Sunday, March 17, 2013

Get Ready!

A close friend of the family emailed me this week to ask my advice about self-publishing (or as I like to call it, INDIE publishing, because let's just all admit that sounds way cooler).  First I was like, really?  You want advice from me?

I mean, I'm not like... Hugh Howey or something.  I don't sell a bazillion books.  I'm not quitting my day job or anything.  (Well, I don't have a day job that I get PAID for, but if I did, I certainly wouldn't quit it.)

Then I thought, "What would I tell him?"  Because I'm going to be honest here, this is like an up and down gig.  A rollercoaster thing.

There are times when I'm like farting rainbows (which everyone knows unicorns do.  If they tell you different, those unicorns are lying, LYING!) because man, I'm so freaking happy.  

The first time I saw the proof copy of my book Six Keys, was such a surreal moment for me.  The first time I posted my books online.  When I got my first great review.  When I got my first great review from a super famous awesome book blogger.  When I got my first, "I love your books!  They are so awesome and I can't wait to read more!" fan email.  Well, let's be honest, EVERY time I get one of those emails I do a happy dance.  The first time I got money from Amazon was pretty cool, too, I won't lie.  So many fab moments.

But along with the good there is that moment where you're like, "Oh Lord." 

The really depressing part is that I can name just as many of these.  My first email from a reader was NOT fan mail.  Ouch.  First one star review.  First time I realized my book had been judged by the first 10 pages (yeah, I do it myself ALL the freaking time, but I guess I didn't think about what that might feel like on the other side).  First time my sales tanked for no apparent reason.  First time I understood that it is really FREAKING hard, no matter how many fans you have, or how many people tell you they like your book... to make a REAL living at this.  I can't write fast enough.  This isn't a full time job for me.

So then I went down the really honest road and asked myself, "Would I have done anything differently?"  Well, no.  Probably not.  I've never really had an interest with signing with a publisher. I might do a book only deal someday if I'm ever "worthy", but I like being on my own.  I like the power and control.  Even though I'm not super famous, I love my readers.  LOVE them.  They get my book, they get what I wanted to do, which is tell a story that I like and I'm proud of.  

I think we writers aren't artists or true moneymakers.  (We can do both of those, be artistic and make money, but it's not what we ARE.)  We are storytellers.  We want those stories to be heard by someone, even if it's just our families.  My sister, who is an AWESOME storyteller, has opted thus far to keep her work to a limited few.  That's okay.

So what did I end up telling him?  Write a story that you feel passionate about and share it.  Because that is all that matters.

ROW update: Still sick.  It is a lingering illness which has bothered me enough this week that I have a doctor's appt. Tues.  Hopefully, we'll be able to knock this thing out soon!  Until then, I struggle to get even a few words written every day.

Happy Reading!

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