Monday 31 May 2021

The Trials Of An Indie Author: Building Takes Time


This is a subject that I keep coming back to time and time again. I know that I'm a small fish when it comes to being an indie author, and I know that I need to do a whole ton more to get to the point where I'm a bigger fish, but I have to keep coming back to the point of it all. It takes time. Very very few authors, indie or otherwise, are overnight successes. There may be the odd one or two here and there, but behind all of them is someone who started off as a small fish and then broke out at some point.

It's hard work, it can be demoralising, it can get to the point where you wonder if it's worth it, and that's where I've been recently. With health stuff ramping up the anxiety and having had to pull my second release of the year, I can't help but wonder if I'm ever going to get to the point where I am a bigger fish, or if I'll be stuck in this small pond for the remainder of my career. I wish I had some answers for you, but the honest truth is, I don't. I just thought that sharing it would help other people feeling the same way.

The truth of the matter is simple, building an audience, creating a brand, writing books, revising books, editing books, and releasing books, this all takes time. It can be a lot of time, or it can be a short space of time, but whichever you fall into (and the majority are in the long time line) just know that it doesn't mean that you might never make it. I know that because slowly, book by book, moment by moment, I am getting there, but the line is moving slowly and I'm inching up, and there is movement, it's just too small to really plot on a graph or something.

There are people ahead of me in the queue who seem to find short cuts, there are people behind me who write an amazing book, and through their own time and effort, manage to cut through a huge chunk of the line. But at the end of the day, neither one of those are me enemy, they're my peers, my colleagues, and trying to sit there and think: well I wrote an amazing book, why can't I seem to jump ahead, isn't going to help you, or anyone else. Jealousy is a beast, and it's real, I'll admit that I've had my own moments, but that doesn't change that these people in the line with you would be cheering you on, as you do them.

I think, sometimes, too much is made of people who seem to be overnight successes, like they wrote a book, published it, and boom, in come the sales and the like. A lot of it is hard work going on behind the scenes that we don't know about because social media is the highlights reel, we all know this and sometimes we seem to forget it when it comes to something that we really wish was happening to us. It's easy to get caught up in the idea that because it happened to them so fast, we are failures as it's not happened to us after one book, or five books, ten, or fifteen, or even twenty. But the important point, the one thing I want everyone reading this to take away is that no matter what path you're on, it takes time, and that's okay.

I've been writing for twenty years. I've been published for almost sixteen, and in the time since I first had my d├ębut published to where I am now, I have known some successes. I once sold ten thousand books in a month, and I was over the freaking moon about it, but as the ads stopped and the buzz died down, it slowly petered out, and that's my fault for not keeping up with the ads. I didn't have as many books out back then, I think it was the year I released Lynne & Hope, so only four books out, and yet I did, for a short period, make it, and that worked wonders for me.

But that's the thing about the line, sometimes you get to the front, only to find that you'll make it for a bit, and then, you think the hard work is done, and you get out of line, only to realise that it's nowhere near done, that you have to keep going, and that you have to be patient and keep your eyes on the prize. You will get there again, you just gotta work hard, and keep edging forward slowly, piece by piece, there is movement, and maybe, you'll get a chance to jump further ahead. But either way, you're doing amazing.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books

Friday 28 May 2021

Review of Connected by Rori Pierce

 A high school wallflower. A toxic love. And an online friend who will give her the confidence to break free.

Bethany Rollins fell hard and fast for Trevor Wade. Yet as time went by, he evolved into a dangerous manipulator who encouraged her to ditch her friends and try drugs. Fearing she’s losing herself to his toxic influence, her goal as the Homecoming dance approaches is to break free from him before she loses herself completely.

Bethany’s saving grace in the midst of this is a boy she’s never met. Knowing him only as Xion949, her online friendship with the mysterious stranger has given her the confidence she needs to make the rough choices to come.

Now, Xion949 wants to meet in person and Bethany is terrified. He’s been her rock. Her sounding board through thick and thin. Will meeting in person strengthen their bond, or tear it apart? 

My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because of the cute cover, and was hooked by the blurb. Meeting Beth and seeing the way Trevor treated her, I was drawn into the book so much so that I ended up finishing it in one sitting! I adored the twists and turns of the story, and loved the way the two came together, it felt realistic and romantic to have it go the way it did. Overall a delightful read, and one that I enjoyed immensely. Very much recommended to those who love a good romance.

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here.

Tuesday 25 May 2021



Everything is changing, the battle lines are drawn and the rebellion is underway...




