Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Making a Name for Myself

How does one make a name for themselves? I don't know. I did read a blog (yesterday, I think,) that Jacob Flores wrote about creating an online presence and the importance of it, especially for a writer. I can relate! It made me think about how hard it is to GET an audience. I write blogs, but really very few people read them. Yes, I have fans, but in the scheme of things even a few hundred is laughable compared to the amount of readers there are in the world. This does NOT mean that I am ungrateful for those I have, don't hear that, but if I am going to make it as a successful writer, I need to have a larger, growing fan-base. I have to start with a good story. I write it. Then I have to get a publisher to accept it. Often times a publisher is considering the "salability" of it. If it WILL sell, (in their opinion,) then they are more likely to contract it. (See, it all really does come down to money at some level.) If they contract it and it is not selling, then the likelihood of buying the next novel diminishes. So part of being "famous" is learning how to play the game enough to establish a fan-base and a market for my stuff. It never starts with "write it and they will come." In the real world the author has to establish their abilities first. If I, (or any author,) knock their socks off, then at some point I can write whatever I want and the readers will buy it. I'm not to that point yet. I am in some sense because I do have about 150 readers/fans who seem to thirst for my words. You are the ones that keep me going. I DID sell 1000s of copies of "Jock"(My Roommate's a Jock? Well, Crap!), but of those 1000s how many are true fans and how many thought, "Eh, Jock was good, but i'm not really interested in the author THAT much to read about suicide."(Because I know that thought happens.)

When Love is Not Enough (WLINE) is not only about suicide. It is about loss. It is about choices and pressure. It is about acceptance and a strong desire for parental approval. My fear is that people are so scared of WLINE that they shy away and in doing so will not want to buy or read the sequel. The Cost of Loving (TCOL) is my next release. It is coming soon. August 2013!! If you don't read WLINE, would you read TCOL? I DID try very hard to include enough backstory and references from WLINE to make the book pretty stand-aloneish. I think, and the DSP editor thought, that it was done well enough to be read on it's own for those who did not read the first book. It picks up the very next day after WLINE. For those who haven't read WLINE, this is the BEST time to read it. If you read WLINE now, then you will not have to wait for the sequel, the continuation, very long. I have fans who have been waiting for Matt and Darian for 2 years and they are still excited and anticipating it. They haven't given up on me. It was totally NOT my intent to wait this long. I am so sorry for that. But I think that it is coming out at the best time. It is a MUCH better story than it was 2 years ago. I have worked long and hard on it to get it where it is now. I spent $2000 on editing. I put sweat and tears into this. (No blood.) It is a very personal story and even now, two years later, rips my heart out to read it.

Jock was terrific because it got my name out there on a wider scale. Many more people read that then WLINE. But I don't want you to judge all my writing based on Jock. That was my light "break" when I had been writing dark stuff for too long. In theory, I want book 3 to me my magnum opus, but I think that is putting undue pressure on myself. I have to let the words fall where they may. I am technically working on three books at the same time. Right now, Names Can Never Hurt Me is the one on the tip of my brain. The characters (Nick and RC,) are talking to me so I just want to let it happen. What will I publish next all depends on which characters make their presence known long enough to finish a book. My GOAL was to finish writing two books this year. So far, I have never done that. I wrote WLINE in  2010. I wrote the first draft of TCOL in 2011. I wrote Jock in 2012. What have I written in 2013? Nothing. Not fully. I have loads of ideas, and I started writing 2 last fall, but I have yet to complete one. The goal is 2. Can I do it? IDK. Right now I am just trying to allow my creative mind to flow because i have a habit of squelching creativity due to pressure I put on myself. I am really my OWN worst enemy.

Speaking of being hard on myself.... I all too often compare myself to others and I can't figure out how people do it! How do authors find time to write? How do moms find time for themselves when they work and raise children? How does anyone make time to sleep and eat and write and take care of a family? I DON'T KNOW! My "pendulum" swings between Family & Myself. There are times when I am totally on top of taking care of the kids, the finances, the house, the laundry, the cooking etc, but I take NO TIME for myself. None! Then I swing the other way and I am thinking only about ME. And when I say ME, I mean writing because writing is what I want to spend ALL my free time doing. But when I spend ALL my time writing, then nothing else gets done. And sometimes, when writing, I get angry when I am interrupted. I want silence to allow the words to flow.

But see, these extremes both have issues. At the moment, I think my pendulum is close to the center of the curve. I am working on the balance of writing/ me-time and family. This is the biggest challenge I think I've given myself because I am trying to juggle it all. THEN in late August/September I start a college class. Can I add that and not go insane? IDK. All I know is that I have to make this work. I have to find time to do ALL of it at the same time. A little bit everyday. It helps that my son says he is proud of me. It REALLY helps. My children all seem to understand that I have to write or nothing else gets published. Eventually, I hope to have that same support from my husband. So far, it's not there. He is getting there. When I actually made a paycheck over $40.00 I think he started thinking of writing as a job. (See, all back to money.) So I need to keep writing and publishing so that maybe one day he will take me seriously. Maybe one day HE will say he is proud of me. Right now, I am just super thankful for my son. I need him and love him more than anything. (Well, I love my daughters too. I can't forget them, but they are younger and don't understand my dreams like my son does.)

Back to the subject of making a name for myself. Jacob, on his blog, talks about interacting online and the significance of getting to know fans and people in general as opposed to self-promotion tactics. I try not to ONLY self promote because as Jacob points out, it is really annoying. I have (sometimes) "friended" someone online and the first thing I get is an e-mail or a post on my wall thanking me for the friendship and a link to where I can check out their books. REALLY? I kind of hate that. I don't want to be like that. I try NOT to self promote all the time. I post reviews because I find them exciting. I post news of my upcoming book because I need to let you all know it is coming. But mainly I post links to my blog. This blog. The blog only about 50 people read. How to I grow a fan base?

I am going to try and talk about the blog on FB. Problem is that not all of you have an FB page. Some are just on Twitter. Some are just one GR. How do I hit everyone? IDK.

This is the book I am working on: Name Can Never Hurt Me.

Dubbed a “player” early on in life, constant sex has never been a problem for Nick—until now.

Nick Jenkins couldn’t remember a time when he wasn’t popular, when he wasn’t the best looking guy in the room, nor could he recall ever having to coax a woman into bed with him. And recently, Nick even added guys to the list of “been there—done that” when kissing Corey on a dare led to much more and on several occasions. His reputation to “screw anything” was well known, and he didn’t care. So why was the attention of someone new causing such consternation?

RC was a mystery from the moment they met. A frequent customer where Nick worked, getting to know RC was interesting, yet incremental due to the fact that he wasn’t in the “in crowd.” RC was overweight, always sweaty, and lived up to the nickname “scruffy dude.” Still, Nick could not let go of his deep longing for friendship, even if that friendship was with a loser.

Then, Nick finds out his new friend is gay. Will Nick look past the superficial and take hold of a connection deeper than he’s ever known before? Or will external pressures of social conformity win out—snuffing the fire before it ignites his soul.

Other thoughts that I want to talk about in a future blog are GRL and who I want to meet, the release date of TCOL, and the reluctance I have to post a picture online (So people know who I am.) What is something YOU all want to talk about? Comment.


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