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!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Who knew John Mayer was a guru?

I've been going through some schtuffs this week.  Not like family emergency stuff, but just, wow that really sucked and it wasn't what I was expecting stuff.  It got me down, down, down.
To be honest, I couldn't let it go, either.  I thought about it over and over and over until I was like a self-perpetuating machine of depression, unable to pull myself out, but also wholly cognizant of the fact that I was really just doing it to myself.
Sometimes, we kind of forget to let go of things.

Cut to my gym time.  My husband bought me a membership at a gym.  (No, he's not an asshat, it's what I asked for.)  It's the only really baby free time I get during the day.  2 hours to work out and read my kindle.  lalala  I love it.
I also do yoga twice a week, because I have hamstrings like tightrope wires.  Really, I'm probably the least flexible person you know.  Even the eighty year old woman in the class who stands next to me is like, "Girl, you are a hot mess!"  While she touches her toes to her ears.
So there I am, doing my shavasana (corpse pose) at the end of class, where you lie down on the ground and like meditate and let go of schtuffs.  Except I wasn't letting go, I was dwelling.  I was holding on TIGHT to my "Woe is me" feelings and being all sad and stuff.
Then the teacher does something she rarely does.  She says to us, "I have a reading for today."

This is what she reads:
"Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason."

Which, when I looked it up online, is attributed to John Mayer?  Who knew. 
All I know is that it broke me down, hardcore.  There I was in yoga class, suddenly crying my eyes out, unable to stop.  It was a singular moment in my life.  
Thankfully, I'm not one of those loud, sobbing, crying people and I was able to pull myself together before everyone in the class got to see my UGLY FACE.

Still, it brought me back to myself.  It was my reminder to STFU and listen to what I'm supposed to listen to, instead of getting all caught up in my own ego.

So, that was my week.  

For you ROWers, I got a couple thousand words written.  Not as much as I usually do, because Little C. was sick the first half of the week, and I was sick (thanks to the little germ factories living at my house) the last half of the week.  Still feeling like crap, but I'm trying to MAKE myself get better because MAN ALIVE, my house is a disaster and let's face it, no one knows where the washer and dryer are except me.

Happy Reading!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Thinking Linking

Look at that.  It hasn't even been 7 days and I'm putting another post out there!

I'm just as surprised as you are, Little C.!  I didn't intend to get all wordy.  And for those of you sitting at home, reading this blog in hopes of an update on The Five Tribes... I know what you're thinking.  "OMG, she's doing blog entries now, instead of writing, isn't she???  She read some malarkey online about being a better marketer and now she's going to be writing blog entries, instead of writing books.  DANG NAB IT!"

No, no, dear reader.  I assure you, I'm just as bad at marketing as I ever was.  I have no interest in being better at it.  (You'll know that I've buckled when I join Twitter.)  I promise to bury myself mostly in my word docs and forget about the world around me.  And soon.

Honestly, I was killing time last night, waiting for my son to fall asleep and I was reading the extraordinary Passive Voice.  Guys, there is so much interesting stuff abounding on the internet!  I mean, there is just pages and pages today and I had to comment.  Because I can't help myself.  You must read about this stuff... so interesting.

The first is an article at The Washington Post Style Blog  about a mid-list author that got unceremoniously dumped by her publisher.  This, as she reflects herself, is one of those things that's happening more and more as publishers trim the fat.  Personally, I would have encouraged her to go indie, given the cache of her name, but she did just fine for herself, in the end.

Then there is this post by Smart Bitches, Trashy Books  about social media genius.  As I stated above, I'm not the best marketer in the world.  I'm just like this nerdy reader chick who also loves to write.  *sigh*  Maybe someday that will change, but I doubt it. lol

One of my favorite book blogs, Cuddlebuggery  has this amazing post on not paying attention to stats if you're a blogger.  But people, this applies to more than just book bloggers.  As writers (I see it on kindleboards every day) we sometimes obsess about sales, too.  There are people out there checking their sales or reviews 10 times a day!  We get down on ourselves when we don't sell as much as people who have been indies for a shorter amount of time.  We get down on ourselves when we've been selling great and our sales stop.  We get down on ourselves when we're not meeting some invisible standard of success that someone else has told us is the goal.  And we need to STOP!  So, take five today and read this post, then just substitute author, sales, and reviews where needed.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Total Extreme Intense Ultimate Maximum

Some days you need a change.  You need to take all that stuff in your life and give it a makeover.  But it can't just be... let's make some changes here or there, lalalala.  No, this time, you need to go FREAKING SUPERSONIC ON THAT STUFF!

That's what I feel like today.  February in Cali is like a DREAM (Yes, I know it's March now, stay with me here).  It's like the weather forgets it's supposed to be winter and starts warming up everything.  The daffodils come up, so do the early irises, those little blue bells I don't know the name of, and the grass gets all green again.  The orchard trees around where I live fill to bursting with pink and white blossoms.  This is the time where my spring fever kicks into gear and I just start feeling like I'm going to BURST out of my skin if I don't get stuff picked up and organized!

It's not just cleaning, either.  My writing starts to feel old hat, and I'm just DYING to imbue it with some new zing, or a plot twist or KILL OFF A CHARACTER.  (Don't worry, I didn't this time.  But let's just say that last year there was some sadness.)

It's the time of year that I have to fight the plot bunnies the hardest.  I fritter them away and beg them to stay in their little notebook and stop plaguing me with imaginative visions of plotlines.

So this year, I'm trying my best to harness that spring fever energy while I have it.  I'm gonna try to bump up my chapter count and push forward on all my projects.

I got more writing on Nikka done last week, but not as much as I wanted.  My children sabotaged that a bit with their horrid naptimes.  Hopefully, Terris' wordcount will be on the rise this week, as well.

In the meantime, thanks to my WOTY, FEARLESS, I did something else I hadn't contemplated before.  I posted The Five Tribes series and one of my side projects on ACX to get them potentially made into audiobooks.  I'm not as proactive about it as some of my fellow authors.  I just put up some quick profiles and thought, "Eh, let's see what happens."  Well, what happened is I got an audition.

So that's cool!  If you are a fan of the series and interested in giving feedback on auditions, shoot me an email at: katecauthor(at)gmail(dot)com.  I want to make sure I pick someone who seems to match the voices of my characters.

That's all for this week!  Happy Reading!