 [ID: A dark forest background with the title LIGHTS OFF at the top and COMING JUNE 2021 just below it. The except reads:

It was weird how quickly everything changed. One minute we were all celebrating and the next we were back to work. I barely had a chance to catch my breath before we were back in the trenches and fighting the next battle.

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 24 May 2021

Authortube: Trying New Things


Having been on Authortube for a number of years now, and only really just starting to see growth in my channel, I thought that I would give you some tips on how to try new things and branch out of your comfort zone, should you already be on Authortube, or thinking about joining. I've talked before about things to avoid (found here) and mistakes I've made (found here) but this is simply about what to do when you're already out there, and finding that your circle of subscribers is getting the same kinda content all the time.


When I first started I didn't really know anything about tags, and I didn't really understand what the point of them was. Because I'm such a planner, I had my first year of videos all planned out, and didn't really have space for anything like a tag or the like. It was only when I started seeing them pop up and the engagement that they got, that I started to realise that they were a great tool for new viewers to have some idea about who you were as a writer/author and also to come visit your channel. Since then I try to do new tags as much as I can, and even leave spaces in my content planner for the chance to find a new one, or even make up one myself.

Which brings me to collabs. These are an amazing thing to try. Last year I did a number of collabs and found that it helped bring my channel into the community while also having a fun time of it. I think the first ever collab I did was with Dal Cecil Runo when she was just starting her channel and it was a tag that we'd both worked on together. It didn't do brilliantly view wise, but we were both very small channels and that would explain it.

So if you have the chance to reach out to someone you watch, and admire, and like, then go for it. See about brainstorming ideas with them. It doesn't have to be a tag, it can be a group of tips, where you give some and they give some, and it keeps the viewers from their channel on yours and vice versa. There were, in 2020 a number of projects that I was a part of that helped me grow my channel up to where it is now. I don't regret any of them.


It's only been this year that I've started doing the monthly weekly vlog, where at some point in the month I record a week long vlog and then post it on the last Sunday of that month. It's actually really been a lot of fun and while there's a steep learning curve with a tripod and camera and mic, rather than my usual set up of a webcam, I feel like I'm getting there. It's brought a different kind of content to my channel and has allowed me to play with the editing software and a different filming location.

This can all be a hell of a lot of fun, and while sometimes it might feel a little weird (I haven't filmed outside of my house yet!) it can be a great way to branch out of your comfort zone and share more of your writing life with your viewers. The good thing is you can make it your own. You don't have to follow other people's way of doing things. It's your vlog, and you can do what you want with it.


I am at a disadvantage when it comes to livestreaming. I don't have a lot of awake time, and because of being in the UK, usually when I'm up and about and ready to be writing, it's way too late for the US viewers and during the day for some of the other viewers so they're at work and the like. That said, I have done some livestreams. I did one when I hit 500 subs, and I've been on Savy's Authortube sleepover livestream once as well.

I talk about these being a good way to branch out, because while you may start small with only a few people coming, it's all about building it up. Authortube is changing to the point where it's more livestreams some months than it is other kinds of videos. That's not a bad thing, and it allows everyone to write together, especially during the NaNoWriMo months and the like. If you have the chance to be a part of them, then go for it and you might seem your growth increase because of that.

So there we go, my three trips for trying something new when it comes to Authortube. If you have any tips, feel free to pop them in the comments below!

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books

Friday 21 May 2021

Review of The Connection by Dana Claire

Beatrice Walker thought she was a normal high schooler living in a normal world-that is until she learned she's a living hostel for an alien energy source, whose power will prevent the universe's extinction.

Beatrice and her non-human-and annoyingly gorgeous-bodyguard Cash are part of a prophetic plan whose outcome to save their planets lies in their connection.


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up because the cover called out to be. I wasn’t sure going into it if it would be my kind of story, but I was hooked from the first few pages and ended up reading it all in one sitting. Bea and Case were amazingly written, their voices so distinct and loud, and the story, the mystery, the hints and all the rest just fell into place for me. I loved it and it’s a series that I will be following. Recommended to those who love a little sci-fi, a little romance, and a lot of alien mystery!

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here.

Tuesday 18 May 2021



Lock just became the face of the revolution...




 [ID: A dark forest background with the title LIGHTS OFF at the top and COMING JUNE 2021 just below it. The except reads:

“You're sure you wanna take this on, Lock?” she asked.
“I don't really have much of a choice now, do I?” I said mirroring her expression.
“True,” Jay said, with a small nod.
I guess I'd just officially become the spokesperson of the rebellion.

