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Author Topic: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?  (Read 2637 times)  

Offline Geoff North

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Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« on: December 05, 2017, 12:42:40 PM »
I haven't posted anything here for a long time, in fact, I wasn't all that active before. But I now find myself at a point in my life where I feel I have to reach out and ask for a bit of help, if that's okay.

2017 started out pretty well for me. I was on track to release a science fiction trilogy, promote as much as I could (even though the funds were limited), and try and make this writing thing my next career. The first two books were released, but the third is still only half done. Unfortunately everything started going very badly in April. My wife left me for another man, did NOT see it coming, and everything fell apart. I won't go into details, but it has been hard. I'm now at a place where I feel better about myself, and I have the full support of my children.

I want to get back to it. I want to finish the trilogy and then start something new. I have a lot of free time to write now. I live alone in a big, quiet house, so there's no excuse NOT to be writing. I now also have a lot more money to invest in advertising and promotion. My main question, I suppose, is how to do it? I used to keep a very close eye on things in these regards but haven't kept up on it during the last six months. What's working well for self-publishers now? AMS ads? Facebook ads? Bargain and Free Booksy? I have a budget of approximately $300 per month for six months. I'm thinking I can get some decent promotion?

Thanks in advance to anyone that replies. It means a lot to me. And btw, if anyone here has been through a similar situation, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to PM me. We can drink some virtual wine and discuss our woes, lol!

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2017, 01:19:16 PM »
Hi Geoff. Been exactly where you are right now, minus the children, and it sucks but you'll no doubt bounce back and be better, stronger, more productive and just more you than ever before.

As regards promos, obviously with that kind of budget Bookbub should be right in your firing line.

Freebooksy always work wonderfully for me. Bknights and Robin Reads are great as well.

Best of luck with everything mate. Always free for a chat, even if I am on the other side of the pond.

Gaz.

Offline Monique

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2017, 01:28:07 PM »
I'm sorry to hear about your troubles, but good for you for getting back to it. And don't think of it as starting over, you're not, you're picking up where you left off. Not all that much as changed, I don't think. People are seeing some success with BB and AMS ads. There are quite a few threads about them. Take your time and read, read, read. When you have 3 ready to go, apply for a Bookbub. Be sure to also apply for a new release alert and, if applicable, a pre-order alert.

Don't feel like you have to relearn everything or that the world has completely changed since you left. It hasn't. Subtle shifts, yes, but we are all just feeling our way along, too.

Don't hesitate to post more specific questions as they come to you and good luck!

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Offline Abderian

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2017, 01:37:41 PM »
Sorry to hear of your difficulties, Geoff. For getting into Facebook ads, I would suggest buying Michael Cooper's My Facebook Ads Suck. Michael's seen a lot of success since honing is FB ads strategy and hopefully you can too.

Offline jdcore

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2017, 01:40:29 PM »
My wife left me for her cousin's husband. And because of the fact that the cousin had also recently lost her dad most of everyone's sympathy was with her, rightly. I mean she lost her dad and her cousin swooped in while she was down and stole her man. Still, it left me with a weirdly lacking support group.

So I wrote my novella Confessions of the Cuckold. It sounds like erotica but its really the story of a guy whose wife leaves him for her sister's husband so he begins plotting a way to kill the man who stole his wife. Or does he? I mean sure, the wife stealer ends up dead and sure the circumstances fit the plot the cuckolded husband devised, but the police swear it was natural causes. Maybe it's just a coincidence...

Point is, writing is cathartic. Use what happened. Don't hide from it.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 01:42:11 PM by jdcore »

Offline anniejocoby

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017, 01:45:04 PM »
*Hugs* I think we've all been where you are at some point, as far as getting our heart broken and somehow finding a way to put one foot in front of the other.

I'll echo what Monique says (Monique is very, very wise). Things haven't changed that much since you took a break. As she says, people are having success with AMS ads. I don't know about Facebook so much anymore - I've heard that they're not so effective anymore because they're so saturated.

I don't have much advice on how to do AMS properly, unfortunately. I'm thinking about picking up a book about it this week. I'm nervous myself to try AMS, because they seem so complicated and difficult to get right. But I think that they're an opportunity if you can figure them out.

