Cassandra Penticoff – Out of your Write Mind Author Resource!

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Interview scheduled by Jeffery Haas

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Cassandra Penticoff – Interview

[00:00:00] Melissa: As far as our country and I’m Melissa searcher today on the show. I have my friend Cassandra Pentecost here to chat with me about all things writing and the indie book market. Welcome to the show. How you doing girl? Good. Good. So glad you’re here today. Yeah, me too. Yeah. It’s always fun to get together once in a while, even if it’s, you know, to talk about books stuff.

Because it’s usually, we’re just communicating through like text and email. Exactly. Yeah. So how’s everything going for you right now?

Cassandra Penticoff: Oh my gosh. I want to be like, everything is going so great. I’m getting so much writing done. I’m a hundred percent ready for my release next month. Oh no, that’s not quite the case. Unfortunately. I. Okay. Oh, I lost my mind a little bit in January and decided to start a cleaning business. It was a great, it was a great thing in terms of it like blew up and like, it [00:01:00] will, I am getting a lot of business and I’m working, part-time making a full-time income.

So I’m like in this really good spot in that regard. Okay. But during that same time, I had my cousin staying with me temporarily for a couple months and My husband started school and I got so behind in writing. So pretty much in January and February, like I just really didn’t get any writing done. So I’m playing catch up right now.

And I have, my book is due at the end of April. And I mean, it has to be to the editor on April 5th and it’s, it’s going to get to the editor. I’m just probably going to be Uber stressed until

Melissa: then. Yeah. It’s so, I mean, it’s hard because every time I feel like when we have time to write, you know, the inspiration sometimes isn’t [00:02:00] there or the motivation.

And then when you really want to write, or you need to get something done, all these other things start popping up that you have to do right. Yeah. And again, and I were talking about that because she’s always like, why is it that when I’m at work is when all this inspiration comes to me to rate, but then when I get home and I want to write, you know, it’s just got to make dinner until with the kids and the husband and all that stuff.


Cassandra Penticoff: gotta be a mental thing because it happens to me all the time when I’m in the shower, when I’m driving in my car, like yeah. When I’m working and I can’t. Type it’s like, why does it happen then? And you feel so like inspired and then you’re so right. You sit down to write. I mean, it’s not always like this.

Sometimes I sit down to write and I’m like, you know, typing away for and getting a lot done. But sometimes it’s just like blank, nothing, right?

Melissa: Yeah. When you’re doing dishes, you’re like, Oh, that’s a great idea. Yeah. And then you pour a glass of wine and sat down and you’re like why isn’t this working?

Maybe I’ll just sweat our words. So, yeah, [00:03:00] exactly. It’s funny. Cause I was, you know, as we were talking about, I just finished my book last night, but the last 5,000 words took me like almost a week and, and not like. You know, because I was you know, didn’t have time. It was because I literally would sit down, like we were just saying, and I couldn’t figure out how I wanted it to end.

And then I was getting like this anxiety, you know, and resistance toward it. So I was like, I’m just not going to deal with it. And so last night cause I have a deadline as well because I put a pre-order up for it and my editor needs three weeks. She’s like, I can do three weeks and that’s that’s tops.

And I was like, perfect. So it was literally coming down to the wire. I was like, if I wait any longer to get this to her, I’m going to run into my revising time before I get it to the format, you know how that works. And it’s like a snowball effect. And so I put on have you ever listened to by neural beats?

No. It’s really interesting. It’s like brainwave [00:04:00] music. That’s supposed to get you your brainwaves, you know, into a certain zone. And they have some for sleeping and some for focusing. So I put that on and literally, I mean, maybe it was psychosomatic or, you know, a placebo thing, but I put it on for six hours.

I had it and I, and I got all the words out and get kidding. What’s it called? It’s so if you just Google it on YouTube, it’s called binaural beats. It’s like B I N a R a L

Cassandra Penticoff: S. Spell it

Melissa: again. Sorry. Yeah, no problem. B I N a U R a L. And there’s a bunch of different ones. So you kind of have to listen to some, there’s a couple ones that were just like a little too like tribal drum beats that I was like, no, I need something a little softer.

And I ended up finding what I liked and I can even send you the link to the one I, I had last night on. But yeah, it was amazing. I was like, how it’s totally got me in the zone. I was focusing and I was able to [00:05:00] write the end of the book and, and email it off to our last night. It was like a huge

Cassandra Penticoff: relief.

Sure. If it’s because like, when you have something soothing going on in the background, it like, it gives, cause I know for, I like get distracted really easily, so like it’s not silence, so you’re but like there’s something going on in the background. So like your brain. Like can’t like, you’re how do I explain it?

Like, if it was the television, it would be too distracting. Right.

Melissa: Because there’d be a story that you’d be trying to like get into. Yeah.

Cassandra Penticoff: Yeah. But if it’s totally quiet, then it’s like, my brain can go off into all these different places, you know? But it’s almost like you’re, it’s almost like that those beats are like it like stops your brain from going any further than those beats.

Melissa: Yeah. No, exactly. That’s, that’s a good explanation. Yeah. I think so too. Yeah, because when we listen to music, you know, a lot of times when I’m drafting or plotting, I’ll have a playlist of, you know, like. Music where there’s actual singing you know, [00:06:00] music that reminds me of my characters and that gets Neal, you know, into the, to the mood of the book.

But then when I’m actually writing especially, you know, a final draft, I can’t have any of those types of distractions. Like, cause like you said, I’ll start thinking about the words and then I’ll be like, Oh, let me Google it out. What else is artists has, you know, done? And so it’s yeah, this, the binaural beats, it’s just like, yeah, you just focus more for some reason.

And I mean it’s, some of these videos have millions of views and comments too. So I was reading some of those and there were quite a few writers that had commented and said, Oh, I wrote X amount of words after listening to this. So

Cassandra Penticoff: cool. I’m definitely, I’m like, especially right now, because like I told you, I’m like down to the wire, I’ve got like two weeks to I don’t 20,000 words to write in two weeks and I’m like, Oh my, and that’s not, I’m not the type of person who like writes one draft and then sends it, like I have to go over my draft at least one [00:07:00] time.

So I have to get those 20,000 words in and go over it at least one time. So I’m stressed right now. I know I can do it.

Melissa: Yeah, no, you’ve totally can. And I mean, that’s the thing is, you know, I think we put off. Things sometimes or things get in the way of it, but then when we have this, Oh my gosh, I literally have to write this amount in, you know what I mean?

I’ve written, that’s rare, but I have written 10,000 in a day when I had a deadline and I had just, you know, waited too long and, you know, skirt around or whatever. And so now I was like, Oh great. My editor wants this on Monday. And yeah, I, you know, I’ve done it. So, you know, we know we’re capable of it. It’s just pushing ourselves, right.

