You WILL succeed as a writer. All you need is a push

Learn more about TimRemember how you’ve been wanting to write a novel for a while now?

It’s finally time.

The problem is you haven’t had a good way to push yourself to get it done. You start writing, and you’re pretty sure it’s good, but you find yourself wondering if you’re on the right track, or if people will enjoy what you’re writing.

Then, things come up and you get distracted. You lose steam, and toss your manuscript into the drawer for “another day.”

Well, that “another day” is here!

The 365-Day Indie Author Challenge is kicking off on March 1st, and it’s a year-long writing program that brings together all of the best tricks and secrets I’ve been using in the near-decade I’ve been working with novelists as a writing coach and copy editor.

Start by writing your first chapter. I’ll personally read it and privately offer my feedback. What’s brilliant? What could make it even better? Does it set the stage for the rest of your novel? We’ll make sure you’ve got a strong first chapter that grabs a reader’s attention.

Not to mention we’re going to have a lot of fun. You’ll enjoy meeting other writers in our private Facebook discussion group as we cheer each other on, discuss ideas, and celebrate our successes.

Quests and mini-contests will keep you on track, so you can make sure you’re doing everything right.

End the year with a terrific novel, an audience, and a newfound confidence—and even some new friends.

This is a powerful way to stay motivated and get that novel onto bookshelves … a novel with your name on it.

Think about it: by this time next year, you’ll be the author of a published book. What a thought!

You can do the Challenge for free, or enjoy the benefits of an upgraded Challenge that will keep you cranking out those words and have you planning your book launch party before you know it.

You will succeed as a novelist. You just need a push!

Join us today, and we’ll get started on March 1st. I’m excited about this!

Timothy Pike | About me


Want to attract readers for your novel? It’s all about book reviews

Learn more about TimSo you published a novel, and now you’d like to find … readers!

But it’s not enough to post it on Amazon’s KDP platform and call it a day.

For one thing, no one will see it—at least not right away. This is because a new author with a new title is going to be drowning in a sea of tens of millions of other self-published books.

For another, if you’re new to the scene, readers are less likely to take a chance on an author they haven’t heard of.

So how do you make your book more visible?

The most obvious solution is simply to get out there and start telling people that your book exists. You can post on social media, write blog posts, and tell people about your book the old-fashioned way: face to face.

But you can do even better than that.

How? With book reviews.

There are so many bloggers out there who love reading new books and would be happy to review yours.

When they post reviews of your book on their blogs, not only will you reach all of their readers, but those readers will be happy to act on the recommendation.

And … the review will always be there for more people to discover your book as time goes on.

Maybe you see where this is going …

Book reviews are like kindling. Get enough reviews on blogs, and you’ll start a roaring fire of word-of-mouth that will lead to more sales on Amazon, and more visibility—because Amazon loves to feature your book when it starts to sell.

And that generates more sales.

It’s an upward spiral … and the key lies in book reviews.

Have a self-published book you’d like to tell us about? Add it to Tim’s Discovery List, and when you get your first review, you can add that too.

You’ll be helping us discover great books to read!

I’m Timothy Pike, copy editor and self-publishing coach, and I’ve been in the book business since 2014. I created the writing and reading community ChapterBuzz to help authors publish their books affordably, and founded Books & Buzz Magazine to showcase prominent authors, reviewers, and books. Join our private book society on Facebook!

Every day, we’re discovering new books

Books & Buzz Magazine, February 2022, Volume 4 Issue 5A Letter from the Editor

Book enthusiasts rejoice, because Tim’s Discovery List just keeps on growing!

As we press forward in our quest to find Every Self-Published Book Worth Reading, independent authors and bookworms alike continue to contribute their favorite self-published books for all of us to discover.

Tim’s Discovery List is an Excel spreadsheet, full of books and reviews, that I recently made available for download.

Whether you’re an avid reader who simply wants to discover new authors, or you’re a writer who would like to see the book you wrote on the List, we welcome your addition. Let us know about an outstanding self-published book, and I’ll make sure it gets added to the List.

This article is from the latest issue of Books & Buzz Magazine. Not a subscriber? Start getting all of our great articles by subscribing for free!

