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As many of you know, I steer clear of politics and religion when it comes to my writing career and image as an author. I believe my readers, indeed everyone in the world, is entitled to have a faith they hold to (or be free to not), love who they wish regardless of gender, and vote as they feel inclined.

However, I cannot, in good conscience, attend any event in Indiana as long as the bill signed into law today remains.

To permit discrimination of any kind under the guise of religious freedom is, in my opinion, morally reprehensible. And goes against the fabric of what most religions actually teach.

Instead of condemning people who are different than us, we should celebrate with them. For we are all individuals and deserving of respect.

BB

Good morning!

I have coffee! I have kids moving towards school (thus giving me a quiet house)! And I’ve got a desk full of ‘stuff’ needing my attention! Unfortunately, most of it has nothing to do with writing.

As a published author, you’ve got responsibilities. To your editor, getting your changes done in a timely manner. To your publisher, wrapping up all the small stuff your book needs (bio, dedication, etc) and sent in so they can format a complete book. To yourself, to find the balance between promoting the released titles and writing new ones.

Then there’s the responsibility you have to your readers. Be kind. Be encouraging if they’re writers as well. Be pleasant. Be approachable. Be the type of person that you’d want to meet after waiting 3 hours to get an autograph.

Be gracious if you’re handed the 5th piece of original art that depicts your main character, no matter if you agree with it/how poorly drawn it is. Share a smile with someone who quotes that one line for the 17th time in 30 minutes. Ignore the hand cramps, remain calm, and know that your fingers can’t possibly hurt as much as their feet.

The way I see it, we have a great responsibility to our readers. After all, without them we wouldn’t have a career. We wouldn’t have been invited to these events. We wouldn’t be getting interviews, addressing a room full of people for a q & a session, spending weekends learning the private back hallways of hotels and convention centers.

We owe them so much. And they deserve to be repaid with kindness, generosity, and appreciation. Not snarkiness, catty comments, or derision.

BB

Good morning everyone!

I hope all is well with each of you. The weekend was a bust for me, in that I didn’t write one bit. Unless you consider scattered posts on FB. And even those were few and far between.

Every now and then, each author will hit walls. You’ll either lose your motivation to write, or will to promote. You’ll get discouraged, and see lack of sales as an indication that you should just give up. After all, why write if you can’t even give your books away for free and get readers?

When you hit that wall, ask yourself a simple question: do I write because I want to be rich and famous? Or do I write because I love it?

If you’re only writing because you think you’ll get fame and fortune, then stop. The odds of that happening in less than ten years, or at all, are high. And no one’s going to read your book just because you think the should.

We can’t force people to buy our books. Even if we think they’re worth reading. We can’t throw fits like children and demand they either buy it and review it or else. It’s as useless as holding our breath would be. Eventually, you pass out and don’t get your way.

So, what do you do when you hit that wall? That’s up to you. You can give up, sure.

Or you can shake off the feeling, take a walk, soak in a bubble bath, and think on the next scene or a new promotional opportunity.

Because authors do that to break down the wall.

On another note…..

If you live near Seattle, or are coming into town for Emerald City Comicon, be sure to find me on Saturday the 28th! I’m going to be out in the crowd and will have a few books, some postcards, and business cards (both author and COO) with me. Oldest is supposed to do the lettering on the shirt soon, but I’ll be wearing a bright green crewneck shirt with ‘Published Author Cosplay’ across the front! Be sure to say hi if you spot me!

BB

Good morning!

We had great weather over the weekend. So much sun! Which led to all sorts of other things being done, and not much writing. Rest assured, I’ll be doing more of the latter soon enough. We may have experienced a milder than normal winter, but spring isn’t here. Yet.

When you’re a relatively new author (in my book, anyone without instant name recognition whose works have been out for under 5 years is a new author), sales get slow. More often than you want them to. And it can get depressing.

For all the bravado, authors are mostly really insecure about our work. Strange questions dot our minds when you don’t see your ranking going in the right direction, or you offer your title up for free and it gets almost no takers. Aren’t people interested? Is my writing that horrid? Should I rewrite the blurb? What am I not doing right?

The thing is, you’re probably not doing anything wrong.

Getting to the level of sales where you can contribute to the monthly bills in a significant way takes time. Lots and lots of time. It’s not going to happen in a single day, month, or year. For some authors, it never happens. Most of us, despite how good our books are, how enticing our blurbs are, how well done our covers are, will never be able to make a living off of our words. It’s a simple fact.

So, raise the expectations for your work but lower the ones for your sales. Concentrate not on how to spend your royalties or who to blame when the sales aren’t rolling in, but on improving your writing and promotion. Think long term in relation to 5 to 10 years down the road, not 5 to 10 weeks. Look for new, inventive ways to let people know you’re an author.

Here’s an example:

Later this month, on March 28th, I’m going to Emerald City Comicon with family. I don’t have the cash to set up as an artist and sell all weekend long, and I like to wander the con, so I had to rethink things. I’m going to be surrounded by 50-60k other lovers of pop culture/comics/fantasy/scifi. How can I get these people interested in my books?