To get to that point. Yep. It’s such a crazy industry and you know, we’re, so you’re an indie author as, as well as me. And for, you know, anyone that LIS listening there’s, you know, several different. Ways to [00:08:00] be an author. There’s the traditional publishing, you know, where you query an agent and then they try to sell your book to a big one of the big five soon to be big four, I think.

And what

Cassandra Penticoff: do you mean? Did I miss something?

Melissa: Well, there’s all this talk on. That’s the other thing I want to get into there’s this, all this talk on Twitter about one of, and I’m not sure which one, because I haven’t really deep dived into it, but I think one of the major publishers is being sold or is moving.

I don’t know. I do think I heard about that. Yeah. Hi. And I know a lot of them are selling off their imprints, which I thought was also interesting. You know, because, and I don’t know if that’s because of indie publishing and you know, because there’s, well, there’s this conversation on Twitter that I saw yesterday and somebody posed the question.

Do you think traditional publishing is dying? And I, what do you think about that?

Cassandra Penticoff: Yeah, I mean, I think that [00:09:00] there’s going to be a point in time because I mean, most authors are self-published simply because there’s just a lot more space for self publishing, but yeah. I mean, I do think there’s going to be a point in time when really the only people that are being signed.

And I feel like this is kind of already happening are people who are like already celebrities, like people with big platforms who they know are going to sell well. Right. And there probably will only be a couple big publishers and I don’t know what that means for the smaller publishers. I, I don’t know.

I mean, I know that it’s already, the traditional publishing has already died down a little bit. And I mean, also part of it is self publishing, gaining credibility, because when it was first a thing, everybody was like self publishing, like indie author. Okay. And now it’s like, there are [00:10:00] highly. Reputable authors that are indie authors.

And that, like, I think when I think of that, I think of Joanna Penn, are you familiar with her?

Melissa: Absolutely. Yeah. She’s got a great podcast.

Cassandra Penticoff: Oh my gosh. I love it. Yeah. And she, I mean, she’s an indie author and she doesn’t want to go the traditional route and she’s very successful and there’s, there’s a lot more than just her, but she’s who con who comes to mind.

So to answer your question, I. Yeah, I think, I don’t think it’ll ever be completely dead, but I do think, you know, it’s gonna kind of dwindle down. Yeah.

Melissa: Yeah. It’s interesting. I was reading a lot of the comments on there and it was kind of mixed there’s 50, 50, like half the people were like, no way traditional publishing will never die.

People have been saying that for a hundred years, blah, blah, blah. And then, you know, there was a, another group of people that were like, well, like you were saying, well, it’s, it may not die, but it’s definitely going to change. And they’re going to have to adapt to, you know, yeah, the way the industry is in the way that bookstores are and with [00:11:00] Amazon and just how people, you know, get their books.

And the other thing that was a little scary for me is I saw a bunch of people commenting about the fact that it might be reading. That’s actually dying because I know because of these new generations younger generations, I should say that are, are going more towards streaming and video and tech talk and things like that.

And, and there’s just a lot of youth that aren’t reading books anymore. I mean, that’s, that’s

Cassandra Penticoff: really sad. I know. Right. I can’t even imagine that that would be so horrible. That’s like my worst nightmare, right? Yes. That would be so sad, especially because just, and it’s, you know, it’s not to be one of those, like, you know, older people who can’t change with the times.

It’s not even about that reading is really good for your brain. It’s like an important part of development.

Melissa: Yeah. So your imagination and everything.

Cassandra Penticoff: Yeah. Yeah. [00:12:00] So that would be really sad. Like I, you know, I’m cool with like the way people reading changes, like, you know, when we switched to eBooks, but like if, if people stop reading, I’d be really interested to see like, If there are any studies out, which I’m sure there are about you know, have the reading rates for different generations interested to see if, you know, if that is a


Melissa: it’d be something interesting to look into.

And to maybe like, you know, do some research on that because you know, it is interesting. I mean, there are more and more authors popping up every day. I mean, I think there’s. They said there’s like millions of books you know, released a year, you know, on Amazon because of the NDA market, because it’s so much more accessible to self-publish.

It’s not easy. I didn’t use the word easy because yeah, there’s a lot that goes into it, but it is more accessible for people to publish their books. So yeah, it would be the same if the [00:13:00] readership went down as the, the writing and the authors are increasing, you know?

Cassandra Penticoff: Yeah. No, that would be a nightmare for us authors and you know, it, it brings something to my mind.

I think that, and I hope I’m right about this. At least if, if reading, if the rates of reading is going down, What I at least hope is, is it, it’s only like maybe from audio books, like maybe the, you know, listening to audio, but I know that the rate of audio book listening is going up. So hopefully that’s what it is.

Here is my problem with audio books, not listening to them. I love listening to them. My problem. Y, I, I haven’t produced an audio book is it’s expensive. And so like, you know, and if you have a lot of times, if you read up on like doing your own audio books, they’re like, don’t do your own

Melissa: audio book.

[00:14:00] Cassandra Penticoff: And I’m like, well, then I’m not going to do an audio book because I don’t have hundreds of dollars to pay somebody when I’m already paying hundreds of dollars for editing and graphic design.

Melissa: Absolutely. Yeah, no, that’s the same way, same reason why I don’t have any audio books yet. And people ask me all the time, you know, do you have audio books then I, and I feel bad. And, and they’re disappointed when I say no, but it’s the same reason. It’s really expensive to get a produced. And you know, my books that are with city owl, you know, city, I’ll try to, to get those rights optioned.

But that’s, you know, there’s so much competition and it’s, it’s really hard to, to get that. I think one of our authors, Lisa Edmonds I don’t know if she did it on her own. I’m pretty sure she sold audio rights through city out, but either way, you know, it is just very difficult. And I only know a handful of people that have audio people that I know personally.

Yeah. And it’s so, and like you said, I don’t want to self-produce it you know, and have it be lacking quality, you know, [00:15:00] and it’s, cause I mean, I know writing, I can self publish a book because I hire people to help me with that, you know, editors. Cover artists and things proofreaders, but doing audio it’s like, I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

And I think either way, if you try to self produce it or have a company do it, you’re still going to be out of pocket. Hundreds of dollars. Thousands probably.

Cassandra Penticoff: Yeah. You know, I’m read well, I’m, I’m listening to Joanna Penn’s audio book. Well, I started it. I’m like literally in the intro and it’s called audio book, audio for authors.

And it is going into basically producing your own audio books and. One of the things that stuck out to me was that readers find it. We’ll find it to be like special that they’re not just listening to the author’s book, but it’s the author reading the book. And I can attest to that because I just finished Barack Obama’s book.

And if, if [00:16:00] it was anybody else read, I don’t think I would have listened to it. To be honest with you. I think I would have just read it because his voice is so iconic and had it been. You know, just some rando re I would have been like, it just wouldn’t have been the same.

Melissa: Yeah. I think with memoirs and self-help books craft books, things like that.

