The Author Rant (from January 2013)

So, sometimes there are posts that I really, really love.  This was originally published in January 2013 on my other blog.  I think it fits perfectly with my other post about reviews.  This was one of my highest read and commented on posts over at the other blog.  So, for your reading pleasure I give you my rant!

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Since starting to actively promote my books and getting reviews and blog tours going I have done a lot of reading on publishing.   There are a lot of sites that tell you what is happening, what is going on, what you should be doing etc.  A lot of the time I just keep hearing the same old same old.  Put all your books in KDP it’s the best thing ever…blah blah blah.  I just want to say that I *did* try that.  THREE times with different books.  Lots of downloads…but no reviews/no bumps/nothing to show for it. Then all the accusations come from others..well YOU must have done something WRONG.  Yes, I did.  I signed up for KDP.  In my heart I know I have done the right thing by moving towards paper, getting a professional editor, and LEAVING KDP.  In fact it expires today…wooooooo!

For too long I’ve been consumed with promotions and this and that.  You know what that does?  It takes away from the small amount of time I have to be creative.  Am I going to stop?  No, I need my name out there, but constantly bombarding Facebook and Twitter doesn’t seem to be getting it for me.  Now I am trying something new.  But Shannon…that goes against what all your author friends have told you.  So? Maybe I need to stop doing as everyone else and go with my gut.  Apparently my drum is beating in a different tone than everyone else.  Why am I suddenly so empowered to do crazy stuff?  Enter interesting reading!

 I have read some interesting items over here on this blog about nobody having a perfect book and not striving for constant promotion and perfection.  Do you need an editor or beta readers?  Yup.  Do you need to advertise?  Yup.  But you also need to find time to CREATE .  Just about everything I read on this author’s tips were right up what I had been feeling.  One of the tips is that for 2013 you don’t want to be exclusive with anyone….something I am beginning to believe more and more.  You see earlier this year I had never heard of Smashwords.  Then someone gave me a coupon.  I was like whhaaa?  I LOVED the platform.  I so wanted to get my books on there, but I was dissuaded to NOT go over there by someone I thought I could trust.  I’ve regretted it ever since then.

That brings me to another small rant I have had running around my mind.  All these people that say indies are just lazy or cut rate…they can’t write…it’s boring…they have no command of the English language….it wouldn’t  make it to traditional pubs….have you ever considered what Twilight, Harry Potter, or any of those other big name books looked like before those big time editors got them for review?  I believe Harry Potter was started on NAPKINS people.  Pretty sure that doesn’t have spell check!  Oh and all these people that complain…have you seen some of the crap churned out by the big 6?  Thank goodness for free samples!  Plus, I just have to say this…all you haters.. what have YOU written?  95% of the people I see ranting about Indies have not written a damned thing themselves and have no idea how hard it is to write a book.

Wouldn’t it bust the bubble of “my favorite author is flawless” if you saw those pre-edited manuscripts?  The thing of it is an author is an artist and sometimes, I know at least for me, the raw desire to get your thoughts down drive you to finish a project and never look back until it’s done.  Is it perfect?  Nope.  Is it good?  Probably, but EVERYTHING could use polishing.  Everyone’s work can use someone to help you along.  No writer, I don’t care who you are, can write something perfectly the first time.  I may be new to writing fiction books, but I am not new to writing.  I have been writing since grade school.  I probably have written for more than 10,000 hours by the time you add up all the stuff I have written that the world will never see.  I went to three different schools that required you to write stories in every class…even math class…and that was just the required schooling… was a whole different world full of LOTS of writing.  I even filled my extra spaces with English all this crap I have to write for my day job…anyway I digress…..

So, what is the difference between a TRUE Independent Author (not those people looking for a quick buck that churn out crap hoping someone will buy it) and the contracted author?  Well not much from what I have seen.  Other than control.  I never have wanted/desired/attempted to go to a publishing agent although some have contacted me.  Yes, I have had letters come in the mail from people that have looked me up and wanted to see my manuscripts.  I just threw them away.  I don’t want someone else’s hand in my cookie jar.  I never have.  If I ask for advice or help I will listen and try to use the advise, but I don’t like unsolicited help nor do I want too many cooks spoiling my soup.  This is why, even though people think I have mad art skills, I don’t do “for hire” work.  I am the epitome of the cranky, moody, artist.  For far too long I have cared what “others” would think in a lot of what I do.  I have been timid, shy, and tried to play by all these rules to get ahead….not anymore.  I’m going to dance to my own drum beat.  If you find the groove hypnotic and want to come along with me that’s cool.  If you don’t like it..well you are free to find something else to dance to.  Doesn’t mean I won’t ask my friends what they think or totally disregard any advise I can gain…but I am going to start listening to me more and everyone else less.  Pioneers didn’t get from one side of the United States by “playing it safe” or going down those roads everyone had already traveled.  So, why should I?

Now, by no way am I trying to tell you that YOU shouldn’t do that.  If it is what you feel is your right path by all means try it.  It just didn’t work for me.  Just explore all your options and go with your gut.  At the end of the day you are the one that has to like the decisions you’ve made 🙂

Until my next rant!


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