Last week, I shipped my fifth book off to the editor.
Earlier this week, I wrote a prologue for book number six.
Does that make me an expert? A seasoned author? I don’t know––
But every morning this week, I took pause. Time to reflect on my writing career, the romance industry as a whole and what we can be doing better…as authors, mostly myself.
My books have seen medium success. More than that, I have a really amazing group of readers. I talk to most of them. Ask them, and they will tell you. If they message or email, I write back. If they write reviews, I like them. It was easy with one book and one reader and with each release, it takes a little more time. BUT this is something, I will never give up.
Listen carefully, I’m going to share my biggest trade secret:
Readers make it all happen.
Whether they blog big time or for small peanuts, tweet, share on Facebook and/or simply leave reviews. Without readers, we are nothing.
Meeting a new reader, reaching a brand new pair of eyeballs is like grabbing the holy grail for an author. It’s why we don’t spend all day in our robes, eating donuts and writing books (that’s only 50% of the time). We get online every day and chat, go to signings and hand out swag and smile for photos and sign kindle covers, and do giveaways.
Does my time on email and social media drive my family bonkers? Yes.
Do my eyes feel like they’re going to cross at the end of the day? Yes.
Do I still love what I do? Yes.
Do I dream of my books making it big time? We all do. We just lie and say we don’t.
This week among all the riffraff and chatter (low sales, new strategies), it was suggested I write “something en vogue” or join KU or every other theory as to what I could be doing to be more successful. Which is why I took pause…because what does SUCCESS mean?
Absolutely, this is my business––100%––and I have to sell books, make a profit, pay my assistant (because she is away and crap, everything is falling apart).
BUT still success can’t just be in the number. It is but it isn’t I told myself.
If it were only in a number, I wouldn’t write what’s in my head but rather what is expected.
If it were only in a number, I would NOT answer emails and messages and send signed books to Colorado when a reader cannot make a signing.
If it were only in a number, I wouldn’t worry about Mandy (my first reader) and her health. Seriously, I do.
If it were only for a number, I wouldn’t have created these stories and the ones to come. Stories from my heart and my head.
Readers make it all happen.
SO, as I start book number SIX, I take pause and think to myself of all the blessings, the good parts, the highs and forget the lows because of the readers. They may be few, but they’re mighty and growing.
Thank you. ~R