Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Not buying your book can be a good thing

I recently read a sample of what looked like an awesome book. Excellent cover, enticing blurb. The writing from the sample was very strong, emotional, evocative, well written. But after reading the sample, I didn’t buy the book. 

A book that, had I not read the sample, I might have bought just because of the blurb and cover.

Why you ask?  Reading the sample showed me it was not the right book for me. It was a darker and crueler world than I like to read (or write for that matter).  The author had a young animal be injured, then saved, then basically sent off to be killed off stage. Yeah, no.

Now many folks would be fine with that- and it wasn’t gratuitous, it was to show how bad off these people were and the kind heart and abilities of the protagonist.  But I am really not that kind of reader.  For me, life is painful and dark enough, I read to escape.  I don’t need everything flowery and bright, but I am also not looking for dark, gritty realism. I realized from that sample, that this book wasn’t going to be for me.

So, was having the sample chapter up a good thing or a bad thing for that author? They lost a sale from me after all.

Good thing. Very good thing.  Had I bought that book, I would have stopped reading after the aforementioned incident, and been very disappointed. I would probably not recommend that author.

But now, I know I do have friends who might really enjoy that author- so I can point them that way. And more importantly, people who may have loved that kind of book, but who had been fence sitting on buying, would have hit that 'one-click buy now' button in a heartbeat after reading the sample.

As writers it’s natural to want everyone to love our book, but it’s not reality. I write funny, fast paced stories with magic and mayhem. Some are lighter than others, but my voice is the same.  I wouldn’t want someone to buy my book expecting a high tale of morality, or an anxiety filed bit on the pain and suffering of life. So I try to make it clear what I write so my target audience can find me.

So if someone doesn't think my book is for them-I'm fine with that. Just recommend me to your friends who do like what I write-'k?  ;).

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Summertime Book Giveaway!


Free is good, free is awesome- free is amazing!

Free is FREE!

As you can tell, I like free, and when I find free things going on I want to tell my friends. Friends, we have a summer bonanza going on!

Enter the rafflecopter below to win a whole slew of prizes and also find some amazing authors! (There's even a free copy of The Glass Gargoyle if you don't have a paper version yet!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Magic Idea Faeries!

One of possibly the most asked questions of any writer (besides "have you written anything I've heard of?") is "where do your ideas come from".

I was even recently asked that question by someone in the industry regarding my space opera series.

I'm sure I looked like she had just asked me where air comes from. "Um, everywhere?"  I gave her some answer, but I really wondered why she was asking that since she works with writers.  The only thing I came up with (for her reasoning) was that perhaps she was looking for someone to say, "OH- it was a fanfic of a show/movie/other book and will be a great hit now! *cough-50 Shades-cough* So maybe it was a screening device.

I'm afraid with me it just made me fumble.

Maybe I should have said my ideas come from the magic idea faeries just like all writers. We put pens under our pillows at night and in the morning the pens are gone, but ideas are flowing!

Or not.

I can't answer for other writers, but I get my ideas everywhere- and I do mean everywhere.

This tree here for instance:

Nice, craggly tree- it, or rather the squirrels that live in it, lead to some amazing little side villains in The Glass Gargoyle.  I had been writing the rough draft under this tree when a squirrel took exception and started harassing me. A lot. Chattering at me, tossing down twigs, he had serious territory issues (once he figured I didn't have food anyway). 

 Which lead to an ongoing war between my drunken faeries and some possessed squirrels (who might just be back in book three, but don't tell anyone ;)).

I've gotten ideas from songs- I have a song on a playlist that is already a full blown "last stand" battle scene in my head for the space opera. I get ideas from people I meet, things I see, places I go.

Ideas are EVERYWHERE. So, maybe next time someone asks where ideas come from, I'll point to the world around us.  Or maybe just hand them a pen and tell them to put it under their pillow at night ;).

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

IWSG-Now what?!

Welcome to our monthly installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group!

Pretty much if you know a writer, chances are they are insecure about it at some point. Some of more us than others ;). Once a month we gather online and share our fears, hopes, and dreams. Join us and find more awesome blogs to read!

First off, a cheer to all the other writers out there- to the ones who have hit the NYT list and get multi-million dollar contracts to those settling into a nice list run, to us just launching books into the wild, and those still working towards that first sale, or even first book.

It's not easy to do what any of us do, and most non-writers have no clue. So I am raising a pint of Smithwicks to all of us- KEEP IT UP!! What you are doing matters, and it is feeding your soul. Nuff said.

Now, on to my blog for today.

As a struggling writer, my one target was to get my book out there. Published. In the hands of total strangers. 

Now, granted, I have a number of books, so which one would make it first wasn't clear, but I wanted at least ONE of my worlds and characters out there.

Trad publishing wasn't working for me at the time, so I went Indie.  What a long, strange trip it's been! But the book is out there. More books will be out there.  I have become the swag whore of Babylon.  I have found that I can NOT look at Amazon or I will loose my mind. I have had my first big book signing.

Now what?

I'm not saying that to be flip, I know the "now what" is to keep writing my books. And I love doing that. Even when I'm stuck and its messy and hopeless and I want to curl up in a ball and sob for a few days. I love writing and editing.

But I thought that having a book out would change me more. It was such a goal, such a "but if I can just do THIS...", that I really thought things would change in my head.




I sort of feel like I'm at this end of this stone pier when I figured I would be a lot further down.

The realization that it is the journey, not our destination (trite, but true apparently) is what is hitting me now. I was so focused on each goal along the way, each step that had to be completed, that I forgot that completing those steps was important too.

Yes, I'm at "this" end of that long stone walkway, but the view here isn't too bad. Maybe I'll get to that distant end, maybe I won't. But I need to enjoy the journey.

That's the "now what".