Six books and counting!
This is the second time I was lucky enough to chat with Jaclyn on the podcast waaaayyy back in the beginning- it was episode 6! (listen to the first go round here). It’s always nice to chat with a friend.
Since we last spoke, she’s launched a new series meant to empower young girls with confidence to be themselves and try new things, even if they are afraid they might fail. Now, doesn’t THAT sound something we all need?
Advice to Authors
Use the free Facebook groups, podcasts like Laurie’s and don’t be afraid to fail. Also, make sure your illustrations and covers pass the test of a quality book. You don’t want something that screams Self Published!JK Coy
When I asked Jaclyn what her biggest ‘mess up’ has been, she said it’s that she’s been inconsistent with her marketing, which I KNOW we can all relate to! She had some great ideas while we were speaking that might help some of you – I hope you take the 30 minutes to listen.
Just go for it!
What’s the best part of being an author?
Sharing the behind the scenes process with fans on social media, and with my own girls!JK Coy
#ChiBoWriMo gets me back to thinking about WRITING again. There are so many hats we have to wear, writing takes up the smallest amount of my time these days. I write more emails that I do books! If you feel the same, start writing again and post about it using the #ChiBoWriMo tag so that we can celebrate you!
Happy November everyone!
Want to hear the first time I spoke with Jaclyn? Have a listen >>> HERE <<<
Joining me for the first time? Start at the beginning HERE
View episode transcript
Hi, Jaclyn. Welcome back to the podcast. Thank you so much for coming on with me. Yeah, thank you for having me. It’s always fun to chat with a friend or two years. I don’t even know. I feel like my book journey, it corresponds with when I started having kids. So it’s all a little bit of a blur. My oldest one is four and a half, so, yeah, it’s been a while.
[00:00:25] I think he might’ve just had two books at the time, which puts us two books ahead. more. No, we, I’ve finished. I’ve got six out right now and I’m working on book seven. Hopefully next month does. That’s so fantastic. Okay. So why don’t you catch people who didn’t listen to you on the first, the first go round, catch them up to speed.
[00:00:46] Who are you? How’d you get started with this and then share with us about your books. Yeah. well I write under the pen name J K coy. so all my books are on Amazon and how I got started. I was inspired by my oldest daughter. I think I’ve heard that story many times in our Facebook groups, among authors that our kids inspired us.
[00:01:07] And that was the same for me. I work in the corporate world in a marketing role and, I went to school for education as well. So I’ve always had a love of teaching and of writing and, learning. And so. It was, you know, just a hobby for a little while. And then the story came out to my husband, encouraged me to publish it and that kind of kicked off the journey.
[00:01:30] And I’ve met people since that are, you know, so worried to publish their first book. But I say, just go for it because that’s how you learn. And I think, Laurie, you’re such a good teacher in that way. You’re, you’re just learning and moving forward always. And so I love that. and now I’ve got. Like I said, six books out.
[00:01:47]five of those are children’s books. One of those is a nonfiction birth book. And the current series that I’m working on is the smart girl fairytale series. And so book three in that series is the one that should be out next month. And that’s princess winnable and the pet unicorn. Oh exciting. Okay. So I have to ask you had some, sorry, dog.
[00:02:09] You had some marketing experience. Let’s see if she’ll stop. Oh, she’s right outside the door and seat. Someone’s coming together and she looks very guilty. I’m sorry. did you w your, your past marketing experience, did that help you? Like, do, did that give you a leg up? Do you feel like when it came to selling your books?
[00:02:30]yes and no. I mean, it’s always good to have that marketing mindset and to be able to think like in the path of how your customers are going to go about buying something, and that journey that you’re going to take them on in the process of buying. I love that we, I don’t think I’ve talked about that, that customer journey here yet.
[00:02:46] So tell us about that. What’s what is the customer journey? Well, in some places we have more control of it than others. So Facebook, we do have more control of it. Amazon ads. I was laughing because Amazon ads was an area that I did not have experience in, in marketing, before this, that have had to learn a lot about, but in terms of the customer journey, places, we do have control at Facebook.
[00:03:08] And then, Again, your website. So I’ve been doing a lot more with offering freebies, on my website to try to get people, to join my mailing list. And so that I can get more of the customer data, because that is something huge with Amazon, you get sales and you get a lot of eyeballs on your products, but we don’t get any information about who is buying our book.
