Wordy Wonderland

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How to Become a Famous Author

And Other Misleading Blog Titles

Warning: No mysteries will be revealed. This is mostly contemplation.

My ponderings don’t even dwell on the big-name authors like Steven King, JRR Martin, JK Rowling, etc. But within niche and smaller genres, how do authors become popular/famous/well-known? Whether they deserve it or not is another story, but authors are out there being well-known and purchased. How do they do it?

I’ll be honest, I think a chunk of it is luck. I’m not saying the famous author are hacks, but I also don’t believe that there aren’t other, possibly more worthy, authors out there who never make it big. (No, I do not think I’m one of them 😉 But I think there are definite steps to take to “make it big”:

  1. Write. I know, duh. But the trick is to write. Maybe not every day (that doesn’t work for everyone) but find a schedule or a goal and write. If you aren’t producing stuff, it’s really hard to get stuff published. Along those lines, keep to a set number of projects, and don’t start any others until those are finished. This may be aimed at me, most of all, because I get distracted easily. But that means a lot of stories end up half-finished and nothing becomes of them.
  2. Get out there. Talk to people on social media. Do blog posts. Make friends. Network. It’s an ugly, boring, (hated) word, but it’s important. Obviously you want to be genuine, but just being present (responding to people’s posts, making your own) creates an identity. Something for people to say “Hey, I like so-and-so, I think I’ll check out their next book.” Plus if you get a following, you can get the word out about new books. (Note to self…do this.)
  3. Have a watchful eye. This is sort of related to #2, but watch who is growing in ranks and see what they’ve done. Watch patterns in which titles/stories are popular and write there if you can. Note new publishers (if you’re not aiming for the big ones) and see what they offer you and if it’d be worth spreading your wings and possibly getting a new audience. (Not that you should just dump an old publisher if they’ve been good to you. But it doesn’t hurt to look.)
  4. Keep at it. Don’t lose heart. Yes, only five people bought a copy of your book, and you happen to know one of them was your mother, but if this is your passion, keep at it. You should be writing because you love it, not for the money. Yes, money would be a great end goal, but unless you’re earning your keep this way, remember that you started down this path because it’s your passion. Let the stories out and don’t be disheartened.

That’s all I’ve got. I know, nothing groundbreaking. Maybe I should have called this, “A Letter From the Author to Herself.”


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Drama and tiny communities

There has been a lot of drama in the M/M (romance) community as late. I’m grateful that I can watch from afar and haven’t been involved, although it is commentary on my general lack of involvement in online things. But moving on…

One of the problems with the M/M romance community is that it’s small. So every little thing that happens causes waves of reaction that seems to reach every corner of the community. Many times while the original issue is a big deal, it’s probably not as big a deal as everyone’s reaction makes it seem.

Along those lines, because of its size, everyone feels the need to react, to give their feedback/thoughts, and announce where they stand on the issue. The internet (and social media) in general have made this happen even moreso. But ultimately it’s just a lot of gossiping. Did X happen? Yes. And yes, some people have a right to scream their emotions from the rooftops.

But the number of people directly involved probably wasn’t that big. And if you’re one of the parties screaming about X, then you’re probably more part of the problem. The solution? Don’t scream. State your piece, then move on. And if you aren’t really involved in the matter, just move on. Watch and listen and be there if your friends need a shoulder. But that consoling should probably be moved to a private medium (email/IM/chat) rather than clogging twitter feeds.

Now, I’m in no way saying you can’t/shouldn’t feel something about what’s happening. But just ask yourself if you really need to put your own two cents in. And if you have enough information about the subject to be PUTTING your two cents in. Are you taking sides too quickly? While you want to support a friend, make sure your friend has their facts straight as well.

I just think the community as a whole would benefit from not overreacting–or reacting too quickly–when events go down. Take a deep breath. Sleep on it. And then reappraise the situation.

That’s how I hope to handle things, should I ever actually be active during (or involved in) one of these events. And I suppose it’s a good rule of thumb for dealing with events in all our lives, but if you’re directly involved…I think there’s some leeway.


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Incoming and Outgoing

So I’ve been delinquent in checking my email lately, so I found two emails of interest.

  1. Submission response.
  2. Royalty statement

Right. So I checked the second first, because I was just wondering how it was doing. And I was hoping for a little better, but I’m a new author and this was just pub sales mainly. So not great, but it got me thinking: What should I do? How can I get the word out there?

My first thought is to have a Goodreads giveaway. And then give away my book to some review blogs, or else offer it to some blogs in the genre who do giveaways. I’m just so out of touch with things that it’s a little hard. But when you go with a small press, there is only so much attention they can give. They have other books to put out too.

So I’m getting my hand on various formats of the story and I’m going to do some giveaways. Hopefully get my name out there and get some fresh interest in my kinky little cowboys.

And get my name out there, because the press has accepted my second manuscript!

Yep, that’s right, my second work is out there and accepted. Compared to the tiny little 16,000 of my first one, this is 47,000 and VERY different. Still M/M, but more sweet and casual than rough and sexy.

OMG. I have a backlist!

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Cover reveal!

I’ve been quiet, I know 😉

Part of it is because it’s cold and I don’t want to be dragged out from my blankets. I’ve also been writing and revising and having a life (Shhhhh).

sometimesthecowboyfalls_150I’m so excited today, though, because I’m through edits for my nearly-a-novella! And I have a cover finished! My artist was really great and worked got me the background image I wanted and dealt with a few rounds of “okay, but a slightly more yellow/gold/brown and what about…”

So hopefully this cover looks as lovely on your screen as it does on mine!