As for Freebooksy, et. al...I think that Freebooksy is as effective as ever. Robin Reads is also pretty good. BookBub I guess is still the holy grail, but I keep hearing anecdotal evidence that the tail on BookBub isn't what it once was and that sell-through isn't the same, either. I wouldn't know - they won't touch me anymore. I'm like the plague to them these days.

All that I can say about what is working for me is writing treadmill. A new title every 5-6 weeks. I think that you can do that kind of production if you concentrate.

Anyhow, good luck. I'm very sorry to hear about your marriage. I know that's rough. Hang in there!
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 06:44:05 PM by anniejocoby »

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Offline jdcore

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2017, 01:47:09 PM »
Oh, by the way, this was thirteen years ago now. Since then I had a two year relationship with a second woman who also cheated on me with a married man before I finally met the woman I have been with til today. We just celebrated the ten year anniversary of our courtship. We have no plans to marry and no intention of ever being apart.

It gets better.

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2017, 01:49:08 PM »
No advice to offer, Geoff, just some hugs. :)

Offline Flay Otters

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2017, 01:57:34 PM »
Been very low myself... several times.
It does get better Geoff, and yes, use the experience, and the quiet time to write.
Sorry I don't have any skillful ways to promote etc. but certainly wish you all success.

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2017, 02:15:57 PM »
First, I add my condolences. I can't imagine what you're going through right now.

As for marketing advice ... everything Monique said. Also, finish that third book, no matter how hard it feels.

Remember, the universe you write in is the only universe you'll ever really control. Create a world you want to be in.



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Offline Geoff North

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2017, 02:25:06 PM »
Thank you all for the kinds words and advice! It sounds as if things haven't changed all that much in the last six months.

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Offline Rosie A.

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2017, 02:30:32 PM »
I'm so sorry, Geoff. That's heartbreaking. I hope you're able to take it one day at a time, heal, and strengthen from this experience. How terrible. I wish I could give you a super big hug! Being said, ease back into your writing. May I also suggest taking the troubles that ail you and using them in your stories as a way of healing?

2017 has been a big, horrible, mess of a year for my husband and I. We almost broke up and went through some serious troubles after our son's mother (my stepson) kidnapped him and we lost our house, etc spending money trying to get him back. Anyway, it's been a disaster of a year and we had to move in order to start fresh. What's really helped me get through this (besides faith and I don't always have the best days sometimes) has been writing. At first, it was hard. Really hard to get back in it. I didn't write for a few months because things were so crazy and I was emotionally drained. However, with a bit of time and a new perspective living somewhere new, my husband and I are working on things. Because I'm feeling a bit better, I've been able to write more and use my experiences/hurt in order to write about these things that trouble me. I think as writers, what we have to offer is perspective. Despite the tragic situation you've experienced and are coming out of, you have a lot to offer other people: hope. If you can, is it possible to use these experiences in your fiction and offer hope and healing through your work? Just an idea.

I'm glad you're here opening up. A lot of times when we're depressed and having a rough go at life we want to withdraw, but intimacy and relationship is what we need most. Take care.

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Offline Geoff North

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2017, 02:35:13 PM »
Thank you for that, Rosie. I'm sorry to hear you've had such a rough year too. Happy to hear you and husband are working things out!

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Offline Mark Dawson

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2017, 02:51:13 PM »
Chin up, Geoff. Itll all be grist to the mill eventually.

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2017, 02:53:47 PM »
Geoff, if I were in your shoes, I'd start with AMS ads.

It's an easier platform to learn than Facebook. Plus, the folks who see your ads are on Amazon to buy things (commercial intent).

Start small and build gradually. Create a single ad with a $5/day budget. Then another. Then another.

Collect keywords. Put 'em in a spreadsheet. Keep adding to the inventory while pruning the ones that aren't converting.




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Offline MKK

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2017, 02:58:28 PM »
On a positive note...

Your productivity should skyrocket. You're in Manitoba and about to have four months of miserably cold weather which will require that you stay inside and write :)

Seriously though...good luck with it. Sometimes a hard kick in the gut/heart/butt provides more motivation and opportunity than the best of intentions.