[00:03:29] And the most likely to buy your book is someone who’s interacted with you or your book in the past. So every time you release a new book, That you know, those are easy customers that you are already, there are, they already know your story. They’re already connected to you in a way. So it’s so much easier to make that sale.
[00:03:45]with someone that already knows you likes you, you know, it’s been sure about, so, being able to capture more of that customer data has been a focus this past couple of months, because before I was relying on Amazon ads where I didn’t have that data. Good for you, especially for the series and the smart girl fairytale series.
[00:04:03] Like that is huge. So of course, if somebody is interested in one smart girl fairytale book, of course they want, then the next one’s in the series, but you need a way to reach them. So I love that. Yeah. And that was a learning. I mean, it seems obvious now, but, it’s learning from the greater group of thinking in terms of a series when you release books.
[00:04:23] Because my first three books. Are part of a series now that they were not initially written with a series in mind. And so I went back and packaged them that way. Now it works, but these, this new series was thought of as a series from the beginning, but the name and a theme and a concept that carries on throughout.
[00:04:42]and I think that’s, you know, a lot easier to promote. Are these ones selling better than your first few? well, my, my best seller is still my very first book. yeah, it outsells all the other ones, but these new books have only come out, just in the past three months. So I’ve been doing a lot of faster release in the past.
[00:05:00] I’ve released one book a year and this year I’m releasing three. Oh, wow. Good for you. But I mean, it goes back to, you had too little. Children and you did what you could do. All right. Yeah. Yeah. And as you know, more and learn more and get more comfortable, you can drive things faster. you know, I’ve already got a relationship with an illustrator, so I don’t have to find that person every time, get them up to speed.
[00:05:23] So yes, that’s very true. Yeah. so you’ve used Amazon ads. Have you used Facebook ads? I have a little, and they interest me quite a bit because. They have so many different levers that you can pull. You can really, I mean, Amazon ads are, there’s very few things that you can pull. but Facebook ads, there’s so many levers, and they will spend your money as you know, which is different than Amazon ads, or it makes sense to spend your money because, yeah, please.
[00:05:57] So as like where I would encourage someone to just get their feet wet and go for an Amazon ad because. You might be out $10 at the end of the month. Facebook, I feel like I need to continue to educate myself before I want to play in that space on a bigger level. So it’s something I need to do. It’s on my to-do list, but I have dabbled.
[00:06:16] In Facebook ads. Yeah. Yeah. They’re intimidating. I actually hired an expert, two summers ago and it got me nowhere. It was so bad. So she was an expert in indie books, but not children’s books. So she figured it would all be the same. So at the end of the day, if it was her, her lack of knowledge or something else.
[00:06:36] It’s completely. I don’t know, but it really made me gun shy when it comes to Facebook ads. But I had Stacey Bauer on the podcast, not too long ago. And so she gave us some great information and it made me want to go try again. So that’s cool to hit that episode. I will write a new well, so, and that’s always interesting because we have to think about where we take our.
[00:06:58] Information from, because what works for, other types of books, doesn’t always translate to children’s books because I will say 90% of my sales is still paperbacks. I have an audio format now and Kendall formats of all of my books and still 90% of my sales is paperback. So that the methods, you know, that work for.
[00:07:20] Books that are 300 pages in a series where people devour, you know, like a book a week. That’s just not, it’s not the same. It’s not the same. Did you, did you notice your ebook sales go up during the pandemic at all? Mine are not education focused. and so I didn’t necessarily notice that. And I’ve talked to other people in groups and it’s been very split.
[00:07:41] It depends what type of book they had. And so yeah, if it was more like it could be an educational resource then yes. If not, not really. The workbook skyrocket skyrocket into the top of the charts for about a month. I was like, Oh, I miss that boat. I know. so what would you say is your biggest marketing wins so far?
[00:08:02] What do you do? You can rely on that works. Oh, Something I enjoy doing well. It’s interesting. Cause I don’t necessarily enjoy doing it, but I think that it’s good. is Facebook live? When I put out a new book, I go ahead and I read the book on my Facebook author page cover to cover. And I know some people, you know, are, you know, think otherwise about that method, about putting their whole book out there.
