And here we are, at the end of September, at the beginning of fall. So much happened this month, the main event being the release of Death Before Daylight, but this post will highlight so much more, just in case you missed it.
For those of you just now checking in this month, Ketchup actually means “catch up”. At the end of every month, I write these posts describing what goes on behind the scenes at ShannonAThompson.com. Some of the topics I cover include my big moments, top blog posts, my top referrer, #1 SEO term, and more in order to show insights that will hopefully help fellow bloggers see what was popular. I also hope it entertains the readers who want “extras” for this website.
Thank you for being a part of my life this September!
I had my three-year blogiversary, which is crazy surreal, and Death Before Daylight released. Finally. I still can’t quite believe it, but I am super happy that The Timely Death Trilogy finally had a chance to release in full for all the Dark readers out there. On top of that, we had a lot of fun during the Seconds Before Sunrise blog tour. If you missed those interviews, guest posts, and features, they are all listed below. And since we’ve talk about two of the three novels in the trilogy, Minutes Before Sunsethit #12 in overall Free Kindle Store, and it became #1 in science fiction, paranormal, and urban fantasy! (It’s still free, too.)
On top of that, you all pushed the sequel, Seconds Before Sunrise, into the top 100 of all its categories, including young adult, science fiction, paranormal, and urban fantasy. Death Before Daylight, book 3, hit the top 100 of paranormal books too. I cannot thank you enough.
Thanks for reading, lovelies. I’ll be signing books next month on October 21 at Headrush Roasters Coffee and Tea in Kansas City, Missouri.
Come out and see me!
Top Three Blog Posts:
Deciding to Change my Writing Plan: Marketing and choosing how to market is vital for an author’s business plan. I talk about how I know when to change mine and how to stick with a new route to reach success.
At the end of the month, I also like to take a moment to thank all of the websites who supported me by posting reviews, interviews, and features. If you want to be one of these websites, feel free to join my newsletter or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I always love speaking with new bloggers, writers, and readers! I will also share your post on all of my websites.
I’m still on break, but I know how much these monthly stats mean to some of my readers, so I thought I would show this month and how taking a break has changed everything. Thank you for understanding and continuing to support me, even in my absence!
For those of you just now checking in this month, Ketchup actually means “catch up.” At the end of every month, I write these posts describing what goes on behind the scenes at ShannonAThompson.com. Some of the topics I cover include my big moments, top blog post, guest posts, my top referrer, SEO term, and more in order to show insights that will hopefully help fellow bloggers see what was popular. I also hope it entertains the readers who want “extras” for this website.
Thank you for being a part of my life this November!
I have stepped away from ShannonAThompson.com for now, but some exciting news still took place. Two of my poems – To my Mother and On being overweight – were published in The Quill.
Omar Bula Escobar – former UN representative and author of “El Plan Maestro” – translated and shared a quote from Minutes Before Sunset.
Top Three Blog Posts:
1. Thank You for Everything: I have stepped away from my schedule of posting every other day. Everyone has been so wonderfully supportive about my time away. Thank you. Seriously.
At the end of the month, I also like to take a moment to thank all of the websites who supported me by posting reviews, interviews, and features. If you would like to review my novels or interview me, please send me an email at email@example.com. I always love speaking with new bloggers, writers, and readers! And I will share your post on all of my websites.
Here we are again – the end of the month, the beginning of a new one soon to come. Ketchup posts are among my favorite type of posts (but really, who can choose?) because I enjoy sharing what was the most popular and least popular here on ShannonAThompson.com.
If you’re new, these “Ketchup” posts are like the “Extras” on the DVD you just rented from RedBox – except you don’t have to pay $1 or give me your credit card information. I explain the behind-the-scenes this month, including my big moments, top three blog posts, the one blog post I wish received more views, the rest of the blog posts, top referrer other than search engines, top searched term, and gains in followers, likes, and shares. I also included every website who has helped me this month. But I am missing two categories this month: YouTube and my guest blogger. (What can I say? I missed blogging so much after my two-week haitus in May that I could not stop blogging for anything, but I am definitely looking for a guest blogger for July, so be sure to comment below. You just might be chosen.)
