A writer… And yet, not quite one

Forget Jack and the Beanstalk. This is the stuff that comes from REAL magic beans.

Sales take patience. Time. Money. Success also takes caffeine. LOTS of caffeine….

Patience isn’t overrated

I pride myself on being patient… where others are concerned. I don’t have great self esteem, and there are a lot of things I’m self-conscious about, but I can honestly say one thing I love about myself is that, recognizing I’m not perfect and more than a bit on the quirky side, I’m pretty good at cutting other people slack and not letting annoying habits they have get under my skin. I can get along and work with almost anyone.

Unfortunately, I’m not quite so patient or understanding with myself. When it comes time to. Whether it comes to addressing a flaw of my own or seeing results in the work I’m undertaking, I don’t always give myself the time I need. Knowing that about myself, I decided to ease into the publication thing, accepting I couldn’t rush it and results wouldn’t come immediately. My first two novels made it into shape (text-wise) for publication in 2012, so I released them. But there’s so much more I could do.

  • I would like to hire someone to do cover re-design. While the nature scenes are nice and they reflect setting in my novels, they don’t give a good indication of what the novels are actually about. I’ve always known this, and settled at the beginning, knowing I could change covers later for an impact.
  • I would like to hire someone to redesign the interior of my books as well (the e-book version, if nothing else.) I would love to add a map of Herezoth. People would find that helpful.
  • I need to start up a press, so my books can be linked to a press name. It looks so much more professional.
  • I wouldn’t mind re-editing my novels and putting out a new edition.
  • I would LOVE to arrange a signing at a local bookstore! And I need to get out all the promotional cards and magnets I’ve bought circulating.
  • I really, really need to invest more time and money into marketing. I’ve gotten good reviews from those who have discovered my work, but I need to get my work out there.

Unfortunately, I’m also at a major crossroads in my life. I need to find a job (first of all), move back home, and get a driver’s license. It’s officially tax season, which is going to be a nightmare for me this year. I run the blog daily, and that’s working well, so I don’t want to cut back on that, but it does take time.

I refuse to compare myself with others (though I do let them inspire me). We’re all in different places and have greatly varying life situations.

I’m left with life intervening, which it does for all of us. So I’m looking at this as a great opportunity to practice patience, develop my time management skills, and do what I can one step at a time, day by day: twitter, facebook, blogging, KDP free promotions, they’ve all helped me garner some minimal sales and start gaining attention. I’d say around 6,000 copies of my first novel were downloaded or ordered in 2012–most for free–so that’s a start, and not a bad one. There’s no need to compare myself with other people who are more successful in the sales department, or to feel that I don’t stack up because I’m not where they are yet. I’ll get there in my turn. These things take time and dedication. And sweat. I’ll just keep going at it until I see the payoff I’m hoping for, and past that, and of course, I’ll continue to write each day. I’m truly learning to be more patient with myself through this whole process, which is a wonderful benefit. It will improve my happiness and my quality of else in other capacities than my writing career, and that makes any of the frustrations and pains of the process worthwhile.

I titled this “A writer…. And yet, not quite one,” but that isn’t really true. Sales do not a writer make. Passion for the craft and the habit of writing do. I’ve got that. If you write, you ARE a writer, end of story.

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7 responses to “A writer… And yet, not quite one

  1. Hi, I wanted to leave a comment on your last post, about KDP select but for some reason it kept telling me that the page could no longer be found, so I hope you don’t mind me leaving (a slightly unrelated) comment on this post. KDP select – I’ve often wondered about the pros and cons for a five full days vs. two days and three days, so thanks for sharing your experience. My question is, you mentioned sites that list books that are free, I really think I need to find these so that I can add my book to them, do you have a list anywhere or tips on who best to contact?

    • That post became unavailable because I didn’t mean it to go live…. I accidentally dated it Jan 4 instead of Jan 14. So sorry for the confusion!

      As for your question… check out G.E. Johnson’s ebook Get Connected: 101 Places to Promote Your Fiction. It’s available from amazon. That’s what I used. It’s a gem (though not all links are currently active.)

  2. Hi, Victoria, and thanks for this post. I agree with you about not comparing one’s state of success to those of others. We all have different circumstances in our lives. I’m about twice your age and still don’t have that first novel published. I could let it get me down that so many young people these days have published not only one but multiple novels. But that would be defeatist. I’ll enjoy my success when it comes, and I’ll be glad for the success that others have too, whenever they have it. If it means anything to you, The Crimson League was my favorite read in 2012, counting all the novels and short stories I read during the year. I have the Magic Council on my Kindle and hope to get to it soon, but I’m giving other indies a chance first. And I have a Kim Harrison novel to finish too. πŸ™‚

    I wanted to comment about your desires for your already-released novels. You’d like to do a lot of redesign and re-editing. I understand your desire to make those novels more appealing. But you might consider leaving them as-is and focusing on putting that effort into the novels yet to be released, so it’s of more interest to current fans and will get them talking more about you. Some of your current fans might not pay much attention to updated versions of novels they’ve already read.

    Newer novels are more likely to draw new fans as well. If they are drawn into the series by a more recently released novel and they like it well enough, there’s a good chance they’ll seek out the earlier novels to read despite their cover art. (FYI, I like your cover art for The Crimson League better than some cover art I’ve seen. It strikes a certain mood.)

    Somewhere I read a statement by an established author who said he wouldn’t spend a lot of time or money on marketing until he had fifty books available. If there’s any validity to that statement, then all that time and money you’re talking about spending on already-released novels, which could be considered as marketing (because you’re doing it to try to reach new fans), might not have the impact now that you’re hoping for. If you just want to do it because you just want to do it, well, okay. Can’t say nuthin’ ’bout that.

    As far as “starting a press” is concerned, what I did was register a DBA (doing business as) name with my state. It’s not terribly expensive to get the DBA, and if you need help filing for it, check out LegalZoom. They really take the pain out of it. In my state it was a one-time expense. Once I had the DBA, I bought a group of ISBNs from Bowker and registered them to my DBA name. When I use those ISBNs, my DBA name (Eposic) shows up as the publisher of record (rather than CreateSpace or whatever other POD publishers I use). That’s for print books. For Kindle books, I didn’t have to assign an ISBN, I just associated the Kindle edition with the print edition and used my DBA name as publisher. So it’s not a big deal. It just takes a bit of money, depending on how many ISBNs you buy at a time. I’d recommend buying as many as you think you’ll ever use and can afford, because they are significantly cheaper per ISBN the more you buy at a time.

    Just some thoughts there that I had after I read your post. Make of them what you will. I’ll be a fan no matter what additional marketing you do. I’ve been subscribed to your blog for a few months now. Even if I don’t always comment, I do read all of your posts, and there aren’t many blogs I can say that about.

    Chin up, young lady.

    • Wow, Michael, thank you so much for those kind words and the advice, particularly about the DBA! That’s definitely something to look into!!! What a fantastic idea. THANKS!

      It means so much to hear you enjoyed The Crimson League as much as you did. Best of luck with your endeavors. I can’t wait until you get your novel published!

  3. Pattyann McCarthy

    Thanks Victoria! Just what I needed to hear. Today especially. (sigh.)

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