How To Build A Following On Quora

♥♥♥ Grab My Free, 3-Part Video Course:
Coming Up With Story Ideas That Sell ♥♥♥

Hey guys!  Welcome back to Author Journey.

This is going to be a fun little tutorial that’s going to go over a different platform you can use to get more eyes on your books and to engage or interact with like-minded people. When it comes to building a platform online, it's important to note that various social media platforms can help you do that.

Facebook is great. Obviously, Twitter is great. There are tons of platforms for authors that can be used to build a following, but something that I've found that maybe not a lot of authors know about is Quora

What Is Quora?

Quora is a place where people go to ask questions and get answers.  So anyone who is looking to learn how to replace a car engine, get a date, build an online business, or even learn, say, how to write a book, can go to this website and find answers from people who have established themselves as authority figures in the niche they are most knowledgeable in.

Since I'm in the business of helping people write, publish, and market their books, this has been an ideal hangout for me. I get to answer tons of questions and link things back to my websites and my YouTube channel. Plus, I'm connecting with lots of interesting people and enjoying helping people in the process. Here is a pic of my profile on Quora.

I started this up so I could answer questions about writing, marketing and publishing. I could put myself out there. Put my books out there. Put my website out there .

What You Can Do On Quora

Some people may feel they don't know enough about a subject, but you're going to know more than someone just starting out so don't let that intimidate you. You don't necessarily have to answer questions about writing either.

I've answered a lot of questions about relationships. I've answered a lot of questions about being honest. I answer personal questions that help people get to know me better and help form an emotional attachment to who I am what I do.

And the more questions you post the more views you receive, which brings you more eyes on your books. I've answered over 300 questions so far and had over 125,000 views. That's called free targeted leads and traffic for you. Around fifteen minutes a day answering questions can eventually build you a large following on Quora.

If your answers become popular then people will like and upvote them. The more upvotes you get the more exposure you receive.

You'll generally receive notifications asking you if you can answer specific questions based on your own knowledge base. You will also get emails when your answer has been sent out in a newsletter to Quora subscribers which is another great way to get exposure and build a platform as a writer.

I have a lot of people ask me questions on Quora which is how I get ideas for YouTube posts and blog posts when people are asking these very pointed questions about writing, marketing and self-publishing or just questions about fiction, what my opinion is on a certain book, etc.


Do I Have To Know Everything About Writing?

Nope. You really don't. I'm learning every day. And your interactions on the site will be different based on personal experience.You may feel like you don't have anything to offer on Quora. You may not be interested in teaching anybody about writing or marketing, but you could find other things on there that really interest you. Answer questions that you know quite a bit about.

Maybe you've been on a weight loss journey, joined a support group, or started your own coaching business. Help people achieve their weight loss goals by answering questions on Quora and driving them back to your business. Maybe you're a marriage counselor and can give great relationship advice that would eventually bring more eyes to your business.

I've also found that this is a great way to push through a little bit of writer's block. Sometimes if I just feel like I can't write anything, I'll get on there and start answering questions, and pretty soon all that free writing starts to get the juices flowing again.

So the point of this post is to show you that there are plenty of platforms out there that will help you build your audience, your presence, and your own author platform. Start answering questions and slowly build that audience while enjoying the journey. Little things every day eventually snowball into big things for the future.

Happy writing author friends!

Tools and resources to help you.

♥♥♥ One-On-One Coaching ♥♥♥

For more one-on-one coaching when it comes to writing, publishing, and marketing your book, schedule a call with me on Clarity and we'll chat.


♥♥♥ Online Courses ♥♥♥

K Money Mastery(Online Kindle Publishing Course):

♥♥♥ Book Marketing Resources ♥♥♥

K Optimizer:
Reader Magnets:
Slack Social:

♥♥♥ Covers, Writing, & Editing ♥♥♥

Fiona Jayde:
Pre-made Ebooks:
Cover Quill:

♥♥♥ Books On Writing ♥♥♥

Writing The Breakout Novel:
Writing Prompts(Free PDF):
The Complete Writer's Guide To Heroes And Heroines:
The Psychology Workbook For Authors:


How To Promote Your Book On Amazon

Hey there! Author C.J. Anaya here. Welcome back to Author Journey.

Another question I wanted to answer today came to me from a follower on Quora. If you've never heard of Quora, it's simply a place you can go to ask questions about anything and everything you can think of.

A follower named Jaime asked me this: what are some great ways to promote your Amazon self-published Kindle books? The answer to that: There are tons of great ways to promote them and this would be a really long video if I went over all of them in detail. So I'll just go over a few that I think are important and the number one way to promote your kindle books whether you're traditionally published or not.

