I’ve been avoiding this blog.
I didn’t know how to approach what I wanted to say. Should I keep things professional and only report things that look good? Or should I go completely authentic and unedited, letting you glimpse behind the scenes of being a writer? I think I’ll go with that one.
Actually, things are going fairly well. I read once that when you commit to a goal, things start falling into place on their own. Nate, my accountability partner, has been great helping me set weekly goals. He’s also writing a book; a memoir on loosing his brother to suicide and how he healed from the grief. He hopes to help others going through the same thing. So even though our books are completely different, we’ve been able to keep in touch, talking revisions, deadlines and “Well, Stephen King says…”
It’s been great, y’all.
And, honestly, I wasn’t sure about this “move toward your goal and your goal will move toward you” thing. For the last three years, it’s been feeling like publishing is moving farther in the distance as I stumbled on something I didn’t know, or realize that a manuscript isn’t as ready as I thought it was, or just find out I’m waffling over sharing this or that scene with the world. Writing is a lot like Neverland: it can be a lot of fun, but it has another side that’s just plain scary. But this was the year I embraced, “Progress, not perfection” and a commitment to publishing my books so that I can learn how to become a better writer and publisher.
And you know what?
I had people who helped me with the manuscripts before, reading, encouraging me and asking questions. I had a few friends who stepped in to help proof “Swing.” But since I actually got it published, I’ve been approached by people, instead of simply asking my good friends to lend a hand.
One, who helped me brainstorm the idea for “Across the Distance” back in my teenage years during a sleepover, has offered to help me proof again. Our paths separated for a while but have crossed again, and her husband is a typesetter/designer. They’ve offered to help me with the interior layout, (so I don’t have to do it) and to help create the cover for “Across the Distance.” I have an English teacher who has also offered to help me proof the final manuscript, and another friend who has agree to read the chapters as I write to help give me feedback on the plot that I’m weaving together. (More on that later.)
“Swing” is also officially in the “Kindle Select” program. In a nutshell, this means that readers in that program can download the kindle version for free. If they read past 10% of the book, I earn a share of the KDP Select Global Fund. Since my main goal right now is more about reaching readers, this fits in nicely with my plan for publishing. So far, without pushing the book anywhere past notifying on FB that it’s out, I’ve sold 11 copies of the kindle version and 7 physical. Of course, I’d love for it to be higher, but at this point my main goal is to get several books out so there are many for the reader, before I do a big publicity push. However, I have a box of 25 copies sitting in my hallway because, once again, my goal is moving toward me.
It started with a phone call from a local friend who does real estate. He said he wanted to help me host a book signing and thought wine and socialization was in order and he has the wine on-hand. But where to have it? The local bookstore has offered their building, but we were unsure of whether it would fit our plan. I’ve been working weekends, helping serve dinner at a bed and breakfast, and I told him that perhaps I could ask the owner about holding the signing there. Before I had a chance, the chef emailed me, telling me she and the owner had been talking about it and would like to help host a book signing at the B and B. Was I interested?
Why yes. Yes, I was.
I’m not sure who around town has been talking me up. I suspect the bookstore and B and B, but every table I served, someone said, “I heard you wrote a book! What’s it about?”
In a nutshell: I wasn’t expecting sales to zoom when I put my book out there. I wasn’t even expecting support to increase from those people who were already (and are still) there for me. But it has! My little town has embraced me and people are reaching out, telling me that I’m remarkable and they have faith in me. That helps me have faith in myself, so a big thank you to everyone who believes in my dream. I won’t let you down.
I’ve decided I will keep publishing, keep learning, keep writing and putting my work out there. I’m revamping, creating and modifying what will become a unique plan for marketing my books. I’m not going to stop until I can truly succeed as a novelist. I don’t know when it will happen, but I know that it will.
I’ve been avoiding this blog.