Big Moments: (This might get a little insane)
Seconds Before Sunrise finally released as an eBook: FINALLY. You can read book 2 of The Timely Death Trilogy on your tablet, iPhone, or whatever electronic, glowing device that keeps you awake at night. I’ve been anxiously awaiting this moment since the paperback released in March, and I am so happy to see the eBook selling (even more than Minutes Before Sunset!) So here are the links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords – although it is available everywhere – and the eBook is only $3.89.
Among this chaos, Minutes Before Sunset received an award badge from Noveltunity. You see, back in February, the eBook club nominated Minutes Before Sunset, but I kind of just found out this month. (Silly me.) So here’s the badge that I found to be really pretty. My novels also hit 150 ratings on Goodreads. This may not seem like a big deal since authors like J.K. Rowling have…oh, millions of ratings, but I am very thrilled to see 150 readers taking the time to rate my novels on Goodreads. Thank you. Taking a moment out of your day to tell other readers what you think means more to an author than we can express. No matter if the rating is good or bad, it helps new readers decide on taking a chance on an Indie author like me. So thank you for taking that time to rate my books. 😀
I also want to thank the many readers who take the time to quote my novels around the Internet, like on Twitter. In fact, Tony Jaa deemed me quote-worthy. I may be a gigantic Internet stalker fan of his now. (His martial arts moves are pretty neat!) So thank you for your support, Tony Jaa!
And last but definitely not least – we hit 300 posts on WordPress this June! Hasn’t it been quite the adventure?
Top Three Blog Posts:
1. The Top 10 Seriously Awkward Conversations I’ve Had When People Hear I’m a Writer: This was the top post I had this month and also the top post I originally thought wouldn’t get any views. I simply wanted to share a few funny moments I’ve had in my author life, and I’m glad you laughed with me. (Seriously. I was sort of nervous I would offend someone.) But it goes to show you how having a good laugh is always a good thing.
2. Author Announcements: This is going to sound strange, but it warms my heart when one of my “Author Announcements” posts becomes so popular. Originally, they didn’t get as many views as my “Writing Tips” but now, they do, and it’s a great comfort knowing that my readers are actually interested in my author life instead of only being interested in my tips.
3. Hachette and Amazon: Let’s Talk About it: This is such an important dispute to watch if you are a writer, publisher, or reader. (Or even just an Amazon customer.) And – unfortunately – it’s still going on today.
The Post I Wish Received More Views:
The Timely Death Trilogy Explained: World-Building and More: I should’ve titled this post “Writing Tips: World-Building” but I didn’t – mainly because I receive almost a constant strand of emails about my world-building in The Timely Death Trilogy. This post, however, is not about The Timely Death Trilogy. Sure, I use direct examples from my trilogy, but I wanted to help writers see the groundwork of world-building in a paranormal world that lives in our human reality. That being said, this did get views, but not the amount I normally get with my writing tips post, so I’m afraid my readers who enjoy the writing tips missed this one.
At the end of the month, I also like to share my supporters, my helpers, and all of the little, lovely elves that created all of these shiny moments. If you would like to become part of the Keebler Factory, I am available at firstname.lastname@example.org for reviews, interviews, and features. (And cookies. I love cookies.) In the meantimes, here are my June supporters:
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the release of Minutes Before Sunset, book 1 of The Timely Death Trilogy. I’ve been pondering many ideas on how to go about this date – because it feels so surreal – and one idea in particular kept popping back up because I keep hearing one particular question:
How did I gain my followers and readership?
There is no simple answer, but I like to explain it in the only way I can: stats. I like to share my stats because it helps others see how websites and writers shape over time. I even have an Events page so readers can see where I’ve come from in order to get where I am today. So, I am going to do that with Minutes Before Sunset. Below, you can explore a timeline that showcases the moments that grew this novel over the past year. To keep it simple, I am ONLY including events about The Timely Death Trilogy. If you want to know about everything I’ve been up to – like my other publications or how I became C.O.O. of AEC Stellar Publishing – click here or visit my Events page at the top.
When you explore the timeline below, all links will take you to a relevant blog post. Throughout this post, I have added more about my life that I haven’t mentioned before now, so I hope you enjoy it!