Non-fiction I think that’s, that’s important. I think that the author, you know, the person who wrote, you know, the autobiography or the, or the memoir it would, it definitely. I would want to hear their voice. I think one of the members of the red hot chili peppers did that, I think on it, it was either flee or Anthony Kiedis.

One of those two did that, their own voice in the audio book. And so many people just felt so much more connected to it. But when you start getting into fiction, you know, romance and fantasy and, and, you know, mystery, whatever the different genres are. I don’t know if I’d want to, I would want someone who was a professional, you know, that can do all the [00:17:00] sounds and the inflections, you know, basically like an actor per se, to do it.

I don’t know if I’d want my own voice. I just like to read my own dine now.

Cassandra Penticoff: And that’s what I’m, that’s what I’m struggling with. And I’m going to listen to this audio book and see what she has to say and see, maybe she knows some. Maybe she has some experience to, to show if it works or not. And, and, and then my other thing is, is like, well, if it’s between me doing my own and then, or not doing it at all, is it, I don’t know.

So we’ll see.

Melissa: Yeah. You know, that makes me think about the other thing I’d really love to have for my books, but it’s also either extremely expensive or just really impossible to get is you know, get it translated and sold in different countries. You know, as far as, I mean, my books are available in different countries through Amazon, but it’s just the English version.

So it would be so awesome to have, you know, a Spanish version and I’m Italian. I’d love for, I have [00:18:00] relatives that don’t speak English. It’d be great if they could read my book, you know, in Italian. But that’s also hard to do. When you’re in D I feel like traditionally published authors sort of get all of those parks, you know what I mean?

Just by signing with, with a big house, like Simon and Schuster penguin, it’s like, it kind of feels like it’s part of the deal. You know what I mean? They, they get the audio, they get the foreign rights. You know, that would be, I dunno, I think that would be really cool too. Yeah. And the other thing I was also thinking about traditional published authors, you know, we’ve, we’ve kind of in a different era, obviously.

Do you think there will ever be more of like another, you know, Anne rice or a Stephen King? Or do you feel like those days of like that level of fame and success is over?

Cassandra Penticoff: I mean, have you seen an author rise to the top like that in the past 10 years? Not really. [00:19:00] No. No. I do think it’s over. I, I think which, I mean, I, and, and I don’t know if that’s necessarily a bad thing.

I think it leaves cause you know, we don’t need to be JK Rowling or Stephen King. I mean, heck I think a lot of us would like to just be able to make a profit, you know, and then heck I mean the dream is being able to make enough to come home and not have to work a day job. So maybe the fact that the market is so saturated there’s a lot of downfalls, but maybe one of the, the ups is that it leaves more room for people to just find moderate success.

Melissa: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I just at least make a living wage, you know?

Cassandra Penticoff: Totally. Oh, that’d be so wonderful. Right.

Melissa: I know it’s, it’s really challenging. And I don’t think a lot of people realize that because I don’t, I, you know, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts too, but in my [00:20:00] regular life, you know, a lot of.

My friends and family. Well, my family knows how much I make, but you know, a lot of friends or just acquaintances, people that see you on Facebook, you know, I think they assume because you’ve got books out that you are just like raking in the dough or, you know what I mean? Like you’re just, you know, they know where I’m not JK Rowling, but they’re like, Oh, she’s set, she’s a published author.

And they almost think you’re, you’re famous too, which is kind of funny. And you know, it’s flattering, but at the same time, I don’t think, you know, the people that are non writers or non published don’t really understand that we’re all still, you know, pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and totally

Cassandra Penticoff: we’re the starving

Melissa: artist.

Yeah. Yeah. Do you get that in your life? Like people think you’re rich or something.

Cassandra Penticoff: Oh, yeah. And actually I have a lot of people, one of the most common questions I get, which I feel is so rude is how much money do you make? Oh, wow. And I’m like, I don’t get that from [00:21:00] people. I get that. In-person like when like, Oh, D or maybe not how much money, but do you make a lot of money on your books?

Like, it’s one of the first and I think it’s, cause they assume that I do. And I’m just like, Oh no, Nope. I definitely don’t.

Melissa: Wow. Yeah. That is a really invasive question. Have

Cassandra Penticoff: you never been asked that?

Melissa: I think I’ve had people ask me like how much like my royalty percentages are and which I thought, okay.

That’s interesting. Like, would you like to look at my contract too? And that’s, you know, obviously the city I’ll press, but yeah, I’ve never been asked outright like, Oh, how much money do you make? But definitely I’ve had people sort of like passively, like hint at like, Oh, you must be doing really well.

Or, you know, or, you know, before the pandemic, when I was working, I was a supervisor of a cafe at a hotel. And you know, when people would come in and be like, Oh, you work here. Like, I thought you were an author. And I was like, I still have to like pay rent and [00:22:00] right. Not quite at that level yet.

Cassandra Penticoff: No, I’m I like, I’m not even at a point where I’m, I’ve been doing this.

Oh my goodness. What year did I publish my first book? Is it 20, 2017 or something like that? Maybe 2016, but anyways, around four or five years. And I’m not profiting yet. I mean, I make money selling books, but it doesn’t equal what I’m spending to put out there. And I’ve, I mean, a lot of people might think, well then why the heck do you do it?

And it’s like, well, the reason I do it is because I love. Being an author. I love writing. And truly, if you do it for any other reason, you were, you’re going to leave being very disappointed because it’s not like getting a job at Starbucks or anywhere where you’re not doing it really because you love it.

You’re [00:23:00] doing it because you need a paycheck. Right? Well, this is different. You’re probably not going to get a paycheck like that, unless you’re lucky or, you know, whatever. And you work hard for long enough. But you know, I mean,

Melissa: yeah, you have to be passionate about

Cassandra Penticoff: it. You really do, man. It’s such a, it’s such a saturated market that.

He is now it just, it there’s so much more than just hitting publish.

Melissa: Yeah. Oh, absolutely. And it’s, you know, too. Yeah. Comic book writers as well. You know, I’ve talked to a lot of them on the show and they say the same thing. Like we’re not in this business to get rich. Like that’s just not a possibility, you know?

And you know, there’s a few, there’s a handful of people like the Stephen Kings of the world, you know, they have the same types of people in the comic book industry that are just, you know, getting film franchises and things like that. But, but for the majority, you know, it’s, it’s a lot of indie authors and writers.

Two. And so if you think, yeah, if you think you’re going to get in this business to become rich, then you know, that’s, you, [00:24:00] you just don’t even like, does just give, give up because you’re not, I mean, not to say that you can’t get rich, obviously, because there’s always exceptions, but everybody always thinks they’re going to be the exception and that’s, you know, not usually the case and with the amount of.

Authors and books that are coming out all the time. And you know, the competition to Steven in the the bidding for, you know, ad spots on Amazon is just, I can’t even, I still haven’t even figured it out and taking the Mark Dawson’s courses. And and I’ve done some Kindlepreneur courses, you know, and things like that, but it’s, it’s a lot of information.