It’s a brand-new month, and we have a brand-new issue filled to the brim with literary delights. Here’s what awaits you in these virtual pages:

Gracing the cover this month is Terry Shepherd, a Jacksonville, Florida–based author who only recently started writing thriller novels, and already has two under his belt. What struck me about Terry was how interesting his life has been, and how many different hats he wore prior to becoming a successful fiction author. His real superpower, though, is making his characters feel like they’re real people. Terry talks about where he gets the inspiration for his lifelike characters, why he moved from Michigan to Florida, and how he feels when he holds one of his books in his hands for the first time.

Then, Rachael Tamayo, bestselling author and avid reader, joins us again, this time with three favorites from her lockdown reading list—including a moment of controversy when she bravely admits to not being a fan of the Twilight series. “I like vampire books as much as the next person,” she insists. “I mean, I read Dracula (the original) for God’s sake.” Find out which paranormal series Rachael recommends instead, and see what else she’s been reading.

Next, W.L. Hawkin, author of the Hollystone Mysteries series, reveals her simple secret to unleashing a river of words onto the page. “Stop thinking,” she says. “It can block the creative process.” Turns out, one of the most powerful ways to connect with your writing muse is to meditate, and Wendy describes this process in detail. You’ll also hear about the time she turned to singer Peter Gabriel for writing inspiration, and why she never (ever) wants to be called a “pantser.”

Finally, Doug Lawrence, author of You Are Not Alone, shares some of the mental health research he’s been conducting. “When we look at the support structure for mental health,” he writes, “it is hard not to see a support structure that is failing,” It may come as no surprise to hear that suicides are on the rise and families are under stress as the pandemic continues taking its toll, yet Doug’s work fills him with hope. “I can be a part of the support structure for someone,” he says, “on the path to healing.”

Quick—while there’s a lull in your day—grab a few moments of peace and quiet, pour something to drink, and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz MagazineSubscribe now for free!

Breaking free from a lifetime of guilt: author D.G. Kaye’s emotional journey

Check out this week’s featured book on my new Tim’s Discovery List blog!

Tim's Discovery List

Every week, I choose one book from Tim’s Discovery List to feature for all of our readers.

And this week, that book is Conflicted Hearts: A Daughter’s Quest for Solace from Emotional Guilt by Canadian author D.G. Kaye.

View from a mountaintop Once we conquer the mountain of finding Every Self-Published Book Worth Reading, we’ll be sort of, uh, stuck at the top. Let’s hope it’s a nice view … (Denis Linine) Have you read this book? You can help it move up to the #1 spot on the Discovery List by telling us how much you liked it or writing a review!

We’ve got a real mountain to climb in our quest to find Every Self-Published Book Worth Reading, so I hope you’ve packed a lunch.

(Also, once we’ve reached the summit, there’s no way back down, so I hope you really, really enjoy the view from the top…

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Writers, it’s time to brag about … this!

I’d love to hear your brag about your latest writing success, big or small. I reblogged this from my new blog, Tim’s Discovery List, so please add your comment here on the original post. To your success! ~Tim

Tim's Discovery List

Timothy Pike | About me Becoming a published author is a mental feat of strength.

It’s a goal that, just like hitting the gym to sculpt that beach bod, is achieved one day, one workout, one rep at a time.

Writing a novel requires courage, patience, drive, and a large shovel?you know, to scoop away all the B.S. many of our brains spew right onto the path in front of us, by flinging out thoughts like I’m not the best writer. No one will like this. It’s too big of a project.

Woman lifting barbell Actual photograph of an indie author’s mind as it works hard to make that first published book a reality (Leon Ardho) Powering past these piles of mind dung and getting back on track demands some heavy lifting, so whenever you do this, it’s worthy of major kudos.

Which is why today, I’m asking you…

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This year, the world will hear your story. Isn’t it about time?

Learn more about TimBy this time next year, there’s a very good chance you’ll be a published author.

How do I know this? Because there’s a reason you’re reading this blog post right now. On some level, it drew enough of your attention away from what you were doing to read about why, for your writing, this coming year could easily be one of your best.

