Being Thankful

Good morning!

Sometimes, the one thing we lose sight of as authors is being thankful for what we have. As writers, we always look ahead. To the next chapter we’re writing, to the next cover being shared with us, to the next release date. There’s always something ahead of us to look forward to us, strive for, work for.

We need to pause and remember we’ve achieved so much already. How many people do you know who told you they’d love to write a book ‘someday’? Or think you’re living a glamorous life because you’ve got a book or six out?

We have readers who love our work. We have editors and beta readers who help us make our books the best they can be. We have, in some cases, publishers who are there to lend support even if it’s not much beyond cheering us up on a bad day.

Whether we’re making money or not, we’ve achieved our dream. We wrote a story and dared to share it with the world. So many people out there want what we have, even if the reality is selling a single copy in three months, but are afraid to hit that send button to submit their work.

We should never forget, even when sales are bad or reviews aren’t coming in (good or bad), that life we led when all we did was dream of the day we could say we were published authors. I don’t know about you, but I won’t let myself go back to who I was then.

And, for that determination, I am very thankful.


The End of Things

Morning, everyone.

Last week, I found out my mother passed away. I’ve spent a lot of time since then coming to grips with her passing. While I think I’ll still have difficulties at the service itself, time moves on.

We didn’t have a perfect relationship. There were more times than not where one of us would dig in our heels when we should’ve given some slack to the other. The fault was as much mine as hers. She was, however, my mother. For that I loved her.

Needless to say, I didn’t write much last week. Too many phone calls that needed to be made, etc. My sister has to deal with more than I do, and I wanted to help her as much as I could. By Sunday, the stress was enough. I spent the day either sleeping or huddled under blankets watching football. And fighting a cold that’d crept in unnoticed. I spent the day being a cat instead of an adult, and it was good.

Now, though, now I think I’m ready to write again. I’ve got ‘Alaric’s Bow’ with my editor. ‘Arine’s Sanctuary’ is out for your reading pleasure (I hope). It’s time to go back to Arwenna’s world, wrap up The Raven Chronicles.

‘Wielder of Tiren’ will be the end of the series. I’d always planned it that way, and now I know that’s what’ll happen. Arwenna’s tale will come to an end, like every story must. Her world is dark, forbidding, and mirrored parts of my own life far more than I like to admit.

As I let go of my mom, I’ll do the same with Arwenna and Y’Durkie.

That’s not to say I’ll stop writing. Nope. The muse is out of her cage and refuses to be locked away. I’ve got two more stories for the Amari and their world ahead of me. Plus, I said something in passing to a friend the other day, “traipsing the beach of the river Styx”.

Yep, there’s a story hiding in those words.


Well, last night was the big night. I’ve now got my first official book store signing under my belt.

Hold on a minute, I need more coffee. BRB

Much better. I’m way too tired today for my own good. LOL

So, last night. I sold three books, met a few readers, got ignored by more people than stopped by to even say hello. Which I expected, to be honest. I’m still an unknown. Not many people know that there’s an author out there named KateMarie Collins. I didn’t go into the evening imagining I’d have people waiting to buy my books, shake my hand, or I’d sell out. Did I dream that maybe that would happen? Sure. Every author does. But I knew better than to expect it.


To me, events like this aren’t about selling books. They’re about connecting to one reader who hasn’t heard of you. It’s creating that base of readers who will stay loyal to your writing for decades. It’s about the meet and greet and approachability over the sales.

One of the books I signed was going to be a gift to an 11-12 year old girl who loves to read. Another went to someone whose own small business I’ve patronized (Frakking Bombs…they make the BEST bath bombs…seriously, go find them on Etsy!), who was kind enough to return the support.

One person I met is a rabid reader, but was only out for a short time and had no money. Me handing her postcards and business cards and spending five minutes talking with her may lead to sales down the road. I won’t know, unless she contacts me, but it’s a start.

And we all have to start somewhere.


Hey! It’s the afternoon, technically, but had a busy morning. LOL

I want to talk about the difference between being an author and being a diva. Trust me, you want to be an author far more than a diva.

We all make mistakes. Every one of us. We don’t read an email correctly, miss a word in a sentence, want to tweak a story one more time. You can be an adult about things, realize it’s time to let go of your story, and move on. Or you can throw a hissy fit, publicly denounce your publisher for not catering to your every whim and changing rules just for you, and hope someone sympathizes with you.

The adult author will grow, learn, and become respected. The diva? Not so much. People won’t want to work with someone who can’t take no for an answer. They don’t cater to untried authors. They won’t bend the rules if you don’t make them millions each year.

Being published isn’t about having the world recognize your ‘genius’. It’s not about having your ego stroked or throwing fits and lobbing threats when you don’t get your way. It’s about a partnership where everyone involved is trying to do the same thing – put out the best book they can – and working within the established rules.

