If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know that I’ve been experimenting with different types of novels and novellas in the last two years. With Fallen Angels and Blood Battles, I’ve tried using multiple points of view for storytelling. The advantage of multiple POV is that you can choose which character will add the most emotional impact for each chapter of your novel. You can juxtapose points of view to build tension and add layers and depth to your story. Romantic suspense authors use it often to show a nice, sympathetic woman’s POV before they flip to a villain’s POV. Then they let the reader know these two characters are going to collide, and the rest of the book will be a struggle for the woman to survive that encounter. Multiple POV is a wonderful tool that lets an author come at a story from several different angles.
For everything else I write, I’ve used third person, limited POV. The advantage to third, limited is that you live in one character’s mind and can only know or experience what that person experiences. Therefore, the reader only knows what your character knows and, just as importantly, thinks and feels, which in theory results in the reader identifying more with your main character. In Wolf’s Bane and Shadow Demon, I tried for a kickass heroine in a traditional type, urban fantasy novel. In Empty Altars and the novel I’m working on now, I did the kickass heroine with layers of Greek and Norse myths. In my novellas, I experimented with different settings and time periods, some more like romance plots, some more like mysteries or quests. Whatever struck my fancy.
I haven’t just been experimenting with my writing, though. I’ve been playing around with marketing too. I started this blog and a facebook author page, joined Goodreads and twitter to have an “author platform,” to learn a little about “social media.” I can’t honestly say that I have an opinion on how effectively any of these have worked. Sometimes I tweet about a novel or novella and my numbers go up. Sometimes, they don’t. When I first started Goodreads, it was a lot easier to list a book for read-to-review and get some reviews. Now, Goodreads is deluged with authors, and finding reviews isn’t so easy. Bloggers have reviewed or interviewed me, and they’ve all been wonderful to work with. Have I gotten sales from them? I don’t know. But my theory is, a little of this and a little of that might add up to something eventually. I don’t expect overnight success. I plan to just keep doing what I’m doing and give it time to grow.
I can say that Book Bub was worth every penny of the $90 I paid to advertise Fallen Angels when it was free for four days. Book Bub was full when I wanted to promote Shadow Demon, so I paid $40 to try eBookBooster. For $40, eBookBooster sent my free days for Wolf’s Bane to 50 sites. Do I know if those sites actually listed my free days? No, but I know that my ranking for Wolf’s Bane shot to #120–all free, of course, but I’ve had 3 more good reviews on amazon as a result and hopefully more to come. Enough to make me happy. Right now, I’m just trying to get readers to find my books.
The thing I just started to experiment with is Wattpad. I just downloaded the first two chapters of Fabric of Life there and joined that community. I plan on downloading a new chapter every Tuesday and Friday. My first impression is that Wattpad is going to be a fun place to be. I’ve started following some really good writers on it. Eventually, I hope some readers start to follow me. Would I put my chapters on Wattpad if I only had one book? I don’t know. But I don’t plan to write any more novels for that series. I’m only using the setting–Emerald Hills–for a series of novellas, a tourist town filled with different shops that not only sell painted gourds, bonbons, or imported shoes, but each of their sells items comes with a touch of magic. And if Fabric of Life bombs on Wattpad? I’ve learned something. Wattpad isn’t for me.
I’m still trying out new things. I’m getting an idea of what I’ll keep writing and what I’ll close up. In marketing? I’m still learning. The journey might be bumpy, but so far, it’s been fun.