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 17 May 2021

Looking After Yourself - The Creative Process


I have done a lot of pieces on self-care recently, or at least it feels like it! This felt like the best topic to cover this week after my announcement last week about pulling a release (found here). I have been going through a lot of self-care in the recent months. It's not just been about refilling the well, but mental health issues on top of physical health ones, and I thought it would be prudent to mention here that there are many different ways to take care of yourself, especially if you're a writer working on a release or deadline.

Now just because I pulled a release for the year, it doesn't mean that I don't have other deadlines to deal with. I am still in the build up to the release for my newest book Lights Off (pre-order here!) and dealing with other deadlines for other projects, and I'm trying to find a way to keep that balance between doing what I need to get done, and also having downtime to deal with the fallout from the physical and mental health issues. So I thought that I would give you some tips on balancing and that sweet, sweet downtime.


If you've got other commitments, things that you can't change, like children at home, or school, or work stuff outside of writing, then you're already carrying a massive load. If your plan is to have an hour, or less, to yourself every day or every week, however your schedule works, then make sure its clear that, baring emergencies, this is your time. It's not about writing, it's about being able to stop, breathe, do something that you enjoy whether that's reading a book, or watching a TV show, or going for a walk now that the world has somewhat opened up again. Whatever it is, that is your time, guard it, protect it, and make sure that you take it.

I know that sometimes with releases and other deadlines, there are always going to be days or moments when you have to push through. If you have something you had to get done two days ago, but something got in the way, then you're going to have to push through, or ask about an extension if at all possible. My advice is to simple try and not get to that point, which I know is easy to say and hard to do. If they happen, work through them, but try to make sure that you're not foregoing so much sleep that you can't think straight, or missing out on something that's really important to your own mental well-being. That's important too.


I say try, because a lot of people can't, and that's okay. Their life is too hectic, or their sleep schedule doesn't allow it. All of that is completely valid, but if you can plan, try to start small and give yourself something easy to do to start with and then slowly, and I mean slowly, build it up into something that feels more manageable. This is something that's good to do when you don't have a deadline, and something you can do before that crunch time hits, but I'd be remiss to not include it in here.

I personally started with just a page a day after months of either pushing myself too hard, and having to take time off, or not pushing myself hard enough, and feeling crap about it, which just led me to the former again. I wanted to do something that allowed me to be writing often, but not to the point where it had a negative effect on my mental or physical health. For you this might be a five minute sprint, or it might be planning one writing thing a day (again start small) and moving on from there. Allow for catch-up and rest days and just slowly ease yourself into it. It's a lot of trial and error, and that's okay.


Like I talked about last week, I have all these schedules and such in place and it still got to the point where I needed a break, and I just wanna say, that's okay. It might be that you have a deadline, or you have this thing you just have to get done, but sometimes life, and your body will get in the way and you might have to be okay with just saying stop. It's not easy, it's terrifying to be honest, but it's for the best, and once you get to that point, it feels like a weight has been lifted and you can finally breathe.

Just remember to be kind to yourself, get some sleep, eat your food, and remember that it's okay if these things take time, you're human and you need breaks, there's no shame in it.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books


Friday 14 May 2021

Review of Once Upon A Dystopia Anthology


Vanity is a crime and Cinderella must wear a mask. The big bad wolf puts on an armored suit to battle extraterrestrials. Rapunzel is forced to claim her throne and right the wrongs of the past. Snow White goes insane in a world where corporations have torn down the forests. Three siblings cross a bridge in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. In a genetically altered society, one different girl will be hunted for her imperfections…

Proudly created by the authors of Dystopian Ink, Once Upon A Dystopia: An Anthology of Twisted Fairy Tales and Fractured Folklore contains twenty stories of fairy tale and folklore retellings that explore dystopian influence in literature. From Science Fiction based futures to Fantasy kingdoms, the message is clear:

One person’s utopia is another’s hell.


My Review:  5 STARS

I picked this up because I’m a big fan of dystopian stories and the idea of a whole anthology of them appealed to me. I adore the stories, all of them have their own spin on how things had gone down, some leaving me wanting to know more, some making me wish they were a first chapter of a whole story. I was taken to fairytale lands and onwards, it was an amazing experience and extremely hard to put down. Overall an amazing read and one I recommend to all those who love a good snippet of dystopian fiction!

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here.


Tuesday 11 May 2021



Sanna isn't happy that Lock may be the face of the rebellion...




 [ID: A dark forest background with the title LIGHTS OFF at the top and COMING JUNE 2021 just below it. The except reads:

Sanna glared down at me. “You have no idea what we've done for this rebellion, what we've been working for since before you were born! You will not go on air again, do you understand me?”
“Mum, she's right,” Jay said, stepping in and standing up straight. “I wish Kit had told us, but she's right. Lock has a place here, and she has earned that place. She needs to be seen as the voice now. Maybe if you'd been part of the video that invoked the Act...”

