Friday, December 20, 2013

A Special Holiday Gift

Hello lovelies,

I started this blog in February, 2011. It was "the first step" in "building my author platform".  and it has been a rocky road the last three years. Gosh, it has only been three years?!  Anyway, I'm not really sure that anyone even reads most of my posts. I suppose that is because I don't post consistently or something.
I have been all over the map of marketing, trying to promote my writing, build an audience, get reviews, and all the things "They" say I am supposed to be doing to get my books out to the world.

And you know what? I am tired.

I am doing a lot of soul searching and one of the things that I am doing, in a last ditch effort to reach the masses. (most of which don't read this blog, so this post is probably pointless.) is to offer my e-books on Smashwords for whatever price you are willing to pay. Here is the video I made to announce it. It has all the details, if you are interested in getting one of my books.

It was supposed to be a cute and funny video. I had planned to do my little Ely Preston speech, mention that he suggested that the key to being funny was surprise, show off my books with details about how awesome they were, end with a little blurb about how this was a gift from my family to yours, have my boys and I sing  the chorus of "We Wish you a Merry Christmas, and then my boys were going to hit me with snowballs. Surprise laugh. Cute, right? But the one thing that kept hitting me was "be authentic." and I couldn't make it through the recording without crying. A lot. (And for those of you who have known me for a long time, know that I don't cry.) I went on my little rant and voila. I probably should've just not posted it. Scrapped the video. But I can't. That would not be authentic. I am tired of putting the Pollyanna spin on everything I do.

This last year has been really rough on my family. In some ways, the changes are for the better, but in a lot of ways the changes are just changes. They cause upheaval, but have not left us better off in the long run. Some have even left us worse off.

Since I began this writing adventure, I have published five books. All the "writing advice" out there insists that you cannot expect to make a living as a writer until you have at least five books under your belt. Well, here I am at that magic five book number, and yet I would be making more at McDonalds working part-time than I am currently making.

And I am tired. I spend more time marketing, promoting, pitching, and pleading for reviews than I spend writing.

And I am tired. I've spent more money buying books, merchandise, advertising, and images than I could've made working part-time at McDonalds.

And I am tired. I've worked more hours a week than I ever have in my life. More hours than when I was going to school full-time, working full-time, and raising two toddlers.

And I am tired.

The only reviews I have are ones that I have specifically pushed for from blog reviewers, a few friends, and one or two family members. Out of the (literally thousands) of reviewers I have personally submitted my books to, I have gotten a total of  43 rankings, and 34 reviews. I am grateful to those who were willing to post those reviews. Very grateful.

But I am tired. I am tired of spending most days not writing, for the sake of marketing and promotion and selling. I am tired of spending hours writing special requests to reviewers that almost never get open. I am tired of not selling books.

I am tired of not being able to pay my student loans. I am tired of my house always being a mess. I am tired of scrimping and saving, in the hopes that I can afford to send out the "freebies" and "promotion items" in an effort to get readers and reviewers to pay attention. I am tired of the tension this is causing in my family. I am tired of not being able to write, which was the whole point of this venture in the first place.

I have been running this campaign for about a week now, and have almost doubled my downloads. Sadly, most aren't willing to pay. They are picking the "free" option. I've gotten exactly two reviews from all those downloads. Now, hopefully others will be reading the books over their holiday breaks, and more reviews will come in eventually. (There goes my Pollyanna again, putting the good spin on.)

But I am tired of pushing and promoting and pleading and giving my hard work away for free. What is the point?

Another author commented that most authors of any talent were never famous in their lifetime. Isn't that a tragic condemnation to the arts? I don't want fame, I am just tired of being ignored. I don't want fortune, I just want to be able to feed my family.

I guess I've got a lot more soul searching to do.