And and that’s the other thing that people don’t realize about indie authors is that we’re always studying, you know, we’re, we’re not just writing, we’re reading craft books, we’re taking courses where on these indie Facebook groups.

Cassandra Penticoff: Oh, constant it’s constant. It doesn’t end in. I personally spent the last two years trying to figure out the AMS ads and I’ve got it.

I’ve got to [00:25:00] say I. I’ve taken a break because I just keep spending so much money and I’m just not getting, and I know that, I know that some people, some people do I’ve talked to people who are like, Oh, I spend, I th this one author spends like 200 bucks a month on ads, but she makes like 1000 to $1,500 in sales.

And I’m like, Oh my gosh, that’s awesome. How did you do it? And she tells me, and I’m just like, I mean, I’m just, that’s what I’m doing too. Like, I, I don’t know it. And I’ve, you know, there’s Oh, well cover, man. I changed cover up. I’ve changed blurb blurb. Yeah. I’ve changed my ad co I’ve done. Yeah, I’ve done it all.

And right now I’m taking a break from it. And what I’m trying is a BookBub ad. And I’m going to do that when. This book comes out next month. It’s the third book in the series, [00:26:00] and there will also be a pre-order up for the fourth book. And so I’m hoping it’s spendy. This is going to cost me about 400 bucks, but that’s not as much as compared to some, cause it depends on the, the, the cost of it depends on the, the amount of money your book will be when it goes out and the genre.

So with mine, it’s chicklet and the book will be down to 99 cents. And I think that, I think the exact price was three 89. So I was like, okay, that’s not too bad. Especially since I haven’t for a couple months now, I’ve been spending money on ads on Amazon and I’m going to give it a shot. I’m going to see, I’m hoping that it will help me get some sales.

I’ve I’ve done. Ones through things like BookBub, but they’re smaller, you know, they’re not as big and in turn more cost-effective and if the book [00:27:00] is free, Oh man. I, I did like, I, I distributed over a thousand copies. Wow. The last time I did a free one and I paid, like, I want to say I did it with two different places.

I want to say I paid in total, like 60 bucks. And so then I went the same route and I had my book 99 cents. And I think I sold like 12.

Melissa: Wow. Yeah. You know, it’s funny as I’ve done, I’ve done the BookBub deal. I, I was in January. I got selected for an international BookBub deal and I put it down to 99 cents and it was for my, my self published book after I fall.

And I was so excited because you know, the book hasn’t been out that long and there’s a lot of there’s a lot of chatter about what people think. Qualifies you for a BookBub deal because it is really extremely hard to get. And I really,

Cassandra Penticoff: I have no that, I thought it was just something where as long as you have the money.

Melissa: No. I [00:28:00] mean, cause there’s two different things there’s advertising where you can just pay to advertise on BookBub, but to be a feature

Cassandra Penticoff: deal. Yeah. That’s what I’m looking for. Yeah. No, you have

Melissa: to fit a certain criteria and nobody really knows what that criteria is. It’s not listed. And it changed. I think it changes because there’s all this chatter about, Oh, well, you know, if you’re on Kindle unlimited, then they won’t pick you.

They, they like picking books that are, you know, more wide or you have a better chance if it’s free versus 99 cents. But all of these things, I don’t really think matter. I don’t think there’s any rhyme or reason. I think it’s like whoever works for BookBub, that’s deciding, you know, What who’s selecting what that day is just going, based on what they think is going to fit their readers, you know, their newsletter subscribers for that day or whatever, because after I fall is on Kindle unlimited it’s, you know, it’s not anywhere else.

I did it for 99 cents, not free because I don’t have read through yet. Cause it’s the first book. So I thought it makes no sense to do it for free since there’s nothing else to [00:29:00] read after, you know what I mean? And and so pretty much everything I had was what people said. Wouldn’t get me the deal.

And I got it. And the international deal is much cheaper. For some reason, it was only like $120. And I ended up staying, I sold 500 bucks.

Cassandra Penticoff: That’s amazing. It was an, I was just so expecting you to just like squash my dreams right now.

Melissa: No, no, no, no, no. I got it. I sold 500 actual, you know, ebook copies, and you’re never going to leave us.

This is insane. I’ve never had this money before. Gosh, I had 50,000 Patriots. Oh, right.

Cassandra Penticoff: Yeah. That’s what I hear is I hear it. Like I’ve talked to one author before. I, I can’t even remember where it was. I don’t think it’s like a personal friend. I want to say it was in a group where she was like, I’ve given up on all avenues of marketing. I just stick with BookBub and I’m like, okay. I mean, [00:30:00] I’ll give it a shot, you know?

And also my, my other. I eat. I’ve been at this for years. I don’t just do this for myself. I also do marketing for other authors and I have basically come to a point where I’ve realized that I want to really zone in my marketing energy to my email list. Other than the paid. You know, BookBub ads.

This is what I’m trying to now. BookBub is going to be the only paid route I take right now. And I’m really zoning in on my email marketing and building up that list with quality subscribers, quality over quantity. And it is helping it. I have noticed it’s, it’s a slow change, but I’m like, I mean, it’s quicker because like social media, one thing I’ve noticed is that it changes so much.

And [00:31:00] every time, like every, every time I think I’ve got it figured out an algorithm changes that screws up all of my engagement, or like now the new thing, Facebook is kind of dead when it comes to marketing for authors and for books, unless you’re a paying or B if you have like a group, but like, you have to be kind of lucky to have a group that has a lot of engagement.

But really the. What people are going towards now is Instagram and Tik TOK for their books. And so I’m like, Oh my gosh, I’ve been figuring out Facebook for years and now I have to figure out tick talk. So, and then by the time I figure that out, what’s it going to be next? And then I got to figure that out.


Melissa: There’s there’s so much, I know you can’t spread yourself too thin. I think that’s the big thing. Like I realized that Twitter is not for selling books. Twitter is just for engaging with other [00:32:00] authors and you know, other professionals, agents, just you and your friends, you know, essentially. And I, I liked being on Twitter and we do a lot of podcasts promoting on Twitter and things like that.

And that works. I get a lot of engagement from those tweets rather than if I post something about my book, you know, and occasionally we’ll, if there’s a sale or something, I just want to announce, I don’t really get much engagement from it. The algorithms don’t like it. So nobody sees it and I’m on Facebook.

Same. Thing. I mean, even on my author page, which is the post to be for that reason I don’t get much engagement even though, you know, a thousand people follow me. It’s like, Oh

Cassandra Penticoff: yeah, no, that doesn’t matter. It really, I stopped. I stopped trying to get likes on Facebook. Like when in the first few years I was like, always come like my page, like, Oh, I’m almost at 200, I’m almost at 800.

