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Hello! It’s a Sunday afternoon. House is quiet, though not writing quite yet. Need to transport the youngest to hang out with a friend soon.

As a writer, an author, I give a lot to my readers. I give a small piece of myself in every book I write. Each and every word, character mannerism, name, is a gift of my soul to my readers. And I hope they appreciate it.

Readers give back to us by buying our books, leaving reviews (good or bad), standing in lines to meet us at events. They tell their friends and co-workers about our books, bid on them at auctions, and help authors grow.

At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.

There are some readers who say one thing and do another. They promise reviews and never come through. Or they clamor for a sequel then don’t buy it.

Not to be outdone, authors don’t always keep their end of the bargain. They let their ego take over, ignoring criticism, and demand things for signings. Specific brands of water, luxury suites, first class airfare to cons. And then they do interviews and talk about all the work they did to get to that point, ignoring all the readers who DID leave a review. Buy their book, and the sequel.

Like any partnership, that between author and reader needs to have some give and take. Appreciation on both sides for what the other does, work to bolster the other up and make them feel like the time they invested (hours writing and editing, or standing in line) was worth it.

When you’re starting out as an author, you need to shrink your ego to the size of a flea. Why? Because you’re about to spend the next 5-10 years wanting to pull out your hair. You’ll have days where you doubt what you’re doing is worth it. Times where reviews simply won’t happen, no matter how many are promised. Months where you won’t get a single sale. You’ll spend money you really can’t spare on promotions that may or may not work. On contests that give you little beyond bragging rights.

There’s no magic formula for us to find our readers. No more than there is one that readers use to find that ‘new’ author that they have to get every single book ever written by them.

All we can do, as author or reader, is hold up our end of the bargain. And hope the other side does, as well.

BB

Author.to/katemariecollins

 

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Good afternoon!

Hope all is well with each of you. It’s been an interesting weekend here. A new book up for sale (have you grabbed a copy of ‘Guarding Charon’ yet?), and a daughter graduating from high school.

As I sat in the bleachers, I thought off and on of my own graduation. The differences between her ceremony and mine. The emotions I felt, and wondered if she felt the same way.

Thirty years ago, as I sat in a rather uncomfortable folding chair while speakers droned on, I didn’t have the same dreams I do now. My life has taken a very unexpected Path. it’s never been smooth, that’s for certain. And I’ve made missteps along the way. Fell in love with the wrong guys, had days where I was a real wench. Started to study one thing, only to find out in spectacular fashion it wasn’t what I needed in my life. Found a new passion, followed it through to a 4 year degree.

Now, I write. I guide my daughters on how to find their own Path. And, maybe, I’ve helped a few people who follow this blog to go into the role of being a published author with eyes wider open than I had.

At 48, I can say I’ve finally found my feet moving forward like they should. I can look in the mirror every day and be happy with what I see. Not just the physical appearance, but the soul behind the exterior. I am the person I was born to be.

Yet, I still hold back in some ways. I become reluctant to really push my books. I put on a happy face and say sales are amazing even when they’re not. Of all the things I’m still trying to unlock, the mysteries of marketing and promotion are at the top of the list.

So, I search for something different to try. Something new that I can afford but haven’t done yet. There’s no magic formula to unlock sales. You can’t force people to buy your books. All you can do is smile, be pleasant, and hope that some magic happens.

BB

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