Yesterday, I spent some of my day following the habits of an author that I consider successful in the indie author biz. Some may know her, some may not, but she’s a machine and pretty well known in a few circles and is one of the few authors that’s taking the Indie publishing biz and making it her b#tch. She walked away from traditional publishing and decided to do things her own way.
Looking at her long list of accomplishments made me ponder all of the things that I (and other black authors) could be doing instead of standing at the door of Big Trad Pub with our hands on our hips trying to figure out how to get in.
When I first started writing, self publishing was frowned upon and it was considered to be embarrassing to have to publish your own work. Not even five years later, self publishing is a whole new world, with authors making a serious living from doing it their way. Still, a traditional publishing contract is the mark of validation, of finally being good enough to not have to resort to indie pubbing. However if you’re the kind of person that never needed that validation, there’s much work to be done past trying to be seen by eyes that don’t want to see you.
Some things I picked up:
1. It doesn’t happen overnight. Even those authors with long backlists and gobs of fans who make lots of money started somewhere, nice and slow. It starts with hard work and hunger. Luck is where preparation meets
Image courtesy http://bizchix.com
2. There are some things you may not want to do, but it would be a mistake to put them off and be years down the line, wish you had done them. There are a couple of things I don’t really want to do, but I know I need to. Time to WOMAN UP and do them. Looking at 2017 like *blank stare*
3. Keep your eyes on your own paper. That’s my own saying for ‘watch you and yours’. You’ve got plenty to worry about without expending effort to how someone is doing something. What they’re doing may or may not be working for them. Not your monkey, not your show.
4. Read, research, innovate. Think up new ways to do things, to reach readers, to put yourself out there. And on that note:
5. OWN IT. The time for timidity is over, the time for owning that you’re a writer and you write DARN GOOD BOOKS is now. You’d never buy a book by an author that never talked about their book and when they did, they called it a piece of crap. PROMO YOUR STUFF. TELL PEOPLE IT’S GOOD. Unless it really does suck and then why is it out there, if you’re not proud of it?
Seriously tho…You wrote a book. Do you know how many people start writing a book and never finish? *raises hand, because I have at least six partially written books in the depths of my google drive* Own it. Be loud and proud. I’m SO TIRED of reading authors apologizing for promoting their work, because people might complain about it. Reminds me of an Eminem lyric from Cinderella Man:
Own it. Bring it.
This post isn’t just me preaching to new authors or even me preaching to the choir of other indie authors. This is me, preaching to ME. Me needing to grab this indie thing by the horns and make it do what it do. Me needing to realize that I am five books in and new book ideas keep coming to me and there is a chance that the end of the road for me is a long ways off.
So, time to put my eyes where they belong– on this blank, empty sheet of paper and fill it up.
Unedited. Subject to change. Copywritten so don’t copy me. No pub date as of yet, but this is what I plan to work on this November. “Do you know what I do here? Do you know what this law firm is about?” Sylvia rolls her chair back from the desk and stands, then walks to the enormous window covered in floor length sheer white drapes. She pokes her finger between two sheers and peers out into the Atlanta skyline. “At Kincaid Family Law, we bring men like Warren Jackson to their knees. Go after assets. Find hidden money.” She turns from the window and strides back to her desk and […]
I remember way back in the olden days (like 2015) when i was about to publish my first book. Like, I was about to hit the publish button on Amazon and send my baby out into the world for strangers to grab it and grope it and criticize it and say nasty things about it. And me. Because that’s what I was convinced was going to happen.
On one of my beach trips, I was watching the tide come in and thinking about a cute short story about a woman who owns some kind of business on an island and she meets a man she can’t resist… but she has to, because he’s not staying. That was summer of 2015…. it took all this time (and about 4 beach trips!) for this story to come together in my head.
I thought it was time for another snip… enjoy! Happy Friday! Ameenah I heard music blaring from inside the house, so I wasn’t sure if Wade could even hear the doorbell, but I kept trying it. He’d been coming by the shop every few days. I’d try to talk him into something new; he’d still choose the Frozen Sunshine, but promise that he’d try something new soon. I quickly learned that orange was his favorite flavor. Which led to me standing at his front door with a plastic container of orange cranberry muffins, leaning on the doorbell like my life depended on it. I’d almost given up when I heard […]
I get nervous to share new work because… well, because. It’s nerve wracking. I feel like the second I share it, people become aware of it and start asking questions and then I hit a wall and never finish (See Dinner at Sam’s, The Never List, Missing Persons– all have about 8 chapters of blah and I have no desire to return to them at the moment). This blog doesn’t exist to host snippets of unfinished work. So, I am tempted to hold this until I know I am finished with the book.
So if you don’t see this post until end of August, early September, my butt went numb and I chickened out and held it. But if you see it on August 24th, I got over myself and posted it.
At any rate, here’s a little piece of Beach Thing, a contemporary black romance with a cozy beach theme. Pub Date, Septemberish.
In case anyone wanted to read the fanfic story I wrote for the August writing challenge, I have uploaded a pdf copy to my site. You can check it out below. Copyrighted, all rights reserved and things like that. DISCLAIMERS- this story is fanfiction, written in the *NSYNC universe therefore my hero is caucasian. My heroine, Lena is Latina. Know before you go! CLICKY
I think I can’t do it. I don’t commit to writing because I don’t know that I can finish it. “Just write, you can edit later” is advice I give everyone but never take. I don’t want to write some crap I have to fix or delete later. I want to write something clear and concise and intriguing and beautiful, that may need fleshing out and primping, but doesn’t need to be completely torn down in another session. Right now…….I’m just writing crappily.
This book has been very much a slow burn. It did not hit hard like I thought it would. For a long time I considered pulling it because as popular as IR books are, it just wasn’t getting any attention. I’m glad I’m too lazy to do things like pull books down though, because over time it has been read and reviewed and pretty well received, so… YAY!
There was a time, not all that long ago when I was a n00b writer. Not that I know everything now, or that I’m advanced or any such flight of fantasy. I just… didn’t even know what I didn’t know yet, I was still trying to get past chapter 8 of Ruby’s and I was writing a lot of fan fiction just to keep the fingers moving (and because I loved the accolades. Seriously, ego plays a #YUGE part of this writing thing).