#1 Get Thee A Mailing List

For those of you who have no idea what a mailing list is this is simply an author newsletter that can be sent out anywhere from once a month to twice a month depending upon how much news you have to share. Anyone subscribed to your author newsletter will get that email and be apprised of new releases, different book signings or events you plan to attend, giveaways, free books, and whatever else you'd like to share with your fan base.

Since Amazon doesn't snag the emails of those folks who purchase your book, it's best to keep in contact with your fans by giving them an opportunity to subscribe to your mailing list so you can let them know when you're launching a new book.

This is also beneficial when your adoring fans are waiting for that next book in a series to come out. Better to be able to let everyone know in one mass email rather than to hope they think to check in later on Amazon or anywhere else you are selling your books.

It's so great to be able to have a built-in audience of fans and friends, people who you've developed a relationship with along your author journey, folks you can contact immediately.

The fun thing about newsletters is that you can put in little excerpts of your book before it gets published or do a big cover reveal and giveaway to precede the launch of the book. Make your fans a part of the process so they feel invested in your progress and the eventual published book.

#2 Giveaways

I really like to do giveaways for paperback books since most people are used to grabbing digital copies and don't buy paperbacks as often as they used to.  Utilizing this type of giveaway and combining it with a pre-order launch is a great way to up sales as well.

I also like to use a fun tool called KingSumo Giveaways which gives me an opportunity to give away a prize that readers value and find new readers who will subscribe to my mailing list, thus broadening my reach and my fan base.

I have a great video tutorial already posted should you like to learn how to grow your mailing list with KingSumo Giveaways.

At the moment, I think I have about 14,000 people on my mailing list. That's not to say that everybody always opens the email that I send but I do have people that are there connecting with me pretty consistently.

Sometimes this advertising/marketing side of being an author can be a bit daunting because you have to put your business hat on and let go of your writer hat for a while. I was super scared to venture into the marketing side of things until I finally jumped in head first. The only thing scary about it is simply the fear of what you don't know.

You just gotta dive in like I did, and you may find that you really like it. As I started learning how to build that platform and how to get subscribers to my mailing list I realized that I like marketing and have a real head for it. not something I would have known if I hadn't tried.

To learn how to do this effectively I'm going to also direct you to a cool guy named Nick Stephenson who has created an online course on how to build an author platform called You First 10K Readers. I've taken the course and can personally vouch for it. Mind blown. He also has a book out called Reader Magnets. It teaches you how to use reader magnets to get people to sign up for your mailing list. I would recommend grabbing that book first and starting there since Reader Magnets is free. Then if you find it helpful you can grab his online course.

What's great about getting the book through this link is that you can get on his mailing list which I highly recommend you do. Then you can start getting all of these emails that will teach you quite a bit about building an email list.

#3 Author Joint Collaborations

Another way you can promote your Kindle books on Amazon is by collaborating with other authors because hopefully you're going to surround yourself with like-minded people.

The key to success here is finding your people and surrounding yourself with those who are striving for the same goals you're striving to accomplish. So, find people on Facebook through author Facebook groups and author promotional Facebook groups.

Connect with authors who write within your genre so you can be featured within their mailing lists and have access to their audience. Can you imagine the growth of your own reach if you were to collaborate with two to three authors a month, helping to promote their free or 99 cent books in your newsletter while they promote yours in their newsletters? Talk about traffic and conversions. Woot woot. You can either give direct buy links for them to promote or you can give them links that will give their audience an opportunity for them to subscribe to your mailing list.

By doing this you can find a ton of voracious readers out there looking for free books, discount books, and new authors to follow.

The great thing about collaborating is that it's an atmosphere where you're not competing against each other. You’re not cutthroat and you're not fighting to be noticed within your own genre. You’re collaborating, giving your journey this sense of camaraderie, a sense of helping one another.

#4 Author Group Collaborations

So newsletter swaps are super good. You can even get into big group promotions, huge promotions where there will be twenty authors or more involved.

You can learn more about that in my video tutorial on How To Build A Mailing List With Instafreebie.

So, let's say you have 20 authors and each author has a minimum of 500 subscribers or more. Multiply that by 20 and you have considerably broadened your reach. Those people will hear about you and they'll see your free book and maybe they'll try it. So, this is a really perfect way to promote your books on Amazon or other retail sites or to build your own subscriber list.

#5 Perma-Free Books

Another thing I wanted to go over is the idea of a perma-free book.

I've spent hours, months possibly even years. I don't know what your process is but I spent so much time on this book through the way. I'm giving it away for free permanently or otherwise but that's where I need you to kind of divorce yourself from the idea. I created this. This is my baby.

Most businesses give out samples of what they have to offer in the hopes that those customers will get hooked and come back for more. Perma-free books operate under this same concept.

Permanently free books are a great tool you can use to drive traffic to your brand, your other books, and your mailing list. You can put a little link in your free book which will direct them to a form that will allow them to subscribe to your mailing list. They can read your book, decide if they like your writing style, and then go buy the rest of your books.

