayers, and the generally grumpy.

Goal 7:  I strive to be the best I can be in all things. I never settle with good enough.

Goal 8: I dream big and believe all things possible.

Goal 9: I make more money writing this year than last.

Goal 10: I don’t worry so much about goal #9

The Sign

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The hail stung my face and my feet burned, wet and cold in my second-hand boots. The last storm of the season was brutal. In a way, I was glad for the ice, because it disguised the tears streaming down my face.

This was my first day back to work in the city. I’d secretly hoped to stay home with my first born, at least for a few more months, but it was not to be.

You see, my husband quit his job in order to have more time to devote to being a recording engineer. “This is my last chance to make it, honey. For you. For the baby.”

Who could argue with that?

Our brand new car was gone. Stolen. Probably by the guys who installed the alarm. Brought up in Vermont, I was pretty naïve, even at thirty.

My parents refused to help, not even twenty bucks for some groceries and a bag of diapers.

God? I just don’t think I can believe in you anymore.

My normal subway stop was blocked because of the weather, so I had about a mile to walk. The despair of leaving my baby, of wanting more from my spouse, of just wanting, was so great I don’t know how I took another step.

I would’ve ended it all if it weren’t for my little Emily.

There was no God. There was no greater plan for me. There was just nothing.

Then I saw it! It was sitting on top of an icy garbage bucket in front of a brownstone. A plastic Santa from the 50’s. The white electric cord is wrapped around the base.

Santy?

My mother put out two when I was growing up. My older sister was given one, my brother, being number two in birth order, was given the other.

I loved those damn things.

Wow. Suddenly it dawned on me that I’d been given something that very few experience.

A sign. God was watching. He heard me that day.

And with faith and hope, all things are possible.

Many years have gone by since then. I have a great job, am still happily married to my dreamer, and my two girls are off on their own, successful entrepreneurs.

And I still believe.

Merry Christmas.

Stella’s Sexy, Savvy, Strong Heroines

…and the alphas strong enough to love them.

I can’t wait to see what adventures Stella writes next! …Lauren, Romance Novel Giveaways

Ms. Alden is now on my ‘go to’ author list. I can’t wait for the next story.  …Emma, Night Owl Romance

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Some people have asked me recently, why do you write?

Others ask, are you making a lot of money?

LOL!

Not yet.

So why DO I write?

One of my goals is to give back, but I am a little geeky, a little shy, and don’t have buckets of money to give away.

How can I throw good karma into the world?

I do it with my stories.

When I started writing, I vowed I would write about strong heroines facing adversity and overcoming. Why? Because I truly believe that we become what we think about all day long.

If we dream about having someone dominate us, that is no doubt what we will attract. I’m not saying don’t ever read those fun books, I’m suggesting to balance your reading.

Read and imagine yourself as more.

 

Thanks so much for stopping by.

I do hope you will become a fan and sign up for my bi-monthly newsletter. I hate spam, too.

You can also read samples here or go right to Amazon and pick one up for this weekend.

Or… just log in and leave a comment below! I love to respond!

 

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A New Twist on an Timeless Story

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When I visited Soriano last Christmas, I fell in love with the medieval city and its people and knew I’d have to write a novel based there.

Each fall, the residents hold a Renaissance fair to celebrate a fifteenth century battle. It was won in part, by the early warning of an old woman.

As I walked the cobblestone streets and stared up at the castle, I paused to wonder at it all.

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What if it wasn’t an old woman that sounded the alarm? What if it was a young woman in disguise? What if she was in love with someone in the castle? Would she risk everything to save him?
Researching the battle and the times, I was thrust into a world where couples like Romeo and Juliet lived and breathed. It was a time when marriage joined powerful families and love had no say. It’s easy to imagine a tragic couple like Romeo and Juliet.

In such a place and time, how could I help Bernardo and Aurelia, a young couple from opposing families, find their happily ever after?

 

Witches And Romance. Happy Halloween!

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In the mood for the spooky season?

Earth and fire unite in paranormal ritual so hot that sand melts to glass and meteors fly across the sky.

Jace Fialko decided long ago he’d never try to mate again. He knows firsthand how the magical foreplay–the duel for sexual equality can turn deadly. He tempts fate when a stubborn, sinfully tempting earth witch gets into trouble and can’t resist being her hero. She’s prickly as a badger, lives in an Earthship, and has secrets deeper than the crevices she carves into the sand.

Terra needs to hide her talent. Alone in the desert for years, she knows better than to fall for an arrogant, sexy, flame-throwing alpha male. Her potent dark power could destroy them both, yet every moment she spends with him, makes her desperate to join with him. When an evil clan tries to take her mine full of turquoise, she must learn to fight back or lose everything, including Jace.

Haven’t read book one yet? No worries. Read the series in any order.

WARNING: Book contains mature themes, steamy, sexual scenes and graphic language

“The displays of the “earth” magic were stunning and spectacular and the solstice-mating antagonism between the characters was exhilaratingly beautiful, humorous, and heart-wrenching.” Lori Wiest, Wee Bit O’ Whiskey Blog

 

 

Stella’s Strong, Savvy & Sexy Heroines – ‘The Angel of Soriano’

 
 

TheAngelOfSoriano

Buy Now
Another of Stella’s strong, smart, and sassy heroines with attitude.

Tonight, Aurelia’s uncle plans to steal Soriano away from Rodrigo Borgia. Although she doesn’t give a fig who owns the town that nearly stoned her to death, her handsome captain is behind bars. She should never have agreed to marry him, especially not upside down and over his shoulder.

What is it about Bernardo’s new wife? The beautiful angel refuses to trust him, not even after he weds her without a dowry. She wields a firearm like a pirate, disguises herself as a male doctor, and nearly drives him mad. And yet he can’t go on without her.

How can a mere mortal convince a woman like that to come home?

 

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Some people have asked me, recently, why do you write?

Others ask me, are you making a lot of money?

LOL!

Not yet.

So why DO I write?

One of my goals is to give back, but I am a little geeky, a little shy, and don’t have buckets of money to give away.

How does a person like me throw back good karma into the world?

I do it with my stories.

When I started writing, I vowed I would write about strong heroines facing adversity, and overcoming. Why? Because I truly believe that

we become what we think about.

If we dream about having someone dominate us, that is no doubt what we will attract. I’m not saying don’t ever read those fun books, I’m suggesting to balance your reading.

Dream about being strong.

 

 

 

 

 

Romances Beyond Regency

…Tired of the same ol’ romance? …

Stella's Books

Medieval or Magic_

…a perfect weave of history and romance …

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…Stella is a recent discovery for me, and I’m just loving her books. The pace is fast, the sex is steamy without being crass, and she manages to mix wonderful descriptions in with a story that twists and turns…

…Alden’s gift for bringing to life the atmosphere and setting of medieval England’s wild countryside and challenges are equaled only by her ability to draw a feisty, strong female protagonists.

…has a way of writing that makes me lose hours in my day in her stories.
I can’t wait to read more from Stella!