[00:08:28] But you know, you get like a thousand eyeballs on it. you know, for 10, 15 minutes of your time. And I think that the more people that know about your book, there’s millions, millions of buyers. Okay. A couple thousand people seeing my book is just going to get good word of mouth. And I agree with you, but it’s hard.
[00:08:46] A Facebook lives
[00:08:50] for your face. First of all, you’re younger than me. You don’t need it. No, no. They’re they are so intimidating and just not my, natural. Bent, but, I do make myself at least do Facebook lives when I launch a new book. Oh, that’s good. So. Good for you. Yay. lives more Instagram you can have. Well, there’s really funny filters.
[00:09:16] Anyway. I dunno. It just seems easier for me. I that’s obviously a mental block. No mine too. And then I meet people that are like, Oh, videos. No problem. I could talk to the camera all day long. I’m jealous. Yeah, I’m awkward. And. Awkwardly giggly and it’s not great. Oh, when you do your teachings online, where you flip on your computer and just play around and answer questions.
[00:09:41] That’s awesome. Oh, thanks in the group. You mean? Yeah. Yeah. And the writers. Yeah. That’s fun. That’s easier. I guess just mentally I’m like, well, there’s only like a hundred people in here. It’s only a hundred. I know there’s the potential. Somebody could copy it and share it or whatever, but I mean, nobody’s going to, that’s something about that bigger open business page.
[00:09:59] Just feel. Like, Oh, well the whole world. Cause, cause the whole world, no, they’re not going to see me, but anyway, so yeah, we can only hope if the whole world hears about your fall, the sales you would have. Okay. Well that’s a good way to reframe it. Yes, I should try that. So that’s your biggest marketing wins.
[00:10:19] Everybody, listen and try it. And then tag Jacqueline so she can see how your Facebook lives go. She’ll be your cheerleader. So you have a big marketing flock or anything that you’ve tried that really did not work well that you’re willing to share. Hmm. Let’s see here. Well, okay. For my last book. So that would be the second book in the smart girl fairytale series.
[00:10:42] Name of that one is princess winnable and the friendship pie. so that one, I tried something different and I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a flop, but it didn’t. It hasn’t got the results I had anticipated yet. and so what I did is I did not put that in Kindle unlimited for the first time. and the reason I did not put it in Kindle unlimited is because I wanted, I wanted people’s customer data again.
[00:11:09] So I don’t mind giving the book away for free, but I wanted them to go ahead and, you know, put in their email and then I would send them a copy of this. Yeah. And it works and I’ve gotten emails that way, but I haven’t gotten reviews. the same way that I do when I put it in Kindle unlimited. So most of my books when I launched them within a week, I’ll have 20 reviews, you know?
[00:11:31]and this one, I’ve got three reviews and it released, I think, three or four weeks ago. And so that has been a trade-off so far. So I’m going to have to work harder to get reviews if I’m not going to put it in Kindle unlimited, but if you have those email addresses, have you tried sending them an email and just asking if they would do it with a direct link to the review area I have once, and I need to continue to follow up.
[00:11:54] Yeah. So do you notice that that lack of reviews is impacting sales or do you suspect that it is? I think that. I need to get a few more than three. you know, I don’t think I need a ton, but you do need a little, you know, like, is it selling worse than the first one? Do you feel like it’s, it doesn’t have as many eyeballs on it as the first one?
[00:12:13] The first one is the better seller. The first one is still in Kindle unlimited. And so I may go back and put it in there and then take it out after three months. that’s good. That’s good information though, for people, I wonder if you, if you emailed more nurtured the list more, if, if they would eventually give you a review.
[00:12:33] Yeah. But I know nobody likes to do anything else and I’ll ask for them too, you know, on my Facebook author page and things like that. But I do notice that on our Facebook author pages, outside of the lives, it’s really hard to get eyeballs. It is, you know, you put something out there and you feel like you’re shouting the same message again and again, but then you look and just like such a small subset of your, you know, 800 people Facebook group is getting seen.
[00:12:59] Yeah. yeah, I’ve been experimenting more with, this was really freeing for me, so I follow somebody named Rachel Miller and, my five-year-olds. Hitting the dog, edit that out. Pandemic puppies. She’s really having a hard day. so I follow Rachel Miller. And so she’s a huge advocate for using your personal profile.