Oh, I’m almost at 1500 help me out here. And it nothing’s never, yeah, it got better for a while because I, I figured out the algorithms [00:33:00] and I got a lot of engagement and then one day it was about a year. Year and a half ago engagement completely stopped. And it was because an algorithm changed and I was like, no.

Melissa: Right. I know I noticed the same thing. And so I don’t even really post that often. I mean, maybe once every few days or so, but I mean, before I was like you, I was trying to get that follower account up and, you know, and just trying to post regularly, but I’ve, I’ve been getting a lot of engagement on Instagram lately.

So I think, and for a while, Instagram was the dead one where like nothing was happening over there. And I was at Lake. 500 followers for like ever, and I could not do anything to get that number up. And now all of a sudden I’m getting new followers every day and I’m getting more likes and engagement on my posts.

So, you know, that’s really interesting. And then, like you mentioned tech talk. I have still been trying to figure that out. I I’ve gotten some good ones. Like I did post a book thing where I don’t really [00:34:00] do videos of myself too often. It’s more of just like the graphic with music behind it. And I did get like 300 views on one, which was, you know, high for my profile considering I only have like a hundred followers on there.

I just haven’t spent enough time with it. And I, like you were saying, I don’t know if I want to invest the time in it yet. I have to kind of feel it out.

Cassandra Penticoff: Yeah. I use that. And like I said, I’ve pretty much come to the point with social media where I do use social media and I make sure to have my. My links up.

And so if somebody comes in searches for me, they can easily get at my links, but I’ve pretty much come to the point where I’m like, you know, I’m just gonna post, like whatever comes to mind, I’m not going to put all this energy into like, what are readers going to like, because I just, I haven’t had great luck with consistency with social media.

So, you know, like on my tick talk, it’s all about my weight loss journey. And [00:35:00] I put in there that I’m an author and I have my link up, but I, I, I really just get on Tik TOK for fun. And I see some authors on there who are like doing well and I, and it shows up on my, for you page, but I’m sure that they spend a lot of time and energy on that.

I, like I said, I’m just really trying to zone in on my email marketing and that is that’s working for me. And that’s, that is ultimately, that is that’s gold because those are people who are coming to you because they specifically want to hear from you about your books and not going to change an algorithm.

Isn’t going to change, like, that’s your list to do what you want with. So I’m just really, you know, right now, trying to focus on that and see if, see where that takes

Melissa: me. Nice. Now, do you have a reader magnet for your newsletter?

Cassandra Penticoff: I do. I just got when a couple months ago. [00:36:00] Okay. And that’s where, okay. Oh, Oh.

So I lied on accident. I said that the only paid advertising I was going to do was BookBub, but I actually do have an ad up on Facebook right now for my reader magnet. Okay. But to be fair, that is specifically for my email list, which is also what I said I’m trying to focus on, so

Melissa: yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome.

So with the reader, magnet, are you doing a novella or you know, sample chapters? How is how’s your reader? Magnet look. So I

Cassandra Penticoff: just have like a whole book like a full length novel up there. It’s my. Third book that I wrote and I chose that book because it’s just a stand alone and, you know, standalones really just don’t do that well, unless you’re a really famous author and people are waiting on pins and needles for you to release whatever book you have to put out there.

Yeah, so I was like, I mean, this book is just sitting there not doing anything and Kindle unlimited. So I [00:37:00] took it out of K U and I decided to use that for, for my reader, magnet. Okay.

Melissa: Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. Cause I’ve been, like I said, I was taking these courses through, you know, the Mark Dawson SVF foundation and you know, I’m trying to do more with my newsletter because I have quite a few subscribers.

But I find that I don’t get a lot of engagement or that they just don’t open the email. And I don’t know if that’s an, a spam folder thing that’s happening that I need to figure out. But I think a reader, magnet is something I am going to look into. So it’s good to hear that you’re having success with that.

Cassandra Penticoff: Yeah. And I, so if, I mean, Is this, do people do authors

Melissa: listen to this podcast? I hope so. That’s that’s the goal. Yeah. Yeah. I hope so.

Cassandra Penticoff: Okay. Okay. So I just want to make sure that the advice I was going to give wasn’t just like pointless. So when it comes to newsletters, I don’t know if this will help you or your [00:38:00] listeners, but the, what I’ve noticed.

And I think our instinct is to like, Oh, I’m going to do email marketing to sell my book, but that’s really not what of course that’s what you want to happen, but you really just want to stop thinking about that so much and start thinking more about selling yourself and So if, for instance, and if you want, I have a link where you can go look at all of my newsletters.

And if you want to like, see an idea about what I do, because like I said, I, I don’t have the biggest lists, but I get pretty good engagement. I get a lot of replies. What I do is I start it off with and I send out a weekly newsletter by the way. Oh, wow. Okay. I started off with a personal segment.

So I get pretty personal with my readers. I tell them about some, I tell them about mental health issues. I have, I tell them about personal family [00:39:00] problems and this is, you know, and I don’t get too personal, like things that I wouldn’t want, like out in the public. I, they like getting to know me. I tell them what I’m going to go do that weekend.

I am, I put my personality into it. I’m a pretty outgoing and goofy person. I put that. I make sure that that’s coming out in my personal segment. I always ask them questions to reply to. So I might say, what are you doing this weekend? Hit reply. And let me know. Or like in this week, I told them that what I was going to be reading was Leah Remedy’s book called troublemaker.

And it’s about Scientology of Scientology. And I went and often kind of in this tangent about how one time I almost joined a Colts and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And yes, that is a true story. I’m not going to go into details. Yeah. And you know, I asked the question, I asked them was, do you find Colts [00:40:00] fascinating?

Like I do? Or am I the only weirdo LOL hit reply? And let me know. I get a lot of replies about it. I also, and every email that I do, I have something called the question of the week. And it’s literally a stupid, simple, quick question that people can answer. And I always find a graphic to go with it. So I just go into Pinterest and I look up engaging graphics.

I happen to have an entire folder. You can actually buy this folder from me on out of your right minds website, it’s called 200 or I’m sorry, one year of social media posts. I think it was what it’s called. Cool.

Melissa: Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah. And I D I definitely wanted to mention that for our listeners as well, aside from being my friend, you’re also, I’m in charge of my website and you do a lot of my graphics and teasers.

And so, you know, if anyone listening, that’s looking for an amazing web designer and you can check out my [00:41:00] website at Melissa search dot com so you can see Cassandra’s work. But yeah, I just, I love that. You’re so talented at putting all that stuff together and I just, I love it. So I want to make sure that everyone, you know, hires you.

Cassandra Penticoff: Thank you. Yeah. And my, my my rates are pretty affordable too. That’s the other thing, if you go and look for a web designer, you’re going to find. It can be thousands of dollars, but I, you know, I don’t charge that much because you know, us indie authors, we, we don’t have, we’re already spending a lot of money.

