Schedule for Indie Release, Self Taught Marketing Lessons

As you may have gathered, I have a book I am about to release. My launch date is June 2, 2017.

Now, that might sound like plenty of time to get all my proverbial ducks in a row, but it is a race against time. I have spent the last six months researching the best way to promote and market a self-published book, and so I thought you might want to see in an encapsulated form, what I have discovered.

As far in advance as possible:

  • Create your author website or author’s blog.
  • Create an Author Facebook account or spruce up an existing author page.
  • Tweet out your author page and share on Facebook. Share on your personal Facebook pages and in groups.
  • Share your character’s journey on Twitter, Facebook, blog, and Website.
  • Set up Mailchimp or other sign up forms for newsletters.
  • Create a relationship with reviewers, bloggers, and readers.
  • Arrange for beta readers, editors, illustrators and cover artist.
  • Polish your book blurb and your elevator blurb.

Two Months before anticipated launch:

  • Provide books to beta readers.
  • Final line, copy and editorial editing,
  • Final proofreading once all the changes have been made.
  • Begin to introduce characters in blog posts, Facebook posts, and tweets.
  • Create an email address for character reader interaction, if wanted.
  • Begin to network with parent/genre specific groups on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.
  • Upload to Amazon as a pre-order. Preorders will also secure your title and author page on Goodreads.
    • You can upload an unedited version without a cover up to three months in advance as long as you make sure to upload the final version 3 days before launch.
  • As soon as the book is listed on Goodreads, create a giveaway to encourage interest for your new release. Set giveaway to end on launch day.
    • You can set up the giveaway on Goodreads once you have set up the pre-order, it helps to have a cover for Goodreads. Giveaways take a week from set-up to the start date of the giveaway.  Plan on having the book in contest mode for at several weeks. The longer the better.
  • Reach out to other bloggers about potential guest posts and character interviews.

One month before anticipated launch:

  • Increase name branding in all platforms.
  • Confirm blog interaction with the correct genre bloggers. Arrange interviews, launch day events and guest posts leading up to the launch.
  • Create author group on Facebook inviting reviewers, supportive friends and network members such as illustrators, editors, bloggers, and known readers.
  • Confirm launch date and start sharing definite launch date.
  • Send out welcome newsletter introducing your characters, interesting information, and launch date.
  • Remind the newsletter readers of the Goodreads giveaway and invite them to read and review to make your launch a success.

Three weeks before launch:

  • Send out Newsletter announcing the launch date, request for ARC reviews, and guest blog opportunities. Never hurts to have new bloggers interested in hosting a post.
  • Host a cover reveal. Invite all your readers, friends, blogger friends, twitter followers and Facebook audience.
  • Advertise Cover reveal in Goodreads on groups for writers, readers, genre specific groups.
  • Make a Facebook page for your book. Invite people that enjoy your work to visit the page.
  • Make the page a merchant page with the buy now button.  Learn how here!
  • Like similar genre pages as your author page and book page.
    • Right, click on the down arrow next to the like button and you can like the page as your author and book pages.
  • Create a presence in Goodreads leading up to your launch.
  • Post on Goodreads in both groups and review areas.
  • Reach out to reviewers as soon as you have an advance copy available.

Two weeks before launch:

  • Provide the links for your book to ARC readers on both amazon and Goodreads.
  • Send out newsletter thanking the ones that have joined your group, ARC launch team, and provided support by spreading the word.
  • Invite readers to pick up your book on launch day or using the preorder button on amazon. Provide links.

One Week before launch:

  • Post blog posts reminding followers of your launch. Invite them to the giveaway on Goodreads. Invite them to read and review your new book. Thank them for being a huge part of this process.
  • Blog about your release on your Goodreads author blog.
  • Bring your author page on Goodreads and Amazon up to date. Make sure you have a professional look and have connected your blog to your amazon Author page.
  • Create a launch party on your group page and send out invitations to those on your regular friends’ list and author page followers. This is your moment to shine.

Launch Day!

