I have a birthday coming up next month and I am going to be 49 years old. There, I said it, I will be 49.
For the past 12 years I have been a feature writer and columnist for my local newspaper and some would say it was a dream job. Although I love writing for them and do all of my work from home, haven’t seen my editor in years; I just go out during the week, interview people, send in my stories before Monday morning and get paid once a month…but is it enough to call myself a writer?
My first book came out in 2004, a vampire novel called PUNCTURE.
I found a small, local publishing company through one of the men I interviewed for the newspaper.
In a nutshell, they sucked!
They kept me under contract for seven long and tortoreus years and after I went over my manuscript three times, they printed the book with all of the mistakes left in! Refusing to change their mistake, or answer my emails or phone calls, they charged an outrageous fee for the book and even my own grandmother wouldn’t buy it!
In January 2011, my contract was finally up and I “re-vamped” the book and went the Indie route to get it into the masses of people who love vampires.
Then in 2005 Twilight hit the stores!
I wouldn’t even read the books or watch the movie thinking in my warped writer’s mind that it was surely a copy of my vampire book and I would just die or go nuts if Stephenie Meyer had stolen my idea. Yeah right!
The story had nothing to do with PUNCTURE.
Before Edward and Bella, there was Victor and Veronica…every woman knows a man like Victor.
Anyhoo, my book kinda went no where.
So I began going over my other short stories and dusty manuscripts that I had written over the years and put some of them out there too. Nothing.
I learned the ins and outs of cover design, Smashwords, KDP, Goodreads, attracting reviewers, ARCs, blogging, building a platform, creating a brand and blah, blah, blue.
So over the next few years, I put out other books. Nothing.
My latest book that I released on January 8, is a totally different genre for me but hey it was inside me just dying to get out so I let it!
It is an erotic romance with a rock and roll edge called LICK AND A PROMISE~Diary of a Rock Star Groupie and is based on an actual event that happened to me when I was 17 years old with a famous rock star. Cool huh?
Every woman loves rock stars and wants to hear about their sexploits! Rock star romances are HOT…aren’t they?
Now everywhere I look, someone has written a romance book about a rock star!
Well, I thought to myself, now that I am armed with the inside knowledge of how this whole book thingy works, I am going to do it right with this one.
I got the advice of a good friend and best selling romance author who has been invaluable to me as a guide, a friend, a mentor, a muse…she does it all and I love her for it!
Okay, I followed her advice to a tee…I sent out ARCs for reviewers, I work like mad on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads and what…nothing.
Advice to reviewers who request an ARC…an ARC, for those of you who don’t know (I didn’t know at first either) is an Advanced Reader’s Copy that a reviewer will get for FREE in exchange for an honest review of your work.
Advice: Don’t ask for it if you have no intentions of reading it or posting a review.
More advice for established authors: Don’t offer your help and advice to an up and coming author and get their hopes up thinking that you are actually going to help them in some way then don’t do it!
Now mind you, I do not want a free ride nor do I want anyone to hold my hand but hey, aren’t we all in this writing thing together?
I help authors all the time. I interview them on my blog, I promote the heck out of them, I answer every single email from fans, readers, other authors, new authors who have questions…is it too much to ask for a return shake?
Advice for interviewers: Asking an author to interview him/her is an awesome thing but hey please do your homework. I have done several interviews in the last few weeks and a couple of the interviewers couldn’t even bother to get my name or my character’s name spelled correctly. Then it spilled over into a review…on Amazon no less! What a let down!
Another thing for interviewers: Please do not send an author three pages of interview questions. They simply don’t have the time to fill out so many questions. Keep it simple and to the point.
Another thing that bugs me: Get this, I got an email the other day from an author who interviewed me a few years ago on her blog. She told me her good news of being picked up by a big publisher and blah, blah, blue. Guess what? There were about 20 typos in her letter to me. Unreal!
Every day, I hear of a new author who is ranking high on Amazon, just became a best selling in the NY Times or USA Today, got this deal and that deal…hell, I can’t even get a reviewer to post a review for me after getting a free copy! What am I doing wrong? Is it me? Or them?
I’m sorry if this sounds like a rant or the ramblings of a mad woman, I am just at the point in my life when I am asking, when does a person give up their dream?
This is the year when I swore I was going to be able to become a full time writer and although it’s only February, I am wondering if this is the year that I give it up for good.
I was not born to be ordinary. I was not made to fit in and follow the norm. I was born to stand out and follow my own path, make my own rules but when does an “author” say enough is enough, it just ain’t gonna happen?