So anyways, what I was I’ll finish up what I was saying so we can move on. But I like this week, the question was beach or Lake, that’s it. And I tell them what my answer is. I’m like, Oh, I like the beach. Cause I like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I, I, that’s the thing I get the most responses of. And now you might think to yourself, well, is it really that important if your readers tell you whether [00:42:00] they like the beach or the Lake that specifically?

No, but what is important is every time somebody. Rip opens, clicks and or replies, especially if they reply to your email that tells the email provider that this is a good email address. You’re not spamming people and it will, it will over time make your engagement higher. It’ll make your click-through rate height or higher.

So, yeah, even though it’s not the most important thing that my reader tells me if they like, like the beach or the Lake, the point is, is that they’re hitting reply and they’re talking to me, they’re engaging with me, they’re getting to know me. I also send out a free book from Amazon and that’s kind of a reader magnet, P a lot of people join my list because they’re like, Oh yeah, cool.

I want a free book every week. And yeah. And if they and of course I cleaned my list. So those people that only signed up for that and don’t end up engaging with me, they ended up getting taken off. Yeah. [00:43:00] And I also send out hot and trending books and you know, like a reader meme, things like that.

And people really liked my newsletter, so

Melissa: yeah. I’ll have to sign up for it myself. I didn’t even realize you had any sweater, so, yeah. And were, can where can people sign up for it? Do you have a landing page?

Cassandra Penticoff: Yeah, you can just go to see and hit subscribe. It’s either says subscriber, join reader community.

You’ll see it’s the button that’s right there. But let me spell my name because people have issues with my last name. The Pentecost Pentecost is P. E N T as in Tammy, I C O F as in frog, F as in frog, I have to say that because people think I’m saying like Pentecost.

Melissa: Yeah. Oh gosh. Yeah.

Cassandra Penticoff: I always think of saying that it never, it never fails.

That’s so funny. So, yeah, kind of

Melissa: And then for, if anyone wants your, you know, your graphic design [00:44:00] services, website services, that’s it out of your right, right?

Cassandra Penticoff: And that’s right

Melissa: with a w yeah, that’s right. I love, I that’s so clever. How did you, I mean, did you come up with that right away or did that take you awhile to figure out

Cassandra Penticoff: it actually took me a while to figure out and it I was trying to come up with a lot of the what’s it called?

The Oh my gosh. Domains were already taken. I like the play on words, you know, and a lot of the ones I was coming up with was already taken and there was two that wasn’t out of your right mind. Wasn’t and then there was another one and I went on Facebook and I asked people what they liked more and they actually liked the other one more, but I went with my gut and I chose out of your right mind.

Cause that one, I just liked it so much. And I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback from

Melissa: it. Yeah. I love that. I love those play on word type of titles are catchy people. Remember them? You know, talk about it. There’s another one. Are you familiar with staph green? No, she has that [00:45:00] a rage. It’s called rage against the manuscript.

Oh my God. I love that. Isn’t not amazing. I’m like, I mean, obviously anyone born in the nineties probably wouldn’t know what we’re talking about, but, but yeah. I just thought that was like such a cool play on it makes me want to

Cassandra Penticoff: go check it out just by the name of it.

Melissa: Yeah, she’s, she’s cool. And I have her newsletter and she does, I think something similar to what you do, because I tend to engage with her emails.

Like I’ll get her newsletter and she’ll ask a question. Like, what would you like to see more of, you know, what would you like me to do a podcast on? And I tend to reply to her and then she’ll reply back. So, yeah.

Cassandra Penticoff: Yep. That’s the key. If somebody messages you, you need to reply

Melissa: back. Absolutely. No, that’s awesome.

And then let’s talk about your books for a second. Like, so what do you have coming out? What, you know, you’re on Amazon, are you in CU for all of your books? Just let us have all the titles.

Cassandra Penticoff: Yeah. So I, I write why a fantasy. That’s what I started [00:46:00] writing out. And my idea was to just be a young adult fantasy author, but then like down the road, I just realized that I really just wanted to not be limited to just young adult fantasy, even though it is my favorite thing to write.

So. I expanded about well, almost a year ago to women’s fiction. And I wrote peaches, which is book one and the Izzy Quinn series. And that one is, well, I, you know what, I’ll be totally honest. I’ve always had like, kind of a hard time pinpointing a genre because it’s a lot of things. It’s what I usually say is that it’s a chicklet drama, but it has romance.

It has sex. It has mystery. It has murdered, it has humor. It’s very edgy. The, the one thing I always compare it [00:47:00] to is that if anybody’s seen the show shameless, it’s very, very, it’s got shameless vibes. I mean, to the point where it’s about a young girl, who’s 20 years old, who’s raising her siblings because her mom’s a loser and her father’s dead.

So it’s really similar the premise and the vibe. So if you liked the show shameless, you’re going to love the Izzy Quinn series. I currently have out peaches book one peppers is book two and poppy seeds is book three. That’s what’s coming out next. Hi mom, like the food references, you know, what’s funny is that I.

It kind of happened on accident because the first book, the reason it’s called peaches is because she has this lady she’s kind of struggling in life where she she’s a 20 year old, who’s raising her siblings like she’s struggling and she’s really down on herself and is like, I’m never going to make it in life.

I’m never going to have a successful life. And this woman comes in and she’s like, you know what? You [00:48:00] have a family that is tight as hell. You are such a good person that you have taken in your siblings. Your siblings love you and appreciate you. You might not have what you think is a successful life, but life isn’t about money and success in the way that society tells you.

It needs to be. Life is about smelling the roses, tasting the peaches. And so when I wrote that line, I was like, Oh my God, that is like, the essence of this book is Izzy learning. That is, that life is all about the peaches. And I was like, peaches, I love the name peaches. And then the second book, I was like, I feel like I need to keep going with the food thing.

And then she just so happy it, part of it takes place in peppers paradise. And that’s where well, something murdery goes down and I was [00:49:00] like peppers. And I was like, well, now I have to keep going with thing. So, and then it’s catchy and it helps people remember it. So

Melissa: yeah, no, I love that. It’s like, yeah, you have to stick theme.

Cassandra Penticoff: And I guess I should talk about my other books too. Oh yeah, definitely. So my first series is called the Chronicles of folk, the Chronicles of folk Lauria. It’s about a girl who travels to another world to save her twin sister who is, who has vanished. And it’s I mean, if you love. You know, children’s fantasy young adult fantasy.

This is just kind of like the, the epitome of like Harry Potter type of books. That’s people really like this book. And I think it’s funny because I it’s my first book and I feel like it’s. And I know this is just me being too overly critical of myself. I just don’t. I look at the writing and I’m like, Oh, that’s [00:50:00] embarrassing.

Melissa: We all do that though. We all look at our first book and go, Oh gosh, I could write that so much better now. Yeah.

Cassandra Penticoff: But people love that series. So, you know, it is what it is. And I w and I love the series too. I just, sometimes I’m like, God, I wish I could go rewrite it and make it better. But I’m doing such a great job of selling that.