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 10 May 2021

Pulling A Release - The Creative Process


I talked about this in one of my recent weekly vlogs (video found here) and I've talked about it in some of the posts, but I thought that I would do an actual piece on it since it's something that maybe hasn't reached all the ears it should. I decided back in March that I wouldn't be releasing a second book this year. Cramping Chronicles: The Second Pang was revised, and edited by me at least, and ready to go off to the developmental editor on April 1st, but towards the middle of March I realised that I couldn't do it. I didn't have the mental energy to do it, and I felt that it would have a detrimental effect on my physical and mental health, so I didn't go through with it.

I think that something we all need to remember, as both indie authors (who have more control over this kind of thing) and traditionally published authors (who don't) is that sometimes, pushing through just isn't the right thing for you as a human being, and we all need to remember we are human. It wasn't about lack of support, or the book not being ready, but just simply that I needed a break from the editing cycle and also just some time to reflect if the book was where I wanted it to be. That's okay, it's okay to take a break, in the end I decided to take a year long break so that the book should, all things going to plan, be released next October and go to the editor in April 2022.

It also means that I won't be editing another book this year, I'm revising a project, which I foresee needing a lot of work, though to be fair it's not as bad as I first thought on my read-through, but this gives me the time, and the space to do that without worrying about having to edit another book at the same time. It's also true that my health has fallen into the toilet, right now, at the time of writing this, I'm awaiting a scan that should help me see what the next step is. It may be that even though I didn't know that I'd need a lot of health time this year, my brain did, and that's why it kept pushing for me to pull the release.

Of course, I'm sad about it. I wanted that book to be out there, wanted it to be in the hands of readers. The cover is done, the publishing train had left the station to a point, and it's now kinda sitting on the tracks just along from that, but that doesn't mean that the book will never get published, or to stick with this analogy, that the train won't restart. It just means that for now, we're having some downtime and it'll get kicking into high gear again next year.

One thing that I have been a big proponent of, is taking the time you need to relax, taking the time you need to refill your well, and to have some time to breathe. Part of pulling this release is letting myself do that. I have been working non-stop on editing and the like for a good few years now. I did three releases in 2019, two in 2020 and will release a book this year, I just won't be doing the two I normally do. I plan to try and release one in 2022 and then see about going back to the two in 2023, but we'll see how that all plays out. It might happen, it might not. Either way, putting myself first seemed like the important thing to do, if ableit a little selfish.

Like I said above, some authors don't have much control over when their book is released, that once that train has started, there's no emergency stop, no matter what, but for me as an indie author, I would have been pushing myself to breaking point, and then ended up burning out way too fast and have maybe gotten to a point where I couldn't stop the train. It made sense to me to try and be proactive, take this time now, and see how coming back swinging when all is said and done.

If you're struggling with things, if your work life balance is out of whack and you don't feel like you're keeping your head above water, then if you can, think about what you're doing, and think about maybe trying to stop for a bit. I've talked about this as a spoonie writer (found here) and I'll say this to people who aren't spoonies either. You're allowed to take breaks, allowed to have some time for yourself to breathe, and allowed to stop something when you know it's not in your best interests. You're allowed to be selfish. As I have said so many different times, it takes as long as it takes, and that's okay.

Look after yourself and remember to breathe. Take the time you need, and know you don't have to stop forever, just a little rest can sometimes be all it needs.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books

Friday 7 May 2021

Review of All Last Summer by Stephanie J Scott

 Sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan.

My summer was planned from packing lists to trip itineraries. Or so I’d thought.

It’s the night before my trip abroad, and my boyfriend Matt showed up at a party with another girl. The boyfriend I’m supposed to spend seven weeks with in Brazil.

No way can I board that plane.

With my trip tickets ripped up and the money down the drain, I owe my parents big-time. The only job hiring is Teed Off!, the driving range that just-so-happens to employ Matt’s trio of best friends.

Matt’s friends don’t like my presence on their artificial turf, so pranking me becomes their second part-time job. They definitely don’t want me winning the bonus money our boss is offering for an idea to improve the business.

By chance on a summer night, Matt’s head crony best friend Aidan is there for me when no one else is around. Turns out, he and Matt haven’t been close for a while. Aidan begins to see through to the real me—the me I’d kept from Matt to be the person I’ve always longed to be—popular with a boyfriend, all according to plan.

As the summer unfolds, our secrets unravel.