[00:13:24] So of course, nobody wants to do that because we share about our kids and our real life friends are on there, but you can use those friend lists. So I think I did post a video about this in the free group last week. I don’t know if you saw it, but you can post your friend list. And so she says, so I’m not like to this extent, but she says she, she has like four or five businesses.
[00:13:42] Cause for fun, she starts like she grows businesses. So that’s the kind of person that says she also has six kids. So she’s one of those people. But anyway, so, so for fun, she does that, but she says like, if you’re on my, let’s say a makeup MLM, she does it because it’s really high profit margin on that, I guess.
[00:13:57]she’s like, you will never see my makeup posts. If you’re on my cat lady posts. Like friendless, I should say. Yeah. So you segment your friends on your personal profile and then you just really have to pay attention to who you post to, because you wouldn’t want to post like a picture of your kids to your reader list or something like that.
[00:14:15] But the personal profile gets like 800% more engagement than our done pages. And so if you don’t want to run boost the posts and all that on your business pages, Which, you know, you don’t have to, you can do the lives or do your posts on your business page, share it to your personal page, but just to make sure that it’s to that once that certain audience, and I think that’s really smart.
[00:14:35] So as long as you’re willing, some people are really, really not at all willing to even experiment with that whole friendless thing, but yeah, that that’s worth doing. Yeah, I, well, I completely agree with you that you know, that the data is there, that it gets seen much more often than a business page and the post I make there.
[00:14:53] So from time to time, I will share probably about one, one in 20 posts or so from my author page, I will post on my personal page. I haven’t been willing to separate my lists out and to be that, that strategic on my personal page, I like to be like, just. My casual fun place that, you know, if people are your friends to some degree are probably interested in what you do and your author business and your books are part of what you do.
[00:15:23] And so I don’t think that it’s, I don’t mind posting about it every once in a while. I just am selective about what I pushed from my author page. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t end up hiding it from any one. I don’t divide mine. So when I, when I first started making friends less, I put my close family, separate. So it was like my in-laws my parents, my great aunts and uncles, because they’re the ones who are like all cap yet, honey, you know, like seven, I don’t want that on those books.
[00:15:54] So in the beginning, I just doing that, you know, made it so much easier and better. So I would exclude that list of close family relatives, and it really does make a difference. So. That is a good call. And I do remember in one of the courses I did with you or one of your Facebook lives, at some point you mentioned that, and I do have some very encouraging family members that post a lovely yes.
[00:16:19] Not very professional, very professional. Yeah. That would be like, if your mom showed up at your work and you know yeah. Clapped for you and got it. I know they mean it out loud. Of course they do. Of course they do. But yeah, there you go. okay. So I know that you have a really cool initiative that you started last year.
[00:16:39] Are you willing to share about that? Sure. With us, are you doing that again? yeah, we are still doing it. So what we did is I had been talking to Laurie, Laurie, and I got the chance to meet in person, Vegas, 2020 books, conference 19 2018, 18, I think. Yeah. Gosh, that was like, well, three years ago. Yeah.
[00:17:02] And I remember telling you back then that I wanted to start. Can I think of the name for a mastermind group? You know, a mastermind group children’s authors. And so it had been in my head for a long time and I’ve been going around it, but it was just always kind of like on the to-do list that we’re talking about.
[00:17:19] And so finally about a year ago, I. Smart found a small group of people. I went around and, you know, invited, specific people that I was interested in trying to learn with. and we created a group and it’s evolved a little bit in the last year because we’ve broken it into quarters so that, you know, you kind of, you commit to being there and being really committed for a quarter.
[00:17:39] And then we reassess before the next quarter, because you only really want people that are going to be super engaged and. You know, it’s a lot where it’s like a tight group that we’re on our messages every day to each other. We meet every other week, via Facebook live like, well, Facebook, private live.
[00:17:57]and so yeah, we have basically we see share what we’re working on, struggling with and like pull up specific examples and work through them together. And has that, do you feel like that’s really been useful beneficial for you for your business for growth? Yeah. In many ways. we have all, I think seen gains from that group.
[00:18:18] The, sometimes it’s just about a cover, you know, cover tweak. Sometimes it’s a storyline. A lot of times it’s a lot of marketing questions. You know, many times someone’s already tried what you’re thinking about doing, and they can tell you if, you know, it’s maybe worth going down that, not that, that is so, so useful because do you find like you just get so close to your book, you know, your love, the color of the cover or the character or the wording or whatever, and you just can’t see the forest for the trees sometimes.