A book series really works well using this promotional tool.

My romantic fantasy series The Healer is a four-book series. Pricing the first book as free on Amazon and other retail sites gives readers the opportunity to sample the series before they decide to read the rest of the books. Also, free books are downloaded 100 times more than paid books so your traffic increases and so do your readers.

I'll put some links and I've actually written articles about permit free books and things like that on my blog. So I'll put those resources down there so that you can check all that out.

#6 Promo Sites

One more thing I want to say as far as promotions go…a lot of times you're stuck filling out multiple forms for multiples ebook promo sites and it takes up an insane amount of time that could be used for writing your next book.

So let me streamline this for you. There's actually a tool that I've used before that is very effective. It's called the K Optimizer. It submits your information to all of these different promotional sites for you so you just have to enter in your book information once and it will submit that information to all of those sites for you.

So if you have a free book and you want to send all of that information out, you can send it with just a click of a button to all of these different groups.

So go check out the K Optimizer tool and watch their little video tutorial so you can see how it works.

I hope that this was helpful.

Happy Writing Author Friends!

♥♥♥ One-On-One Coaching ♥♥♥

For more one-on-one coaching when it comes to writing, publishing, and marketing your book, schedule a call with me on Clarity and we'll chat.


♥♥♥ Online Courses ♥♥♥

K Money Mastery(Online Kindle Publishing Course):

♥♥♥ Book Marketing Resources ♥♥♥

K Optimizer:
Reader Magnets:
Slack Social:

♥♥♥ Covers, Writing, & Editing ♥♥♥

Fiona Jayde:
Pre-made Ebooks:
Cover Quill:

♥♥♥ Books On Writing ♥♥♥

Writing The Breakout Novel:
Writing Prompts(Free PDF):
The Complete Writer's Guide To Heroes And Heroines:
The Psychology Workbook For Authors:

♥♥♥ Follow Me ♥♥♥


How To Build Your Email List Fast With Instafreebie

Hello author friends, writer friends, everyone. Welcome back to Author Journey. I know some of you may not be writers specifically, but you do have books that are helping your own businesses grow. If you're figuring out how to get that book in front of more people, in front of a wider audience, Instafreebie is a great platform to utilize.

*Insert triumphant music here*

​Instafreebie is what I consider a no-brainer move to make when it comes to employing strategies for building your list and growing your fan base. It was created in 2014 with the sole purpose of getting author's stories out there to more readers. For authors, this is an opportunity to have instant access to some fairly voracious readers. For readers, they get sneak peeks, free books, and access to giveaways that help them discover your writing.

What's so brilliant about this process is the way your books are delivered to prospective readers.

Through email.

And guess what happens when they enter their email address to grab your free book? That's right. You have another potential fan to add to your subscriber base.

Instafreebie gives you a platform that offers a very nice looking leadpage. You don't have to design it, tweak it, or monk with it in any way other than to simply give them the information they need to list your book. Once that's done you get a lead page or opt-in page that looks like this.


If you're a fan of YA romantic fantasy then please feel free to actually visit this instafreebie page and grab a free copy of My Fair Assassin here.


Okay, back to business. Do you notice the way the page is set up? It is required that folks enter their email address in order to claim their book. After all, where exactly would instafreebie send it to. Ya know? Plus they have the option to choose epub for nook, mobi for kindle, or pdf for their computer.

I really love the way this opt-in page is set up. I've nabbed over 2,700 emails at the time of this posting, and I've received lots of emails from these folks thanking me for the book, excited for the next book in the series.

​In order to set up an account with Instafreebie just go to their website here. Once there you just click on the sign up button on the top right. That will take you to a page with different payment plans.


There is a free plan, but it doesn't offer you the option of building your list. In other words, the free plan simply allows your books to be delivered to people who are interested, but it doesn't require that people enter their email address.

I suppose if you only want to do giveaways or book teasers then this option is great, but if you really want to build your list, you need to get the next option which is the Plus plan. An added benefit to this is that Instafreebie can integrate your Mail Chimp account if you use that autoresponder service. If not, the emails that are collected will be stored in a CSV file for you to download and import. I go that route since I use Aweber.

The first month is free, and then it's $20 bucks a month after that. I found this to be completely worth it, considering the number of new and engaged readers I've found and added to my subscriber list in such a short time.

Once you choose the Plus plan you enter your information and click the Register button at the bottom. You'll enter in your contact and billing details and from there you'll be taken to your Instafreebie dashboard which looks like this…ahem…minus my books and author name, of course.


You're also given an option to do DRM. That's digital rights management. Instafreebie will put a watermark on your book to prevent it from being shared with people who didn't sign up for your mailing list. If your book is perma-free then I wouldn't do this. The goal is to get as many eyes on your book as possible, even if people don't get your book through Instafreebie. Word of mouth is a big deal.

