Libby’s Songs

I’ve accumulated a pretty hefty list of songs that feel like they speak to my characters, so this time, instead of just doing one playlist, I’m going to divide it into two. This week I’m focusing on the songs that seem like they could be from Libby’s point of view, or have the dual point of view of both characters. And next week I’ll share Sean’s songs.

So, in celebration of Songs for Libby being released in only NINE DAYS, here are their songs.

Lest I scare you off with the angst and heaviness of the rest of the songs, I’ll start with the song that I associate with the end of the book. 🙂

♪ Lover—Taylor Swift

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Counting Down

SIXTEEN DAYS!

Sixteen days, my friends, until Songs for Libby is released.

Here’s the thing.

This indie-author thing that I’m doing—it’s hard. And frustrating. And I seriously don’t know what I’m doing sometimes. All my marketing and launch ideas feel like one giant crapshoot. Will they work? Won’t they?

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Behind the YouTube Scenes

As I set the Songs for Libby launch aside for a bit, I managed to record a video for my YouTube channel yesterday. I haven’t done that since COVID came on the scene. The video isn’t long, and there wasn’t much postproduction required for it, but I barely managed to finish it in the 2+ hours when all my kids were in school.

I want my videos to look nice. Of course I do. But to get all the lighting and sound dialed in, as well as a pretty background, it takes some finagling.

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An Ode to Reviews

(Not actually an Ode)

I’m coming up on a launch. Songs for Libby releases on October 15 and is up for pre-order now. That means that I’m going to be putting out my hands to beg for reviews as soon as it’s out.

I think a lot of people think that in order to leave a review, you have to be a “good reviewer.” For the record, anyone who bothers to review something is a good reviewer in my book. You don’t have to do a special intro to the book before you give your opinion. It doesn’t have to be long. You don’t have to cover every aspect of what you did and didn’t like. If all you want to say in your review is, “I really liked this one,” that’s great! You can write as much or as little as you want. No one is out their judging your reviews (unless you are a professional reviewer, but that’s different).

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Beta Alpha Delta

I’ve mentioned beta readers several times and I’ve had a handful of people ask me what the heck they are.

It’s like beta testing a product. When you develop computer software or hardware, you have to beta test it before you start to sell it for real money. There will always be coding issues that need to be fixed, so developers have to debug it so that users don’t waste their hard-earned cash on something that’s going to have issues.

Same thing with books. It’s a product, and my readers spend their hard-earned money on it, so I don’t want to sell them a product that is defective.

But how can a book be defective?

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Wanna See My New Book?

Shall we have a cover reveal? I think we shall.

My approach for this cover was different than any of my others. For each of my other books I’ve been able to come up with a pretty solid concept of what I wanted the cover to be. I always had a jumping off point that I could work with and develop until I reached the point where I knew enough of what I wanted that I could convey it to my husband and he could put it together for me.

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Hurt people hurt people

How are you broken? 

We all are. Some of us have jagged cracks through our souls. Others of us have countless fine lines. Most of us have a mix of both.

We’ve been broken by words and by circumstance. We’ve been broken by jealousy and good intentions. Traditions have broken us. Zeal has broken us. Love has broken us alongside the hate. This life is a constant process of trying to put ourselves back together. Filling in the gaps left by loss. Sewing together the frayed edges of a broken heart. It’s important to acknowledge our brokenness, to strive to fix it.

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It’s Critical to Critique

Back before I published my first book, I exercised my writing muscles in a lot of different ways. I loaded my chapters onto a critique website and got feedback from a bunch of random strangers on the internet. In turn, I’d read their stuff and give them feedback. That format taught me how to better take criticism, whether that meant swallowing my pride and killing my darlings, or if it meant disregarding their comments because they were so far from my target audience that I had to filter some of their comments as irrelevant.

It also had the added benefit of teaching me how to give feedback. This is a learned skill. I’ve searched enough for useful beta readers to know that not everyone has that skill. It’s not just about reading it and giving a thumbs up or thumbs down. Good feedback only comes when the reader is able to identify that something in the writing isn’t sitting right with them, then identifying WHY that is, and then being able to come up with a possible solution. On top of all of that, they have to have the ability to articulate all of that information to the person whose work they are critiquing.

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Indie Author Hurdles

The past couple weeks I’ve been doing my best to write the blurb for my next book. If you’re familiar with my ramblings, you probably know that I have a hard time with that particular aspect of preparing to publish. How do I make my story sound amazing and enticing, while also being completely honest about what kind of book it is and what people should expect, but without sharing so much information that it lands in spoiler territory? I’m crossing my fingers that it looks something like this:

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