Where I Ache 6 months old!

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Where I Ache is 6 months old and I wanted to thank everyone on here, in the Poetry community, and the book blogger community for showing this project the love and support you all have!

At the end of the month, I’ll update everyone on my next project coming down the pipeline, until then check out these reviews and consider purchasing Where I Ache yourself on Amazon!

 

Some reviews from Goodreads, read them in full here

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End of the Year Goal Check In

I wrote some goals for 2019 back in December and we’re full circle now! I did a 6 months check in since these goals were only for the first 6 months of the year anyways.

 

Goals for the first six months of 2019

Goals have to be measurable in order to know if you’ve reached them or not. Although I’m not happy to focus so heavily on numbers, it is an easy way to measure a goal. My goal is to increase my audience and have a successful poetry career. These numbers will help me keep track of those goals.

 

The Blog

Work on writing a media kit

Contact companies for sponsorship (and actually get one!)

Gain another 1,000 followers

Update: I’ve looked into some samples of media kits but I still don’t think my stats would stand out enough for it to make sense to create one just yet.

I’ve joined some other affiliation programs that I’ve been working on instead of doing any sponsored posts yet. There are some programs that have tougher qualifications so I still need to work on my stats. I am making a small bit of money from google Adsense so it’s great to see me recovering some of my self hosting spendings.

Debatably Dateable has gained over 1,770 followers since December and I couldn’t be happier! I love love love watching this blog grow! I hope to get another thousand in these next 6 months!

 

The Final Results: 3968 June, to 5719 dec = 1750, from my 5k monthly views article, my traffic is growing which helps my monetary goals.

 

Cracked Open

Between GoodReads and Amazon, have 20 reviews

Get 25 more books sold

The Update: I have 18 reviews so I can’t be too upset there but I did not even get close to selling 25 more books so that stings a little. I don’t see these numbers getting much higher as the year goes on. I’m not sure how to help boost sales as the book continues to age.

 

The Final Results: I thought Where I Ache sales would be the only ones coming in after the summer but surprisingly Cracked Open still sees some action on Amazon so that’s great news.

 

Social Media

Twitter – gain 2,000 followers

Instagram– gain 1,000 followers

The Update: For Twitter I only gained 1,270 so far but feel free to come check out what I talk about there! Oddly enough, for Instagram I’ve gained over 2,125 followers so it looks like I got my goals switched around! I hope to get to the 2k+ on Twitter in the Fall.

 

The Final Results: I finally started taking a deeper look into these numbers and found it was wasted efforts! So I’ve switched my focus to Pinterest, read more about why I made these changes here.

 

Next Poetry Collection – Where I Ache!

I want to add 50 exclusive poems to my next collection before I work on publishing it

Have 10 reviews before release date

Sell twice as many as Cracked Open (over the course of the year)

 

The Update: I have 55 exclusive poems! I am absolutely ecstatic about that! Cracked Open had 20 illustrations and Where I Ache has somewhere around 35 so I’m also pumped about that!

Where I Ache was only released 2 weeks ago and there’s already 14 reviews on Goodreads so I’m very happy about that! Definitely check them out!

I’m only 2 weeks in of course but I’m already even with Cracked Open’s first month of book sales so that’s a good start for me!

 

The Final Results: Where I Ache currently has 20 reviews on Goodreads and another 5 on Amazon so I think I did a bit more work during release time on my second collection and I’m happy to see it paid off. Not sure what I’ll want to do about my third collection in the new year.

All those reviews have unfortunately not resulted in more sales than Cracked Open had in it’s first 5 months. My third collection is returning to more Cracked Open style so we’ll see if that has anything to do with it.

 

Because I don’t want to solely focus on numbers, here are some

 

Non numerical goals:

Connect with new readers who resonate with my poetry.

Have my poetry help someone through a difficult time.

Have a company see value in my writing.

Keep a healthy number of articles in queue.

 

The Update: I’ve definitely found new readers and also fellow poets through my Poet Interview Series! I’ve been so lucky to connect with new readers who were interested in reviewing Where I Ache and many have said the sensitive topics covered in the collection have helped them remember they are not alone.

I haven’t really pursued this one aside from submitting Where I Ache to one of the major publishing companies. I’m not sure that I will do much for the rest of the year for this.

I have over 30 posts in queue for the past several months and it is amazinggggg! (knock on wood)

The Final Results: I still have not made the jump to working with companies and I don’t think I will in 2020, my only focus would probably be Google Adsense and working on more traffic to eventually switch to another ad company.

The past few months I hover around 50 articles in queue would has been so awesome and even with that I’ve added more posts into my schedule. At the beginning of the year I would post 10 times a month, then I went to every Monday, Wed, and Friday posting about 12-13 times a month and lately I’ve made the jump to about 15-17 times a month so I’m hoping that will all help with traffic and the like.

