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Archive for December, 2017

I’m a bit off kilter today. Some of it may be related to seeing ‘The Last Jedi’ last night. No spoilers from me, I loved it. Even if I’m still feeling a bit of shock from the ending. To be honest, that’s a sign of excellence. The team – actors, writers, producers, director, all of them – elicited a huge emotional response from me. The author side of me is in awe, and appreciative of what kind of work that took.

I want to get real, though, about the current state of publishing. This is 2017, almost 2018. It is not 1983. We no longer have to wait a year between hard cover and paper back releases. We don’t live our lives at a leisurely pace. It’s go-go-go, do what you need done, move on.

Authors are still seen as celebrities, yes. There’s that sense of glamour associated to the job title. That hasn’t gone away.

What needs to go away, however, is the overly entitled, egocentric, petulant attitude of authors who think they’re running the show. When, in fact, they are not.

Don’t be the diva. Don’t email publishers and agents, demanding that your every whim be granted. Because you haven’t earned it. No one in this business gives a crap if you have appearances in your local area and sold over 1,000 copies over the course of five years. You know why? Because anyone that actually TRIES to promote can do those things.

You want special treatment? You want to have publishing executives cowering in fear if they upset you? Then go sell 1 million copies on the first day of your release.

I did the math. I’ve sold over 2,000 copies of my books over the last 5 1/2 years. I KNOW how little money that actually is. I know that, the reason I did get that much is because I worked my fingers off and promoted. I kept writing. I worked WITH my publisher instead of making unreasonable demands that I didn’t have the sales to back.

What sells books, beyond a good story, is name recognition. It’s that magical moment when readers look at your name and recognize it in relation to books. That. Takes. Time.

So, no, I’m NOT going to quiver in my boots if you scream at me via email that your book needs to have a certain font that’s not our standard. Or that us not promoting your book over the 1,000+ other titles we have is treating you poorly. The industry is now built on the success and instant availability of ebooks. It’s built on home shopping that makes it possible to order a book today and have it on your doorstep tomorrow. Your title is competing with up to a thousand others that got put up for sale on any given day.

The successful authors of modern fiction. The J. K. Rowlings and Stephen Kings. They’re not jerks. They are the top 1% of the business and don’t scream and make threats to their publishers or agents.

What the Hades do you think gives you any right to be verbally abusive to someone simply because your expectations were unrealistic?

BB

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Hey everyone! It’s gearing up to be a super busy weekend. 6 days until we see the new ‘Star Wars’ movie!

Yeah, that’s my fandom of choice. We can discuss that another time, though.

Everyone talks about being creative, finding inspiration from the things around them. You can read countless stories on social media about how a writer looked at a situation, did a mental, ‘what if’, and turned it into a story.

The thing is, inspiration isn’t enough to make it as an author.

You need the self discipline and determination to sit yourself down and finish the story.

You need the critical eye and willingness to realize that the first draft is just that – a draft – and changes need to be made. Some will be minor, others major. But no manuscript is print ready from the gate.

You need the fortitude to do your research and compile a list of agents and publishers.

You need courage to submit you m/s to said publishers and agents.

You need patience and the ability to put your ego on the shelf when edits come back.

You need the mental stamina and strength to promote your book.

This is work. Plain and simple. It’s not as easy as sitting down to a computer or notebook and vomiting words onto a page. If you can’t get find that strength within yourself, you’ll not like the job.

Don’t get me wrong. The highs of being a published author are AMAZING. Having someone get excited because they met ‘a real author’ or seeing them hug one of your books after you signed it gives you some of the best warm fuzzies you’ll ever feel. And this is one of the few industries where the nice guy finishes first. But you have to be strong, have to draw on a mental toughness every single day. Bad reviews are going to undercut your confidence. Months without sales will make your stomach fall to your feet. Authors pour our souls into our books. We breathe life into our characters and work hard to create worlds that readers will be lost in. When those bad reviews or no sales months come, they hurt.

You can’t simply wait for inspiration to strike. You have to roll up your sleeves and work if you want magic to happen. If you seriously think all you have to do is write, you haven’t been reading my blog long. LOL.

BB

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