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Mid-June: I am Blessed

When I decided to finally pull my 2 three-ring binders from storage and work until I published, I had no idea the work or the reward in doing so.

I began the current series of stories in about 2000.  I made notes as I drove monthly over 5.5 hours to visit family with my young sons.  I wrote until the wee hours of the morning, the only truly quiet time in a house with a husband, a two and a five-year-old boy. I had many handwritten pages and lists of words or segments of sentences to decipher.  But, I was up to the challenge.

This series will end with a total of three or four books.  I published a brief introduction on 5/21/17 named The Proposal.  This short story introduces my three main characters.  It is a comical yet touching story of three friends reunited after two years apart.  The Proposal sets up the series.  Without sharing any spoilers it ends with the event that ties the series together.

One book on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions, I felt a huge sense of fear.  Don’t get me wrong I am excited to have one book out there for the masses to read. I’ve heard many times from seasoned authors, the first work will not be perfect, you learn from it, it is the band-aid you must rip off to heal and become better. However, now readers can like or dislike it.  They can rip my heart to shreds with their reviews.  If my friends learn of my pen name, then they might judge me based on this work.

I expected to sell maybe five books. Imagine my surprise that in less than thirty days I have sold over forty books.  I have even been caught cheering as it isn’t just friends and family purchasing them. Strangers have bought my book!  My husband and I now look at sales two or three times a week and celebrate.  I didn’t expect this.  I imagined I would remain a two-books-sold author on Amazon, never clicked on or reviewed.

I have four reviews between Amazon and Goodreads.  Two are strangers.  Yes, two people, I do not know, purchased my book, read it, then gave top reviews.  This blows my mind.  So now we also look for reviews once a week and celebrate the fact readers care.  I am sure eventually a negative review will occur.  It’s inevitable.  I feel I am stronger now with my tiny bit of sales and review success, that I might be able to deal with such a review.  Don’t get me wrong it will sting.  I will probably cry.  I am a momma bear with my book, just as I am with my two grown sons.

I have learned more than I every thought possible about social media in the last month.  Authors have to self-promote when they self-publish.  I thought I would publish book one then spend every waking hour working on book two.  Wrong.  To keep a following, I must be active on social media.  My platform must be one that draws interest, keeps followers active, and hopefully, encourages the purchase of my book(s).  I didn’t think this sounded too difficult.  My personal accounts are active.  I was wrong again.  Two posts to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram every day requires research, planning, and creativity.  Add in Pinterest posts a couple of times a week, plus keeping my personal accounts up with family and friends…it seemed like a full-time job.  Within the past two weeks, I feel I have set a rhythm that allows me to control my posts and still find time to write.  However, my blog and website have not been given attention.  So now I am adding updates to these platforms, tweaking my time to allow for it, and hope I can still manage to write, write, write. (Not to mention spend time with my dog and family.)

How are things now?
First, through my spouse following and posting on Facebook, my pen name is no longer a secret. Many family members and friends now know I am an author named Haley Rhoades.  This is the scariest thing ever. My book is not everyone’s cup of tea.  Romance is a tricky genre.  Readers know what they like, and within sub-genres, some do not stray.  So to say it is a romance book, allows many to think they will enjoy it.  It is scary because family and friends opinions have the ability to cut deeper than a stranger.  My anonymity is lost, and now some will think I am weird because of certain scenes in my book.  Others will try to find a true-life person to fit each character.  They might think the plot is real.  Although some characters resemble persons I know, they are not real people. This is not based on a true story.  It is fiction all they way through.

A typical day involves a walk with Nala around the neighborhood, then breakfast.  I venture to my office, which Nala doesn’t enjoy even though she has a special blanket and treats in.  I post or schedule posts to social media on my PC.  I do some research.  Then when Nala whines too much, I move upstairs.  We usually walk the neighborhood again, then eat lunch.  I work as I eat.  I read my story outline, I mark up previously written pages, I jot a few notes, or continue with social media on my iPad.  Afternoons are spent writing.  I free write, I elaborate on my previously written pages, I jump all over the story to keep myself interested and writing.  About 5 pm, I wrap up my writing by organizing it in my filing system.  As I often write different sections in the same sitting, I place each within their appropriate part in the storyline.  I jot a few notes on tough parts I need to brainstorm, and I move into the family mode at least on the outside.  I freshen up the house, prepare dinner, and prepare for my husband to arrive home.  All the while I am daydreaming parts of my story.  These parts are my writing for tomorrow.  After dinner, we take a mammoth walk.  I have to reach my 10,000 steps daily. Yay me!  Although I am carrying on a conversation with my husband, I am still working on the story in my mind.  Occasionally while walking or watching TV, I make notes on my iPhone of ideas for tomorrow’s writing. My story is never far from my mind.  As we watch TV, my very supportive spouse allows me to look at social media of authors and fans I follow.  I get ideas on technique, technologies, promotions, etc. during this time.  And when I fall asleep at night, I pick up my story where I left off letting it play in my dreams as I doze off.