Again, we didn’t have the full layout at first, so the back of the novel changed a few times. This ended up being the final version, and it still looks like this today, and the back description was chosen by readers who voted between three different options. Fun fact: I took the photograph on the back cover. It was really important for me to have it on the novel. Thankfully, AEC Stellar approved it. 😀
I put three pictures below. The photo on the left was the day I received Minutes Before Sunset in the mail. My father took the picture on his back patio. I love that grill on the left. Bogart loves napping in that orange, lawn chair. And I am wearing one of my late mother’s rings – a sapphire I inherited from her. You might recognize the clothes I am because they were on “Dress Like the Book” photograph (on the right) I shared last month.
Originally, I had a book signing at a huge event for novels in Missouri, but I had to cancel last minute due to unfortunate and unavoidable circumstances. I still wanted to share it on this timeline because it is relevant to this past year, and it was probably one of those sadder moments where you feel really let down. A book release isn’t all fun and games, but it ended up being smiles in the end. 😀
Minutes Before Sunset was redone – mainly because the first cover was extremely washed out – but there are some inside edits that were adds. This is still the edition used today. The photo below was of the day I received this new version in the mail.
Minutes Before Sunset now has a soundtrack on 8tracks, which you can still listen to by clicking here. The songs include the XX, Florence + the Machine, Jem, and more, but I wanted to say one thing. I rarely write with music. I might brainstorm with music, but it’s difficult for me to write with music playing, so these songs are what I pictured playing in the background of a movie if it were ever made.
After hitting #407 in Paranormal Romance, I feel like this was the week Minutes Before Sunset began picking up the great traction is still has today. I still haven’t figured it out, but during this week, T. Harv Eker, #1 NY Times Bestselling author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, quoted me on his page. Following that, Shawne Duperon, 6-time Emmy winner and founder of Project Forgive also retweeted the quote and tweeted to me. My novel was also put on a bookshelf in a store for the first time. But who knows? This world is mysterious. I simply trust my gut when I say this is where I think it started.
Seconds Before Sunrise (book 2) is copyrighted and receives ISBN. This is when I really started advertising my next novel’s release (which just happened March 27) – so I took a number of months to connect with reviewers and interviewers while also pushing out more information about Minutes Before Sunset so new readers had a chance to catch up.
I shared an excerpt from my actual diary from when I was having the dreams that turned in The Timely Death Trilogy. The reason I’m sharing it again as an event is because my sales spiked. (Again, I think this is where things started speeding up for the next release. I like to share this information in the hopes that other authors can see correlations and try it out for themselves.)
As many of you know, the cover reveal for Seconds Before Sunrise was also a scavenger hunt across 50 AMAZING blogs. Special thanks goes out to everyone who helped me with the event, including Viola Estrella for dealing with my very specific vision for this cover.
These moments are huge. I never forget them, and I always keep the very first novel I receive on display on my bookshelf. My father took this photo as well. Same back patio – just in the corner this time. I had barely slept the night before because I was out of town, and my dad had texted me to tell me they had arrived. After that, I couldn’t to get back home to hold them!
On the same day, Minutes Before Sunset hit 100 ratings on Goodreads at 4.48 stars. I am so happy that so many people have not only read my novels but have taken the time to rate and review them. As of today, The Timely Death Trilogy has 129 ratings at 4.43 stars.
This was my first press release. Ever. So I was really happy to finally see it: “Award-Winning Paranormal Fiction Author Publishes Second Book In The Timely Death Trilogy.”
May 1, 2014
Because I shared so many extras along the way, please check out these pages: Extras and Reviews. They include what cars the characters drive, personality quizzes, photos, floor plans, and more. The Reviews page includes every blogger that I know of that has reviewed The Timely Death Trilogy. (Thank you so much!)
But wait! There’s even more.
I have future publications coming your way: the ebook of Seconds Before Sunrise releases June 12th, and Death Before Daylight is about to be sent into my content editor. I also have my next novel – that I am still referring to as TMT – coming out THIS YEAR. That’s right. This year. And sooner than you think. I’ll have more news about it soon, so be sure to come back.