  • Celebrate!
  • Read your reviews.
  • Contact any reviewers that posted and thank them for being a part of your exciting day.
  • Enjoy your launch day party.
  • Blog about your exciting journey and share any early reviews. Remember to attach links to your books and author page.
  • Enjoy the fact that your much-loved project is now safely in the hands of the public.

I am about 5 weeks from launch and I welcome any other ideas. On my first book, I did not promote my first book as I should have and I paid the price. After much study and intense reading, I created my schedule.  I am excited to be this close and I do rely heavily on my own schedule. I hope these ideas help you along the path to your book launch. If you would like to be a part of my launch team, let me know. You can also find Sojourner McConnell on Facebook, Brand spanking new Facebook  GroupTwitter, Goodreads, The Path of the Writer, and Amazon.

Book Review on Waterkill by Mark Donovan


Waterkill by Mark Donovan

  • Print Length: 302 pages
  • Publication Date: November 17, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B017Q9593K

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Continue reading “Book Review on Waterkill by Mark Donovan”

I Am One Excited Camp NaNoWriMo 2017 Winner!

As you have just seen I verified the official word count on the novel called Blip.

Blip has become such a fun chance to grow creatures, spacemen, heroines, heroes, bad guys, bossy people, and more. Not only all that; I also get to be called a NaNoWriMo Winner.

Camp NanoWrimo Winner 4-2017

I can assure you this year has been almost impossible. I am so proud of myself for completing this commitment. There was a death in the family that took me away from the computer for 7 days. I wrote on my phone then transferred it to Scrivener when I got home. I also am working on getting Sojourner McConnell’s first children’s book, Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? ready for publication. That didn’t even go into the final word count.

(psst: if you want to be an ARC reader or on the Launch Team of any of my books, sign up for my newsletter or send me an email.)

So this morning as I finished chapter sixteen, I added in the word count and voila! I was over by almost a thousand.

Camp-2017-Winner-The Page Turner-Vicki-Goodwin-Sojourner-McConnell

If you have stayed with me this far, I think I will give a small taste of Blip in its rawest form. I relish your feedback. Please let me know what you think of my guy.

The young black-haired, creamy-skinned man sat at the metal table in the windowless room. With odd green eyes which sloped into an exotic shape. His wide lips were moving in and out between his hidden teeth. An odd tick the soldier thought. The young man looked over at the soldier near the door as if he could tell what the soldier was thinking. He shrugged slightly, raised one recently crafted eyebrow, then he spoke for the first time.

“To what do I owe the pleasure of being caged in this room? Are you armed? Do you plan on shooting me? Are you afraid?”

The soldier at the door looked away from this penetrating eyes. The soldier, LT. Brad Davies, looked at the young man and shook his head.

“The General and his assistant will be here momentarily.”

“My name is Hiram. Well, I go by Hiram here. My real name is unpronounceable by mere humans. It involves clicks, gurgles and a sound that only a body with two larynx’s can form.“ Slowly blinking his green eyes, he continued.

“Seeing as you were born on this blue ball you call Earth; I will assume you have only one larynx. So you may call me Hiram.”

“But I digress; I came here in 1949 and have lived here for the over 66 years. I have moved about in the last six decades and never remained too long in one place, since I do not age like your frail bodies. I am one hundred years old, yet since I have a lifespan of five hundred, I am what you would consider twenty.” His eyes never wandered from the soldier’s face yet, Brad felt a vibration in the room as if machinery was being used. He knew there was no equipment being used in this room. Brad felt more than a little uncomfortable.

“I have lived in many countries, but I tend to move about the United States more often than others. The freedom of the interstate makes it easy to set up a new identity as needed. My neurovisage has allowed me to remain undetected. I was fortunate to excel in the skill which allowed me to be sent for this mission.” Casually stroking the table top with his fingers, he continued in his strangely quiet voice.

“I am still curious as to how you caught up with me. I am from Insorna a non-ringed planet with five lunar satellites, located in the galaxy you call Andromeda. My intelligence is of course superior. This one fact makes my capture even more astounding.” Hiram bit his lip with the flat edge of his bottom teeth.

“Before I proceed, will you tell me how you came to know about me?”

Now that Brad knew this man was not as he appeared, he was more conscious of Hiram’s unusual facial features. Brad was not ordered to engage in conversation, only to guard the door to prevent escape.

