The emotional ups and downs of being an author don’t always follow the pattern of our books’ success and failure. Too often, it is the low that comes after a super high, only to plummet back to reality.
As I look back at the month of August and what I’ve accomplished and haven’t accomplished, I find myself fighting melancholy. Why? A two-star review on Goodreads for Janie’s Secrets, not making the finals in Kindle Book Review Awards for Red Steel, feeling like I don’t have the time to do everything I need to do or want to do. I worked very hard to write a novella for the Heart of Carolina’s upcoming anthology only to realize I didn’t have time to finish it. Failure is crushing even when it is self-inflicted failure.
But I should be doing somersaults after all I have accomplished this month. Chrome Pink made it into the Amazon Top 100 Kindle Free Books. It finished #34 on Sunday, August 30th after a Free Booksy Ad. It also reached #3 in Romantic Suspense and #4 in Suspense. Over 2000 books were down loaded on Sunday and that doesn’t even count the books I sold or the ones down loaded on other sites. I should be sailing in the clouds but I allowed a bad review, not even a really bad review but a 2-star rating, crush me. Why? Because I’m human. I can tell you I’m tired, I put my heart into my stories, they’re like my children, I want people to like me/them. The truth is not everyone is going to like my stories. Not everyone is going to like me.
I’m not alone in my emotional roller coaster, many authors, especially indie authors feel the same way I do. Author Sarra Cannon, whom I follow on YouTube with her Heart Breathing Channel and whose courses, Publish and Thrive and her HB90 changed my life, speaks of mental health and well-being in her videos. We often put too much on our plates and expect to be able to perform well, but like the juggler with his chainsaws that last addition can be catastrophic.
In Sarra’s HB90 course she talks of planning quarterly, 90-day increments and even breaking those down into monthly expectations. Sitting down with a planner, thinking of what I have to do, want to do and need to do. How much time things will take and how much time I will actually have to devote to the tasks amid life, work and family. Allowing time to sleep, eat and maybe even cuddle with my husband.
I really have no reason to feel down. I know much of what I’m feeling stems from fear, exhaustion and coming off the high of other successes. For those of you who fear this might be a whining session and wish to tune out, it’s not, this is my pep talk to myself and to anyone else who is happy when they see one sale a day or are thrilled when their free book gets 100 downloads. I keep telling myself I’ve only been published three years. I have six books, seven if you count my trilogy of the first three books I just released, plus I have novellas in several anthologies. I’ve come a long way in a short time. Even though I’ve been writing for over forty years, I’ve only started writing to publish in the past fifteen years with a couple of years off after losing our house and my father. We had a couple of really rough years.
So, what do I have to whine about? Nothing. I should be celebrating. I have had over 300 new subscribers to my newsletter, that is both exciting and terrifying. I thought, how can I keep these people interested? What hoops will I have to jump through to keep them? But then I thought of the ones who have been with me all along the way. My steadfast friends who read everything I write good and bad, who offer opinions and assistance, and I realized, I just need to be real. I just need to be me. Yes, I’ll lose some people but that’s okay. Some will come for the free book, some will stay a while and go, others will be here for the duration. I just need to be the best me I can be for that is all I can be. That’s all any of us can be.
I know putting my books out into the world for other people to read means some won’t like it, but some will. Channeling Sarra Cannon again, I’m going to write from my place of joy. I’m going to write the books that I feel compelled to write and hope they will appeal to readers. It is time to get back to work on Roxy’s Secret.
For those of you who received my newsletter, I sent the first few pages of the novella I was writing for the Heart of Carolina anthology. I didn’t get to finish it and I’m starting to think it might be a full-length novel. I think I might try a stand-alone novel once Roxy is wrapped up. Maybe I can tie it into my other stories. I’ll have to think about it.
My goals for August: Promote Janie’s Secrets, I’m still working on it. Start Roxy’s Betrayal, I’ve started but I’ve not made the progress I’d hoped. Increase Newsletter subscriptions, okay this has tripled thanks to Bookfunnel. Janie is free in a Bookfunnel promo this month, https://books.bookfunnel.com/weloveromancegiveaway/ao2jdazxop.
Janie’s Secret is also in a Cover of the Month contest on All Author, https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/9385/ I’d appreciate your vote.
Janie’s Secrets is also in a Book Tour on Instagram and Facebook, through September 6th. I’d appreciate your support.
I still need to learn more about Publisher’s Rocket but I’m tackling it in small bites.
One other thing I accomplished this month I’ve been wanting to do for a while was to combine the first three books of the Leeward Files into one book. It’s only on sale for a little while longer.
I haven’t even planned what I’m going to try to accomplish in September but we’re going to do some great things: #1 write Roxy’s Betrayal. I’ll figure out the rest but that’s the most important.
I hope my whine, rant, pep talk has helped someone else. The truth is some days this is my dream job and other days it’s a nightmare. Sometimes it’s all on the same day.