I'm going to tackle a sensitive topic today - for myself and for others I've spoken to. It doesn't just affect authors, but honestly any small business. It can be hard to talk about, because in a sense, it admits to failure on some level.
Let’s talk about the reason why so many authors - myself included - struggle to make ends meet with their author career.
Is it crummy book covers? Nope.
Is it poorly edited (or not edited) stories? Nope.
Is it a lack of marketing money? Nope.
Is it a lack of talent? Nope.
Don’t get me wrong, the above can contribute to failing careers, but at the end of the day the key metric all struggling authors experience is a lack of support.
But I can’t afford to buy books all the time!
Support has very little to do with a monetary value. Support that most small businesses need right now is "moral" support.
Support is taking time to click like on a post, to comment on it, to share it, because that viral reach could put your friend in front of new readers. Support is offering to review (and actually following through) which costs you nothing but time, and if you’re already a reader you get free books! Support is chatting with other book people about your friend’s new book. Support is sending them a text or DM on release day to give them little congrats because writing a book takes a metric fuck ton of work.
I can post about the stupidest thing on my author and personal Facebook/Instagram and get engagement and comments. The minute I post about my books, it’s almost utter radio silence unless it’s a huge accomplishment. Here, check it out. I post book stuff maybe once every 3 days, so it’s not a flooded thing either for those that might think “authors just shove too move in your face”.
This goes for authors, too.
Other authors are not your competition. I cannot tell you how many authors I support simply because I love them and their work. Because kindness matters and if they thrive, that’s awesome! Together, we can reach new readers, more readers, and maybe stop the author from permanently closing the laptop on their dream career.
But you always act like you’re doing awesome.
Of course I do - fake it till you make it. It hurts and drags me down every single release day when I barely make it into double digit sales - and I do have those double digits every release, but sometimes it’s hard and other times I skyrocket past. It’s gut wrenching anytime I post looking for a quick share or a like because I know next to no one is going to take the time, which means I look unsupported and therefore not worth a chance to new readers.
It's insanely expensive to be an author. Roughly $800 per book and 95% of us do not make that back. We fund it with our day job. We skip new shoes or fund snacks because our dream is worth it. We spend time writing we could otherwise be out or with our family. We won’t all make it. We won’t all be quality worthy of making it, but a simple show of support could pull us from our darkest days when looking ahead to decide if the next book might be our last.
Isn't it possible your work just sucks?
100% a possibility. However, when I have been able to reach new readers, I've gotten amazing reviews, inboxes telling me how much they loved something, and sometimes, (hopefully) new book friends! So yes, I may suck. It's entirely possible, but it's unlikely given the response when my work is looked at by new readers.
I’ve got a challenge for you 2022
If you’ve got an author (or any small business owner really) on your social media feed, don’t scroll past that post. Give it a thumbs up. Maybe even comment. Offer your community to share just for a single. Maybe skip a coffee or fast food meal to buy a single one of their books. You never know what you’ll find.
When all your hopes begin in the sky...
In early 2016 I began writing The Race. It was everything I'd dreamed I'd get to write in steampunk - an action adventure romance that took place almost entirely on an airship. Unfortunately, all the complications from my pregnancy left me unable to write from about February until my son was born at the end of May.
Then, we moved to New Orleans. The next thing I knew, my publisher had deadlines for me. I finally felt well enough, but I was unable to continue The Race due to other needs.
Fast forward three years. it's now 2019. I booked a cover with the fantastic Illustrated Author. I did this with the hope that I'd fall in love with it and push other projects off to get back to The Race. She did not disappoint!
Unfortunately, in April 2020, my swallowing condition began. I couldn't write ... anything. Despite not having answers, it wasn't the only thing draining my creativity. Aidan was home from March 2020 - September 2021 and my day job stepped up to almost 60 hours a week.
January 2022 came and I knew what I had to do. I had to prioritize the story and characters I'd left behind. And I did! The Race had only 18,000 words written when I stopped and I added 62,000 words in just 26 days. Rose and Wyatt couldn't be stopped and I'm so excited they are finally here.
Their journey was 6 years in the making, but it's finally here!
When all your hopes begin in the sky.
The world is not what it once was, but Rose cannot seem to convince her mother of that. Steam powered airships, mechanical carriages, and a far less constricting type of fashion are not enough to free Rose from her mother's hand. Headed toward London and a suitor she's never met, all Rose wants to do is captain the airship her father left her upon his death. While not impossible in the new world order, it's certainly not fathomable to her antiquated mother. In order to live her dream, Rose will have to take matters into her own hands.
Two tragedies left Wyatt nearly destitute and an emotional rogue. When he hears of the big race that could win him a title and land, he's ready to push life savings on the line. Unfortunately, he had no ship of his own and no way to enter, until he meets the beautiful Rose.
Their only hope of seeing both their dreams become a reality is each other. From London to Paris and more, the duo must trust in one another if they are to win the race. Trust comes with quite a cost as adventure can easily turn deadly and losing the race isn't all they have to worry about.
See what early reviewers are saying about The Race!
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