Our interview with international best selling author Ivy Smoak was even more than we could have hoped for. In this enlightening interview, Ivy shares her untapped secrets to selling more than a million copies. We were floored to see just how many secrets and writing tips she was willing to share.
With no formal training, Ivy was not intending to have as much success as she came into. It was only after success came to her that she began to understand the formula to her success. She was then able to hone her skills in writing and in marking to create even more success for herself, and she continues to do so.
Luckily for us, Ivy was willing to let us in on those juicy writing tips!
If you’re an author with any desire for a lucrative career in writing, then this video will be a must-watch. If you’re not a writer, then listening to Ivy will make you want to be one! All the juicy writing tips are more than we can fit into just one blog post, but here’s a glimpse of what Ivy had to share with us:
Writing Tips #1: Time Management
You might think that a full-time author spends all hours of the day at their laptop, however, Ivy will tell you otherwise. Aside from the occasional deadline crunch, Ivy only spends two hours per day on the actual writing. Her husband Ryan tells us more than that will give her “mush brain”, so don’t be down on yourself if you’re feeling that brain fog after just a couple of hours. That’s just enough time to churn out each book in only 2-3 months, Ivy explains.
However, to get your book out to the masses, you’ll need to spend some time on marketing and interacting with your fans. Ivy says she writes more words per day in her Facebook group than on her books!
Writing Tips #2: Marketing
Ivy has a background in marketing, however, her focus was on brick and mortar sales. To our surprise, she only had limited training in online marketing. However, in doing her own research she found that her success came from targeting her Facebook ads to reach the readers of similar novels of her own. This made it so her book began to appear to readers automatically based on having read a similar book. Ivy explains that she often appeared on EL James’ also bot.
Ivy’s husband Ryan is a graphic designer who helps Ivy with editing but also with marketing and book cover development. He expresses his shock at the impact of a book cover on the number of sales. His advice is to keep it relevant to your genre and to stay on brand even though it’s tempting to succumb to creativity.
Not all of us have a graphic design background, but not to worry! There are amazing tools available for the rest of us graphically challenged. Stay tuned for LivingWriter’s integration with Canva where you can easily design professional covers for your new book.
Writing Tips #3 Forget Perfection
Ivy doesn’t worry too much about the end of her book when she begins. You could say her writing style is more of a gardener than an architect. She simply plants the seed of the idea and watches it bloom. When asked about her plotting method, Ivy says she gets to know her characters and thinks what would they do now?
Instead of spending time on planning and constructing, she just dives right in. She recommends not second-guessing yourself and instead allowing yourself to come through your characters authentically. This perspective is what has allowed Ivy to complete 2-3 books per month, totally an impressive 25 books and counting.
Writing Tips #4 Inspiration
With no formal education in writing, Ivy derived all her inspiration from books and TV shows. She even admits that binging on the series Gossip Girl is what inspired her to write her series Empire High. Her first romance novel was written after reading EL James’ 50 Shades of Grey.
While it is important to keep yourself writing and spending time with marketing, allow yourself to enjoy the books, shows, and movies that you love for inspiration!
Writing Tips #5 Stay Organized
When it came time to write the next book of her series, Ivy admits that she regretting times where she didn’t keep track of her characters while writing. Although she doesn’t outline ahead of time, she explains that now she creates an outline of each chapter after the fact for an easy reference. While she admits this can be time-consuming, she says that she could’ve saved hours and hours of time had she used LivingWriter’s organizational tools.
Ivy explains that staying organized and keeping track of her characters facilitates book series writing, and will save you time when you need to create book descriptions for publishing companies.
For More Writing Tips From Best Selling Authors
We had a hard time deciding on only five tips from everything we learned from Ivy Smoak and her husband Ryan Hauge, so make sure you check out the video for more amazing writing tips.
Be sure to stay tuned for even more amazingly insightful interviews with best selling authors on LivingWriters Interview Series!