I’m a Little Disappointed Tonight – Albeit Not Too Surprised

As you know, if you follow my blog, I’m taking part in an interesting exercise in crowd-funding.  After doing a bit of Googling, I noticed that there appears to be some confusion as to what the purpose of crowd-funding is and why people do it. In my case, I’m doing it to raise money to hire a marketing company. Marketing is expensive.

I won this opportunity based on the pitch I wrote for “The Blue Diamond” and I wasn’t about to pass on the chance to be able to afford something I know I otherwise wouldn’t be able to for quite some time. This isn’t a sure thing. You put yourself out there and it’s up to the general public to decide if you’re worth it. It’s quite humbling actually. I’m an award winning author, not a best selling author…yet.

Although this hasn’t yet been anything I’ve experienced personally, I definitely know now that there are some folks out there who frown on crowd-funding. However, the reasons I saw were very disappointing but sadly, I wasn’t completely surprised.

Not that what I’m about to tell you is anyone’s business but mine but I’m all about keeping the record straight and I like things crystal clear. So here it is…there’s a lesson at the end of this too. For the sake of transparency:

  • I’m a hard working woman as well as a writer.
  • I write my own books.
  • I do at least 75% of my own marketing.
  • I work a full time job as an office manager for a copier and printer dealership and manage the advertising and marketing for the company and wear a closet full of other hats as well.
  • I have three children and three granddaughters who I love spending time with. I also babysit for my daughter who teaches dance two nights a week. I choose to spend time with my granddaughters because I adore them.
  • My husband is unemployed and has been for eighteen months. He has not gotten an unemployment check since December of 2013. We are by no means starving but we are struggling and have been for quite some time. We are just blessed to have a loving family.
  • I write almost every night of my life. If I’m not writing, I’m blogging and if I’m not blogging, I’m advertising.
  • I get an average of five hours sleep a night because I am the owner of this company and if I don’t bust my ass, I’ll never reach my goal of becoming a full time writer.

I saw something on my web travels tonight that raised my eyebrow so high I nearly lost an eyeball.

Authors, we all have our own paths to walk. None are the same.

Everyone’s journey is their own and it is beneath us to criticize and ridicule someone for the way in which they choose to travel. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, certainly but it isn’t necessary to be mean and self-righteous just to make your point.

If you are blessed with a good life and the ability to pursue your passion as a writer, without having to hold down a full time job, support your household financially, keep a roof over your head almost on your own and work tirelessly in what little free time you have to pursue a dream, why do you care how someone else chooses to pursue theirs?

If someone sees an opportunity to raise money so that they can at least TRY to level the playing field a bit, leave them to it. Show some compassion for those who don’t have the ability to write when they want to or enjoy the same freedom to pursue their dream as you’ve had or have. It smacks of superiority when you look down on someone, just because they may not have had the options and opportunities you’ve had in order to pursue your dream. Even if perhaps someone is going about promoting their cause the wrong way, why not reach out to them and express your position on that as a colleague and human being and let it go?  Why would you want to judge someone just because they have chosen a path you never had to or chose not to take?

I’m still sitting here shaking my head because I can’t believe I even have to write this blog but I needed to get it out.

There are no guarantees in crowd-funding. To be honest, speaking for myself, I would have never tried this had I not won this opportunity because I have always been a bootstrap girl. However, I believe everything happens for a reason. When opportunity knocks as they say.

For anyone who’s ever made a success of anything and may be sitting back and saying things like, “Do it yourself like I did.” Stop and think about this; did you really? Did you really pay all of the money yourself? Did you really do it all yourself with not one single itty bitty bit of help from anyone else? If you did, I salute you but either way, to look down on others because they need a hand up in the world puts you in the light of a department store dressing room in your underwear and let’s face it, nobody looks good in that light.

“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”

Thank you Mister Washington. You’ve made my point.

PubSlush is Complete and Ready to Go – Let’s Do This!

I finished my PubSlush campaign last night and it has been approved!

First, here’s a little video to give you more information about PubSlush and their mission.

The Pubslush Cause from Pubslush on Vimeo.