Fifty Shades of Grey, folks! Need I say more?

If you plan on giving this giveaway an expiration date and the book isn't perma-free then you might consider this option. Authors feel differently about this. For me, it still wouldn't matter. I want people to have access to my books. I want to be discovered by new readers. It's as simple as that, but this decision is totally up to you.


Once you get that information typed in, your book will show up on your dashboard. Click on it, and then click on the button that says New Giveaway. You'll have two options for building your giveaway.


I like the advanced version because I'm all about control and I like to see what all of my options are.

If this giveaway has an expiration date, make sure to enter that in as well as how many copies will be available. Since I'm never ending my giveaways I left those spaces blank. It doesn't make sense for my perma-free books to not be permanently available for everyone who comes to Instafreebie looking for some YA fantasy and romance.

The last two boxes on this page will already be checked. Leave them checked. You want people to be able to share your giveaway and you want it to be public on the internet. Unless you are working a different strategy, but believe me when I say these last two options are for your benefit.

Hit next and then make sure people are required to opt-in before they receive their free book. Otherwise, what's the point?

Enter a name for your mailing list. Example: C.J. Anaya's Awesome Newsletter. Make sure it is something people won't mind being added to. Then hit the button at the bottom.

I wouldn't do the password protected thing, but that is completely up to you since I have no idea how you want to utilize Instafreebie. Then you choose which format options will be available. Make sure they are all available. It widens your reach of readers.

Once that's done you'll be given a link to your giveaway. Make sure you go to that link so you can test it out and correct anything that needs correcting.


After that, it's  all about driving people to that particular opt-in page. I've got some great suggestions for you on that front. It's all about Instafreebie Facebook groups. Here are a few groups to get you started.

#FreebieFriday on #Instafreebie

Instafreebie Promos

Instafreebie Push and So Much More

Instafreebie Share Group

These groups are great for cross-promoting Instafreebie giveaways. Generally a person will post about an Instafreebie promotion they are doing, looking for specific writers in specific genres to join them. The Instafreebie books will be listed on one webpage and then each author participating will share the Instafreebie promotion with their newsletter and on social media. You're basically sharing each others audiences, growing your reach, and finding new targeted leads for you subscriber list. It's very effective.

There are temporary cross-promotions and permanent ones. Here are some permanent listings you can be a part of. You'll find my books there too.

Renee's Author Spotlight
Sign up for this listing here.

The Prolific Reader
​Sign up for this listing here.

SFF Mega Promo
Sign up for this listing here.

You can also go to these sites if you are interested in some free reading of your own. Make sure you share the sites with others as much as possible.

Please note that the sign up links can change as time passes. I will try to keep this updated, but if you find a link broken simply visit the Instafreebie Facebook groups and ask the members how you can sign up for specific promotions. Or you can contact the people running the promos on their websites. Super easy.

When you sign up to be in different promotions make sure you participate in promoting them. It's insanely rude to rely on others to promote the Instafreebie giveaway without any effort on your part. We all win when we all collaborate and promote each other. You'll most likely receive instructions via email from whoever is heading the campaign at the time. Be sure to respond and follow the instructions to get the most out of these promo periods.

It's always free to be in these promos. So it makes absolutely no sense to not take part in them.


As I mentioned before, you can either integrate Mail Chimp into your account or you can just download the CSV file provided and import those people into your autoresponder. I create an Instafreebie list on Aweber. Once I add the most current subscribers to that particular list, I generally like to send out an email explaining who I am, why they are receiving an email from me, and what to expect from me in the future. I also let them know that they can unsubscribe from my list with no hard feelings.

I highly recommend you do this simply because some people won't remember they signed up and won't remember who you are. I've uploaded a copy of this email for you to look over and get ideas. Copy and tweak it however you wish.

I truly hope this information helps you to exponentially grow your email list. I know the $20 investment may seem like a lot when you first get started, but it will be well worth it when your awesome fans start buying those books and developing a wonderful relationship with you. Some of my most favorite and fun-loving fans have come from my Instafreebie giveaways.

If you haven't grabbed that Instafreebie account yet you can get it here. The sooner you start the faster you build that mailing list.

Happy Writing Author Friends!

How To Create Compelling Characters

♥♥♥ Grab My Free, 3-Part Video Course:
Coming Up With Story Ideas That Sell ♥♥♥

Welcome to Author Journey where I give advice in all things writing, marketing, and publishing your book. It's real advice for the aspiring author.

This short video above is going to go over an aspect of fictional character development that will teach you how to create compelling characters for you novel which in turn will teach you how to create a compelling story. You can also read the post below to learn the same information.