These are my favorite posts to write. I love numbers, so I love analyzing my stats and sharing them with everyone. If you’re a blogger, I hope my stats help you know how my website grows – what works and what doesn’t. This month, I want to clarify that I’ve been rather busy with getting my next manuscript – “TMT” – ready for next month’s announcements, so I didn’t have as much time as I normally do to read other blogs. I am a HUGE advocate of reading other blogs. It’s a great way to meet fellow writers, and it is vital to creating a fun environment for readers. (I will get into why I believe this later.) As usual, I have adjusted my Ketchup post to new insights. 😀 Enjoy.
Here is how my April Ketchup is organized:
My big moments, top three blog posts, the one blog post I wish received more views, the rest of the blog posts, top referrer other than search engines, top searched term, and gains in followers, likes, and shares. I also included every website who has helped me this month. I’ve added two new categories though: my guest blogger has their own spot, and I’ve linked to my YouTube videos since I just began a channel this month.
My poem – Regretful Memories – was published in LALUNA Magazine. When one of my favorite photographers asked for poets to submit to her new magazine, I never thought she would pick one of my pieces to be in the first edition. I did a reading of it on YouTube as well, but this was a big moment because I haven’t had any poetry published since 2012, and it feels really nice to be able to participate in the poetry again, especially during National Poetry Writing Month.
ShannonAThompson.com hit 15,000 followers. Ah! So exciting! I cannot believe how quickly this website is growing and how many wonderful people I’ve been able to meet because of it. My next two big moments include two of those great people I have been able to meet because of this blog:
David Congalton, writer of Authors Anonymous, contacted me after he read my review of his film. I already finished interviewing him, so you can expect to see his interview on here in May. In the meantime check out his film. It’s perfect for writers.
And Gordon Tredgold – author, speaker, and leader – quoted me on his website:
Top Three Blog Posts:
1. Writing With Barbie: I never thought my confession would be so popular, but I am glad you like my Barbie dolls as much as you like me. Maybe I should keep my dolls out of storage and start playing with them again…
2. Why Writers Should Watch “Authors Anonymous” This is the post where I wrote about the movie, Authors Anonymous, that David Congalton and I will be speaking about this week. I definitely recommend seeing this movie, especially if you’re a writer.
3. Editing Tips: I shared some unconventional ways to go about editing, including how you can use a shoebox.
The Post I Wish Got More Views:
Behind the Scenes of The Timely Death Trilogy: I meant to share my 30-Day Countdown from March last month, but I finally found a slot this month. I included new games and excerpts, too. Plus, I love talking about my books with readers, and I love sending out fun games about it even more. (This post even includes new hints for TMT!)
Website Wonders: I was late in February and March, so I posted their website wonders at the beginning of this month.
What if I Can’t Write What I Know: Written by Susannah Ailene Martin, this post explains how writers can get over the hurdle of researching for a novel. My stats spiked when I shared her post, which is a perfect example of why we should connect with one another through blogs and other kinds of social media.
My goal when I started was to only post one video this month to test it out. Plus, I had to learn how to create the channel and videos. I was really proud of myself when I beat my goal by uploading two videos.
At the end of the month, I also like to take a moment to thank all of the websites who supported me by posting reviews, interviews, and features. If you would like to review my novels or interview me, please send me an email at email@example.com. I always love speaking with new bloggers, writers, and readers! And I will share your post on all of my websites. I will be looking for new reviewers for TMT soon! I can’t wait!
When I finished my last post, I received so many heartfelt comments, and I want to first thank those fellow writers and readers for their kindness and support when it comes to one another’s difficulties being an artist. I am, once again, reminded of how influential and inspiring the WordPress community can be. Thank you.
Now, as I looked back on my post, I knew I had to do a followup post about my “highs” because I didn’t want to only concentrate on the negative. I wanted to show how exciting and uplifting being an artist can be. So I’m going to share three exciting events that happened to me this week and how they made me feel–with all of the emotions that came with them.
That’s right. Fluente Designs, an upcoming store in Tullahoma, Tennessee, will have all of the AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. novels on their shelves. The photo below are the books that will be shelved. This is an amazing feeling as an author. I have to admit that I’m beyond excited for this. The owner has also agreed to an interview (so look out for that) and I’m looking forward to be able to share another artist with everyone. I also think it’s natural for me to also feel nervous about this. This moment feels like Minutes Before Sunset is creeping up, spreading out, and reaching more readers that I couldn’t reach without Fluente Designs‘ support. A big thank you goes out to Fluente Designs. Who knows? Maybe more stores will follow their lead. That would be breathtaking.