[00:18:50] Hey yes. Yes, definitely. And it helps to have the group already there. Cause if you get too married to it, it’s hard to go back and make changes. But if you can ask the questions early on when you’re less married to do it. Yeah. That’s a good point. Okay. So I love that. So anybody listening, who really feels like you’re floundering, maybe you’re getting lost in all these big, huge Facebook groups.
[00:19:10] Try to reach out to three or four people. And at various. spots maybe in their journey. Hey, like for complete newbies might be right. Right. You want to, you want to have a mix in there, but that’s great advice. And then you learn together and grow. So. Yeah, we do have a mixed group at this point. the group has evolved from some people recommending other group members.
[00:19:34]some people having to step out, but ask someone to take their place. So we do have, any, a couple people in there that, you know, this is their full-time income down to someone that’s working on their second book, but she has a lot of marketing experience and website. In mailing list experience. So, you know, we bring different things to the table.
[00:19:53] That’s fantastic. That’s a great tip for people. I was actually thinking about your, November story writing prompts. Okay.
[00:20:05]yes, yes, definitely. so. Last, last November, I started a writing challenge called after, there is a NaNoWriMo for people that write novels where they in November go ahead and try to write their entire novel. and so I decided that I would go ahead and apply that in the children’s space and go for a story a day.
[00:20:31] And I think Laurie, you did it last year, too, didn’t you? So I came up with like a story topic or idea a day, but I absolutely did not write a story. Did you write a story a day? I did I did I all 30 days in November. so I had 30 children’s stories and it was wonderful because it, so I have all these story prompts.
[00:20:50] And if you’d like to share it with the group, Lori, I can give you a link, but I’ve got them all for this year. Okay. for this November, and then I also have last year’s posted on my website as well, but I just print out the list. I think of it before, write it down, print it out so that, you know, no time is wasted thinking or coming up with a concept or, Hey, do I read about this?
[00:21:12] Do I not? Like I just go for that day. I just go for it for 30 minutes. Like. At first I read topic and I’m like, huh, that’s weird. Where is that going to go? I don’t really feel like writing about that. I don’t have any good ideas there and you just let your mind wander a little bit and it ends up being so much fun.
[00:21:31] It is a great way to start the day with some coffee and some writing. And as much as we are children’s authors, I’m sure. You know, like, so little of our time is spent. Writing so much of our time is spent marketing and it was just really fun to get back into that. Maybe I’ll do that this year. Cause I don’t think it was last.
[00:21:50] It was last year on the podcast in November. I put out a story idea every day in November, but, but I liked, I loved the idea of writing the story cause honestly, like I feel like my creative well is very dry at the moment, but just like you said, just forcing yourself and seeing what comes. That might be what I need to.
[00:22:08] Get back writing. Cause yeah. Gosh, everything else just takes so much. It’s true. It’s true. And no, please. And I mean, because of that, that’s one of the stories was, was this one I forgot to ask you. Yeah. And so that was good. What about came from it? Yes. Did all three come from it or just the first one? Just the first one.
[00:22:28] And then I was going to. I was going to put out other books that I wrote last year. I have some other favorites, you know, when you write 30, you know, most of it’s crap. And then you’ve got a couple of gems in there and that’s how it goes. But, so I wanted to put out more of those, but then I decided, Nope, I want to focus on this series.
[00:22:46] So I wrote the other two after the first one. And so I still have some from last year that I would like to put out, Just finding the money for the illustrator right. The time and the time. Yeah. So thank you so much for talking with me today. What is your website for anybody who wants to check you out?
[00:23:03] And I will share the link to those prompts as well in the notes. Thank you. It is, my mom is the worst. Okay. The website and online on Facebook and Instagram, it’s at stories by J K Coy. Cool. Thank you so much. Best of luck with those new 30 stories this November. Thank you. I can’t wait. And if you, if you join me tag, ChiBoWriMo, so I can see it.
[00:23:29] I want to see what your topic is and which one you’re right. I’m actually trying to like clear time in my schedule. So I might actually have time to sit down and write. I know the dream. Right. Okay. Well, thank you again, and I’m sure I’ll talk to you soon. Sounds good. Bye.