Melissa: Right. I know. It’s like when you ask an author, like, Oh, so, you know, what do you write? And you’re like books and what’s it about stuff, you know,

Cassandra Penticoff: How do you, I’m like, there’s, it’s literally 60, 70,000 words. How do I tell you in one sentence? Yeah.

Melissa: So I know I have a hard time writing blurbs. I mean, I think a lot of people do, but I just, I load them writing, load them.

Yeah. I need

Cassandra Penticoff: to it’s so I’ve gotten better at it, but like, it’s my, it’s one of my least favorite parts. Oh, okay. So speaking of blurbs, I have something I have a resource that [00:51:00] everybody listening to this who is an author needs to write down that is so helpful with it has literally like made it to where my blurbs are so much better.

It’s a group. It’s just a group. It’s called the, Oh no, what is it? Indeed. River project. While I’m talking, I’m gonna look it up and make sure I have the name. Right. But basically. It is a place for people to go post covers or blurbs and people critique them. So word, or I should say a word of caution. They critique you.

So you got to go in with thick skin because they’re going to tell you how it is, but I promise you, it, it took me a couple months, like seeing how other people risk people aren’t mean they’re just blunt. I mean, they’re giving you what you’re asking for. And so it took me a couple of months to have the courage to post one of my blurbs, but when I finally did, I was [00:52:00] so happy because they helped me write such better blurbs.

Okay. So I have it up. It’s just called the indie cover project. It’s a group on Facebook and I highly recommend people go join them. If you have trouble with your blurbs. That’s

Melissa: great. That’s great. So they actually give you advice on how to fix it, not just tell you what’s wrong with it, but actually give you like solid, like constructive advice

Cassandra Penticoff: specific and your covers too.

I mean, like sometimes I will think, Oh, I’ve got this great cover. And then I go post in that group and they helped me realize, like, it’s a beautiful cover, but it’s so off Shaundra. Like it’s not going to attract the readers that you want and it’s just, yeah. Overall really helpful. And I highly recommend people join the group.

Melissa: That’s so awesome. Okay, cool. I will look at it as well. I’m speaking of cover art though, I am obsessed with my cover artist. She is just,

Cassandra Penticoff: Oh my God. You have wonderful, wonderful cover. And they’re so on point with your [00:53:00] genre.

Melissa: Yeah, and she’s just amazing. And you know, her, name’s Sarah, she works for opium house.

And one of the things I love about her is that, you know, I think it’s really important to have chemistry. Like, even though it sounds weird through email, but I think sometimes people just get your vision. You know what I mean? Like, I feel like you get my vision when I’m like, Hey, I need to do this with my website.

And, and you just figure it out like quickly. And we just, you know, vibe that way. And I feel the same way with her, with my covers is I don’t ever have to. Change anything like sh I pretty much accept like her first draft that she, you know, her first attempt that she sends me a lot of times with cover artists, you’re going back and forth.

And you’re like, I don’t like this. I don’t like that. You know, change this, change that. And, and with her, I just like right off the bat, like she sends me the cover and I’m like, great. And so I’m probably like her easiest client. I’m always like, that’s awesome. I love it. It’s my money now. But it is, it is important to have a good cover and to have it, like you said, [00:54:00] genre.

Is so important. And that took me a while to understand the genre aspect. Because when I was first starting out, I was a little kind of hot headed as far as I want the cover that I want. Right. Like I had this vision of, so one of my favorite types of covers are the WIA covers that traditional publishers put out, right?

Just those gorgeous. There’s no people on them. It’s, it’s a symbol, it’s a design. And I was like, why can’t I have that on my books? And my publisher was like, because no one will buy it because they won’t know what it is. You know what I mean?

Cassandra Penticoff: Or they’ll buy it thinking they know what it is. And then they’ll start to read it and be like, this isn’t what I thought it was.

And then they’ll give you a bad review or they just won’t read

Melissa: it. Exactly. Yeah. So I remember it being like a little stubborn at first about it, and then I just, you know, it takes time and now I’m like, Oh yeah, obviously. I mean, if you look at the top 100 in any category on Amazon, the covers all pretty much kind of look the same age

Cassandra Penticoff: part.

And then that’s because it triggers this [00:55:00] response in the reader’s brain. Like, Oh, this is a, why a fantasy reverse Heron book? Or I’m maybe not white. I don’t know if that’s why I’m spitting something out. But yeah, like this is a paranormal romance, Wolf, shifter book. And if, and it’s funny because even like, I even had to get rid of, if my, if my main character is blonde with blue eyes, that might not, I might not be able to, or the cover artist might not be able to find the right girl with the right hair color.

And honestly, it really doesn’t matter. A

Melissa: hundred percent that just recently happened to me. I had two different covers where I just told her, you know, this is the type of character they are. And I, and I said, hair color and stuff. And. I actually changed the character’s hair color and eye color to match the, the cover model because I just liked, I wanted it to fit her.

Yeah. Cause [00:56:00] I get my covers ahead of time before I’m even done writing. I like to have them all there because they tend to motivate me and, you know, makes it seem more real. I’m like, okay, this book actually really exists. So now I need to write it cause I have this cover. But yeah, I think that’s another thing you can’t get attached to is, is that the exact eye color hair color?

Now what I will get Peggy about is sometimes like body shape or you know, I had a cover a long time ago that my character he was sort of, you know, darker skinned like tan. I didn’t really give him a nationality cause it was fantasy. And I just, but I was very specific that he had black hair, Brown eyes and tan skin and the original book cover the, they gave me a model that looked like.

Like Brad Pitt, you know, like super white and super blonde. And I was like, no, no, no, no. I got two off. Yeah. And I was like, this is so weird. Like I totally described the character as, as being, you know, jet black hair, Brown eyes [00:57:00] and, and super muscular and stuff like that. And and then they gave me this kind of like scrawny little twerpy little blonde, like white dude.

And I was like, no, I can’t. I can’t have, yeah. Yeah.

Cassandra Penticoff: That’s two different. Yeah. Yeah. You do have to draw the line somewhere.

Melissa: Yeah, absolutely. But yeah, don’t get too attached and be flexible. And I think you know, something else just said to me recently that that kind of clicked and I hadn’t really thought about it before, but the covers aren’t for the author, the covers are for the reader.

Totally. And that’s something, I think that takes a while to kind of. But that thing go ahead and understand really right. Oh,

Cassandra Penticoff: absolutely. I, I, yes. I agree with that a hundred percent and it’s true. And like I, when it comes to covers my new, well, my series that’s coming out, my newest Yia fantasy dystopian series.

That’s coming out in June. The covers are [00:58:00] gorgeous. But I’ve gotten some feedback that they don’t match my genre or interesting. And so I’m like, I spent a lot of money on them, but I’ve gotten other feedback. That’s like, no, like, because why a dystopian? Yeah, sure. Why a dystopian? It doesn’t necessarily scream that, but it does scream.

