A few weeks ago I was feeling a little low because my life had gotten a bit out of control and I had too many things going on that required my complete attention. To be honest, this has been going on much longer than I cared to acknowledge but that’s how life goes.
I was in a slump. Unable to read or write much of anything and the only light I could see at the end of the tunnel was a train coming. Then it hit me; writer’s block combined with disappointment in my sales due to my lack of interest in my own life and happiness. Book reviews had tapered off. I’d become lax in my marketing and I couldn’t decide which direction I wanted to go.
I’d held on so tightly to all of my books for three years and feared without an agent and a major publishing company, I’d never sell enough books to achieve the level of success I need and want in order to finally quit my day job and write full time…my ultimate dream.
In the throws of all of this brain scramble, my original plan came roaring back to the surface like a wave crashing over me. My original dream while I was writing Fireflies was just to be read. I just wanted people to read my books and hopefully enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. It was never about getting rich quick (thank goodness right?) or overnight fame. At its core, this journey has been about sharing my work with the world and finding readers who’d want to join me on this voyage.
“Give them away.”
That was the voice I heard. Since I started giving them all away yesterday, I have already received some wonderful feedback from people who have started reading the books. As of this writing, I have given away a grand total of 6,444 books. I am not naive enough to believe that all of these downloads will be read and even fewer of those will be reviewed. However, had I not opened the gates and invited so far almost 6,500 people in to try out my books, my odds of ever reaching these people would have been near ZERO.
Here we are into day 2. We have until Friday midnight to reach as many readers as I can. I’d love it if you would assist me with either sharing this blog post anyway you can and/or downloading my books and hopefully, reading one of them. 🙂
Thanks so much for your time!
YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! Most excellent email just now!!!
“You have been selected to participate in the Authors’ Tent at the Baltimore #Book Festival, on Friday, Sept. 25th from 11am – 7pm.”
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.
The Bright Spot – A review of the novel ‘Demons and Pearls’
Author P.S. Bartlett’s novel ‘Demons and Pearls’ follows the adventures of a woman pirate Ivory Shepard and her three cousin sisters as they battle various human demons to secure their safety & freedom. An innocuous night on board a pirate ship, if there was any, soon turns into a life altering event for the cousins after Ivory ends up killing the pirate captain. The consequences are nightmarish and Ivory has to quickly learn all that’s needed to survive in this hellish world. But with a little help from a couple of good men, she soon realizes her purpose and succeeds in securing the release of her cousins.
For years on end the ocean was seen as a male only domain, filled with heroic stories involving sailors and captains. But through this illuminating fictional narrative, author P.S. Bartlett shows the astonishing roles women played in the high adventures on and off the sea. Women have made significant contributions in maritime history but they often had to disguise their gender to work alongside men because of the prejudices prevalent. So while staying well within the framework of a fictional literature, this book without going overboard on a feminist tract still manages to portray some powerful women characters.
Although the plot and the characters are given equal importance, it wouldn’t be wrong to call it a character driven story. And what a wide and colorful array of characters does the book have! Ivory is smart, brave, independent and slick with her fighting skills, yet she imbibes the gentle feminine spirit. Her struggles and travails to attain a level playing field in an area dominated by men is something women everywhere even in today’s times will be able to relate with. Rasmus or Big Red is another equally strong character (literally too!) who stands out from other men because of his genuine masculine spirit and it’s no wonder Ivory falls for him. Theirs is not a standard love-at-first-sight kind of romance and there is more depth to their love story. The secondary characters too stand out for their genuineness and each has been given their own unique voice.
The scene in the cabin with Rasmus cutting Ivory’s hair has to be one of the best planned, conceived and written scenes that I’ve read in a contemporary fictional book in a long time. The gamut of varied emotions that strike you from these pages have to be experienced firsthand and it also shows the wide range and skill of the author.
Though not an out and out pirate thriller, there’s still enough in this book to help you relive the explosive period of pirates and pirate raids. There’s an interesting end to the book and there may well be a sequel in the works.
Paperback: 258 pages
Series: The Razor’s Adventures
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 6, 2015)
Check out this super cool video from Kindle Ninja!
You can check out the entire list HERE on Kindle Ninja’s blog and I suggest you take a look around while you’re there. You most likely will find Milk and Cookies, as well as your next favorite book!
May I suggest this one?
Yesterday I was blessed to finally have my book signing / pirate party / meet and greet for The Blue Diamond – The Razor’s Edge.
I didn’t expect a huge turnout so I only brought 20 books…I sold and signed them all. 🙂
Here are a few pics from the event. I’ll admit it was fun to dress up and play Ivory for the afternoon and I brought along my crew of cousins to lend a hand…fast forward the fabulous foursome about twenty years..lol
My amazingly supportive family and friends. These women are the definition of soul-mates. Can you figure out who’s who of the crew?
If I were ever to run away and become a pirate, these are the first three women I’d sign on as crew members. They are amazing beta readers. They organized this book signing down to the decorations and door prizes. They did set up and clean up and worked as cashiers, sold raffle tickets and handled the security…well, they made me feel secure in knowing they always have my back and support my goals 100%.
After the signing, we let the good times keep on rolling and a few of us headed out for the rest of the evening to hear my brother-in-law’s band, Shaky Magoo. I ran into so many old friends I couldn’t keep up with trying to speak to each one individually but I found myself wrapped up in the arms of so many of my old pals I was warm and fuzzy from head to toe all night. Sorry for the fuzzy pics though. I guess how I was feeling spilled over into my iPhone.
Then it was up early this morning for breakfast with this cutie and back to the usual grind of grocery shopping and laundry.
Then, later, a couple of hours with these two cherubs of love and joy.
Not to sound like a whiner but after my usual week of work, babysitting and daily writer dream pursuits…it’s fair to say I’ve had no rest what-so-ever this weekend and there isn’t any in sight.
Nothing new here!
Thanks for stopping by…see you next time!