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IWSG August - Write to market?

 This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for August 2022.

Alex's awesome co-hosts this month

TaraTyler, LisaBuie Collard, 
Please stop by their blogs and say thank you


August 3rd question - When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

Ooo. Good question!

I do BOTH. I'm mindful of the expectations of the genre, but I don't limit myself to a narrow choice of plot scripts. I plan the basic story then I slide into panster-mode when it comes to writing the scenes. 

As I draft, I pause to think things like 'what would she plausibly reply to that?' or 'what would he do if she did that?' I let the characters, their personalities, their backstories, and the social mores of the setting year guide me. Sometimes the scene goes in a different direction than I envisioned, and that can ripple into the overall plot.

My books get good reviews, even though reviewers sometimes comment that the plot is different from what is typical. Being able to do things my way is a perk of being indie. So far, my readers are happy with it.

A lot has happened since we last met. I've been busy...
I put my Forging America series into KU, as I mentioned in the July IWSG. That turned out to be a very good move. Between the Amazon ads and that, my royalties have increased a hundredfold.

I wrote a reader magnet (a free novella to entice new subscribers to my author newsletter) and offered it as a loyalty gift to existing subscribers, as well. I integrated my newsletter sign-up with BookFunnel, and in less than twenty-four hours of sending out a newsletter to my 200+ subscribers and posting in a WHR Facebook group, I had 144 new newsletter subscribers and 117 downloads of the free book! 

...the free book that has links to all my social media contact points and books in the back matter. *smile*

Cover by Carrie Butler

What’s worse than being a mail-order bride without a groom?
Marrying the only man in town who doesn’t want a wife.

Get 'Bride for Sale' FREE when you subscribe to my newsletter!

This book has been approved for most audiences. 
It contains some mild cowboy cursing and a kiss or two.

I finally took the leap into formatting and did the reader magnet myself, using Atticus. It was surprisingly easy. This will not only save me money but allow me to update the back matter of my books at will, without having to go through a third party or pay extra fees.

(At one time, I wanted Vellum, but I'm a PC girl, so it would have meant buying a Mac and dealing with two learning curves, instead of just one.)

Next on the list is book four of my western series and a more regular social media and newsletter schedule. After that is a sweet/clean western series and maybe another paranormal or two.

What's up with you?


IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a monthly bloghop that offers a safe haven for writers to express their feelings and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It's also a venue for offering  support, both in the form of comments and positive posts. Writers of all kinds are welcome. 

We 'meet' the first Wednesday of every month. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link above. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list


  1. We've not done KU but I might have to look into it if you've increased your royalties that much.

    1. The Amazon ads are part of it. My contemporaries don't do very well in KU, but my westerns took off.

  2. As long as readers are happy and you are happy, that's what matters.

  3. Yay you! I have a magnet through Book Funnel too. I was amazed. I love KU, too :) Marketing requires a whole other part of my brain.

  4. Hi Melissa! Congrats on you new subscribers...AWESOME. You are really working hard getting your story's read. I need to get moving in that direction. As you know, I have been spending WAY TOO MUCH TIME creating my gardens. Once they are complete, I can really enjoy them and start writing out there once the weather cools. September and October will be perfect months to do it. It has taken a lot longer than I had expected... oh, I just noticed the anonymous...UGH. It is Michael Di Gesu...

  5. If the readers are happy then I figure the author's main mission has been achieved. Better to appease a million happy readers, then sullenly wonder why ones book didn't sell but a handful. I like your approach.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  6. Your answer shoulda been my answer. I didn't equate this to writing to market. I read it as pleasing the reader, to which my short answer was- what's the point of writing if your readers don't like your stories?

    Some brain cells aren't all firing at once!


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