I’d be ever so grateful if you’d go take a peek at it and perhaps even register as a fan to receive updates on my progress. 🙂 Just click on Ivory below to go to my PubSlush Profile.

tbd_preview

Although the official launch date isn’t until September 1, 2014, I’m so excited and grateful for this opportunity to be able to take part in such an innovative concept in crowd-funding.

If you follow my blog, you know I won this opportunity through a pitch contest for my new book, “The Blue Diamond – The Razor’s Edge.” I’m very proud of this book, as I’ve moved my writing in another direction and although I was afraid in the beginning to take such a leap, I’m still in the genre I love but trying out a different angle and story type–romance and adventure.

September 1st is going to be a pretty big day all the way around because that is also the day I find out if “Fireflies” has won in either category in the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards contest. There are so many wonderful books in my category and as cliche as it sounds, I’m just thrilled to be a finalist in their company. Of course I’d love to win but it’s been a thrill to just have that finalist badge on my book cover.

“The Blue Diamond” will be released on October 1, 2014 and I’m putting my blog tour together with the assistance of my incredible publisher, Ravenswood Publishing.  If you’d like to participate in my blog tour, please e-mail me at authorpsbartlett@aol.com.

Thank you all so much as always for stopping to read my ramblings.

Have a wonderful night!

Sorry for my absence. Here’s my excuse note…

I’ve been both busy and lazy for a few days.

I’ve just recovered from pneumonia and a bit of exhaustion set in. I realized I was pushing myself too hard, so besides a few hours at the Inn Saturday evening having some hard apple cider with my favorite crew, watching pre-season football, I slept this weekend…a LOT. What lead me to snoozeville was a weeks worth of working on my future and trying to align the stars. Aligning stars takes a lot of hard work and lack of sleep. So…

Pirate cartoon2

Let’s get on with the busy, shall we?

I usually do my best not to put too many irons in the fire but lately, I realize that there are times when you have to in order to forge ahead. (Yep, I know you saw what I did there)

I’m on a mission to hire an advertising and marketing company to assist me with promoting my books. They cost a lotta loot folks. Money is something I am in very short supply of.

When I think back a hundred years and beyond to those famous writers who had benefactors or were already wealthy, I want to punch them in the nose. Okay no, not really but having someone or someones to sponsor you so that you can take your writing to the next level is no longer a thing of the past thanks to crowdfunding.

I’ve been mentioning here and there over the past month about my PubSlush campaign which launches on September 1st. There is quite a bit that goes into one of these campaigns and as of this evening, mine is finally complete and ready to go. I’m hoping that sometime tomorrow, it will be live on the site and showing the countdown clock to when the campaign actually starts.

My PubSlush goal is $5,000 but I hope to surpass that over the 45 days it will be up and running. Please wish me luck and if the notion strikes you, feel free to donate too.

I will be doing some smaller fund raisers as well, starting with a Facebook Partylite event. Here’s the link if you’d like to see what that’s all about. If you like candles and pretty decorative ways to show them off, Partylite has everything you need. One of my oldest and dearest friends is running the event for me and she is donating 25% of the proceeds to my marketing fund. How cool is that?!

Pirate cartoon

Since “The Blue Diamond” will be released on October 1st, my awesome sister-in-law came up with the idea for us to do a pirate themed book signing at our favorite watering hole the week of Halloween, complete with pirate costumes. I’ll be sure to post some photos of this unconventional yet brilliant idea for a book signing event!

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I’ve also been working nightly on my edits. I found an editor who is both excellent and loves my book. Now there’s a plus! We’re like peas and carrots or rather a skull and crossbones…let’s just say we work extremely well together and the book is getting better by the day!

Tonight, I donated three autographed copies of each; “Fireflies” and “Hope From the Ocean” to my county library system for Goodreads raffles. That felt great!

Still have the day job…for now, so it’s time for some shut eye mateys.

Fair winds!

Did You Miss Me or Did You Not Notice I Was Missing? ;)

My Mom used to say, “When a guy’s sick he don’t feel good.”

She would say it in the cutest voice. She would say it to any of us who weren’t feeling well, as she sweetly wiped our hair away from our brow and administered her one of a kind healing powers. Chicken soup, hot tea with honey and a kiss on the forehead later and you were on your way to dreamland.