Hiram blinked his green eyes slowly in a nonchalant way, letting Brad know that he was not concerned. He had escaped being noticed all these years, and he would soon be back off the grid. He had supreme homogenization skills.

Brad tried not to look at the mirror, he tried to remain calm. He had no idea what he was supposed to do now. So he spoke again.

“They will answer your questions, perhaps.”

Hiram knew that he would soon be free. His contacts in the monitoring station, on the far side of the moon, would not allow him to become a prisoner. They were aware of his situation. He would be protected. Of that, he was confident.

“I eagerly await the General and his assistant. I am able to detect that they are watching me from the other side of that window. Feel free to join me, General. I am ready to speak face to face.”

Spring Arrives in in Kentucky with Royal Splendor

Hurrah for Spring!  She has arrived and she wears flowers in her hair!  All hail Queen Spring!

Queen Spring arrives with flowers in her hair!

Queen Spring arrives with red Spring flowers in her hair.Bundles of red and white spring flowers for Queen Spring.

Pink Azaleas fit for Queen Spring.

Pink and pretty for Queen Spring

I saw you knock out roses and little ground cover preparing to bloom. I will celebrate your colors very soon.


New Anthology is out and Sojourner McConnell has 1 story included.

I am excited to announce the publication of the latest anthology in which Sojourner McConnell is a collaborator.  Right in time for Easter and Passover, this book is filled with uplifting stories and stories that share the power of forgiveness.

The Book Blurb:

Have you ever been faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to forgive someone? Did you decide to do it? Or was what that person did to you just so unforgivable that you held on to your grudge, even years later?

These are some of the questions that the writers in this anthology explored in this fine selection of short stories. Through a short story, poem, or reflective essay, writers from the Writers750 Group were asked to consider what forgiveness means, either from the perspective of the one being forgiven, or from the perspective of the one doing the forgiving.

This collection of stories covers a range of topics for your reading pleasure; from stories of forgiveness for property theft, to renditions of familiar biblical stories, to tales of survival from past hurts, and even a few non-traditional gems as well!

These stories were written by; C. Baely, Stephanie Baskerville, Cora Bhatia, Christene Britton-Jones, F.F. Burwick, Rejoice Denhere, Lynne Farley, Patricia Fuqua Lovett, Sojourner McConnell, Lena Pate, Glenda Reynolds, David Russell, Heather Schuldt and Joanne Van Leerdam.

Embark on a journey with these fourteen authors, who take you inside their own view of the power of forgiveness.


I hope you find this book enjoyable and worthwhile. It was not an easy work, but it is a valuable one.

John Macdonald Shares his Vision in Photos and Words

I have read and reviewed several of John McDonald’s Photographic books both here and on amazon. His photos really show Michigan as a diverse and picturesque state. Today, he and I decided to share his photos with you in a rare sneak peek.

I am also going to show you where you can pick up this jewel with the hopes that you will review it and share his name as an up and coming author and photographer.

So let’s show some of these beautiful photographs and see what Mr. Macdonald has to say about his own work.

Deer Lake Pano John MacDonald
Deer Lake Panoramic view

Continue reading “John Macdonald Shares his Vision in Photos and Words”

Climbing down the Family Tree and meeting some amazing Characters.

My name is Vicki Turner-Goodwin, but I write as Sojourner McConnell. That seems innocent enough and I have shared the reason for my pen name before, so I shall do it again on a larger scale here.


Mama Kate and Grandpa with Mama McConnell
Mama McConnell, Mama Kate, and Grandpa


My grandmother was a massive influence in my life.  She was a supremely intelligent woman that believed in women’s rights back in the earliest days of women stepping out into the workforce. Of course,  I had met her brothers and sisters, strong strapping Scottish looking men. With reddish tints to their hair, they were all tall rangy men. They had booming voices and they loved to laugh.  My grandmother was Annie Kate McConnell Dunning.  She had married young and had two children a son, Arthur Benjamin Dunning Jr. and a daughter, Anne Katherine Dunning. Anne is my mother. My grandmother, “Mama Kate” as we called her would regale us with stories of being a highly valuable member of the girls’ basketball team of her high school. It so impressed me that she was athletic and a star of sorts at her school. I also knew her mother, Readie Delilah Nichols McConnell. The thing about Mama McConnell was her ability to outlive every one of her children and remain a sweet docile yet independent woman until the age of 103.