Why fantasy in your book is a wild fantasy and it is, it’s a dystopian fantasy. She has powers. And so I’m like, but it is also dystopian too. So I we’re going to see how it goes. I hope that it attracts the right audience and I’m gonna, you know, if, if it doesn’t do well, and I think if it’s because of the cover, then I will change it.

But like, I really hope it does well because the covers are. They’re

Melissa: gorgeous. Oh, I can’t wait to see them. You’ll have to fund me something so I can draw all over them.

[00:59:00] Cassandra Penticoff: I will. Yeah. They’re they’re really well done. So I’m just like crossing my

Melissa: fingers if they work well, you know, the other option is, I mean that you haven’t told June to really, you know, make your final decision.

I guess there’s always the option of having the cover artist change the titles and you could use those covers for something else. You know what I mean?

Cassandra Penticoff: Great point. Yeah. And then just get new covers. That makes me feel a little bit better. If I do end up having to get new covers, I can still use those covers.

Yeah. That’s a good

Melissa: point because I mean, it doesn’t take them any time, you know, to, to just change the titles and stuff like that. I know that usually those cover letters that are like, willing to make changes for you after too, so yeah. Yeah. It’s just an option, you know, in case you’re like at the last minute you’re like, Oh, okay.

Maybe I do need something different. Yup. Yup. Yeah. And so comes out in June and w what’s the title of that series?

Cassandra Penticoff: Oh, it is crowned, correct.

Melissa: Okay, awesome. And are you doing a rapid release or is it just the one book.

Cassandra Penticoff: It, it’s a, it’s a [01:00:00] series and it’s so far it’s a three book series. I’m hoping to make it more than that, but I, you know, I, I want to stop when it’s appropriate to stop.

I don’t want to keep going just for the sake of writing more. So right now it’s just three books and rapid release. Probably not at first, my plans were to rapid release, but now that I’ve started this cleaning business and it’s doing really well, it probably will release over all three books will release over the time span of like a year and a half.

So like six months of writing them too. We’ll see, because I, cause I’m writing other books in between that too. So that’s why it’ll be kind of. It’s up in the air right now. Oh, you’re like

Melissa: me. You like to juggle multiple books. It’s the

Cassandra Penticoff: only way I, if I, I get stuck, I like, I’m like, I have no inspiration right now.

So the only way I can keep writing is if I revert my attention to the other book and then I just kind of hop back and forth.

Melissa: Yeah, I do that Sarah. And then eventually I’ll kind of just zero in on one. Yup. Yeah. But I do need that too. In the beginning, especially I have like a few [01:01:00] different. You know, projects where there’s like a couple of chapters here and sometimes too, it’s important to just, you get like these inspirational moments that if you don’t get it down, you’re going to forget it or you’re going to lose it.

So if I get nightly, I got an idea the other day, I’ll tell you real quick. Cause I know we got to get going, but I had an idea the other day that have no characters. I have a title. I have a mood, like a feeling and a sort of like, I know it’s going to be a fantasy. Not sure. Probably why I’m not a hundred percent sure on that.

Literally just wrote like three paragraphs of just kind of like purple prose, you know, just to kind of like, get that feeling down. And I have no idea what it’s going to be or anything, but, but that’s

Cassandra Penticoff: exciting beginning, you know, that’s my favorite part, writing a book the beginning and the end when it’s finally finished.

But in the beginning, it’s exciting. Like there’s, your, your deadline is way far away. Like the possibilities are endless. You can take it anywhere. And then of course, like in the end, when you finally [01:02:00] finish it and it’s like, Oh,

Melissa: The relief. Yeah. The middle is like the sagging middle as I like to call it.

That’s a good way to describe it. Yeah. It’s just yeah, it gets sometimes you’re like, great. Now what happens? You know, or, or sometimes I, I don’t know if you get this, but like, you just don’t want to do something you’ve done before, you know?

Cassandra Penticoff: Oh yeah, absolutely. You need something new, something fresh.

Melissa: Yeah, exactly. So, now for your book coming out in June, are you, do you have a pre-order up for it

Cassandra Penticoff: yet? Oh, yes, I do. You can get it on Amazon. So, I mean, it’s always hard. I wish Amazon was better about giving us easier links. Like I wish we could. I wish it was just like or something like that.

But because it’s like hard to give the link over audio. I would just say, go to see You can get the link from there. Yeah.

Melissa: Okay, cool. Do you ever just make me think, do you do like book link or anything like that or smart URL?

Cassandra Penticoff: No, I need to though,

Melissa: what is it? It’s [01:03:00] so it’s free and it’s so easy.

I book linker is the easiest one. The smart URL, when I got confused with,

Cassandra Penticoff: is that the, my book doc or whatever I need to do that. I don’t know why I haven’t. That’s just one of those tiny things, you know?

Melissa: Yeah, no, exactly. It took me a lot to figure it out to figure out to do it. And then when I did it, I was like, Oh, that was really easy.

And yeah, you just copy and paste your Amazon link in and you, you create your own link. Like you can type it, however you want to type it. It’ll always be like that. My book dot two, and then that little end part, you know? And so I usually just abbreviate the book somehow or, you know, give it some sort of identifier and yeah, I’ve done it for all my books.

The other cool thing about it is when you go to look up your links that you have on book linker it will tell you how many people clicked on it.

Cassandra Penticoff: Oh, that’s really cool. Yeah.

Melissa: I didn’t even know it existed too until like one day I randomly clicked on that part and I was like, Oh, it’s showing me. And it’s just like all the different flags to the different countries and stuff.

It’s really cool

[01:04:00] Cassandra Penticoff: who I’m on there right now. I’m going to sign up. Yeah. I don’t know. I haven’t done this yet. I always see people with those type of lengths and I’m like, I need to figure out how to do that. Yeah.

Melissa: It’s just easier, you know, when you’re posting on social media

Cassandra Penticoff: yeah. Or you’re on a podcast and you want to get your link, you know,

Melissa: exactly.

Well, you know, what we can do is cause this’ll probably be two or three weeks before this airs and we can get all of your links for you and we can post them like in the show

Cassandra Penticoff: notes. Oh. So by the time you guys are listening to this, I’m going to be like sweating profusely, trying to get my book to my editor.


Melissa: exactly. Awesome. So we can get all that, you know, so do the book like her thing, and then we can. You know, add those into the, the little notes or whatever, and make sure that everyone can just like click right on

Cassandra Penticoff: it. Okay, perfect. That

Melissa: sounds good. Well, thanks for coming in and chatting with me today.

This has been fun. Yeah, man. We could talk all day. Oh my God. We could go on and on forever about yeah. Writing and the whole entire market. [01:05:00] So we’ll definitely have to have you on again and dive deeper any time. Awesome.


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