Unless you’re already famous for something else; rock star, movie actor, professional athlete—you most likely will not sell a million copies of your book—your first book let’s say. For Joe Shmo and P.S. Bartlett and many other authors, being successful takes a good deal of time, good marketing and a great support base. If you’re hoping to get rich quick by being a writer, you may want to get that record deal or Lakers contract first.
You have to have either a very good memory or be incredibly organized. Between scheduling writing time, writing your blog, tweeting, running contests, Facebook pages, email addresses, writing your book and not to mention holding down a full time job, keeping house, cooking, cleaning and keeping your significant other from leaving you due to you forgetting not only their birthday but their name, you may have time to pee and walk the cat—I mean dog.
It can be a very lonely career. Writers need a lot of solitary time to write. I’ll admit, I’ve been writing and someone will come into the room and most often they will ask that all too important question, “Are you writing?” but occasionally the matter is important to them. Forgive them because they don’t realize you’re right in the middle of taking down an army of giant trolls and when you read back over what you wrote later, try not to get upset with them when your troll has forgotten to do their homework and needs an excuse note for their teacher or they’ve set the kitchen on fire.
People want your swag. If you’re not an author and you’re reading this, no, they do not want your lovely new curtains, they want goodies that show off your books. There is a bit of an investment involved but it’s oh so worth when your fans want something special to go with their books. Bookmarks, buttons, charms and t-shirts make great swag but always remember your fans love your books and they are going to want some swag so you better have it ready.
Getting published is as easy as 1, 2, 3 (and other fairy tales). There are literally millions of books on Amazon alone—go look if you don’t believe me. Looks pretty simple doesn’t it? (I’ll be right back I’m rolling on the floor laughing). Even if you become frustrated with the process of querying agents and publishers and decide to self-publish your book, there are plenty of really nice and friendly people waiting in line to take your money and help you do just that—choose wisely. Do background checks if you have to but please be careful.
Depending on which genre you write in, you must do your research. Nero didn’t smoke cigars—neither did pirates. I’ll bet you didn’t know that did you? Okay well even if you claim you did, do you have to be 100% historically accurate? Well yes, you should. Of course you can use your imagination to create new scenarios, for instance Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter but if old Abe whips out his iPod or says, “Hey, pass the Grey Poupon,” I’m sorry but your more experienced reader is gonna close the book on you.
I didn’t know authors were zombies. I’ve learned to accomplish more things while half asleep than some people do wide awake—I think. Well I try.Okay I thought I did those things!
Social networking is very important but don’t beg. If you’re a new author, currently writing your first novel or even thinking about it, you better have a Facebook, a Twitter, a Google+ and a blog at the very least or you are already way behind. The irony of all of this is under point number 3. I compare this lifestyle to living like a gopher. In the hole, out of the hole. In the hole, out of the hole. We hide and write and in the next breath, we stick our head out, make a bunch of really cool new friends, say hello to our fans and then run back in our holes. Please, just don’t bombard people with “Over here! Look at me! PLEASE look at me! WILL YOU FREAKING LOOK OVER HERE!!!” Build relationships. Support your fellow writers and above all, don’t steal their golf balls.
Not everyone likes you and once you’re published, they may like you even less. As we strive to write that perfect, wonderful book that of course everyone wants to read and it miraculously gets published and we’re deliriously happy and sharing our happiness with anyone who will listen on every social media site and at every cocktail party or barbeque we attend, there is someone or someones lurking and guess what—they don’t like you, never did and they’ll be mean to you. They’ll give you anonymous bad reviews or say not so nice things about your book—since it is of course the source of your happiness. The answer to this is very simple. Write them into your next novel and kill them. Done.