I give out lots of advice about marketing, publishing, and writing books. So if you have any questions, you can just comment below and let me know. But today, I had a great question, an email from someone who asked me to clarify the difference between a want vs. a need when it comes to developing characters. A want, need, or goal is so important for your character. Without it, you'll find readers leaving you nasty reviews, asking what in the wolrd the story was about. What was the point?

I think we've all been there. We've all read something that made us sit there and think to ourselves, “What the hell that was about?”

There has to be a point to any character's struggle, trial or journey they take.

If there's no goal then there's nothing driving the characters or the plot. So consider wants, goals, and needs the driving force behind a great story.

Wants vs Needs

I want to touch on wants vs. needs because they're very different aspects of a character's personal development or the core values of that character.

In any story, you have to have both wants and needs, and the best way to go about deciding on what those should be is by making the want and the need conflict with each other. For example,  I really need to lose weight, but I want to eat as many cookies as possible throughout the day.

It’s a serious problem, huge problem, but I need to avoid all of that sugar and eat healthy so I can feel fresh and fabulous…and mentally capable of writing awesome books everyone can enjoy.

The Difference Between A Want And A Need

So what's so different about a want vs. a need?

Needs are necessary events or outcomes that are central for the person's well being. Wants are simply desires that may or may not be the best thing for us.

If you can create a scenario where your character can only get what they want by letting go of what they need…or…get what they need by letting go of what they want, then you've just created a fabulous premise with some  stellar conflict, and conflict drives character. It drives plot. It drives everything. It's the motor that keeps the story running and the pacing up to par.

Compelling Characters In Fiction

So, here's another example that I could give you for any of you vampire lovers out there, anyone who's as obsessed with Vampire Diaries as I am. Stefan Salvatore only drinks animal blood at the beginning of this story, but what he really wants to drink is human blood.

He wants to be normal. He'd rather be human than a monster who is only capable of thriving by drinking the blood of other humans. Unfortunately, what he needs, what his body needs is human blood. So there's an example of some great inner conflict for Stefan. He doesn't want to drink blood and be a monster, but he needs blood to continue to survive.

So, it's a compelling internal conflict that creates a lot of external issues and problems too as he interacts with the people around him.

It colors every relationship and every action and reaction, casting him in the role of villain at different points in the story. There's a lot of complexity to his character because he demonstrates the good in him and the bad.

His needs and his wants drive him to do villainous things that most people would never consider normal or even sane.

Obviously, this is fiction and catered to teens, but this demonstrates some fallibility within a likable hero. It turns him into a compelling character we can't seem to get enough of.

Everybody is going to struggle internally with a lot of conflicting wants and needs that drive them to make either good decisions or very poor decisions.

And lucky us, we get to travel along that journey with those complex characters.

Damon Salvatore is another great example of a compelling character. We think he's a horrible individual in the beginning due to the actions he takes to be with Katherine. At this point, his actions are fueled by his wants, his desire to be with Katherine again, but is that what's best for him? Is it what he really needs?

What he needs is a completely different relationship with Elena, somethone that helps to bring out the humanity buried deep within him. He's not the clear cut villain we originally believed him to be.

I would focus on your character's wants and needs. Really nail them down and try to make those wants and needs conflict with each other. They can't achieve one without losing the other…or so it would seem. The biggest payoff in fiction is when an author can make their readers believe that it's impossible for the protagonist to have it all, yet helps their protagonist find a way to have it all in the end.

So start out by making a list. Write down a few things your character wants most and then narrow it down to one thing, one overarching goal that your protagonist can push towards. Then figure out what your protagonist actually needs and find a way to make it conflict with their wants.

Another Example Of Wants Vs. Needs

I do this in my book My Fair Assassin. Crysta is an emancipated teen who's been stuck in the foster care system since she lost her parents as a baby. She thinks she's human but has trouble fitting in with humans. Her unusual looks and strange powers isolate her from the rest of the world and prevent her from getting adopted.

She does her very best to blend in because what she wants more than anything is to be normal, to be accepted and loved by a family who won't look at her startling differences and assume she's not lovable.

So, she wants to be loved, she wants to be accepted but what she needs to do is love and accept herself first. She needs to discover who she is and accept who she really is.

So, that's the process for her and she ends up doing that with a fairy prince, who is actually sent to kill her. It's an exciting journey they both take together, and that's just another example of wants and needs colliding to create a story.

I hope this advice is helpful. If you have any questions about that, let me know. Just comment below and I can go into more detail. I can also answer through emails as well. I would love to know what you're working on.

Happy writing author friends!

If you're interested, you can read a sample chapter of My Fair Assassin with Amazon's sneak peek feature. Hope you enjoy it.








♥♥♥ One-On-One Coaching ♥♥♥

For more one-on-one coaching when it comes to writing, publishing, and marketing your book, schedule a call with me on Clarity and we'll chat.