Yeah, this weekend was nothing like that at all.

I’ve had a cold for a couple of weeks that I caught from my oldest granddaughter. She’s a sharer that one is and quite effectively spread it throughout the immediate family with great ease. The problem is, I’ve had pneumonia and pleurisy twice in recent years and as a result, I’m easily susceptible to it every time I catch a chest cold. The worst of it all is feeling sluggish and very uninspired. I saw the doctor this afternoon and am now taking antibiotics so I will hopefully be on the mend very soon. The lack of sleep however has been the hardest part of this to overcome. I also didn’t have health insurance for over a year so being sick has been more than a challenge, it’s been dangerous.

However, this potpourri of information post (shall we call it) isn’t going to dwell on negative thoughts. I did manage to outline the third book in the FIREFLIES series this weekend. I had to giggle when someone already asked me what the title was. I never know what my book title will be until I’m at least half way in and considering I’m only half way through the first chapter, I haven’t the vaguest idea what it will be named.

But wait there’s more!

If you haven’t purchased and downloaded a copy of FIREFLIES yet, starting August 18th through August 25th, you’ll be able to get your digital copy for ONLY $.99!!!

I’ll be heavily marketing this as I’m hoping this wonderful sale will finally begin to move some copies and gain the book some more reviews. Although this third installment in the series is a ways off yet, this sale will also hopefully generate more interest in HOPE FROM THE OCEAN as well and I’ll be able to find more readers who will be waiting when this third book in the series launches in early 2015.

Next, my PubSlush campaign is moving along well and if I can get my cover and rewards in place in time, it will begin September 1st. This campaign is to assist me with raising funds and awareness of my other novel, THE BLUE DIAMOND – THE RAZOR’S EDGE. I had originally called this THE BLUE DIAMOND – AN  IVORY RAZOR ADVENTURE but after an e-mail my aunt sent out last week, where she incorrectly named the book, I liked the name she used better! After some thought, I changed it because the whole series of books I plan to write for these characters will be Ivory Razor Adventures so this title just rang truer in the grand scheme of things.

All of this book writing and book marketing and finding readers is a huge challenge. It is not however a challenge I would trade for the world. I’m an author and I love writing. The rest is just part of the journey. I have been blessed with tools, a wonderful network of helpful people, a dedicated publisher and a new editor who I’m thoroughly enjoying working with. That in and of itself is a BLESSING!

Here’s to good health! May you all find it, keep it and cherish it. I’m working on it and I’ll try not to stay away so long next time.

Have a wonderful night!

Your Book: Social Networking Versus Conventional Advertising-What Say You?

With this PubSlush campaign ramping up for launch on September 1st, I’m faced with so many decisions as to how I want to use the funding (IF I get the funding I need) to market my new book.

There are as many opinions about how to market your book as there are books to sell and I’m lost. I don’t want to waste a dime of this on the wrong train on the wrong track heading full steam into a dark tunnel, hoping there’s a light at the end. I want to be smart and informed when the time comes.

At the time of this writing, my first two books are floating in limbo, with an occasional purchase. It isn’t that I had unrealistic expectations but I don’t intend to sit back and do nothing about it either.

I’m hoping that with the launch of “The Blue Diamond” and my crowd-funding campaign, I’ll have enough capital to do some real world advertising which I hope will resurrect my current novels.

I don’t want much, do I?

YES. YES I DO. It isn’t a crime to want to be successful at a career you’ve always dreamed of. First an foremost I want to write quality books but I do want to see a return on my investment by way of happy readers and financial success.

One thing I do know is that sometimes social networking actually works but I’ve seen the numbers and recently read this article. It spells it all out in no uncertain terms not to put all of your eggs – or books in one basket.

Most of us weren’t born with a silver spoon in our mouths, have wealthy sponsors or our day job barely covers our living expenses. When we do have a little extra to dedicate to promotion, it usually doesn’t go very far. Ads are expensive, not to mention paying a good editor.

With all of that being said, I’d like to hear what you have to say. What has worked for you? Real world or cyber world? Magazines? Internet ads on trade websites? All ideas are welcome.

Here’s a funny for you!Not Okay