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The Right Idea for the Wrong Book

The Right Idea For The Wrong Book By Jill Kemerer

Last week I was coming up with plot ideas, and the perfect one came to me. I was so excited! The book I’m plotting is pretty murky at this point, so my soul did a little sideline cheer when the idea hit. Since this is a story toward the end of a series, I had to go back through my notes for the other books to make sure it would work.

Guess what? It didn’t.

I was bummed. Like, literally, heavy sighing and maybe an eye-roll occurred. But then I remembered that the final book of the series had a really weak area I hadn’t addressed.

The perfect plot idea that wouldn’t work for the current book? Perfect for the final one! Yay!!

Of course that meant I still needed to figure out the current story, but I wasn’t upset about it. In fact, I headed to the park and took a long walk to allow my brain the time and space it needs to work on the problem. While I didn’t get the exact solution on the walk, the questions rolling around in my mind led me to the breakthrough the next day.

For me, figuring out plot holes or plots in general, takes time, many questions, a lot of thinking, and sometimes reviewing the rest of the series. In this case, a YouTube video proved a good starting point, too.

Have you ever gotten the perfect plot idea and realized it was for the wrong book?

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I have partnered up with Celebrate Lit Publicity to do an amazing giveaway where you can win a spectacular prize of over 50 books or a $500 Amazon gift card to buy books you love to build up that TBR pile!

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There is still time to enter my big prerelease giveaways for The Prodigal’s Holiday Hope!

Enter here: https://jillkemerer.com/the-prodigals-holiday-hope-giveaway/

Have a terrific day!

Decisions, Decisions…Writer Priorities

Decisions, Decisions...writer Priorities By Jill Kemerer

Last Friday I spent some time with my planner to figure out my writer priorities. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to focus on–drafting the rest of the Love Inspired book due in November, working on promo items for my release in October, or drafting more of my nonfiction book for writers. Besides these three options, I was well aware summer is on its last legs here in NW Ohio. Sure, it will be warm through mid-September, but after Labor Day, my brain switches to fall mode.

After thinking it through, I decided to draft the rest of the Love Inspired book due in November. However, I also gave myself permission to focus ONLY on that. Each day when I meet my word count goals, I can either kick off and soak up some sun or work on promo items for a bit. I’m not ready to lock into my full-time fall/winter/spring schedule again just yet.

After deciding on the big stuff, my brain buzzed with a million and one tasks I needed to get done around the house and professionally. So I started a big, ol’ brain dump on my oversized notepad. Nothing was too small to write down!

When I say nothing, I mean nothing. Here’s a sample:

  • Put away bags
  • Make hummingbird food
  • Clean desk
  • Books?? (I always have author copies stacked in the corner, on shelves, teetering in odd places…)
  • Find place to store immersion blender (Yeah, I bought an immersion blender! I’m really excited about it. I love making creamy soups, and this will make them extra creamy…)

As you can see, the things on my mind are REALLY important. *rolls eyes* Anyway…

Part of figuring out my writer priorities is taking into account the season I’m in. I plan on enjoying the end of summer, even if I’m simply sitting on my deck reading a good book at 4pm instead of working on marketing!

What are your writer priorities right now?

If you’re looking for a fast-paced Christian romantic suspense, I highly recommend Jessica R. Patch’s Cold Case Double Cross. It’s excellent! Click on the title for purchase links!

Writing Through Your Moods

Writing Through Your Moods By Jill Kemerer

When I’m feeling blue, I don’t want to write. I don’t want to do anything writing related, either. I just want to sit on the couch, eat peppermint patties and caramels, take a nap, then sip coffee and watch the Food Network.

Do I sit on the couch and do all those things? No.

Well, I might take a thirty-minute break to indulge in them, but for the most part, I force myself to get something done on my work in progress.

Writing through your moods is a necessary skill.

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Trying a Makeshift Standing Desk

Trying A Makeshift Standing Desk By Jill Kemerer

Writers sit. A lot.

This writer certainly does! But I’m trying something different–I put together a makeshift standing desk to avoid sitting so much.

Some writers (and other work-from-home professionals) buy special stands to convert their desks from sitting to standing. Others have invested in treadmill desks. Then there are those who walk and dictate. I’ve tried dictation. It works in a pinch, but isn’t a long-term solution for me personally.

All of these methods to get out of the chair intrigue me, but I’ve never been motivated enough to try them.

Well, last week I was exhausted. I’m talking tired every day to the point I barely got anything work-related done. Part of it was a disruption in my routine (I had appointments every day). This week, I decided something needed to change.

For one week, I’m working while standing for at least an hour every day.

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How I Distribute Digital Review Copies

Distributing Digital Review Copies. Jill Kemerer

Distributing digital review copies–where to start? One of the many struggles authors face in today’s publishing world is how to get advance copies of our ebooks to reviewers.

In the early days of having my street team, I would put out a call for anyone in the group willing to read/review my book. I would then gather their email addresses and send them a digital copy of the book. As the group grew, it became more difficult.

A street team is a group of readers who help promote your books by reading/reviewing ARCs, sharing book news/graphics with their social networks, or by generally getting the word out about your book.