♥♥♥ Online Courses ♥♥♥

K Money Mastery(Online Kindle Publishing Course):

♥♥♥ Book Marketing Resources ♥♥♥

K Optimizer:
Reader Magnets:
Slack Social:

♥♥♥ Covers, Writing, & Editing ♥♥♥

Fiona Jayde:
Pre-made Ebooks:
Cover Quill:

♥♥♥ Books On Writing ♥♥♥

Writing The Breakout Novel:
Writing Prompts(Free PDF):
The Complete Writer's Guide To Heroes And Heroines:
The Psychology Workbook For Authors:

♥♥♥ Follow Me ♥♥♥


When Should You Use A Pen Name Plus How To Make A Living With Your Writing

Hey there!

Welcome back to Author Journey. My name is C. J. Anaya.

Today, we're going to discuss pen names and we're also going to get into ghost writing in general because that kind of goes hand in hand with pen names in some cases.

I’ve got a really good question on my Facebook page actually which is very nice if anybody wants to contact me there. You absolutely can leave me a message.

My Facebook page is called Author C.J. Anaya. Recently, someone asked me how I feel about pen names and whether she should get one.

She was hesitant about having it for fiction books and/or for nonfiction books.

My author name is actually a pen name. C.J. Anaya is a pen name.

To be perfectly honest with you, the only person who ever calls me C.J. is my dad and a good friend named Alex. Not really anything that's important to you, but obviously I overshare get used to it. I think you probably are by now if you've stuck around long enough. I tend to talk.

So when it comes to pen names, if you kind of want to keep things private for yourself then you might change up your name a little bit the way that I did.

Here are a few reasons why you might consider a pen name.


A name can carry a lot of weight depending on the genre you write in. You can also study the market and take a look at the different types of author names within specific genres. Get a feel for what looks and sounds right based on the types of author names on various bestselling books.

If you want to write a wonderful cozy mystery, then you might consider taking a look at all of the cozy mystery author names and seeing if you can get a feel for what those are like. Some people just use their real name while others use names they feel will carry a little more validity.

It can make a difference when influencing readers to buy your books just because it has the right feel.

For specific genres such as erotica, you might use a pen name that sounds wild and sexy like Ruby Dixon or Calista Skye.

Privacy And Anonymity

There are some people who are very uncomfortable having anybody know that they write within specific genres or that they write about controversial issues and may want to use a pen name to provide themselves a little privacy and anonymity.

In fact, my original publisher, when I was once traditionally published, was an erotica author, and she used a pen name because she was also a Sunday school teacher. She didn't want her career and the things she wrote about to be brought into the Sunday school setting. She didn't want to be attacked for it either.

I think that's understandable. I've known a couple of teachers who write erotica and were persecuted for it. One teacher was actually fired from her job because she wrote erotica. Obviously, discrimination of that kind is not okay so I can understand why people desire to remain a little anonymous.

If you are writing about things that conflict with your job or if you write about controversial subjects that other people are going to criticize you for, you might want to consider a pen name.

You're A Multi-Genre Author

Another reason you might consider using a pen name is simply because you're writing in a lot of different genres.

When you write in different genres, people associate your specific name with that specific style of book. They know what to expect from that particular author name and brand. I write young adult fantasy, but it isn't the only genre I write in. I also have a romantic comedy out, a few non-fiction books, and an adult, supernatural romance.

Now that I'm almost finished with the paranormal misfit series, I'm looking to start in on the spin-off series from The Healer, I'll be delving into the realm of mystery. One of the main characters in The Healer Series is Angie, that Hope's best friend. She has a gift for seeing a vision of someone's death when she touches their skin. I always thought it would be very interesting to take Angie and put her personality and her supernatural gift into a mystery setting and see what she can do with it. She catches obscure visions of people being murdered and she has to prevent them or solve them once they happen.

I'm so excited about it, but I really had to hold off on writing it and the thing about that is it's a different genre completely but it's also a follow up series to the other series that I've written.

My readers are invested in Angie and they're going to follow me over to that genre regardless of whether I have a different pen name or not. In fact, it would probably really confuse them if I switched my pen name since they already know who Angie is and that C.J. Anaya is the author who writes about her.

For me, I'm just gonna keep my name C.J. Anaya as I delve into the mystery genre for Angie's character. If I were to do a completely different genre with no ties to anything that I've written before, I would probably create a new pen name.

Outsourcing Books

I also use pen names for books that I don't write, and this is actually kind of a separate topic altogether because now I'm talking about outsourcing or hiring ghostwriters to write books for you. It's a smart way to get more intellectual property out there and to create multiple streams of income for yourself while you write yoru own books.

You essentially become your own publishing company by studying the book market, figuring out what fiction and non-fiction genres and subgenres are selling really well and then hiring a Ghostwriter on a site like to write the book or books series for you.