I got a t-shirt and put “Published Author Cosplay” on it. We were going to take a backpack anyway (so much easier to stash stuff we want to come home with us!), so I’ll put in the few limited print copies I have in there before we leave. Along with postcards, presigned. I’ve been putting out information on the ECCC FB page that I’m wearing the shirt, will have books on me, etc.

Do I think I’ll come home without postcards or books? Nope. I don’t even think I’ll be approached once. But it’s better to be prepared than not have a thing to hand out.

I know I’m not nearly a household name among readers yet. I’m still fighting tooth and nail for each and every sale. But I’m never going to get sales to go up by sitting back and waiting passively. You have to keep writing, keep improving, and keep promoting.

BB

Yeah, I’m late on posting today. It was a long one. Work was wonderful, as always, and kept me busy all morning. The afternoon? That’s a different story.

See, I spent the afternoon chasing down yet another book pirate site and slamming them with cease and desist emails. If their site was accurate, they illegally sold over 7,000 copies of my books.

That’s more than I’ve sold to date.

That’s close to $7,000 they STOLE from me.

It’s theft, no matter HOW you want to spin it. They’re taking something, my intellectual property, and screwing me out of any sort of profit.

And the people who downloaded the books? Yeah, I call them thief too.

Authors don’t get rich overnight. We don’t write a book, put it up for sale (or a publisher does), and then buy a beach house just for the fun of it. Writing books take months, years, to get from idea to up for sale. We work other jobs and sneak in time between dinner and bed to promote. We don’t just sit back and rake in the royalties.

So why the bloody hades should anyone think it’s a good idea to post a file online and cut me out of any royalties? Who are the readers who think it’s fine to get free books that are legitimately up for sale on Amazon?

Authors want to write…to promote…to relax with their families. We do NOT want to spend hours screaming at people to remove our books. But we do.

We worked hard for those. Some yahoo who can’t be bothered to get a legitimate job has no right to profit from our work.

I’m happy to report that, according to my publisher, the site did pull my books. But that doesn’t truly repair the damage done.

Because, if the numbers are true, that’s a lot of money I could’ve used for something else. Bills, new ink cartridge, food my family can make themselves when I’m on a writing tear. And coffee. Lots of coffee.

BB

Halfway there!

If any of you follow me on FB or Twitter, you know I’ve been doing giveaways for a few weeks now. We’re halfway through, as this is weekend #3 of 6!

Now through Sunday, 3/1, you can pick up “Looking At the Light” for free!

It’s that time again! Everyone welcome Reagan Werner!

1. What’s the title of your latest release? Link?

Red Wing, my first novel, came out in March of 2014. The Kindle E-Book can be purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/Red-Wing-Reagan-Werner-ebook/dp/B00J4B96ZQ/ref=zg_bsnr_7006663011_14, and the paperback edition here: <https://www.createspace.com/4725982&gt;

2. Why do you like writing in this genre?

I love writing in the science-fiction genre because it invokes both imagination and logic. While you need to keep dreaming up ideas to keep things interesting, you need to tie them into scientific logic. Every action, every effect—it all requires a reason. And I love using creativity to pull everything together! The finished product is incredibly rewarding.

3. What do you like to read?

I’ll read anything with a good plot—preferably something full of action. Occasionally, I read poetry as well. Not because the poem itself is what makes it good, but the possibilities of what it means is what makes a poem good.

4. Favorite movie?

I love movies that have characters with depth, and Mean Girls has so many characters with emotions that can be dissected…also, it’s hilarious! Also, I really, really like Napoleon Dynamite. I’m not sure why.

5. What are your writing habits? Music or silence? Daily regimen or spurts of creativity?

I have trouble focusing, unless I have a large supply of chocolate next to me and music blasting. It drives my family crazy, so I can’t do it every day. But I’m a hard worker, so I can write a chapter every time if I’m motivated enough.

6. What was the most surreal moment you’ve had as an author?

While I love writing novels, short stories are what I’m best at, and writing one was the most surreal moment I’ve had as an author. I had just read a poem about war in French Class, and was considering meanings and its depth. I used the emotions stored in the poem and my reaction to write one of the best short stories I’ve ever penned, Among the Dandelions. I’m planning to post it on my blog as a free-read short story.

7. How can readers find you?

I have a Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8077599.Reagan_Werner), Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Red-Wing/467736306661196?ref_type=bookmark), and even a Tumblr (redwingauthor), but I focus on Twitter and my blog. My blog can be found at http://redwingbooks.wordpress.com/, and my Twitter is @RedWingAuthor, under the name of Red Wing.

8. What do you know now about being published that you wish you’d known before submitting?

I wish I had talked about adding Barnes and Nobles into my contract. Several people have approached me, asking when Barnes and Nobles will purchase my books.

9. Favorite snack/drink while writing?

I love chocolate so much, it’s my favorite snack anytime. I also enjoy iced tea while working, but only in the summer.

10. Look at your writing area…what’s the item you keep to inspire you (piece of artwork, figurine)?

I don’t really have any specific items that inspire me. What keeps me interested in working and ready is music. I’ll listen to oldies, to current pop music, to musical music, and after some hard work writing, I’ll go YouTubing. I also plan to write out a playlist for Red Wing, just to see what songs fit it.

Thanks for stopping by, Reagan!

BB

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