It’s about give and take, not diva grandstanding. It’s about encouraging and nurturing the partnership, not tearing it apart because you didn’t get your way.

My book signing is this coming Sunday, the 8th. I’m not going to scream and threaten not to show up just because their policy is that the authors get a certain percentage. I’m not going to blame them if no one shows up. I’m not going to expect them to set up and tear down everything. Nor do I anticipate them having champagne out for me to drink for two hours.

It’s a partnership. I sell some books, make some money, get exposure, meet readers. They make money and give me space. They’re not going to treat me any differently than any other new author. Because that’s what I am. I’m not J. K. Rowling. I’m not Stephen King. I’m KateMarie Collins.

And most of the readers of the world still don’t know who that is.


P.S. Don’t forget! 7-9 pm on Sunday, Nov. 8th at The Book Warehouse in The Outlet Collection in Auburn, WA!!!!

Good morning! Hope all is well with everyone.

Now that the initial excitement of knowing I have a book signing in a bookstore has subsided, it’s time to consider everything else that has to happen in the next two weeks.

The books are ordered. New postcards, too! Everything’s been shipped to me and should be here with almost a week to spare.

I know what I’ll be wearing. The mall-wide event is meant to be rather classy/upscale, so out from the depths of my closet came my little black dress. It’s now all clean and ready to go. A friend will be stopping by later this week to help me decide on the jewelry. Hair and nails will wait until just beforehand. If I do those too early, it doesn’t look right that day. I know, I know. In this respect, I somewhat envy male authors. LOL.

Now is when I start thinking about all the small details. And begin to obsess over them. Do I want to put out a small dish of chocolates? Sprinkle snowflake confetti on the table? Is it better to use book stands and keep the other copies under the table or simply stack them on the table? Did I find the holiday themed table runner and put it in the box with the other display items? Not sure? Check for the third time that day.

On top of this, there’s the fear that every author who doesn’t have name recognition has. Will anyone even come talk to me? What if I don’t sell a single book? Will the store ever want me to come back?

Writing is all about taking risks. We take them in our stories. It happens when we submit to publishers. And we leap that chasm and hope to make it across with every single public appearance. For every ‘what if’ that’s negative, there’s a positive one.

What if no one buys a book – what if you sell out

What if no one talks to me – what if you’re voice goes out because of all the talking

What if they want ebooks – what if my sales skyrocket the next day

So, in the deep throes of panic, flip that coin over. Regardless of how many books I sell or people I meet, I’ve already won. Because I took the risk in the first place.


Every year, a mall (The Outlet Collection) in the area has an event called ‘The Magical Night of Giving’. They sell tickets (proceeds go to local non-profits) and the mall is open that evening just to those who have them. Stores offer up huge deals to kick off the holiday shopping season, there’s door prize drawings, etc. It’s a pretty big event.

This year, I’m going to be part of it.

From 7-9 pm, I’ll be meeting readers and signing books at The Book Warehouse inside the mall!!!

So, if you’re going to be any where near Auburn, WA on November 8th, consider buying a ticket and coming by to say hello!

Signed books make for GREAT holiday gifts!


Good morning!

It’s been an interesting day already. Bit of a shuffle this morning…lots of things to do with work, etc.

Part of my job includes talking with authors who aren’t getting sales. Or, rather, the sales they expected. This problem is more widespread than you might think. I say that only because so many authors give up too soon. They don’t get the instant fame they expected, and aren’t willing to put in the work necessary to reach the top of the heap. They get discouraged, stop promoting, and their book falls to the bottom of the pile. Just one more book on Amazon that isn’t getting any notice.

To be successful in this business, you have to change your outlook. You can’t see one bad day/week/month as the end of your dreams. You need to adopt the Scarlett O’Hara philosophy: “Tomorrow is another day”.

Because you never really know what will happen the next day. It’s possible, yes, that sales will be bad again. Likely, even. But what if they’re not? What if someone leaves a rave review? The six friends they told finally decide to read your book that someone else wouldn’t shut up about?

This part of the year is, unless you’re someone with a huge following, always slow for book sales. You need to shift your outlook, start promoting your books as being the ‘perfect gift’ for the lover of fantasy/romance/suspense on a Christmas list. Make it less about reviews and more about ‘imagine the joy they’ll get with a new Kindle loaded with some of the very books you’ve been raving about’.

And, above all, remain optimistic.

There is no magic formula for writing success. It’s patience, promotion, remaining optimistic even when you haven’t sold a single book for six months. It’s starting with a story you can believe in, but being willing to make improvements as suggested by your editor. It’s changing up promos, reworking web presence, making cold calls, and sitting for hours behind a table at a craft fair only to hear time and time again that your genre isn’t what someone reads.

It’s taking risks, learning what’s worth trying again and what was a total bust. And trying some more.



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