You pay a one time fee for the book, you both sign a working contract that gives you the rights to that book or series, and then when they finish it, you have it edited, get a cover for it, and publish it yourself under your own account. I just hired a great ghostwriter to write a scifi romance series that will consist of ten books. I plan on publishing it under a pen name that I'll use to build a brand and following for any scifi romances I commission.

So I never put my own name or C.J. Anaya on anything I haven't written. I just use a pen name when I hire Ghostwriters. If you're interested in learning how to outsource your own books to increase your monthly royalties, I would take a look at K Money Mastery. It's the program that taught me this process and has helped me exponentially grow my own kindle publishing business, allowing me more time to pursue my own author business and write and publish my own books which is really all I want to do.

Sometimes as authors we have to think outside the box and create multiple and sustainable streams of income for ourselves. This is a great way to do that.

I hope these tips about pen names and the possibility of outsourcing your own books is something that helps you as you continue on through your own author journey.

Don't forget to take a look at K Money Mastery if you're interested in learning how to outsource your kindle books.



Writer Overwhelm: How To Cope With Stress And Anxiety

Overwhelm. Anxiety. Stress.

We all struggle with these issues from time to time or on a daily basis. I know I absolutely crashed and burned this week even though I did my best to prioritize and organize like I usually do.

Sometimes life just happens, the day gets away from you…or the week in my case, and you find yourself wandering around your kitchen staring at the gunk on the pan you used to make your kids breakfast, knowing you need to get going but not having the mental clarity or strength to actually leave your kitchen.

Stress, anxiety, overwhelm, and even depression can cause some debilitating behaviors, limiting our ability to accomplish the tasks we know we need to accomplish or simply limiting us from experiencing some much needed happiness.

Is the answer to push through the day anyway and force yourself to focus?

Some might say yes, but I'm not so sure that's the best way to cope with stress and anxiety.

Maybe it's simply time to step back and do a different activity that will help you reset your emotions, relax a little, and distance yourself from the immediate problem so you can go back a few hours later and take a look at your day with a little more calm and a little more clarity.

In my video above, I talk about different things I do to cope with overwhelm, anxiety, and stress. I'm hoping we can spark a discussion on some great ways to handle stress and anxiety in a positive, healthy way.

If you're running short on time then here is the condensed version of this ten-minute video.


Our brains are hardwired to respond positively to laughter, sending out some serious “feel-good” chemicals that boost our moods and alleviate stress and anxiety.  If you can change the quality of your thoughts you will feel a change in your body's behavior which is why all of those folks who say “You are who you think you are” or “You can achieve what you think you can achieve” are really on to something.

Jokes, funny situations, and witty dialogue change our thought patterns and cause us to laugh which causes us to relieve stress. Now there is a much better scientific explanation for this, I'm sure, but the basics are this: funny thoughts create laughter and laughter changes your body chemistry in a very beneficial way.

Which is why my go-to for letting go of stress and anxiety is always the TV series Psyche or a sketch comedy show called Studio C.

If you want some great fun that will boost your mood, I highly recommend these programs.


I'm a big fan of yoga. Can't get enough of it. I always do yoga in the morning and enjoy the health benefits of more oxygen to the brain, more flexibility, and more peace of mind. There's a lot to be said for finding a little quiet, peace, and serenity, learning to still your thoughts if you simply can't make them happy ones by clearing your mind altogether and doing something good for the body.


I can never manage my anxiety and stress if I don't sleep well. My coping skills go down the drain like last week's leftovers. Anything less than six to eight hours for me isn't great, but if I do that repeatedly then things get even worse. The problem with this option is that anxiety and stress can actually prevent you from sleeping well. So you have anxiety and stress which means you can't sleep, but if you don't sleep your anxiety and stress gets worse.

It's one vicious cycle I find myself rolling through at times. That's why laughter and yoga are my first go-to's. If you exercise enough you can actually make yourself feel a little worn out, so I like to do yoga every morning and then sometimes in the evening if my stress is bad.

Vegging out to something hilarious is also helpful for me before bedtime.

In any case, I hope these tips give you some ideas on how to positively cope with stress, anxiety, and overwhelm in your life. Please comment below on the things you use to work through these same issues. I'd love to learn new ideas and techniques for battling these problems.

And be sure to watch the video above or at the link here when you get the chance.

How To Get Hundreds Of Book Reviews Fast

How To Get Book Reviews

When it comes to book marketing tips, learning how to get reviews fast tends to be the first question I get from authors. While there are many methods for getting book reviews, some work faster than others, and some methods take more time to set up, but end up giving you more value and more book reviews in the long run.

I'd like to list a few methods you can use for getting book reviews, methods that may take little to no time depending on how you leverage your time. Then I'll list the best way, I think, for getting book reviews fast, and hopefully you'll see the potential in this idea just as I have.

