Can you Spare a click?
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.
But why New Orleans?
If you’ve read a few of my books or have perused titles on my site or Amazon you’ve probably realized one thing - a good chunk of them take place in New Orleans. What you might not know is why.
Yes, 95% of my New Orleans books are supernatural and there are arguably maybe two places as comparable as the Big Easy as settings for the things that go bump in the night.
While the ghosts and lore are a wonderful reason to unleash witches, warlocks, vampires and more on the city in my worlds, it’s actually not the main reason.
When I write, I want to transport the reader to the setting. When it’s a fantasy world, this is actually much harder. When it’s a place I love, it’s like cuddling up in my favorite sweatshirt.
I live and breathe New Orleans. From the dark corners to the food, and the true Mardi Gras spirit to the areas of the city that don’t often make it into stories, I want to explore it all.
A book set in New Orleans is more than booze and darkness. It’s gumbo weather warnings and teasing national news people who can’t come close to pronouncing the crazy rivers and towns down there. It’s making sure the local voice explodes on the page from small details you can’t get without immersing yourself in every section of the city from the West Bank (that is, yes, on the East bank) to the constantly flooding Mid City and fancy Upper Garden District Plantations sitting in plain sight.
The pure magic when you eat your first spoonful of gumbo, or crush a beignet in your mouth while watching people wander down Decatur is blissful. The accidental find in the French Market that leads to the perfect necklace or knick-knack is one you should always experience in your life. The unadulterated rush when a float rider locks eyes with you and tosses you anything is joy-inducing. Those feelings, those emotions, come out in stories when they're set in New Orleans.
Yes, admittedly whenever I write In the real world I use places I'm fond of, but there's no place like home, and to me, New Orleans is home. It's the place where I find myself, again and again. It's the place where my characters find themselves, and their forevers, as well.
And just in case I haven't gotten to sappy with you, here's a random slideshow of some of my all-time favorite New Orleans moments.
What's your favorite place to read about? Bonus points if it's New Orleans!
I'm feeling 2022!
It's official, we've survived another year. Whether you kicked 2021s butt, survived nicely, or possibly took a little beating (like I did), you made it through! You're here, I'm here, and it's time to have fun <3
My favorite moment was seeing my kiddo realize we were driving into Disney World as a surprise for his 5th birthday. Drop me a comment with your favorite moment from 2021 so we can celebrate together!
2021 was a rough year for me personally. My mystery illness remained undiagnosed, but I spent so much of the year on medication that altered my mood and alertness that finding motivation to write was hard - even with the stories screaming. Add in a 70-hr a week job and a toddler home full time thanks to COVID and the fingers weren't tapping away on the keyboard like I would have liked, but I am fortunate enough to have still released!
Now for the good stuff! While I'm trying not to set release dates for 2022 just in case my muse works in a different order than anticipated, I do have a freaking awesome lineup that returns me back to my productivity level pre mystery illness in May 20201
Check out all this romancy goodness!
The Race - Steampunk
To Love a Guardsman - Military (in Cupid Wore Dogtags)
Life in Reverse - Paranormal
Slay Bells Ring - Paranormal Christmas
Trapped in Wonder - Fantasy
Magic Cursed - Dark Fantasy
Double Linked - Paranormal
Christmas and the Lamp - Christmas
Surprise YA Fantasy (in a mythical creatures boxset)
The Christmas Suit (a Christmas at midnight short in Suit Porn only available at LLS!)
Surprise Fantasy RH
Then, if there's time, I'm hoping to get to release:
Cost of Magic - Fantasy
The Flames they Found - Fantasy
I know what you're thinking - how is she going to do that after 1.5 years basically not publishing? Well, the good news is 4 of them are already written and just waiting for their time in the sun...err ereader library.
So let's survive and thrive in 2022 together!
Stay up to date with any announcements and just general posts here!