Mama Kate as we called her would regale us with stories of being a highly valuable member of the girls’ basketball team of her high school. It so impressed me that she was athletic and a star of sorts at her school. I also knew her mother, Readie Delilah Nichols McConnell. The thing about Mama McConnell was her ability to outlive every one of her children and remain a sweet docile yet independent woman until the age of 103.

This article is going to be about her husband and my search for his family.  Charles T. (Doc) McConnell was a boarder in Readie’s mother’s boarding house in the early 1900’s. Readie was a teenager and Doc was a handsome young man about fifteen years older than her. She was smitten and nothing would do but that they marry. He came to see the light by 1910.  She loved him so much and always shared how much she loved him with us freely. It was a testament to her love that she never looked at another man after he passed away, leaving her a young widow with a house full of seven children. She told my sister a long time ago, she never felt that way about a man after Doc died. So she spent the next almost seventy years alone. Sadly due to his home burning taking all her possessions and photos with her, I only have photos of her in her 90’s. I have no photos of Doc, but I do have a photo of his father, the Judge, Joseph A.P. and his brother Kindred Balatka McConnell and KB’s lovely wife Lillie May Alexander McConnell.

Joseph A.P. McConnell       Kb MCConnell    Lillie Mae Alexander McConnell

I found out some amazing details on the McConnell family as they lived in South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. They moved as a group and the majority of the McConnells ended up in Cullman County Alabama. That city is about forty miles north of where Kate and Readie lived. They lived in Mount Olive on the outskirts of Birmingham. The rest were in the Atlanta Georgia area.  Doc’s father, Joseph Archibald P. McConnell was a judge and a liquor store owner in the Atlanta area. Now as we go back farther up the tree we find that the family began in the Americas in the South Carolina area. There was Joseph’s father, James, who was born in 1795.

His father before him, Joseph McConnell,  was born in Scotland and was the first McConnell in this line to immigrate to America.  He married Mary McCurdy from Ireland and they had seven children.  Joseph’s Father Samuel McConnell who married Eliza Russell is as far back as I can go. I will, of course, keep pecking away, hoping a little information comes forward. I have to form a solid connection, that last thread, may not be accurate. I just have to keep checking dates, links and more links.

The name McConnell comes from a very unique source. The name associated with McConnell is actually a misspelling.  I quote from

The surname McConnell is the closest pronunciation to the original Gaelic name, “MacDhomnhuill.” The “Dh” in the Gaelic pronunciation was like a hard C so McConnell is not far from the original Gaelic pronunciation. Early English documents usually refer to the MacDonalds as McConnells. McConnell is one of the more common of spelling variations of the original surname, which also include MacDonald, McDonald, McDaniel, and McDonnell and a huge number of variations of these names. Most variations of the original Gaelic name rely on translating “Mac” as “son of” and “Dhomnnhuill” as Donald into English. The differences that resulted after the translation to English did not exist when the MacDhomnhuills all spoke Gaelic.

This is how I find my days being spent when I am having a NaNo virus. I am supposed to be writing my novel, and here I am researching away on a totally different, but fascinating subject. All this is due to my daughter getting her DNA results from 23andme. From the moment she got her results, I was off. I am having such a wonderful time researching and looking at photos, wedding dates, and links, always one more link.  Now if only I can find out one single thread to the mystery that is called, Albert Nichols, born August 28,

I am having such a wonderful time researching and looking at photos, wedding dates, and links, always one more link.  Now if only I can find out one single thread to the mystery that is called, Albert Nichols, born August 28, 1855, and died January 1898 at the age of 42. Oh, these little mysteries that make research fun!

Now you know why I use the pen name, McConnell.  Sojourner? Oh, that one is easy, I love to take journeys with my characters, I am basically a traveler at heart.  Have fun reading and writing and beware the NaNo Virus that pulls you away from the word count.