Me, My Books and I
I thought I would write a post about who I am and where I am in life at the moment. This is for those who are interested in finding out a little bit more about the person behind this website and behind the romance fiction writer known as Audra Bell. Enjoy 🙂
Who Am I?
My name is Victoria Virgo and I am a romance fiction writer. It is my dream to make a full time living from my writing. I want to be able to be self sufficient, location independent and to make money from doing the things that I love.
I have started the journey of making this dream a reality and I am excited about the possibilities.
How I Ended Up Writing Fiction
Writing has always been something that I have done. Over the years I have written song lyrics, poetry, short stories with no endings and I have started various diaries that I abandoned.
After I did the sensible thing of getting a business degree, I worked for a couple of years then thought about my passions. At the time it was acting and singing, so I did a few part-time courses and ended up completing a one-year musical theatre course. I absolutely loved the time. My days were filled with dance classes in the mornings, acting lessons in the afternoons and learning new songs in between.
After the course, I got a variety of acting jobs, mostly theatre stuff. I did Christmas pantos, I toured with a children’s show, I got to lead workshops, which were challenging and fun. I got to play the role of Cinderella. I did a really great, moving play for Black History Month, And I sung some great songs.
The problem with acting is that you never know when you are going to get your next job. You spend the majority of your year doing other work to make money to pay your rent. This was ok for a few years but when I realised that I wanted to be able to plan for holidays, plan to get a mortgage and to basically live life to the full, I knew it was time to make a choice. I bid farewell to the acting and hello to full-time employment and security.
Fast forward a few years and after dabbling with various online endeavours, I found a way to channel my creative energy. I started writing again. Amazon’s self-publishing programme makes it really easy for anyone to publish their own work so once I figured out how to do that, I published a few short stories and non-fiction books.
When I decided that I wanted to make fiction writing not just a passion, but a way to make a full-time income, I started to focus and made a plan, sort of.
My Fiction Writing Author Name
I write my fiction under the lovely author name Audra Bell. I decided on a pen name for several reasons. I wanted to keep the books that I had already published under my own name but they are not in line with the contemporary fiction I am currently writing so choosing a new name was a good solution.
I also wanted to create a brand that was consistent so all the books would have similar covers and styles.
I chose the name Audra Bell because Audra begins with the first letter of the alphabet. It is also the name of the wonderful actress and musical theatre performer Audra McDonald. The surname Bell just seemed to fit nicely.
My Author Website
I created an author website where I could write about the books that I have published. The website is called audrabellwrites.com. When I remember to, I also include upcoming promotions.
Having the website is a great way for new people to discover my fiction writing and there is also a link where people can subscribe to receive my newsletter were I talk about what I am up to and and any discounts that are coming up.
My Books & Short Stories
I knew that I needed a strategy in order to get started. I decided to write short stories with titles that started with the first letter of the alphabet. That meant I knew that this series of books would consist of 26 separate stories.
I also decided on writing short stories because they are easier to complete. I expect to extend my stories so that they are full-size novel lengths but as a beginner, I wanted to ensure that my projects would get completed.
Writing short stories means I know the end is in sight and there is less opportunity for procrastination. Oh, but I still find ways to procrastinate, of course. However, knowing I have 10,000 words to write as opposed to 40,000-80,0000 words helps me a lot.
I Have Free Books for People to Read
These are available to download from Amazon and various other online stores. The free stories currently available are:
There will be at least two other free books in this series. The names will begin with P and U. Look out for those.
I also offer a micro-short story at the end of these free books, in order to get people to join my mailing list.
If people enjoy the free offerings, I hope that they will be happy to pay for the other books in the series.
I Created Box Sets to Offer Value for Money
Each short story costs $0.99 / £0.99 to download (or they are FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited) and I have bundled them into 5-book volumes and a 10-book set where I have been able to offer these stories at a discount rate.
Some people prefer to buy the individual books and others see the value in the bundled offerings and go for that. There is something suitable for different readers and I am happy to be able to provide different options.
I Write a Weekly Newsletter to Stay Connected with My Audience
If you join my mailing list, you will receive an email from me once a week, sometimes more if I am running a special promotion. It is a great way to keep in touch with people. There are three main things that I share in my newsletter.
I like to share a little something about what is going on in my life and if I have a picture then I will include that.
I like to share details about any free book promotions that I am involved in. It is a great way to let my subscribers know about other free offerings from other authors. Sometimes these are within the romance genre, other times, it is promotion featuring books from a variety of reading categories.
I also share my own book writing schedule or book discounts that are coming up. It is great to be in the position to offer discounts, especially when there are people who love books but are living within a budget.
I use Mailerlite to set up my mailing list. It is really easy to use and it’s free if you have less than 1,000 subscribers.
I am Building Up My Subscriber List to Grow My Audience
I am very grateful to the people who have chosen to sign up to receive my weekly emails. It is nice to know that people are interested in hearing from me.
I am building my subscriber list by doing the following things:
- I add a Subscribe Link at the back of each of my books
- I have a Subscribe Link on my Author Website
- I add subscribers using Instafreebie
These are working well at the moment. The most important thing is to keep up with my fiction writing so that I have something of value to offer readers who like my style.
So This is Where I am At
So this is my fiction writing journey so far. It will be very interesting to see how far I will have progressed a year from now. Will I be able to make my dreams come true? Will I succeed in creating a full-time income from my writing so that I can be self sufficient and location independent? We shall see.
Wish me luck 🙂
Have Your Say: Do you dream of becoming self-sufficient and creating your own income on your own terms? I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.