Perhaps you live by the mantra "Hard work may pay off in the future, but procrastination always pays off now." Or, maybe in the dilemma of books vs. a Cafe Rio burrito, the burrito always won. Either way, it worked. Alyth and Anam are now only .99 cents each on Amazon Kindle for the rest of December. Enjoy! And merry Christmas!!
I have been touched by many of you. I love reading your letters, speaking to you, and having the privilege of meeting some of you. It's been fun to watch Marysvale grow and hear how it made you cry, scared you, angered you (toward some of the characters), and even made you think about the messages contained in the books. I've felt your love for me and my work, and I'd like to return the favor in some small way.
Over the years I've tried to pass on some of that love by donating books to libraries, schools, troops, and other charity events. I want to expand that invitation publicly to any charity or fundraising event that supports a nonprofit organization or club of some kind. If you are involved in such an activity and would like copies of Marysvale and Alyth, I'd love to pay the shipping costs and send you free copies for your organization. I've had some in the past ask if they can sell the books and keep all the proceeds for their organization. I'm okay with that as long as 100% of the proceeds goes to the nonprofit.
Unfortunately, I don't have unlimited copies, but those I do have, at least while supplies last, are yours if you would like them. If you are interested, please drop me a note by clicking on the contact portion of my website.
Many bad things are bound to happen in life. It doesn't matter if you are a writer, or someone else. You will be rejected. You may create the most amazing product and be the most amazing person, yet someone will find something to criticize. Often they will even go out of their way to do so. It's sad and it doesn't have to be that way.
So, how do I personally deal with rejection? The short answer is - I don't. I don't handle it well at all, or at least I didn't. I'm not sure if every new author is like this, but when Marysvale came out, I scoured the internet for reviews. On one popular site I found a review with one star by someone who only read the first chapter. At that time the first chapter was all there was of Marysvale for free. I was angry. My mind was pulling an inner John Wayne and telling me to "toughen up pilgrim", but I felt crushed. I tried balancing it by reading some good reviews. After a short time I learned that, for me, reading any reviews was a bad idea. My moods were being influenced by others. I was giving others control over me. Buy why avoid good reviews? Well, to find the good ones, I was bound to stumble across the bad ones and curiosity often got the better of me. For me, until I learned how to not let others determine my mood, avoiding reviews worked.
Over time I learned something more important: many good things are bound to happen in life as well. Which ones are you going to give ear to?
"Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet." - Roger Miller, Bob's Dylan & Marley.
Don't gloss over that point. It's human nature to expect the worse. The challenge and reward comes in seeing the good. Even when it just simply looks bad. Until time passes, it's hard to claim something was truly bad. Getting laid off work is the worst thing right? Hugely successful businesses have started from individuals who have been laid off. Businesses that would not have happened if the eventual founder hadn't been forced out the door. I know of an individual who, while hiking alone in the winter, survived two avalanches, broke his hip, crawled for days, was dehydrated, starving, cold, etc.. Finally he collapsed, unable go on. Couldn't get any worse, right? Well, It started to snow. In utter exhaustion and defeat he passed out. It snowed so much that it buried him, allowing him to rest, and insulating him enough that he didn't die of hypothermia. He continued on and survived to tell the tale.
Expect the worst and you will find it. Expect the best and you will find it.
A healthy dose of reality and perspective may help you as well. If only 1% of the population loves you and the rest hate you, guess what? You will still be a very successful author. 1% of the U.S. population is roughly 30 million. Royalties from 30 million copies isn't bad! However, success based on one's bank account is a very shallow definition.
I believe you are your work. Don’t trade the stuff of your life-time for nothing more than dollars. That’s a rotten bargain. Rita Mae Brown, Author
I had an odd experience unfold over the last few weeks that has left me both irritated and thankful at the same time. So what happened?
Well, I got an email from a book company that does basic book screening for their subscribers. You sign up for their service and they recommend books that might appeal to you. They selected Marysvale for some free promotion and asked me to consider advertising with them if I had a good experience. Cool right? I thought so.
I’m reliant on things like this happening. Marysvale grew to number one on Kindle in Action and Adventure for two weeks. Simultaneously it went to number one in romance, and number two overall. I’ve had over 130,000 copies downloaded. It wasn’t anything that I did, because I don’t even know how to market my work. Believe me, I wish I did. That growth happened because of people like you. If you are one of those who have shared Marysvale, I’m very grateful and thank you profusely!!!
Why am I irritated then? I’ve bought advertising before without seeing much of an improvement. So, I watched my download stats over the following weeks to see how things went. Sure enough, things improved. Okay, I’m convinced. I’ll buy some advertising. I contact the company and received a prompt reply informing me that my books are not a good fit for their readers. Huh??
And now you can see where my irritation begins. How can my work be rejected when they came soliciting me? Am I missing something? So, I politely wrote them back, informing them of this oddity and asked if they wanted to reconsider. They didn’t. I’m left scratching my head, while feeling both thankful they advertised my work for free and irritated they rejected advertising my work. Somewhere, somehow, this makes sense to someone. What’s a lowly writer to do? I guess just chalk it up as another experience in this thing called writing and move along.
I think for my next post I’ll write on rejection and how to deal with it. Something all writers and producers of any product will experience. See you then.
No, I'm not working on a new book just yet, at least not actively. I'm talking about my website. After years of neglect, I've updated the site. Yeah, it was long overdue. I hope you like it. I'd like to add more content, and need your help. I'm thinking about adding some multimedia stuff, such as answering questions you may have about the books, how I came up with the concept, am I writing anything else, do I still refuse to tweet, etc.. I'd also like to have a forum where we could discuss not only my books, but other books as well. Anyway they're just thoughts. If there are any of you still here after all my years of shunning all things social, tell me what you think. What would you like to see?