Get Book Reviews On Goodreads

The first way to get book reviews is through a site called Goodreads. There are thousands of groups of readers on Goodreads who join together to read, review, and discuss their latest, and most favorite books, authors, and upcoming releases.

This is a great place for an author to find a large group of readers who are eager to read a book in exchange for an honest review. Post your review requests in these groups in the appropriate topics area, and you should see multiple requests within a few days.

Get Book Reviews By Seeking Out Book Bloggers

Another way to get reviews is by searching blogger indexing sites like The Book Blogger List. This site has a list of bloggers in various genres, making it easy for you to find a large group of bloggers in one area rather than looking for them one by one on the internet. You still have to take the time to get to know their site a bit, who they are, and what their review policy is before petitioning them for a review.

There's just no getting around that time-consuming task, but when you're just starting out, this might be a great option for you.

Book Blog Tours

Another way to find reviewers in one specific area is by hiring out. People who run book blog tours will charge you a fee for setting up something I fondly refer to as a Read2Review session. Basically, you pay around $50 for someone to reach out to all the book reviewers on their mailing list to tell said book reviewers about your book in the hopes that these people will ask for a review copy.

The tour hosts in charge of finding these reviewers know which reviewers love which genres. Note: You're not paying for reviews, you're paying someone to find reviewers for you so you don't have to. Saves you time even if it costs a little money.

Build a Launch/Review Team: Preferred Method

The final method I'm going to mention is also the one I recommend. Even though the set-up takes time, and building the team also takes a little bit of time, once you have this in place, you'll wonder why you didn't make this happen sooner.

A review team or launch team is a group of peeps who have signed up to be notified of your new releases and sent Advanced Reader Copies of these books for free in exchange for an honest review. These are people who love your writing and understand that if they are on your team then they are responsible for leaving a review if they receive a review copy.

In the video above I go into lots of detail about how to build a review team, how I built mine, things you should consider, and how you can literally get hundreds of reviews within a few short weeks of your book's release once you have your team set up.

Once you watch the video, make sure you grab my short, step-by-step tutorial on how to build a launch team so you'll know exactly what to do.

Build Your Launch Team

I hope this information is helpful to you as you continue on your author journey.

Happy book review hunting, my author friends!

What Is Reedsy And How Can It Help You Write, Publish, And Market Your Books?

Listen To The Interview Below

All About Reedsy

As an author, I know how difficult and time-consuming it can be to run the business end of things when it comes to pursuing my writing career. Constantly dealing with the logistics of how to find a great editor, how to find an affordable cover designer, and how to find information on marketing books can be a real headache.

You're dealing with several problems. One involves going online and sifting through the overwhelming amount of freelance editors and designers to find the right one who will not only do a great job but will be affordable. It can take a long time to build your Indie team of fabulous people who get you, get your writing, get your branding, and get the job done.

What's a self-published author to do?

In my interview with Ricardo Fayet, co-founder of Reedsy, he talks about Reedsy and how it can help authors with the logistics of writing, publishing, and marketing their books.

It isn't like many freelance platforms out there since Reedsy's freelancers originally come from various publishing houses with backgrounds in editing, design, and book marketing.

Learn how to create the perfect search on Reedsy and find the editor most capable of editing within your genre and understanding your style. Find a designer who knows the market when it comes to eye-catching covers and illustrations that grab a reader's attention and motivates that reader to buy your books.

Having trouble formatting your book? Use the Reedsy Book Editor to streamline the process and receive technical help with any question you might have.

You can even take advantage of Reedsy Learning, a free, online series of courses catered to the needs of authors. Learn to write a great book, become educated on the best publishing platforms and practices, and master the art of marketing to get your books some major visibility.

Want more eyes on your books? Want more traffic to your books' Amazon page? Want to outsource the entire process and create more time for you to actually do what you love most?



If you've answered yes to any of these questions, then I highly recommend you watch the interview above, then pop on over to Reedsy to check out everything they have to offer.

You won't be disappointed.

Happy writing my author friends!

Welcome To Author Journey

Welcome author friends!

I'm excited you've come to hang out. If you're visiting my blog it's because you're looking for more insight and knowledge into the world of writing, publishing, and marketing your books. I hope you come to feel that this particular blog adds value to your life and your own personal author journey.

In this world of voracious reading, it's my belief that there is enough room for all authors everywhere to be successful in their writing and publishing endeavours. The key to this success is all about obtaining relevant knowledge on the subject so you don't wander off course and get stuck in that start-and-stop cycle so many of us tend to fall into.

My goal is to offer you reliable information that will help you make informed decisions as you navigate your way through these sometimes murky waters. With so much information out there, it's difficult to determine which advice you should be paying attention to.

I think you'll find the advice here at Author Journey to be relevant, current, and exactly what you need in order to customize your own author journey.

After all, every author journey is unique. I can't tell you how excited I am to be a part of yours.


C.J. Anaya