And … because you want it. You’ve wanted it for some time, but deep inside, you know the adventure is about to start—and that it’ll be worth it.

So go with what your instinct tells you, and consider these 3 reasons why you know this is your year:

1. The future is wide open. When you think about writing a novel, what do you think of? Rising early, hot beverage in hand as you cozy up in your writing nook and tap those laptop keys? Long walks in the afternoon to get some fresh air, clear your head, and get your ideas together for the next chapter? Typing “The End” … only to realize that you’ve only just begun, because now you have to go back and edit?

I don’t know about you, but all of this sounds appealing to me. The early mornings and late nights, the sudden flashes of inspiration, the endless possibilities.

Wouldn’t it be crazy if you just gave your fears the finger and wrote a novel anyway?

2. You have a feeling. That idea you’ve had rattling around in your head would probably make a pretty good novel, right? Of course, there are a thousand reasons you shouldn’t write it. The #1 most common reason I hear from writers is that they’re not sure if people will like it. (To this, I would say that while it’s an understandable feeling, you’ll never know unless you try.) Maybe you feel like you don’t have the time. Or … maybe you just don’t know where to start when writing a novel.

I’m not going to call these excuses, because I feel that doing so downplays actual fears that many writers have.

But wouldn’t it be crazy if you just gave your fears the finger and wrote the story anyway … and people just loved it? Well, believe me, much crazier things have happened.

3. It’s really about time, isn’t it? Sure, you could stay in your comfort zone and write a novel “someday.” But for most people, that day never comes. Why is this? It’s because “someday,” by its very definition, is always in the future.

Instead, set a deadline for yourself. Set a date to get started (might I suggest today?), then set a date you’d like to be finished with your novel. If you’d like me to ballpark it for you, I’d say a year is a pretty reasonable time frame for writing a novel.

Then just start writing and see where it takes you. The ChapterBuzz community is a safe place to try out ideas, attract Fans and followers, and meet other writers. And, of course, publish that novel and get it out into the world!

I’m Timothy Pike, copy editor and self-publishing coach, and I’ve been in the book business since 2014. I created the writing and reading community ChapterBuzz to help authors publish their books affordably, and founded Books & Buzz Magazine to showcase prominent authors, reviewers, and books. Join our private book society on Facebook!

Readers are looking for your book. But how do you find them?

Learn more about TimSo you’ve got a self-published book that’s looking for more readers.

Readers, meanwhile, would love to get their hands on your novel—if only they knew about it.

They want to find great books that haven’t soared up the charts yet. They want to read something that, you know, not every single other person is reading. They want to make an exciting discovery, and then tell their friends about it.

But a reader who’s looking for a book that’s not mainstream doesn’t always know where to look.

And if your book isn’t on the bestseller list, they’re going to have a hard time finding it.

When they go onto Amazon, all they see is the bestsellers. The reason for this is obvious: Amazon has complex algorithms—that are driven by profit—that promote only the books that are already selling well.

These algorithms make Amazon a lot of money, but in the process, they end up burying some really great novels.

I want to help readers find those books that got buried in the big “Amazon book pile.”

Self-published books that, perhaps like yours, just need to generate some momentum in order to pop through and become more visible on Amazon.

So how do you match up readers with these hidden gems they’re sure to love?

For years I puzzled over how to do this. And not long ago, it hit me.

I’d create an Excel spreadsheet—that we could all contribute to—listing books we’ve written, books we’ve read, books we’ve reviewed.

Books, above all, that we’ve thoroughly enjoyed.

That spreadsheet, Tim’s Discovery List, matches up readers with self-published books they wouldn’t otherwise know about.

Since it’s just your basic Excel spreadsheet, readers can put the List in any order they like.

The spreadsheet format is simple and easy to use, not complex or profit driven. And it’s a great way to bypass the algorithms that make Amazon so much money—while revealing a trove of buried treasure.

Readers can order the spreadsheet any way they want. They can find books in their favorite genres, books that are moving up, books with the most praise, books with no praise yet (why not dig up some underdogs?), or books that were just added. You can add yours here, in fact.

In this way, Tim’s Discovery List puts readers in control, so they can more easily find your book.