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Offline Athena Grayson

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2017, 04:23:18 PM »
Geoff,
Man, that sucks. I'm sorry. There's some good advice on this thread. The *strategy* hasn't changed, and probably never will (write the best books you can, write good books people want to read, etc.), but the tactics go back and forth. Focus on content, because that's the stuff that sticks around. Finish book 3 and start working on a new series. Give yourself some time to figure out what your working pace is before you over-schedule or dig yourself into a hole.

Also, don't forget to give yourself time to heal. Going from having no time to write to All The Time to write is a bit of a culture shock in the best of situations. Your mental state is something to consider. Treat yourself better than she treated you.

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2017, 05:11:22 PM »
All the best in this next chapter of your life, Geoff.  Anything is possible! :)

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Offline Lynn Is A Pseudonym

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2017, 05:42:31 PM »
I'm so sorry you had to go through that.

It took me a year almost to the day before I could write again after my divorce started. It was stressful beyond belief and I wasn't able to concentrate on anything creative until then. The surprise makes a difference, I think, because there's been no processing time ahead of time, no mental preparation for what's to come. Sounds like we had a similar experience, so if you want to talk PM me and I'll share my email address. :)

Support of friends and family was the only thing that got me through it, I'll be honest. It was the hardest thing I've ever gone through.

Everyone else is right about the world of self-pub though. Even though it can feel like it moves at light speed, it really doesn't. It's a little thing changed here and a little thing that's different there.

You'll probably be up to speed in less than a week. :)

Offline EvanPickering

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2017, 05:43:21 PM »
As bad as this is, it's a hell of a lot better than being in a [crap] relationship.

I recommending reading this and part 2 of this, it might be one of the best things I've ever read about relationships and it made me feel worlds better when me and my girlfriend fell apart. Not the same as a marriage I know, but this [crap] was pretty serious.

https://waitbutwhy.com/2014/02/pick-life-partner.html

It brings up a good point that if you're single, your one step away from something great. If you're in a bad relationship, you're several steps away. First you have to get out of the relationship, then be okay, then find someone.

It's a simple point, but often lost on people who, when alone, feel like they're left behind at the back of a race.

As far as writing... Someone said it above, but, it's true: the tactics change, the strategy stays the same. Write fun and wildly entertaining books. The rest is easy. I've been studying books I can't put down lately to try and improve my own writing.

Take care of yourself dude.
Evan

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Offline Geoff North

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2017, 06:45:40 PM »
Thank you everyone - so much!

Evan, I will check that link out!

Lynn - I will PM you. It really does feel good to talk.

Mark - listened to a couple of your podcasts this morning. A little surreal to hear from you here again a few hours later, lol!

MKK - thanks for reminding me of the cold months ahead!  ;)

Anarchist - I was getting the hang of Amazon ads before this happened. Will get back into it!

Lori and Athena - thank you so much! And to everyone else. You've cheered me up immensely.

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2017, 07:48:36 PM »
Is Ambition the first book in your trilogy?  It looks good!

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Offline Geoff North

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2017, 08:50:25 PM »
Yes, Lorri, Ambition is book 1. I hope it looks good, that cover cost a small fortune! Lol!

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Offline A Fading Street

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2017, 12:09:25 AM »
Hey Geoff I went through something like this nearly twenty years ago. My commiserations are endless BUT I have that event to thank for the three best things ever to happen to me. Meeting my other half and the births of my two fantastic kids. Those three things would never have happened without the first event and for that, now, I am eternally grateful.
Keep writing, but most importantly keep living because you really never know what is just around the corner.
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Offline Steve Vernon

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Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2017, 01:31:43 AM »
About thirty or so years ago I divorced and my writing ground to a half. I went back to university and hitchhiked across Canada. I was homeless for a while. I turned both of those experiences into newspaper articles. I began to think in story again. My fingertips yearned for a keyboard and I began to write again. I published my first local book. I moved on.

I met the big love of my life and we've been happy together these last 25 years or so.

This whole experience will get easier as time works its magic.

Hang in their buddy.