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Archive for October, 2015

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.

BB

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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!

BB

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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.

BB

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Wahooo!!!!!!!!

‘Arine’s Sanctuary’ has garnered a 5 Star Review from Reader’s Favorite!!!

Reader's Favorite 5 star review label

To read the full review, follow this link: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/arines-sanctuary

Pardon me, but I’m going to go do a happy dance!

BB

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Morning!

It’s a slow one here. Probably going to need at least 2 cups of coffee today. Or a 3 hour nap. Possibly both. Colds tend to mess with sleep schedules. Ugh.

As authors, we have to balance reality with expectations every single day. We all want to be making a living off of our writing. Want to see the royalty checks that rival Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. Be able to hire someone else to do marketing, clean the bathrooms, set up book tours, or laundry.

The truth is that, most months, this isn’t going to happen. Heck, for most authors this will never happen. There could be a lot of reasons why. Everything from we wrote a story that doesn’t resonate with the majority of readers to we didn’t bother to listen to our editors and put out a book that’s full of errors and poorly written.

When you get those months where you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere, it’s time to evaluate why you’re writing to begin with. Is it because you love to write? Can’t imagine a time where not writing is an option? Or did you just want, expect, a big payoff?

Writing should, in my opinion, never be about the money you might earn. Because that’s the biggest question mark in the business. With self publishing, anyone can have a book up for sale. That doesn’t mean they should. But to expect to retire to the Bahamas two months after your book goes up for sale? Nah.

Most of us write because we can’t not write. We love crafting a story, developing characters, put them in interesting situations. If we hit it big, can make a living off our words, that’s great! But few of us do that. We work 2 or 3 jobs to pay the bills. We choose between being a parent and marketing our books. Parenting, 9 days out of 10, wins.

Instead of being depressed when a sales drought hits, we need to buck up. Take a look at what we’re doing. Figure out what worked in the past, how it changed over time. Remind ourselves it’s not really about the paycheck. But the process of writing.

BB

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Good morning, everyone!

Pardon any typos, I have a lap full of cat ath the moment. LOL Never mind, he decided to move. LOL.

When I was younger, I was a huge fan of carousels. Okay, I’m still a fan. But not as much as I was then. I truly appreciate the artistry and work that goes into the older ones. The hand carved and painted animals, the music, the movement of the ride.

There was one in Spokane, WA. I believe it’s still there. This was a truly special one that was a real treat to ride. Not simply because it was originally from the glory days of the carousel and beautifully restored/maintained, but it had a feature I’d only seen there. As the riders went around, if you were lucky enough to get an outside horse, you tried to grab a ring from an arm. Then, you’d toss it towards the opening of some sort. I want to say it was a clown’s face, but I could be mistaken.

If you got it into the target, you won a free ride. If you were really lucky, you got a brass ring and not an iron one. Again, it allowed the rider for a free ride once turned in.

In writing, when you get that contract, you’re one of the lucky few who get to ride the outer line of horses. The ones who can grab for that brass ring. If you get that brass ring, or toss one into the clown’s mouth, you’re now one of the few who can make a living off of your writing.

But, in order to do that, you have to promote. You have to market. You have to be willing to put yourself out there.

You have to take the shot.

It’s not enough to simply put your book under contract or up for sale. You can’t sit back and wait for the world to discover your talent. You have to promote. You need to take chances on contests, promotional companies, giveaways, etc. No one is going to know you’re an author unless you tell them. Unless you’re willing to move past the idea that your book/publisher will do the work. You have to decide if you want to sit back and be passive, or if you’re willing to grab for the brass ring. Make the shot at the clown’s face.

Otherwise, your ride’s going to end. And you may not get an outside seat the next time around.

BB

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