Monday, September 1, 2014

Being a Jackie-of-all-trades: How Cool and Scary is that? by Leslie Ann Sartor

Hello, MB4 friends and fans!

Please help me welcome Leslie Ann Sartor to the blog today. She's got some great tips and observations, below. See what you think? And please, comment. We love comments, and this topic should generate plenty!

Have a wonderful Labor Day,

Aaron Lazar

copyright 2014, Leslie Ann Sartor

Thank you, Aaron, for hosting me on your blog, it's an honor to be here.

Today I'm talking about being the Jackie-of-all-trades…that's what you become when you publish Indie.

Now, this isn't a bad thing, honest. It's just very exhausting and I wish there were thirty-six hours to the day, twenty-four simply aren't enough.

And I have to sheepishly admit I mess up sometimes, and that's horrible for a person who has recently found out they are an alpha and near perfectionist.

Whatever "type" of person you are, I'm offering a few things I've learned that make an Indie life work in the 24 hours we're given..

            1) You cannot do it all. I finally found a great virtual assistant and she does some of the work like mailing lists and promo's, scheduling tweets I just can't manage to do. We've worked together enough so she knows me, what I like and don't. What a relief she's been for me.

            2) Try everything promotion-wise that sounds like it's up your alley. Then find out what works and what doesn't work. I put my Christmas book on Amazon's KDP Select  last winter/spring and I was pleased with the response it received. And even more so when it hit best seller.

I took it off KDP until just recently when I heard about Kindle Unlimited. And after looking at the sales stats from Amazon vs the stats on the other booksellers sites, I pulled all my books from everyone but Amazon, put them in KDP Select with automatically puts me in Kindle Unlimited.

KDP sign up is in basically for 90 day increments, so trying KDP is a short term experiment … or you can leave your book on full time. I know plenty of authors that do. Luckily it's up to you.   

            3) Then narrow your choices to those that work best, or feel right. Notice I said feel right? All the sites you're on, be it for promotion, for publishing for blogging, have to hit the right chords inside of you. I have about 5 promotional sites I'm pushing to build my presence on. That's down from maybe 15-20.

KDP feels right for me at the moment, but after the release of my next two books this fall and winter, who knows? 

Indie means I have choices and I'll use them.

            4) But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try more new things. Do numbers 3 and 4 sound contradictory? They're not. You can't remain static. Neither can you become complacent with what may have worked before, but may not now. So how do you find out what is working?

That's hard. For me it's not just numbers and stats, though I use those. It's reading posts about a seller or a trend, like Kindle Unlimited. Sometimes it's as simple as it feels right or wrong. Not scientific, but …..

If you have a better way to tell or chart what's working for you, I want to hear it. Please let me know in comments. After all we are a community of writers.

One other major change I'm going to be making is working on Stone of Heaven's cover and blurb. It's my second book and I admit it, sales are lagging.

So I need to look at the cover, which I like, but have to take a step back and see if I can  make it stronger. And the blurb, I need to and can fix it. I don't think it says how much romance is in the story. Read it and tell me what you think. Really, I'm all ears.

As an Indie Author, I can make the changes necessary to fix what I determine isn't working. How cool and scary is that?
Stone of Heaven:

Two things when I started this journey I swore I would never do, FREE and CHEAP.

But now I have a new title, Best Selling Author, and I have a following of great readers so why not repackage myself and offer free and cheap when it's right, like when I'm releasing a new book? No reason. See #4 on the list.  

So I did just that and it was amazing what it did for sales. I didn't keep the free book free, I did slightly lower the prices on all my books, but not to .99 as they were then they were "bargain."

I have a blog, and I have room for guests (contact me on my blog if you want to be a guest), but I've had to rethink just how much time I can put into the blog, so I've changed what I can offer my guests. Numbers 1&3 on the list. But guests on blogs are a win/win situation.

You can't be static. You can be a perfectionist, but you can't dwell on things when they're not. And as writers, we still have to find time to write. After all that's what all the rest of this is about isn't  it?

What about trying all the different social media you ask? HA!! That's another post entirely.

Leslie Ann Sartor (aka L.A. Sartor) began telling stories around the age of 4 when her mother, at Leslie’s insistence, wrote them down and Leslie illustrated them. As an adult she writes suspense and action adventure novels with a dash of romance, and screenplays—she's had a contracted adaptation!  She lives in Colorado with her husband whom she met on a blind date. Leslie loves to travel and thinks life is an adventure and we should embrace the journey. She has a blog: She is also one of the Five Scribes at Check out her website,

Leslie is releasing Forever Yours This New Year's Night, the second book in the Star Light ~ Star Bright Series (Be Mine This Christmas Night is book 1) in early November.

And Viking Gold, the second book in the Carswell Adventure Series (Stone of Heaven is book 1) in early 2015.

Social Links
L.A. Sartor's website:
Facebook Writer:


Leslie Ann aka LA said...

Thanks Aaron and Murder By 4 for hosting me on your blog today. Wow Top Blogger by Writer's Digest for a lot of years. I'm honored.


Barbara said...

How did you find your virtual assistant? I've considered something similar myself but won't proceed until I have a better idea what I want them to do. Specifics.

Barbara Barrett

Kim said...

Thanks for coming and being our guest. Your points are very good ones and your journey sounds exciting. Much luck in the future!!

marilyn leach said...

LA, you've given really great information. Even as one of those who holds on to publishers shirt-tales, it's given me vigor. Cheers.

Lisa Potocar said...

Sorry to be weighing in so late, but all I can say is: You're my heroine, Leslie Ann!!! You aren't afraid to try anything, and you really have a wonderful grasp of the marketing aspects of authorship. Keep up the great work and thanks sooooooo much for your generosity in sharing these tips with us....