It seems the life of a writer is 24/7.  I never knew, but I am enjoying every minute of it.  I have been truly humbled by the experience of my first published book and I hope I never lose that feeling.  I am blessed to have a supportive family and friends.  I am blessed to be able to write full-time.  I am blessed that readers have chosen my book.  I am blessed by my followers on social media.  I am truly blessed and very thankful.
-Haley Rhoades

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Free Book & A Trip

Free book & all-inclusive trip giveaway. Odds of winning 1 in 400 #bookgiveaway #giveaways #AuthorWithACause 

http://ow.ly/yvwu30cjMj0
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Finally Friday And A Three-Day-Weekend!

Hope your holiday weekend starts with leaving work early today.  
Do you have a good book picked out for the weekend?
I have no big plans for this weekend but have a girls’ trip planned for Monday-Thursday.  

Just a quick post to remind you that one contest in my previous post ended yesterday, winners will receive an email soon.  

The other contest ends at midnight tonight so hurry to win. As stated on Wednesday, if you mention friends in the comments of my contest post on Facebook, you will receive one entry for every one of your friends that follow me on Facebook.  (Must be a new follower for Haley Rhoades.) 

It’s easy:
1.  Type several friends names or tag them in the comment section on my Facebook page.
2.  Contact your friend and ask them to follow my page for you.
3.  You are entered when they follow, before midnight.
**Let your friends know they can follow these easy steps today, for their own entries in the giveaway.**

I will have a Goodreads Giveaway starting on 5/31.  Follow The Haley Rhoades author page by clicking on my name under my book The Proposal on your Goodreads App or website.  You will receive a notice of any contests and new books on Goodreads by Haley Rhoades.  It is a great app to keep lists of books you’ve read, want to read, and find recommendations from your friends for new reads.

Happy Reading,

Haley

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Inside Scoop–Do You Like FREE!!!

Psst…
Wanna win a free Kindle or paperback copy of my new book, The Proposal?
Here are a few ways to get your hands on one of 15 free copies this week:

Today through Friday…

On my Facebook page, I have a post that my followers can mention friends’ names in the comment section–if any of your friends then likes/follows my Facebook page you get an entry for each one.  Enter as often as you like.  I will randomly draw five entries to receive a copy of The Proposal.

The Inside Scoop…

Goodreads and Facebook New Follower Promotion Thursday, May 25th-

On Thursday only, I will tweet a giveaway in which each new person to follow me on my Goodreads author page has a chance to win a Kindle or paperback copy of my book The Proposal.  Must be a new follower for an entry.

Also, all new Facebook followers have a chance to win a Kindle or paperback copy of my book The Proposal.  Must be a new follower for an entry.

I will give away 10 Kindle or paperback copies on Thursday, May 25th in the Goodreads and Facebook New Follower Promotion.

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Launch Sweepstakes-Good Luck!

Im currently reading my own book on a Kindle app.  #Unreal #LivingTheDream 

Please follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, & Instagram. 

❤😀💚📚📱📚📚
A new chance to win a copy of my new book, The Proposal.  
Good Luck!

See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: The Proposal (The Surrogate Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition). https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/b8898a6e8e663b8b NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Jun 2, 2017 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.
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Book Launch Giveaway

See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: The Proposal (The Surrogate Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition). https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e01c25cf9f5fec7e NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Jun 5, 2017, 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.

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Confessions

Confessions of a busy mom:

It was my intention to keep blogging once a week.  As you can tell that hasn’t occurred.  We have one maybe two weekends left of college baseball and then I am devoting all of my time to writing.  So let’s play catch up.

I now have a website! Check out my website here.  It is a work in progress, so be patient.  I do have a book to release Late May 2017.  That information is starting to fill the website.

My social media pages are functional.  I have an active Pinterest page that has information on items mentioned in the books and ideas of my characters as they develop.  I added my social media connections below.  Click on the links to see/follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Instagram.

I am collecting names of beta readers and bloggers to read my book prior to publishing for the masses.  If you would like to read and provide me feedback email me at haleyrhoadesauthor@gmail.com .

HaleyRhoadesAuthor on Instagram
That’s all for today.  I promise to write more often.—Haley

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Hello My New Blog Friends

Where to begin?

Let me start by introducing myself. I am Haley Rhoades. I reside in Kansas City, Missouri. With the support of my husband and two children, I ended my career in education to focus on my dream of becoming an author.

I began my current book in 2003 on pocket notebook pages in the car and on my nightstand. A few times since then, I picked it up to add to it.  I restarted writing it in the summer of 2016.  I am now firmly dedicated to its completion.

I plan to use my blog to discuss my trials and tribulations on my road of discovery towards publication. I am by no means a professional writer. I am seeking the assistance and advice of others to not only assist me, but also my followers. I will share the knowledge I acquire.  Please feel free to add comments and suggestions to help us all.