A Year in Review
As an indie author, I constantly struggle with the “marketing” aspect of this job. While I love having complete creative control, the task of constantly pushing my product is daunting. It’s not a huge CON, but one that I’m still learning to navigate. Now that I’ve fully committed to self-publishing, there are a lot of hard and fast lessons I’ve had to learn, and some I have to realize will be a slower growth process because there’s only one me and just so many hours in the day.
I fall into that “small business” category but without any bells and whistles. I am not the best with posting aesthetically pleasing content to draw in the people whom I’d love to follow along my journey, rather I have simply appreciated the genuine connections I’ve had the pleasure of making in the last few years. I hope to continue growing so that I can be more financially successful in my “business” however there is a big picture idea behind doing what I do. (Instagram is also making it insanely hard to be SEEN).
So - how DO you build a platform when you don’t want to feel inauthentic or pushy? Doing this with certain products can be a bit easier. Fashion, art, jewelry - those are things that a consumer can instantly tell whether they’ll like or dislike your product. Sure, there are factors like quality and customer service that can change their opinion, but those aren’t necessarily issues I would face. (Unless you caught that time I found one of my copies had someone else’s work printed inside my book, but I digress).
A book however, takes more immediate effort. A person must invest a considerable amount of time before they have that validation of their purchase. Let’s face it, nobody has time for anything anymore and if your “To Be Read” list is as long as mine, I have no guarantees on when people who don’t know me will put mine on their stack or when they’ll even get to it if it’s already there. I am guilty myself of tossing a book if I’m not sucked in within the first few pages. It’s an author’s job to entertain, to tell engaging stories with characters they can either relate to or be intrigued by in some capacity. If we fail to do that, we need to do better at our job. Publishing and the subsequent success of it can feel overwhelmingly impossible but you have to stay hungry. You must constantly be studying and improving your craft otherwise, you’ll lose that spark.
November and December, I rarely WRITE. The holidays suck me all up in their sugar and glitter and joy and I am A-OK with that - however I will internally beat myself up about not working. Watching my fellow writers digging their way through edits or redoing chapters, starting new novels makes me feel like I need to put the spatula down and get back to work.
But that’s the beauty of NOT having a contract, I can do this when and how I want. However, I also need to treat it LIKE work and be consistent with it so that I don’t drift into the shadows with those who do a lot of “saying” and not a lot of “doing”.
SO! While I had a solid 30 minutes, I updated my Top 5 page! I read many books this year and instead of doing a Top 10, I shortened it to my 5 FAVORITE reads, ones that I could not put down and stuck with me long after I closed them. I also added a short blurb and a cover reveal for my upcoming book Silence Her! So check that out and wish me luck as I will be working to have that released in the coming months.
I also plan to finally finish my working manuscript so it will be the next in the line-up and possibly start my next NEW work. As of now, I have very minimal notes about what I plan to write next, but I’m sure it will come to me and then explode out as it always tends to do at the most inopportune times.
Another project that I can’t believe I haven’t done yet, is finishing my office. We have been in this house for 2 years on March 1 and we have done SO much, and yet my office is still only a desk and 4 walls. My books are in piles on the floor, I have much to hang and I can’t decide on bookshelves. I am very task oriented, so I really prefer to finish one house project before moving to the next. My dining room is finally complete and my master bath is on its way so the office/library is the next big one (because I still can’t bring myself to paint kitchen cabinets).
I’m hoping that in finishing my office, it gives me that extra nudge to get back to the writing work and just buckle down and focus on the goals for 2021!
I wish you all the happiest of holidays and thank you for supporting this passion of mine in whatever ways. I’m grateful that I get to do what I love while being home and I believe my biggest takeaway from this year is that finding any moment in the day to feel gratitude, has brought a lasting peace within myself that truly helps when the harder moments roll through.
Here’s hoping 2021 treats us all a little nicer!