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Category: Podcast interviews

Why it’s never too late to feed your passion

Standing up for what I believe in

Yesterday, I went on the People’s March in London – my first march of my life, aged 54 and a half. In case you’re worrying that this is going to be a political post, it isn’t, honestly. Whether you agree with my view on this or not, the point I want to make is that I believe passionately in this, and I felt that at last, the time had come to be counted, and that’s why I went. There were people much older, and much younger, than me on the march but we all had the same strong belief and the feeling that gives you to be a part of that shared view is amazing.

Feeding my passion

Of course, writing is my main passion in life and I’m pleased to tell you that I’m now in a position to try again as a full-time author. Diehard fans ( 😉 ) will remember that I tried this once before after leaving my teaching job in December 2015. Back then, I had only published 1 book and although it was going well, I was also doing freelance work to top up my income. I was also unprepared for how lonely I felt after leaving my busy teaching job, so when the chance to work part-time for a local charity came up, I decided to take it. So for the past 3 years, I’ve been working part-time in the mornings and doing my writing and freelance work in the afternoons. But now, my writing career has taken off and I’m ready to give it my all. With 8 books out now, and a whole lot more learning about indie publishing under my belt, as well as a strong network of friends and family around me, I hope that this time it will be the right time for me.

Feel the fear and do it anyway!

This week, I was interviewed for the Self Publishing Show’s Spotlight podcast. I wrote in and asked to be interviewed, and was delighted when Tom Ashford, the presenter, contacted me about doing it. The format is that you’re asked 5 questions about your writing, and Tom told me it would be fairly informal. I practised for days, in the car, in the shower etc, etc, but when it came to it, I was still very nervous! Anyway, it all went okay and I don’t think I said anything I shouldn’t have but only time will tell! The show will definitely air before Christmas so keep your eyes peeled for the date.

So I will be working full-time as an author from 1 November, and I can honestly say I’m really looking forwarding to it this time. I’ve started writing my new book and while I’m already being productive in the afternoons, I know I can be even more productive if I have the whole day. Suddenly, I feel energised to make this work for me, and I want to work as hard as I can to keep my momentum going.

I hope that whatever your passion is, you manage to make time for it in your life. It has paid dividends for me to do that for mine. If you’d like to know more about my writing, please sign up for my newsletter here and grab your free copy of my novella, Before You, at the same time if you haven’t already done so.

See you next time!

Podcasts and Promotions!

This month I have news about podcasts and promotions for you, as well as the latest news about book three.

My first podcast interview is now live

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I recently gave my first podcast interview to Paul Teague for his selfpublishingjourneys.com podcast. Since then, I’ve been waiting with bated breath for the interview to go live so I could listen back and see how I sounded (good or bad!). Well, thankfully, I can now confirm that it went as well as I thought it had just after I’d finished speaking to Paul. I am even prepared to give you the link so you can listen to it yourself. You can find it on Paul’s website here. Do let me know your thoughts about it here after you’ve listened 🙂

I really enjoyed talking to Paul after listening to his podcast for such a long time, and it was great to be able to talk about our shared experience of trying to make a living from our writing. I have picked up lots of tips from Paul’s podcast diaries which he releases every Saturday, and sometimes, he has given me the courage to do something which I may have been thinking about for ages but have never got round to.

Running my first free promotion

One of these was running a free promotion. In the beginning when you self-publish your first book, it’s so hard to contemplate giving it away for free, and so although I had often thought about it, I’d never actually taken the plunge. But I finally decided to put From Here to Nashville  wide on all platforms and then to offer it free for a short promotion. Well, it’s actually ended up being free for quite a while now as I struggled to get Amazon to price match the other sites it was already free on.

Anyway, I got there in the end and finally, the week of promotion via various email lists arrived last Monday. I chose to promote it via five different sites, starting with the smaller sites first and rising to the biggest one on Friday. As I write this, there have been over 6000 free downloads of From Here to Nashville most of which came through Amazon but there were also a good number through Apple Books and Barnes and Noble. I have also seen some good read through purchases of my other books, especially the two sequel novellas. However, these sales have not yet been enough to cover my costs although this may come in time as people finish reading the first book in the series.