 

My goals for 2020 will mostly follow the same path of check the sales of my books and trying to increase site traffic so I’m unsure if I’ll set specific numbers for this coming year. Thanks for following me along through 2019!

Reduced Prices for Poetry Collections all of December!

Where I Ache and Cracked Open Paperbacks are 20% for the entire Holiday season!

Kindle editions are only $3.99!

A great gift for yourself or loved ones this year!

Get your copy now!

 

(all reviews greatly appreciated!)

Whats different about my third poetry collection

When I first started compiling my poems for my first collection, Cracked Open, I also realized what my following 2 collections would be able. We’ve finally reached number 3! My third collection will have the theme of Nature connecting the pages.

 

No chapters

I enjoy chapbooks and collections that have chapters because it gives the reader more direction and more of a journey. A concern that I think my past collections have run into is that having related poems groups together makes them seem more repetitive and less unique. I don’t think chapters will enhance the reader’s journey for this third collection since nature is the only consistent theme.

 

No illustrations

I think illustrations add so much to a collection and they were a must have for my first. It turns out illustrations are expensive and can be a real hassle. I ran a poll on Twitter for my second collection and thought having illustrations again might lead to good sales. I’ve realized at this early in my career, illustrations aren’t going to make or break a sale, but they will break the bank. This collection is the longest one so far which would mean even more illustrations to pay for so this time around we’ll have to do without.

 

No author note

Interestingly enough, whenever I read a book, I never read the author’s note or foreword or anything if I can help it. So I have no idea why for the first two collections, I decided to write an author’s note! I mean Cracked Open was my first and it made sense to me since people are getting to know me as a poet. Where I Ache also made sense for me because it carried some really tough topics and I needed the readers to know that before they dove in. I also needed my friends and family to know that not everything I write is about me and there’s no need to worry haha. But from now on I don’t think my collections will need notes because I doubt anyone reads them anyway.

 

80+ exclusive poems

With my first collection, Cracked Open, I struggled to produce 20 exclusive poems so it absolutely amazes me to have over 80 exclusive poems for this third collection! Where I Ache had a bit over 55 exclusives so this collection alone will have more exclusives than the first two combined! I expected for nearly half of the third collection to be exclusive, never before seen work.

I’ll have more info coming out soon as this third collection progresses and when you can expect it to hit the shelves!

Where I Ache Review by Venus Davis (from Maria at Sampaguitas)

Maria at Sampaguitas is a fantastic magazine to submit your piercing yet tender pieces to. The magazine encompasses so many different forms from short stories and essays to poetry and photography. If you’re a creative artist, definitely give them a look!

I lucked out by having a regular contributor Venus Davis review my collection Where I Ache!

“In Megan O’Keeffe’s honesty through poetry, I felt seen in a way that I never have before. This book felt like a gift from a close friend. This collection is a hand reaching out to hold the hand of anyone who has ever dealt with grief, depression, heartache, and the massive love for yourself that builds from going to hell and back.”

Read the Full Review here

I’m so thankful for any review I receive, if you are interested in my collection please get in touch! (ddateable@gmail.com)

Bookshine and Readbows’ Where I Ache Review!

I’m lucky to have another Where I Ache review coming in! Head over to Bookshine and Readbows for some awesome reviews!

 

Where I Ache is a sizeable volume of poetry, split into six parts labelled with parts of the body that allude to their thematic emotional link.  For example, the ‘Greedy Green Eyes’ section covers jealousy and longing in many of its poems.

In an easy-to-read, accessible writing style, Megan O’Keeffe presents poetry that anyone who has ever loved, longed for or lost can identify with.  The majority of the poems are short – between one and three verses for the most part – but the emotions covered are huge and all-encompassing.”

 

you can read the whole review here, thanks again Steph!

How to schedule a blog tour

Scheduling a blog book tour is pretty tough, it requires a lot of coordination and management. You have to find bloggers that are interested in hosting a blog tour, see which of those are available during the timeframe you want and who will even respond to you, and then you have to communicate about the content of the posting.

Before I get into it, I would really really want to thank those that did host me for a blog tour!! It was amazing seeing it all come together!

 

So first, I would search for blogs that are doing tours for your niche. I searched through the WordPress Reader since that’s my hosting site but if you use another platform you might use google or your hosting’s reader feed.

I knew I wanted to do interviews for my blog tour so that’s what I looked for specifically but I think it’s also common just to have the tour host review your new book. Once I found a site I would search their page for any submission guidelines or policies to make sure I wasn’t rudely bulldozing my way through. If that all checked out then I would email them, letting them know I saw their post that I liked, a little blurb about my book, and the timeframe I’m hoping for.

There’s a lot of different ways you can schedule your blog tour. I’ve seen a tour for 15 consecutive days in a row and I decided to go with once a week but starting 6 weeks out from the release date. So there’s a wide range of how many stops to do, how many weeks to do, and the decision to have them all at once or spread out.

