Author Consultations

Greetings, Fellow Author!

 

So. You're interested in booking an author consultation with me. Awesome! A 1-hour consultation is $129 USD. I've also added a 30-minute consultation option for $49 USD to focus specifically on either your vision and goals for your author journey or your author brand and design. While I have limited availability, I will do my best to make something work for you if the existing time slots don't. To chat about alternative scheduling, email me at suzie@suzieoconnell.com or reach out to me via Facebook message. Need a payment plan? We can discuss that, too.

 

Steps: Read > Schedule > Intake Form > Invoice > Consultation

 

Step 1: Read (the introduction, that is.) If you're anything like me, you just did a quick scroll-down of this page, and your eyes are probably bugging out. I know, I know. There's a LOT of text on this page, but I promise, there's a reason for it.

 

I want to give you every opportunity to get a feel for how I work and think so you can make sure a consultation will be a good fit for both of us. If you get through all this information and still want to book a consultation, it's likely we'll click well. If any of this is a turn-off for you, a consultation with me probably won't be a good fit for either of us. See where I'm going with this? Excellent. Moving on…

 

Who I am & My Experience—the short and sweet bullet points:

  • USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance—small town & Western/cowboy category
  • Bachelor of Arts in Literature & Writing (Creative Writing emphasis) from the University of Montana-Western
  • Former high school English teacher
  • 10 years of self-publishing experience with 8 of those as a full-time writer
  • Consistently earn mid to upper five figures annually
  • 13 novels published (10 in my main series along with a duet and a stand-alone)
  • Occasionally design book covers for other authors because I'm a Photoshop addict (side-gig; roughly 5 years total experience)
  • Co-founder and admin of the Wide for the Win Facebook group
  • Dedicated "wide" author—bet you saw that one coming * wink *

 

A bit more detail… As I stated above, I've been at this gig for a decade (self-published my first novel in May 2012), and I've been writing full-time and winning the proverbial bread for my family of three since April 2014. I've consistently earned mid to upper five figures a year since then—solid "mid lister" territory—and, yep, I've hit the USA Today bestseller list, too. And despite the fact that I burned out hardcore, I'm still here and I'm still earning more from my books than I did teaching high school English. No, it isn't because I have a million books out. I don't. I have 13.

 

I'm still here because I kept promoting my books, engaging my readers, learning, and adapting to market changes even while I couldn't write. And, yeah, stubbornness probably had something to do with it, too.

 

Honesty time: I'm not going to BS you. I don't know it all, and I'm upfront about what I do and don't know. I'm not perfect. I've made more mistakes than I care to admit, but I've learned and I've adapted and I've worked hard to keep my dream alive. I want to share what I've learned so that you—hopefully—will avoid some of the overwhelm and struggles of this business (I wish there was a way to avoid them all, but let's face it, writing and publishing ain't easy; there will be struggles no matter how prepared you are).

 

I've seen a lot of things come and go in my decade of self-publishing. Trends. Bookstores. Authors. I've noticed patterns about which strategies are perennial and which are passing fads. Most importantly, I've seen firsthand that there is no ONE right path to success. There are more paths than we can count… and success is not guaranteed by any of them. But I want to give you the best possible chance I can.

 

My Author Philosophy & What you can Expect from a consultation

 

As you consider whether or not to schedule a consultation with me, there are a few things I want you to think about.

 

Not every piece of information I share with you in our consultation is going to resonate with you or how your mind works best. And I'm telling you straight-up… THAT'S OKAY!

 

We're all different and what has worked for me may not work for you. Or it might be too overwhelming. Or you can't see how it fits into your vision for your author career. Or you just don't have time to implement it. That's perfectly fine. Tell me so. I won't tell you "you MUST to do X" or "you should NEVER do Y". In fact, I seem to have built a reputation amongst Widelings for saying, "now, hold on a minute…" and offering up counter-examples to popular "shoulds".

 

My goal is to help you find the tools and tricks and strategies that are going to work best for YOU. I have precisely zero interest in a one-size-fits-all approach. Sure, there are strategies that work for most people, and I've shared quite a bit about my experiences with them in Wide for the Win, but understanding how those strategies work within each author's situation and with their natural strengths is what I want to pay forward. That, in my experiences, is where the best results come from.

 

Fundamentally, I want you to be honest with yourself about what you can realistically accomplish. Stubbornly refusing to acknowledge my limitations is a primary reason I burned out so hard, and I don't want to see that happen to you. Or any author. Burnout sucks. 1-star, do not recommend. But it taught me to pay attention to my energy levels and to let go of expectations that are either unattainable or that don't fit with what I truly want for my life.

 

I am a big proponent nowadays of creating a balanced and enjoyable author life. Slow and steady and all that. Quality over quantity (and I'm not talking only about books here). Peace and light and everything bright. Patience and persistence. However you want to say it.

 

I want the same thing for you as I do for me—to not only build success but to enjoy the journey.