Guess what happens when readers can sort the entire Discovery List in the order they want?

That’s right: they find the perfect match.

And your book could be exactly what they’re looking for. Care to add it to the List?

I’m Timothy Pike, copy editor and self-publishing coach, and I’ve been in the book business since 2014. I created the writing and reading community ChapterBuzz to help authors publish their books affordably, and founded Books & Buzz Magazine to showcase prominent authors, reviewers, and books. Join our private book society on Facebook!

A hat tip to the indie author

Learn more about TimGood books are everywhere, and you can find one just about anywhere you look.

You’ll find mentions on blogs, book websites, and social media. Newspapers and magazines. Friends will happily tell you about novels they’ve enjoyed.

And you wouldn’t have to wander around a bookstore for more than a few minutes to score a great find.

Most of these books are written by well-known authors … and promoted by the well-oiled marketing machines at the most well-to-do publishing houses.

But what about the independent author?

You know, the prolific novelist who is quietly building her Amazon publishing empire …

… the sci-fi writer who works tirelessly to promote his own books …

… or the kitchen table warrior who spent a year at home typing up her first manuscript, and is now ready to publish.

This is why I created Tim’s Discovery List—a growing list of self-published books that are worth every minute of our time.

If you’re an indie author yourself, take a minute and let us know about your book. If it’s been reviewed, even better! You can add a link to the review so we can check it out.

Let’s all tip our hats … and support the independent authors in our literary community!

I’m Timothy Pike, copy editor and self-publishing coach, and I’ve been in the book business since 2014. I created the writing and reading community ChapterBuzz to help authors publish their books affordably, and founded Books & Buzz Magazine to showcase prominent authors, reviewers, and books. Join our private book society on Facebook!

A hot cup of coffee … and this week’s RGB (Really Good Book)!

Don’t miss this week’s outstanding book, found on Tim’s Discovery List. I invite you to follow my new blog!

Tim's Discovery List

Timothy Pike | About me Every week, I like to highlight a book from Tim’s Discovery List that really stands out.

With your help, I’m putting together a giant Excel spreadsheet full of self-published books that absolutely hit the mark … with the reviews to prove it.

Woods through fog at dusk If, for some unfathomable reason, you find this scene inviting, you are going to love this week’s Really Good Book. (J MAD)

But before we dive in, have you discovered (or written) a great self-published book? Let us know here and I’ll add it to the list.

(And if you can link to a review about it, even better. Your book could be the next one featured here!)

In front of me, I have the latest edition of Tim’s Discovery List (which you can download here), and our featured book this week is …

Hang on, let me take a…

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Did you write a novel? Let’s give it a moment in the spotlight

Learn more about TimFolks, maybe you know this, maybe you don’t, but I’ve been keeping a running list of self-published books.

But not just any self-published books. These are books that rise above the others, that stand out from the pack and provide a shining example of what it means to be an independent author.

It’s called Tim’s Discovery List—and the beauty of it lies in how simple it is.

It’s just an Excel spreadsheet, full of books and reviews, that ranks each book by how much praise it’s received. And that’s it! You can download the List here.

I’m doing this because I want to help readers discover great books that might not have had a chance to make the bestseller lists yet—and, of course, to give those books their time in the spotlight.

Can’t we just look at the bestseller lists to find good books?

Yes and no.

The bestseller lists, as the term implies, measure sales. But there are still plenty of quality books that haven’t had their moments to shine. If we help each other discover these books, we can send them soaring up the charts.

That’s why I’m asking the authors themselves to add their books to the List. After all, if there’s a book not many people have heard of yet, who knows better of its existence than the author?

That’s right, I’m asking you to recommend your own book to us!

But only, mind you, if you believe it’s worth our time.

With your help, Tim’s Discovery List will be the definitive list of every self-published book worth reading.

Adding your book is easy. Just punch in the title along with a few other details, and I’ll add it to the List!

I’m Timothy Pike, copy editor and self-publishing coach, and I’ve been in the book business since 2014. I created the writing and reading community ChapterBuzz to help authors publish their books affordably, and founded Books & Buzz Magazine to showcase prominent authors, reviewers, and books. Join our private book society on Facebook!