My Stats Spiked
Minutes Before Sunset had the biggest spike in Amazon sales since the release in May. It was #9,308 in the Kindle Store,but it also hit #649 in Fantasy and and #407 in Romance/Paranormal, which I thought was awesome, because they are such competitive categories.
Although I’m truly happy this happened, I have to admit I have always tried to never pay attention to stats. I think they can bring people down a lot (because it’s much easier to go down than to go back up) so I’m simply trying to enjoy the moment while it lasts and hope that I can continue to see my novel get into more hands to entertain them. That being said, there’s a confusing emotion that comes with wanting to enjoy the moment and knowing you can’t stare at it forever (or even for the few days it lasts for.) So I patted myself on the back, smiled, and continued to look away from my stats, knowing it’s better to focus on my love for writing than seeing numbers rise, even though I am thankful for it. (Seriously thankful for it.)
I’m not sure why or how, but I logged onto my Twitter, checked my messages, looked at my interactions, and froze when I saw this: T. Harv Eker, #1 NY Times Bestselling author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, quoted me on his page.
Again, I have no idea how they got this quote. (It’s from November Snow, my first published novel.) But I can admit that seeing them on my Twitter Interactions made me rub my eyes like I’d stayed up too late and stared at my computer a little too long. I actually asked my father to read it to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating, which, for the record, I wasn’t. (Whew.) They made my day. Not because they’re celebrities but because they both used that quote as a list of inspiring quotes to encourage people to get up and pursue their dreams, and my ultimate goal is to inspire people to follow their dreams. By using my quote to inspire others, T. Harv Eker and Shawne Duperon gave me an amazing gift without even realizing it: a deeper hope and belief that I can help even more people. And, for that, I thank both of them immensely.
It’s been a strange week for me as an author. I started off feeling down, then I defeated a down, and I was met with numerous “highs” I could barely believe, let alone comprehend. It’s honestly reminding me a lot of creating plots for stories: a road trip where we know where we start, have a destination in mind, and a few places in-between we think we might visit. But, this time, I don’t know where I’m going or how / when / if it will end, and these in-between places are making me realize something about my writing career: I’m starting to become more excited about the fact that tomorrow might meet me with a new writing surprise. I guess you could say I’m shifting the gears, enjoying the ride, and seeing where it takes me. All with my cat in the passenger seat.
Website Update: March 26: I’ve created an event on Goodreads for Minutes Before Sunset’s release. Join here.
On September 25th, My Primary Post was created, and this website was established. Six months later, here I am: all over the world.
When I first created this website, with the direction of Robin Hoffman, I didn’t know what to expect. I had all kinds of questions: How do I connect? What do I post about? Who will read it? Who will I want to read? Will this go anywhere?
I didn’t know any of the answers, yet, today, I have over 5,000 followers, and I couldn’t be happier with all of the lovely supporters (readers, writers, and dreamers) that I have talked to through this blog. Today–this six month mark–is a mark of celebration! And this celebration is all about you all 😀
Below this, I’m posting my top five posts and top five commenters. I’m doing this, because I want you all to see what has driven my blog the most. Maybe this will help you with yours. At the same time, I want you all to think about what you’d like to see on ShannonAThompson.com in the future! I really encourage you to comment with questions or comments in regards to what you’d like to see, and I will surely post about it! (I’ll even link to your page :D) And you can do this on any post, not just today’s, because this blog is truly dedicated to you guys, my readers. For instance, I’ve noticed many of you really enjoy writing tips, but is there a particular piece about writing you have questions about? I’d love to help with those.
2. Inspirational Meet: Kristine Andersen: this means a lot to me by the way. Kristine’s death has been very difficult, but knowing you all have taken the time to read about her memory brings me a comfort that I cannot explain.
4. Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting: I think it’s very important to analyze such tragedies in order to make as much understanding as we possibly can. If you haven’t read this post, I have two novels that, I think, can help question and understand school shootings.