People will like you and they’ll love your book. The most incredible feeling you get when your book is published and you start receiving feedback from complete strangers as to how good or even great it is will blow you away. Besides the birth of my children and grandchildren, giving birth to my first novel and holding it in my hands for the first time was nothing short of euphoria. Within its pages or gigabytes lies your blood, sweat and tears. It’s an asexual reproduction of your deepest thoughts and your wildest dreams, and you don’t need an epidural or puff puff blow to bring it into the world—however, a little shot of tequila or in my case RumChata to welcome its arrival never hurt anybody.
Is the world ready for a Deadly Pirate-Ninja Alliance?
Is Kindle Ninja having a case of Pirate-envy?
Did they really get along?
EXT. PORT ROYAL. DAY.
The skeletal remains of two pirates clad in their filthy buccaneer garb still hang from the gallows. There’s room for two more.
A snarling brute puts KINDLE NINJA on chokehold.
The brute hits the ground.
KINDLE NINJA turns around and sees IVORY SHEPARD.
We should stop meeting like this, black-clad warrior.
It’s Kindle Ninja, but Kindle won’t be invented until 2007… BEHIND YOU!!!
A shuriken hits the would-be assailant right between the eyes.
KINDLE NINJA (CONT.)
Let’s cut to the chase. Why are you following me?
Read the rest HERE!
Like every author I know, I will occasionally peep at Amazon, B&N and Goodreads, just to see if there are any new reviews. When you look and find the number has gone up you’re like…
Once in a while, you regret it. This morning, was one of those regretful visits. I suppose it had to happen again sooner or later.
Reviews are like…well, you know and everybody has one.
Okay, I won’t go there but even after over a hundred reviews, getting a bad one here and there that smacks you hard still stings.
So what do you do? You read it again and again. Every time you read it, you have the same reaction.
You might even feel a little like this…
And then it suddenly hits you…
This is only one person’s opinion. Even Stephen King and JK Rowling got bad reviews.
Be proud of who you are. You are a writer! You are a published author and know, no matter what you write, someone isn’t going to like it. As in the case with the one I saw this morning, they may not even finish the book but that’s alright because…
Back to work my friends!!!
I entered a contest last month on the Rave Reviews Book Club. I lost 😦 but then again, I won because it was a really fun little exercise in writing something under 1,000 words.
It’s kind of silly, scary and weird but I had fun writing it. I can’t help but wonder what sort of strange day I was having when I wrote this.
I hope you have fun reading it. 🙂
THE POOL BOY
When I awoke this morning, my coffee was ready and set out for me on the kitchen counter. It was the perfect shade of beige and the aroma of French vanilla creamer rose in steamy waves into the air. A full eight hours of sleep lifted me to my toes for a stretch, as I carefully balanced the delicious hot liquid in one hand and my iPhone in the other and headed for my favorite writing spot.
As I sat in my comfiest pajamas, the ideas that swirled in my mind before I closed my eyes last night were as fresh as my coffee and my notes were open and ready. One quick swig and a gentle pull on the lounger handle and I was ready to begin. After all, these characters and all of this research certainly wouldn’t be going to waste because I had all the time and space I needed to put down at least a few thousand words today.
Several hours in, my stomach began to rumble but I definitely was not in the mood to cook. Fortunately, I’d had the foresight to prepare a delicious brunch last night for this occasion. I opened the homemade chicken salad and fresh sliced veggies and slid onto the counter stool. As I nibbled on the moist, plump, white chicken and crunched away on the celery and carrots, I thumbed through my phone to check my e-mail.
“Back to work,” I mumbled to myself. “This book isn’t going to write itself.” But with a heavy sigh and a smile of satisfaction, I allowed my mind to wander elsewhere. “Surely the pool water is warmed up by now,” I said as I strolled upstairs to slip on my new swim suit and go for a relaxing dip.
I peeked out the bathroom window and spied Charlie, the pool boy, vacuuming and skimming the pool. Sometimes it’s as if he has a sixth sense and knows exactly when I’m about to have my swim. He knows how much I detest anything floating in the water except me. “Hmmm…it appears Charlie has been hitting the gym hard lately,” I said to myself as I watched his tan biceps flex when he worked the vacuum pole back and forth. I continued watching as he pumped up my favorite float and sat it right next to the ladder at the shallow end where he knows I always like to step in.