I was very glad to have given the promotion a try and the greatest thing about it was that I really improved my rankings across all the main Amazon sites but especially on the US one. By the end of the promo, I was at number 49 in the whole of the free Kindle store which was amazing. Even better than this though, I was at number 3 in the women’s fiction category, number 5 in romance and number 14 in contemporary romance. This felt amazing, especially because I had managed to achieve this all on my own. It will hopefully be a huge benefit to my overall visibility.

*****

Latest News

Apart from that, my other good news is that I’ve finished editing my third full-length novel, otherwise known as my Bistro book. This book is now with my editor and I’m taking a short breather while I wait for it to come back to me. Hopefully, I will have more to tell you about all that very soon!

Thanks for reading as always. By the time of the next blog post, it will be nearly Christmas!

My First Indie Author Podcast Interview!

MXL Microphone for my first indie author podcast interviewAs some of you may have seen if you’ve liked my Facebook page, this week I gave my first indie author podcast interview. Paul Teague from the Self-Publishing Journeys podcast invited me a few weeks ago and I said yes before I could talk myself out of it! If you click on the link above and scroll down the page, you will see that my interview is coming up on 5 November. When it goes live, it will move to the top and you can listen to it there on your computer.

Subscribing to Podcasts

Alternatively, you can subscribe to Paul’s podcast on your phone or other mobile device to listen to it while you’re on the go. A couple of people told me they weren’t sure what a podcast is so I hope this makes it clearer for you.

You can listen to podcasts on all kinds of topics these days, anything from comedy to politics (you may consider these to be the same right now!) It’s so handy for the commute to work or even to while away the hours (!) spent cleaning, gardening etc. My husband listens while he’s at the gym but the thought of the gym just makes me shudder 🙂

Podcasts I listen to

I mostly listen to mine on my commute and while driving here, there and everywhere. I tend to listen to writing podcasts only – apart from Paul’s, I listen to the Self-Publishing Formula and The Creative Penn. If you already listen to podcasts, which are your favourites? Do let me know in the comments or by sending me an email to julie@julie-stock.co.uk. I’d love to hear your tips.

Preparing for the interview

And so, to the interview. Well, I was delighted when Paul asked me to be a guest on his show. I’ve listened to his podcast diary and his interviews for a long time now. So it was a real badge of honour as an indie author to be invited to chat with Paul about my self-publishing journey. However, I was also quite nervous. Paul is a former BBC man with lots of experience so I wanted to make sure I came across as professional and not like a bumbling idiot! (Only time will tell…)

Anyway, Paul was very organised and I didn’t have to do much beforehand except to make sure that my Skype account was all set up properly. (The last interview I did over Skype was in February 2016 and you can read that post here). My husband sorted me out with a decent microphone from his own supply at his business, and once I had my earphones, I was all set. I did spend a bit of time thinking through the questions that Paul might ask me but not so much that I would sound rehearsed when it came to it. Paul advised me to think of it as a chat between us rather than an interview so I tried to focus on that.

How did my first indie author podcast interview go?

When we finally did the interview, Paul was so easy-going that my nerves melted away and soon we were chatting like we’d known each other for years, which in a way we had. The time passed very quickly and we had a short break after the main interview where I breathed a sigh of relief. Then we carried on chatting about all sorts of things. We recorded another short interview of quick fire questions afterwards, which is for Paul’s Patreon supporters first of all but will be available generally at a later point. And then it was time to say goodbye. I was buzzing for a good hour afterwards because it had been such a great experience. I did then start to worry whether I’d said anything I shouldn’t about anyone or anything (!) but I’m reasonably confident I didn’t…

Should I start a podcast?

As you can see from this link, my husband now offers a podcast bundle of gear you’d need to set up your own podcast. It’s professional gear so it is a bit expensive (cheaper options are available) but since he put that bundle together, I’ve been thinking more and more about whether to do a podcast myself. I’ve thought about it for a while but always decided against it because of lack of time and skill, but who knows? Maybe one day I will give it a go.

Anyway, don’t forget to let me know your favourite podcasts and to tune in to my interview on Paul Teague’s Self-Publishing Journeys podcast on 5 November. In the meantime, it’s back to editing book 3 for me!