 

Now, all that said, there's one more thing. It's up to YOU to do the work. And—being brutally frank here—if you aren't willing to put in the effort and heart this business requires, save your money and don't book a consultation with me. It's tough talk, I know, but if you are only looking for the mythical magic bullet, I'd rather give my time to a writer who is going to fight to make this author thing work. Now, if you are that author who is going to do the work… YES! That is fabulous. Keep reading.

 

What I can Help you with

These are the areas where I have the most experience and feel confident I can provide you with valuable insight, strategies, and tools.

1-Hour "General" Consultation Topics

 

  • Publishing wide and the "Wide Mindset"
  • Author, series, and book branding
  • Author websites
  • Cover design
  • Author newsletters – best practices, what to send, how to maintain subscriber engagement
  • Free/discounted first-in-series strategy
  • Paid newsletter promotions strategy
  • BookBub Featured Deals – increasing your chances of landing one, maximizing one once you've been accepted (I've scored 18 of them as of posting this)
  • When to publish direct and when to use a distributor
  • Optimizing your book catalogue and retailer product pages
  • Cross-promoting and networking with other authors
  • Print editions & POD services
  • CPC ads
  • Moving from KU to wide
  • Social media & how it fits (or doesn't) into your author plan

 

30-Minute "Focused" Consultation Topics

 

Option A: Vision, Goals & Mindset – Possible topics we'll cover (based on your unique situation and needs):

  • Your vision for your author career; aka finding your "why" and why you should
  • Goal planning and figuring out which projects will help you meet those goals
  • Burnout prevention and recovery
  • Combating FOMO, the fear of missing out
  • Organizing and prioritizing as a Wide author

 

Option B: Author Brand & Design – We will discuss…

  • What "author brand" is and why it's the foundation for success as an author
  • What your author brand could look and feel like
  • How to build a solid, recognizable author brand
  • The importance of an author website in building your brand and establishing the visual aspect of your brand
  • How author brand should be reflected in your cover design and graphics
  • The importance of building reader trust

 

What I won't likely be able to help you with

These are the topics I have little or no experience with or simply don't enjoy.

 

  • KDP Select/KU
  • Audiobooks – I have a couple out, but… this is not my forte
  • Translations – zero experience here. Skye MacKinnon and Erin Wright are your go-to gals for this topic
  • Traditional publishing – Mark Leslie has much more up-to date info to share here than I do
  • Advanced CPC ads
  • Fiction apps
  • The publish-fast method (writing and publishing a ton of books per year)
  • Non-fiction, children's book, and poetry marketing – I'm a fiction novelist, and marketing for fiction vs. non-fiction, kids books and poetry is (generally) a totally different game

 

Next Steps

 

Step 2: Schedule your consultation. Once you've confirmed your date and time, you should be automatically redirected to the intake form. If you aren't, there's a link to it at the bottom of the scheduling page.

 

Step 3: Complete the intake form. There are a lot of questions, but fill out as much as you can—again, because I want to help find the tools and strategies that will work best for YOU, and the more I know about where you are in your author journey, the better I'll be able to do that.

 

Step 4: I'll read over your intake form, contact you if I have any further questions or if I'm not sure I'll be able to provide you with actionable information, and send you an invoice for either the $129 USD or $49 USD (depending which consultation option you select). Once that's paid, you're officially scheduled!

 

Step 5: The consultation. Please be on time so we make sure you get your full appointment. I'll be there for the entire time, whether or not you show up. If I end up spending it plotting my next book or cleaning my little office, so be it. I'd rather spend that time you paid for working through a plan for your author career.

 

Step 6: Implement what we discuss as best you can and discard whatever doesn't feel right to you.

 

Cancellations and Rescheduling Policy

If you need to cancel:

  • If you contact me more than 24 hours before the start of your consultation, we can reschedule at no cost or cancel with a full refund.
  • Within 24 hours of the start of your consultation, if you need to cancel or reschedule, there will be a $25 USD cancellation/reschedule fee deducted from your refund.
  • If you simply don't show up, sorry, but no refunds. I upheld my end even if I spent the time drawing doodles all over my note cards.

 

If I need to cancel (because I live on a ranch and emergencies happen—cows get sick, things break):

  • You get a full refund. Period. And 50% off if you decide to reschedule.

 

Phew, that's it! You made it all the way to the end! Way to go, you. Now you just need to make a decision—close the window and be on your merry way or book a consultation. If you choose the former, I wish you all the best. If you choose to proceed with a consultation, I can't wait to have a chat with you!

 

Schedule 1 Hour     Schedule 30 Minutes

 

If you'd like to take a peek at my books and website—make me put my money where my mouth is, as they say—feel free! Just click on my author logo on the left side of the navigation bar at the top of this page.

 

I'll see you soon, whether in a consultation or in Wide for the Win!

 

Cheers,

 

Suzie

© 2022 Suzie O'Connell. All rights reserved.