I would say I emailed about 20-25 bloggers about hosting me for a blog tour. I got 7 for Yes and that was more than enough for me and what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to do interviews and I knew that would require me to do a good chunk of work and writing so I contacted bloggers all the way back in February for a May dated tour.

 

To me, there was no need to badger anyone until it got closer to when the tour would be starting. But then that also left no time to recoup if anything was going wrong. Plus, I had done my side of the work for all of them. On my side of things, it all seemed like it would be working out. It wasn’t till a few days would go by after I sent in my responses that I didn’t hear anything.  

As April came around and one of my bloggers wasn’t responding in emails I checked out the site and saw there hadn’t been a new posting since January. It’s instances like that were the tour can just fall apart on you. I was able to get 2 more bloggers interested in hosting me after my release date.  

Overall, I have to admit that the blog tour was not a success for my initial plan. My goal was to have 7 spots completed by my release date, the result was 3. But out of the 9 Yes, 6 have come together overall so I have about 67% success rate in the end, which for a first time blog tour is actually very good. And I must say, having tour dates after the release was really helpful and kept my book relevant even a month after launch.

This post isn’t meant to complain but to show that even with the best effort, planning a book blog tour is difficult and is not guaranteed to come out the way you planned. My suggestion is to contact as many people as possible with the understanding that some will fall through.

 

Mini Poetry Reviews

I wanted to review some poetry collections since my collection Where I Ache has been getting some lovely buzz here on WordPress.

 

 

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From this, I Bloom – Emily Jane Burton

 

You might remember I actually interviewed Emily early this year as part of my Poet Interview Series. This might be my favorite poetry book I own! The trouble with Chapbooks is, you’re always left wanting more! I love the variety of topics that were included in this collection from family, dealing with losing someone, and finding strength within yourself. I was happy that these poems have titles since not all poetry books do that and I enjoyed the variety of how the poems were placed on the page. This poet also created great imagery and had me using all of my senses. I would definitely buy this poet’s next collection.

 

 

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A Rose, Unbloomed – Angel Blackmon

 

My absolute favorite thing about this collection was the poems that had bolded words creating a secondary poem within the overall one! The book didn’t have page numbers nor poem titles which was really only a bummer because it’s not as easy to go back and find your favorite poem. The collection touched on a lot of deep topics and emotions, it was philosophical and captivated my attention. I was really happy with how many poems got to be included in this one collection and that they weren’t all micropoetry. I can’t wait for the next publication!

 

All Where I Ache Blog Tour Spots

What piece of your own work are you most proud of?

I really do love my piece, ‘War Cry.’ It’s in the form of a pantoum, which is hard to explain, and makes more sense when you see an example, but it repeats two lines from each previous stanza so you have to take the readers on a journey with not much material to do so. I think the creativity needed for the form could go unnoticed if you haven’t tried it before. I also love the world news topic I wrote on for that piece.

-Full interview from the Literary Librarian

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title of your new book?

MO: The book Where I Ache focuses on depression, self esteem, grief, and self love and there’s a lot of mental and physical pain here. The chapters refer to different parts of the body (head, heart, spine) focusing on different parts of where the speaker is aching.

-Full interview from Authors Interviews

 

book cover ebook

 

What, for you, is the best thing about being a writer?

The best is probably when you’ve created something better than you ever thought you could. A few poems really wow me with some impressive lines of creativity. It’s also so special when a reader connects with a poem and you’ve helped them articulate exactly what they’ve been feeling inside.

-Full interview from My Random Musings – Author Interview

 

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting this book completed and published?

This collection seemed to have a lot more moving parts than the first collection, so it was difficult to keep everything organized the way I wanted. The most challenging thing for me when writing any collection is writing the new, exclusive poems for that particular collection. For me, it’s a challenge to force myself to write about a particular topic on demand. I also need to write about this topic in a different perspective from all the other poems in my collection to avoid redundancy.

-full interview from Torrid Literature 

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Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.

Read other poets.

One piece of advice I’ve been told is to read a lot of other poetry to become a better poet and that just hasn’t held any value or truth for me. For one, I fear I’ll end up nearly plagiarizing another poet on a subconscious level. And secondly, I just end up judging their poems as a reader rather than drawing inspiration for it.

Definitely a tricky thing, especially with poetry. It’s hard to know what might inspire you.

-full interview here from Morgan Hazelwood

Now that you have two collections, are you playing favorites?
I honestly thought my first creative baby would always hold a special place in my heart. But I am so proud of the progress I’ve made in Where I Ache that it’s won me over. I’m thrilled that the collection is longer and I’ve more than double the amount of exclusive poems. I’m also proud to be writing about such sensitive topics and expanding my reach beyond just love poems. Lastly, I was able to work with my boyfriend on this second collection with him as my illustrator! He saved the day from my chicken scratch doodles haha.

-Full interview from Beckie Writes

 

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Buy your copy of Where I Ache here !

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