Down, but not out …. and a giveaway!

When most writers disappear from their blogs for a week, or more, it’s because they’re busy with some aspect of writing. Not so for me this past week. My WIP has progressed only a bit since I last posted. Even worse, I accidentally deleted two pages of what I’d written the week before. I can’t explain how I executed that maneuver (seriously, I can’t), but I’d saved the file before I realized they were gone. Then, when I rewrote those pages, I discovered I couldn’t recall the original dialogue. Apparently, my characters refuse to repeat themselves.

My energy level took a nosedive this past week, which means brain fuzz too, so I hope that explains the numerous long periods of staring at open files, only to close them unchanged. I couldn’t even keep up my end of several ongoing games of Words with Friends. Not that I’ll use my brain fuzz as an excuse when they all beat me.

At least I can point to past writing—or rather fellow writer Heather Simone can, and did, on her blog Adventures in Writerland. She cited The Brevity of Roses as one of her two picks for the INDIEpendance Day celebration. INDIEpendance Day is all about giving a shout out to “outstanding indie works”, so Heather has greatly honored me. PLUS, she’s giving away copies of both books she chose, so go visit her blog to learn more about it. And if you’re a Goodreader, won’t you please take a moment to vote for The Brevity of Roses on the Indelibles’ “A Celebration of Indie Authors” list?

May all my American readers have a happy and safe Fourth of July. And for you all, may this be the start of a fabulous week!

Can you explain why book reviewers have this prejudice?

First off, I want to say how much I appreciate every single person who’s taken the time to read The Brevity of Roses. And those who went the extra mile by rating or reviewing it, get a second gold star in my book. Most of you paid for the book, and I’m honored. Actually, that you parted with real legal tender to read my writing totally freaks me out!

First off, I want to say how much I appreciate every single person who’s taken the time to read The Brevity of Roses. And those who went the extra mile by rating or reviewing it, get a second gold star in my book. Most of you paid for the book, and I’m honored. Actually, that you parted with real legal tender to read my writing totally freaks me out!

But today’s post is about seeking reviews from those with a wider reach, a greater influence. As a self-published author, without a publicist, it’s my responsibility to seek reviews of my book. Public reviews act as a sort of official word of mouth, so of course the more popular the reviewer the better.

Unfortunately, all review policies are not equal. I won’t name names, mostly because I’ve checked out so many book review sites since April that I’ve twisted them all up in my brain like a rubberband ball.

Some I eliminated as soon as I saw mention of a reading fee because, right now, I couldn’t pay for a review even if I wanted to. Some ask for two, or more, print copies, ditto on the reason for eliminating them or, at least, moving them to the bottom of my list. Some only review certain genres, usually not mine.

But what’s the biggest reason for crossing them off my list? They don’t review self-published books. That’s their prerogative, of course, but I’m not sure I understand their reasoning. Sure many self-published books are badly written, or badly edited, or both. But not every book published traditionally is excellent on all counts either. Plus, if the reviewer doesn’t like the book, or the quality of the book, they can pass, right?

So, I think I’m missing something. I think I must not understand why people review books for the public. Can anyone explain to me why some reviewers shun self-published books as a policy?

Book sales … get real!

Let’s be honest about expectations. Every debut author dreams their book will be the one the publishing fairy touches with her magic wand. Their book will “go viral” in digital speak, and suddenly the whole world will buy, read, and talk about it. Like I said, we dream.

Let’s be honest about expectations. Every debut author dreams their book will be the one the publishing fairy touches with her magic wand. Their book will “go viral” in digital speak, and suddenly the whole world will buy, read, and talk about it. Like I said, we dream.

When I awoke, I convinced myself I never wanted to be a literary superstar anyway. The reality is that most traditionally published debut novels sell less than 1,000 copies. Knowing mine would be self-published, I set my sales goal far lower. And, reminded that my original goal was just to share my writing with a few others who might enjoy it, I was okay with that.

But along the way, I became infected by the marketing bug. It fed on the green-eyed jealousy monster. Other self-published authors were getting their 15-minutes of fame, along with a hefty royalty check. Why not me? It could be me! It would be me, if only, I did this … or that … or the other. If I wasn’t selling at least 100 copies a day, it’s only because I wasn’t marketing the book right. I wasn’t trying hard enough. I believed.

The problem is I believed that should be my expectation for my very first published novel. I know. None of you are that dumb. You would know it takes time. It takes several published works before you can even hope for those sales totals. Or you have to have incredible luck … or be Oprah’s best friend … or something.

I have only one book—a good book—but only one. It’s time to sink or swim. Fish or cut bait. Put up or shut up. It’s time to write another book because Harper Lee, I’m not.

And then someday …

So, what’s the deal with Facebook Pages?

I have a Facebook Page as an Author. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it. Not everyone who’s clicked to LIKE it follows me on Twitter or reads this blog, but a good many of them do. I expect some days when I actively participate in social media, they get tired of seeing my avatar pop up on their screens.

I have a Facebook Page as an Author. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it. Not everyone who’s clicked to LIKE it follows me on Twitter or reads this blog, but a good many of them do. I expect some days when I actively participate in social media, they get tired of seeing my avatar pop up on their screens.

Like my Facebook page!I’m not naturally a pushy person. In gatherings, I prefer to sit quietly and listen. Though, I confess, if you start an interesting conversation with me, you might have trouble shutting me up. But I’m an Author now. Part of my job is to interact. So, I have a Facebook Page. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it.

This is different from my personal Facebook account, where I feel free to post silliness. As an Author, I think should be more dignified. I channel links to my blog posts there and comment about my writing progress. Those are fine, but here are some examples of what my Likers also saw as “status” updates this month:

Lays Limón chips should be classified as an addictive substance.

It’s hard to type with a 2nd degree hot glue burn on my index finger.

We are having an honest to God gully-washing thunderstorm! In June! If you lived where I do, you’d know how freaky that is! LOVE IT!

So, you see, I have a Facebook Page, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it. Do you have one? Can you give me some tips on how to use it effectively as an author … please?

Guest posting, follow me

Blogger friend, Jennifer Neri, asked me to guest post at her blog. She suggested some topics, but then she asked me a question: Now that you’ve self-published, would you ever query agents again? Go to Jennifer’s blog to read my response.

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