My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up looking for a sweet summer romance, and I adored it from the first page. Lila was relatable, and made you want to follow along with her journey of somewhat self-discovery. Going from being the girl she thinks she has to be to have friends, to being the girl she actually is. I loved the story, the twists, the turns, the highs, the lows, and of course, the ending was perfect. I adored Lila and the other characters and loved how things turned out with Matt and Adian. This is a new author to me, but one that I would read again, highly recommended for a summer romance book!

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here.

Thursday 6 May 2021

Author Tag: Lucky Authortuber Tag [CC]

Doing a tag today, the lucky Authortube tag! #Authortube

1. Who's channel did you find by luck?
2. Do you have a good luck charm you use or need when you write?
3. What part of writing or the writing process luckily, comes easily for you?
4. What time day or night, do you have better luck at being creative or productive?
5. With any luck-when do you see your current W.I.P being completed?
6. If by stroke of luck you get the opportunity to collab with another authortuber, who would it be and why?
7. Tag 3 lucky authortubers to do this tag.






Tuesday 4 May 2021



The people are looking for someone to guide them, to lead them, could that be Lock?




 [ID: A dark forest background with the title LIGHTS OFF at the top and COMING JUNE 2021 just below it. The except reads:

“That's my point!” he said, jabbing his finger towards me. “They see you as someone who has done something! Sanna’s a name known to older people, and to the people here, she's been dead for five years!”
I swallowed down my nerves. I'd wanted an active role, but I couldn't help but think that Kit had it wrong. People would just dismiss me, I was nineteen and not from Evendown, add my obvious disability, and the people here wouldn't stand behind me, maybe back home, or in Cardown, but here? I couldn't see it working. I also couldn't see Sanna being okay with it.
“Will you do it?” he asked.
I nodded.

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 3 May 2021

Juggling Content & Writing - The Creative Process


A lot of people will tell you that I'm very organised, and I can't argue with that. I have now been using a planner for over a year, and even before that I had my Sticky Notes system that guided me through the months and allowed me to get things done. I write my chapters, I also do my admin stuff, like writing these blog posts, as well as vlog scripts and recording said videos. It took me a hell of a long time to get to this point, but one thing I've not talked about before was how I advise others to manage to do the same.

Thinking about it, I know that I'm a bit of an oddball when it comes to how I do my Authortube videos. A lot of people batch film, and I just don't have the energy to do that so will record everything a month in advance. Like right now it's the end of April and I will have all of May's videos done before I sit down to then do a month's worth of blog posts as well. It's something that's worked for me for a while, and it took a lot of trial and error to get to that point.

Juggling the content when it comes to an Authortube channel, or all of social media, or even a website and a blog, on top of trying to get your writing done takes a lot of time and energy. So how do I do it? And what do you do if you're not really a planner when it comes to time?

I started off with planning by being pretty loose with the idea of what would get done and when. I just had a long to-do list every week, and then every fortnight, and finally ending up as every month, of things that I had no choice but to do. Like blog posts, or chapters to write, revisions to do, videos to record. You name it, it went on the list. When I moved to Sticky Notes, I would assign one thing to every day and give myself some catch up days in between, and I usually always used them.

I wasn't writing daily, and I wasn't writing to the speed and volume that I do now, but I was managing to keep the blog updated and do my videos, even though I didn't have any kind of consistency to my schedule in those days. Once I had the list and I'd tweaked it all, I moved onto the next step.

It didn't take me long to work out that if I didn't prioritise my writing, then it just wasn't going to happen. I had to work out what I really wanted to get done and then move on from there. If I wanted to make sure that there was a blog post every Monday then I had to set time aside to actually write it, and for a while I would do them on the Monday they were due and that cut into writing time, which annoyed me until I found a solution.

Once you have everything in order of importance, then you can move onto the next step. But be brutally honest with yourself. Don't attach more importance to something that you personally don't feel. If it's something like writing and you would rather be doing something else, then do that. Make sure you do some soul searching and find out what you actually want to be doing with your time.

It can feel impossible to achieve something when you're looking at the end goal. Like writing a book is a great end goal, but when that's the only purpose, you can feel a little overwhelmed about it all. This is why this step is so important. You break down your things you wanna get done into manageable pieces and assign them as you go. This can be with a planner, with Sticky Notes, on a calendar, or anything that works for you. Hell it can even just be a list that you add to as time goes on. Whatever works for you, is the best thing.

This is something I've been doing for years, and I did a video last week about setting up my new planner (video here) and I talked there about how I have my monthly goals, but I'll then take those and break them into smaller chunks for the weekly ones. That way I know I'm on track and I'm not having to overthink things and worry. It's all gonna be sorted by the end.

So there we go, that's how I juggling making content, like these blog posts, and also keeping my writing going. If you have any tips, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books