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Archive for October, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Yeah! It’s Halloween!

Woke up to some amazing news! ‘Guarding Charon’ made it to the semi-finals for the cover contest!

Guarding Charon KateMarie Collins

Voting closes on November 5th, and I can use all the votes I can muster! https://authorsdb.com/2017-cover-contest-results/23632-cover-contest-2017-guarding-charon

The WLA gala is 10 days away. Yes, I’m getting nervous. LOL. Do I wish I could make the trip? Yes. But I have responsibilities and our bank account isn’t so deep that I can spend $2k to go to a party in London. No matter how much I want to go.

Other than that, things are going well. I’m working on ‘Guarding Amber’, taking care of me and my family.

There’s a balancing act that authors have to do. It’s being able to devote time to our writing, promotion, and still be present for our families. It’s cooking dinner while you’re writing dialogue in your head. Thinking about a fight scene while you take out the trash. Debating a plot point while feeding the cats. Deciding the next step for the antagonist while at a meeting.

Being a writer doesn’t stop. If you’ve grabbed the brass ring and are now published, it only ramps things up. It doesn’t slow down. Because you’re always trying to find a promotion that works, tweaking the marketing, or working on the next book.

There’s no fast track to success in the literary world. No overnight success for someone who has no name recognition. If your book isn’t selling, you have to rethink what you’re doing. If you’re even doing anything at all.

And that’s the real downer. Because you won’t sell books if people don’t recognize your name. And they won’t recognize your name unless you promote.

BB

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It’s Monday!

It’s been an interesting week since I last posted. In some ways, I’m still processing everything. And it was all good things!

First off, I found out I’m now on the short list for Author of the Year from Whole Life Activation, a group in London, England that celebrates women making a difference. I’m beyond humbled and honored. With a fair amount of excited in there as well. LOL. The ceremony takes place on November 10th. As much as I’d like to go, it’s not feasible right now. When you have college bills to pay for, spending $2k to go to a gala in London isn’t being fiscally responsible. No matter the outcome, I’m thrilled. While I don’t know the other three finalists, I’m certain that I’m in amazing company.

Today, I found out the cover for ‘Guarding Charon’ is a semi-finalist for the Authordb.com cover of the year award!

If I can be so bold, I need votes! You can go here (https://authorsdb.com/2017-cover-contest-results/23632-cover-contest-2017-guarding-charon) and vote/leave a review! Even if you think one of the other semi-finalists is a better cover, the votes are crucial. You don’t have to vote for me…just do it!

Being an author is a lot of highs and lows. You spend days/weeks/months/years even trying to get your name out there. All but begging for reviews. And then you get weeks like this last one. Where you find out that maybe you really are making an impact in the pond. Where you get hope that those small ripples will continue to spiral out and widen your readership.

And that maybe, just maybe, all the struggles to get there will be worth it.

BB

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Hey! It’s Monday! It’s getting colder out. I threw on a jacket this morning before driving our youngest to school. And am now swathed in one of my dad’s cardigans.

I want to talk about one of the worst behaviors as an adult. It’s not just a writer problem. But we need to stop whining on social media. Especially if you’re published or hope to be one day.

I’m not talking a simple ‘crap, the battery on my car died’ type whine. I’m talking the out and out pity party. Oh woe is me someone else did x and I planned to do that. Why are my sales so bad? Can’t you leave a review?

Shut up. Put on your big kid panties, grow a thick skin, and grow up.

Readers don’t care if you found out information ‘first’. They don’t care if your sales are bad. Because they’re dealing with real life as well. Throwing yourself a pity party on social media is just wrong. Especially if you’re doing it in relation to a book of yours.

Readers don’t care if my parents died 7 months apart. They don’t care if my van’s breaking down. They want to buy into the illusion that life as an author is AMAZING!!! Filled with celebrity guest dinner parties, calls and texts from Hollywood all day long (I’m here if they’re interested! LOL), and that my hardest decision outside of plot points revolve around what dress to wear to a premiere or if I’m buying a Lexus or BMW this year.

This industry’s unique in that the nice guy finishes first. Publishers and agents want to work with authors without feeling stymied at every turn. They want to have a good working relationship, not an adversarial one. Which also means authors need to have a thick skin and know how to behave in public. Social media IS public. It’s the nature of the beast, no matter what site you’re using. And, yes, agents and publishers worth signing with WILL check your twitter and FB news feed to gauge what sort of author you are.

Nowadays, there’s more to this than selling your m/s. You have to sell yourself as a public person as well. If you can’t contain your sorrow over something trivial and whine about being cheated, it’s a strike against you.

From the moment you decide you want to be a published author, start acting like one on social media. Be professional and pleasant. Be someone others want to follow, read, and emulate. Think about the authors you admire. Do they curse at readers for not leaving a review? Do they scream about the ‘injustice’ of their agent/publisher? Do they fabricate drama because they need people to pay attention to them?

At the end of the day, that’s what it’s about. It’s not the loss, because there’s no real loss. Every story that can be written has been. How you tell it, the words you choose, is what makes your books stand out from the millions of others on Amazon. People hate drama, especially manufactured drama where someone gets ‘hurt’ or ‘insulted’ over the smallest things. Guess what? Pirates steal my books all the time. They’re making money off of my hard work. But I’m not on FB, crying and whining about it.

It’s called being a professional. If you crave that much attention, you’re going to be in for a rude awakening when you get published. Because publishers, agents, and readers don’t have time or energy to coddle you every time you get a bad review.

BB

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When the horror becomes real

I can’t say good morning.

I can’t say happy Monday.

Not when so many families are waking up to the news of the shooting in Las Vegas.

Not when so many families still don’t know what happened to their loved ones in Puerto Rico.

As an author, I’m supposed to imagine horror. Cause bad things to happen to good people. When the earth herself does the damage…or someone who is supposed to be a functional, productive member of society….it hurts all of us.

Hurricanes are real. And, in my belief, the frequency and severity are a result of climate change. This post isn’t to debate that. Storms like that are meant as a reminder to us that we’re not as immortal as we like to think we are. That, yes, the weather around us can be deadly.

Mass shootings….there’s not a reason for them. It’s not gun control. It’s not mental health issues. It’s not ideology or religious differences.

It’s a cowardly way to gain fame and notoriety. It’s taking the extremist road to ‘solving’ problems over doing something more productive.

Because there is nothing productive about slaughtering people. Doesn’t matter if you know them, or don’t. Doesn’t matter the age, gender, religion, or hair color. There’s no reason for it. No way to legislate it away. No law that can’t be circumvented or ignored by someone who wants to do just that.

We as a global society cannot continue to murder each other as a solution to some problem that we think exists.

One reason I write is for therapy. There’s a lot of things from my childhood that I’m still sorting through. But I’ve never once thought violence was a way to deal with them.

We need to care about each other again. Be willing to roll up our sleeves and help unload groceries for the neighbor who uses a cane. Go out of our way to make people feel like they matter, that they’re not forgotten.

We need to stop saying it’s not our business and start to make it our business. Because the next shooting is one rejection away. And you could be the one at the concert.

My heart hurts.

BB

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