“Good morning Charlie,” I said as I slowly peeled the hot pink velour towel away from my body. “It certainly is hot out today.”
“It’s getting hotter by the second ma’am,” he responded as he took my hand while I slipped off my white wedge sandals. “Been working on that new book?”
“Oh, of course, you know I’d never indulge myself like this if I hadn’t at least written four chapters this morning.” I smiled and unfolded my sunglasses, and slipped them into place on my nose.
“Can I get you anything else?”
“Would you be a dear and run into the kitchen and bring me my iced tea? I completely forgot and left it on the counter.”
“It would be my pleasure,” he said as he dashed off, glancing back at me over his shoulder with a wink.
While I waited for Charlie to return, I noticed my favorite lounge chair was in the wrong position. “What’s this?” I muttered and backed away. Thick beads of perspiration began to form on my forehead and I thought for a moment my eyes would eject from my skull. The back of the chair was set to the fifth level and not the fourth. I became enraged and ripped the sunglasses from my face and flung them into the pool. With a growl that could have been confused with that of a rabid dog, I picked up my five hundred dollar wedges and squeezed them in my clenched hands and waited for Charlie to emerge from the patio doors.
“What is it ma’am? What’s wrong?” he asked, appearing stunned and unaware of his incompetence at which time, I pounced, and beat him repeatedly with my shoes until I was too exhausted to enjoy my swim.
Such is a day in the life of a writer. As much I hate to admit it, here it is nearly four o’clock in the afternoon and I’m still sitting here in my pajamas, drinking cold coffee and staring at my computer screen. I’m starving and I’m about to take a sledge hammer to the neighbor’s lawn mower. At least my imagination is still set at level four, even if poor Charlie isn’t going to make it to chapter five.
I’ve been hearing this adorable and catchy tune on the radio all week so I just went and looked it up and here it is.
Now, here’s an interesting subject for discussion: Do you believe that this amazingly talented young woman is sending a positive body image message or is she doing what is being called by some of the posts on YouTube as “Skinny shaming?”
Here’s my opinion…It’s just a damn song.
BUT…I’ve been all about that bass my whole life so yes, I believe it’s an awesome message for women of all sizes and ages. I think some naturally thin women are missing the point here. This isn’t about attacking you for being thin. This about the artificial, photo-shopped, supermodel image that none of us can live up to…even naturally thin women which is why there are several naturally thin women in this video. The woman wrapped in plastic wrap in the video is a “symbol” of that image. She is not disrespecting thin women. She is calling out and shutting down the standard that ALL WOMEN should look that way.
As far as the “Skinny Bitches” reference, that is to the guys who refuse to date thicker women for the singular reason that they are, thicker. I’ve been there and yes, I’ve told at least one guy in my life, “You only date skinny bitches, right?”
The only “THIN” we should be worried about is how thin our skin is getting. I can hardly stand it anymore. Get over yourselves and stop taking everything so damn seriously.
Oh and she reminds me of my son’s girlfriend too so that’s another reason I like her! 🙂
This morning on my way to work, my local radio station was singing the praises of the latest Weird Al Yankovic album and after watching this video, I’m sold.
Step aside Grammar Rock. Weird Al’s got it covered.
(See what I did there?)
I was recently invited for a fun and scrumptious visit with none other than the Kindle Ninja.
Here’s the premise for her blog:
What is this madness, you ask?
It’s my way of supporting authors and writers from the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.
We interact with them everyday, directly through tweets, or indirectly through re-tweets, but we don’t really know much about them. Their personalities really don’t shine through in 140 characters.
Check it out but I warn you, I had the sillies when I did this interview. 🙂 I have a tendency not to take myself too seriously.