An ARC is an advance review copy or can be referred to as an advance reader copy.

Distributing digital review copies. Jill Kemerer

Problems with individual distribution of ARCs:

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Maintenance Marketing for Writers

Maintenance Marketing For Writers By Jill Kemerer

Promotion and marketing are ongoing tasks for writers. What’s the difference between them? I’m not a marketing major, but I’ve been doing my own marketing and promotion for years. I have my own way of defining them.

I promote my books. I market my author name/brand to build my platform.

For me, marketing is the overall strategy of building my platform. Promotion, on the other hand, is the overall strategy of selling a particular book.

There isn’t anything technically accurate about this definition. It’s just the way I separate the two in my mind.

There are things I do on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis that I call maintenance marketing for writers.

The goal of these tasks is to provide content to my platform on a regular basis as well as attract new readers to find and follow me. Then, when I’m promoting a new book, the additional book-centric content is a natural continuation of what I’m already doing.

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5 Mistakes Writers Make in the Summer

5 Mistakes Writers Make In The Summer By Jill Kemerer

As the seasons change, our writing habits change, too. It’s human nature. We’re not robots! Plus, where I live, the short, frozen days of winter stretch into long days full of sunshine and heat. I want to be out in all that sun!

Back in April it seemed reasonable to set difficult goals for June, July and August. But I’ve got a dozen years of writing under my belt, and I wasn’t falling for my overly-optimistic silliness this time. You see, I’ve made my share of mistakes planning out my summer writing schedule, and I’ve learned from them.

5 Mistakes Writers Make in the Summer

  1. Overestimating what can reasonably be accomplished in three short months.
  2. Neglecting the work-in-progress as seasonal delights beckon.
  3. Forgetting to factor in vacation time when setting goals.
  4. Thinking of writing as optional instead of essential.
  5. Trying to maintain the same writing schedule as the rest of the year.

Let’s look at these more in depth.

Overestimating what can reasonably be accomplished in three short months.

While June through August technically has thirteen weeks, those thirteen weeks are not equal to the ones in the fall, winter or spring. Yes, technically the hours add up the same, but we all know summer is different. You’ll have weddings and graduation parties to attend. Weekend adventures and farmer’s markets will distract you. Maybe you’ll get away for a vacation or two. Then there will be family time. An outing to pick blueberries. You might have children at home. Whatever your situation, summer brings wonderful things we SHOULD enjoy. So go ahead, set some goals, but don’t overestimate what you can get done.

Neglecting the work-in-progress as seasonal delights beckon.

Unless you’re deliberately taking time off–a week, a month, or the entire summer–you’ll want to continue working on your book. Be careful not to let day after day go by without working on your project at all. You’ll be left with a nagging sense of guilt and you won’t want to get back into it. Even if you snatch fifteen minutes here and thirty minutes there, you’ll be better off than neglecting it completely.

Forgetting to factor vacation time when setting goals.

I’m guilty of this every year! That’s why I keep my phone’s calendar and my day planner handy when I’m sketching out each month’s goals. I often allot extra vacation time each month on the off-chance something fun comes up I won’t want to miss. To do this, I increase my daily goals (higher word count when writing, higher page count when revising). This helps me to stay on track with my projects and enjoy the summer.

Thinking of writing as optional instead of essential.

Not everyone can or should write during the summer. But if you’re reading this post, you’re probably working on a book right now. In that case, ask yourself how you’ll feel if you have very little to show for your writing when September rolls around. If you go into each day believing writing is essential, you’ll be amazed at what you get done by the end of summer. But if it’s another “optional” item on your daily to-do list, you’ll be disappointed in the fall.

Trying to maintain the same writing schedule as the rest of the year.

From September through May, I LOVE my block schedule. It works for me. It makes sense. And it allows me to work on multiple projects every day while putting the most effort into my top priority.

But then summer comes around, and in the morning, I want to enjoy my coffee and watch the birds for a while. By late afternoon, I’m ready to stretch out on a lounge chair and soak in the rays. I have no desire to work on multiple projects throughout the week. I want to focus on the most important one and forget all the others.

So that’s what I do.

I purposely shorten my days to work fewer hours in the summer. This allows me to truly enjoy all that summer offers and still meet my deadlines. Then in the fall, I get excited to resume my more hard-core schedule. It’s nice to have a break from it for three months!

What mistakes do you make in the summer? What did I miss?

Have a terrific day!

Organizing the Writing Life: Digital Files

Organizing The Writing Life: Digital Files By Jill Kemerer

Organizing digital files. You might be asking what’s the big deal? You always find the files you need…eventually.

But what about last month when a blogger asked to interview you and needed the blurb and cover of your latest book? It took a few minutes, but you found them. Then you got another email requesting the covers of all the covers in the series. That’s when things got dicey.

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The Importance of Motivation in Fiction

The Importance Of Motivation In Fiction. Jill Kemerer

This year I challenged myself to read fiction for a minimum of twenty minutes every weekday. (#20for2020) I’m LOVING this! I’m trying different authors, different genres, and best of all, I’m enjoying the stories. A few weeks ago I read a historical romance novel set during the French Revolution, and I’m currently reading a contemporary romance.

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