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It’s crazy to think that July is almost over! 

 

There are so many things that I keep adding to my to-do list, but I want to take the time to look back on everything that I’ve done and am in the middle of working on. To keep things in perspective and help me stay motivated in the year ahead. 😉

 

So, what have I been working on? 

 

Quite a bit! But the four main projects I worked on this month: 

 

  • Helping launch J.D. Edwin’s debut novel, Headspace 
  • Entering my third writing contest 
  • Creating a Facebook group for the Book Club 
  • Setting up a Ko-fi account 

 

Being on a launch team for Headspace

 

Three months ago, if you had asked me what a launch team is or the difference between a beta reader and an ARC reader, I wouldn’t have been any help. I may have tried – but I had absolutely no idea what it really meant. 

 

But now I know! 

 

I signed up to be an ARC reader for Headspace several months ago, and it was an amazing experience! J.D. Edwin was so helpful and patient throughout the whole process (and my many questions). It went so well that I’ve opted to stay on her list of ARC readers for the prequel and sequels. And I cannot wait to get my hands on her next novel, Master of the Arena. 🤩

cover photo for Headspace

So, what’s the difference between an ARC reader and a beta reader? 

 

  • An ARC (advanced reader copy) reader is someone who receives your manuscript after it is edited/formatted and ready to print. This is NOT the point where you have someone give you story suggestions. Instead, an ARC reader should:
    • Read your book before it’s published (they typically receive their digital copy at least a month before your book launch) 
    • Write a review on your book launch day/week – they can’t leave their review sooner than that unless they’re leaving one on Goodreads. For instance, I left a review on Goodreads a week before, one on Amazon on the day, and one on Barnes and Noble a few days after. 
    • Share your book on social media (and spread the word to their friends if it’s a book they’re excited about!) 

 

  • A beta reader is someone who reads your manuscript before it goes to an editor. Please note that you DO NOT want to send them your first draft (never let anyone see that!). You want to send them what you should think of as your “near-final draft,” a.k.a., the furthest you can take your manuscript on your own. Beta readers should provide you with detailed feedback, like 
    • Are your characters well-developed? 
    • Does your storyline make sense? Or does it have plot holes? 
    • Was it easy to read? 
    • Was there anything confusing or distracting from the storyline? 

 

I was an ARC reader for Headspace, and I was also on the launch team – which basically means that I agreed to help promote it as much as possible. I made several announcements on my social media platforms, told my subscribers about it, and left my review on four different websites: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and here on my blog. 

 

It was a lot of fun! 

 

My third writing contest (and a favor to ask of you) 

 

I found an old idea in my files that I used for the short story contest! Here’s some more information about my story, “Laser Tag:”

🙋🏼‍♀️This is my first published short story with a female protagonist. I’m really pleased with how she turned out! 

🌎 The setting is on our world this time, but with a twist (so not my fantasy world). 

🧛‍♀️ And here’s the paranormal twist! I’ve always been intrigued by vampires, werewolves, etc., so it’s honestly weird that it’s taken me this long to write about one! 

😱 This is my first time submitting a story in the horror genre. I hesitated and drew it out as long as possible because I wasn’t sure if it had what it takes. Do I even know what horror is supposed to sound like? I almost typed a disclaimer at the top of my workshop post to apologize if it wasn’t really horror – but I stopped myself, took a deep breath, and selected the “horror” button before I could second-guess myself.

🥳 The theme for this contest was “Anniversary.” 

I would love it if you read my story! You can find it here on Short Fiction Break. Voting for the Reader’s Choice Award is now open, and I would be so honored if you vote for my story. 😊 There’s a green “bar” on this page that is the drop-down to use for the vote.  

 

Creating a Facebook group for the Book Club 

logo for book club

Yes, the Book Club is finally starting to come together, and I’m so excited! The read-along (and official kickoff) begins on August 1. We’ll be reading Headspace, and if you’re interested in joining, you’ll need to:

 

  1. Buy Headspace (you can still get the ebook for $0.99 through midnight tonight, July 25th) 
  2. Sign up for my bi-weekly newsletter 
  3. Confirm your subscription
  4. Go back to your confirmation email and follow the link to the Book Dragons’ Book Club 

 

If you’re already subscribed to my newsletter, then you can click the link under the Book Club section of the most recent email. 

 

Setting up my Ko-fi account

 

You’ll notice that all of my posts (short stories, book reviews, etc.) have a “Support Me on Ko-fi” button. If you’re on mobile, it will be under the comment section. This means that you can now buy me a virtual coffee to support my writing! 

 

You know how much I LOVE my coffee. So I appreciate all the virtual love and support. ❤

 

My favorite aspect of Ko-fi is adding fun story extras that you can download and enjoy for FREE! My goal is to create one a month, so please check out “A Song of the Unsee” here. And let me know what you think! 

 

Other projects I’ve been working on 

 

  • Working through the Foundations of Publishing course 
  • Working on the geography/new map for Bedoria 
  • Getting back to my short story series of Eran’s adventures 
  • Plotting for my novella 
  • Finishing Eldest 
  • Reading Shadow and Bone 
  • Updating my website 
  • ARC reading for “The Naiad’s Curse” 

 

High hopes for August 

 

I can’t wait to get started on all the projects on my back burner! I’ve been reevaluating what I need to accomplish to hit my writing/reading goals for the year. 

 

So here’s my idealistic, shooting for the stars, to-do list for next month: 

 

  • Start submitting to anthologies and more contests 
  • Finish Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 
  • Reread Headspace (w/Book Club) 
  • Read Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising, and Realm Breaker 
  • Publish Eran’s next adventure on my website 
  • Create a cool download for Ko-fi 
  • Write two book reviews for Eldest and Shadow and Bone 
  • Offer a sneak peek of my novella to my email subscribers

 

Do I wish I could guarantee that this will all happen? 100% yes. 

 

But… I also know that my work schedule is picking up, I have family obligations. Life happens, and it’s important to maintain balance to preserve my sanity and look after my mental health. 

 

This is why I’ve decided to – 

  1. Move my newsletters to bi-weekly instead of weekly. 
  2. Focus on my short stories and author updates (the posts planned for the same dates as the newsletter) 
  3. Only publish 1-2 book reviews if I’m keeping up with the top priority posts 
  4. Use August to focus on my novella so that I can get back to my 100 Day Book course in September 

 

If I can get those four things done, everything else will be a great bonus! 

 

Let’s Get Social!

 

You can find me on Instagram and Facebook by searching @lydiawoodwardwriter

I’m just starting to figure out Goodreads, so feel free to reach out here!  

 

 

Eran’s Latest Adventure

 

Eran is the protagonist of my novel, and I’ve been writing a series of short stories that focuses on him when he was younger. Unfortunately, I won’t be posting the next one until August, but you can read the last one I published on my website, Silent Killers

 

 

I’d Love for You to Join the Fun!

 

You’ll be the first to receive a copy of my novella once it’s finished (for FREE!), and you’ll always be in-the-know on important updates and upcoming book releases.