Category: Writer -  L.A. Tripp
 
Why are we killing ourselves?

Every day that passes, indie authors who are struggling to make even one single sale or begging other indie authors to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE buy my book because I would love to see even one single sale!

Ahem. OK. We are authors...begging other struggling authors to buy our books. Why not try a radical concept and present our awesome work to actual readers? The market is SO much bigger. Sure, then we open ourselves up to the criticism that actual readers may not like our work. Well, if that's the case, then shouldn't we know that sooner rather than later? Shouldn't we know so that we can improve right now? Shouldn't we know whether actual readers would be honored to buy our product or products?

Yes, we writers are shooting ourselves in proverbial feet on a daily basis.

Don't get me wrong. I see tremendous value in each author "buying" the free books other authors use to promote themselves...but when an author is hawking their paid for wares to other struggling authors, we're only spinning our wheels.

Does that makes sense?

For those that read my blog and see changes, it should be obvious that I'm working on gearing this blog more toward actual readers, rather than trying to make fellow writers happy. Really, fellow writers' opinions just don't matter much in the bigger scheme of attaining enough sales from actual readers to support my family. No offense, that's just reality. A dozen writers can tell me that my blog sucks, but if a dozen readers like it and click to buy, I don't care if even two dozen writers tell me my blog sucks. Get that?

Yes, I know. Rough, crude. But it's also reality. In fact, it's a reality that EVERY author needs to think about. Unless you're only looking to sell to close family and friends.

In which case...disregard this entire blog post, haha.

We writers spend so much time marketing ourselves, and yes that's a necessity, but are we working super hard or super smart? If it's just super hard, we need to revamp our plans and work super smart. The same effort working super smart will produce more results than only working super hard.

Hope some of you are with me. If so, let's change the trends. Let's find some actual readers.
 
Circles? We're going in circles now? Ah yes, the circle of life, the circle of writing life, the circle that is the ring that we give as the marriage symbol, the tire that's on our vehicle....wait, I'm going a bit far, now, eh? Let's let today's guest tell us about her idea of circles...Kd Rose, take it away:

The Circles of Writing Life

Our circle starts with my book at about 90 degrees around. It's brilliant! It's original! Very few will "get" it! It doesn't fit in a genre! It's a hard sell! It's almost unnoticed! Wait- did the exclamatory hyperbole change?

First books usually have the author's internal organs indelibly attached, and whether the books are avant-garde like mine, or simply lost among the growing number published each month, most author's still wouldn't change a word.

The circle moves to authors who've had better fortune. Or talent. Or both. And those special ones who've done even more. For example, Dave Eggers. Dave Eggers does not need another article written about him. (Wouldn't the rest of us like to say that too.) Yet, Eggers continues to be one of the most deserving. Eggers is now known for his work with 826 National Nonprofit and McSweeney's Publishing House. His actual award-winning first novel, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, almost takes a backseat.

Eggers is one of the co-founders of 826 National, a nonprofit that uses pirates, superheroes and mysterious voices booming from the back of rooms to create a learning environment for kids that actually produces results, while almost tricking them into increasing their reading and writing skills. The kids write books. Real books. Titled, bound, printed and sold books.

When we forget; when we're so busy marketing our wares, selling ourselves on social media, pleading for unknown strangers to just take a chance on our book, it's fitting and rejuvenating to return to the beginning of the circle.

"826 helps young people learn that language can be play, that work can be joyful, and that they, themselves can be the inventors and caretakers of their world." - Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize winning author and 826 volunteer.

So in the middle of this authorship, this selling off pieces of ourselves-but hopefully not our souls, we can think back, and thereby forward. Words are play. Writing, (even marketing) is creating. A writer is a caretaker who bears responsibility for all his or her words touch.

Then perhaps the pen becomes a little lighter. Facebook becomes a way to share information that matters. Twitter becomes a tool to express wit and connect with other minds- minds that are enigmas yet have unlimited potential. And maybe, just maybe, one of those minds will add play to words, authenticity to redundancy, and launch a caretaking campaign that touches future generations. After all, who wouldn't want a career like Dave Eggers?

Readers can find K.D. Rose's book Heavy Bags of Soul at: http://www.amazon.com/Heavy-Bags-Soul-K-Rose/dp/1475170629 as well as on Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million.

Email: kd.rose@aol.com
Twitter: @kdrose1
Facebook: kdroseauthor
LinkedIn: KD Rose
Website: heavybagsofsoul.com

Readers can find more on 826 National at: http://826national.org
826 National also has 8 satellite chapters. There may be one near you!

About the Author:

K.D. Rose is the author of Heavy Bags of Soul, an edgy- hits you in the gut- gives you the education you never knew you needed- indie book. Written with irony, truth, and a spiked pen, Heavy Bags of Soul takes the reader past the self into self-evolution.

Watch the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd8vw2jlxts.
Get the Book: http://www.amazon.com/Heavy-Bags-Soul-K-Rose/dp/1475170629

As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.
 
Does life really begin?

Well...that's a question for another day. For now though, do we all start somewhere? Or do some of us not start at all? Well, I guess even that opens up a whole new can of worms.

For now...let me introduce you to today's guest poster. Welcome, Patricia Neuman:

How We Got Our Start

Once upon a time, two (unbeknownst to each other) wannabe authors lived in Minnesota. Yep, their names were Roz and Patty. They met through mutual friend Lee, whom they both adored, in part because she was a real character, in the best sense of the word.

Not long after they met, Patty moved to South Dakota. Roz and Patty developed their friendship via letters (remember those things?) and occasional, all-too-expensive, long-distance phone calls (anyone in this day of unlimited long-distance remember THOSE?).

When Roz’s letters arrived, Patty read them aloud to her husband, and the couple chuckled frequently and even guffawed from time to time. When Roz read Patty’s letters to her husband, he said, “Point, point” – something Patty rarely got to. Not quickly, anyway.

Patty told Roz she should be a writer because of her keen Brit wit (Roz is a born-and-bred Londoner who now lives in Texas; but back to Minnesota and South Dakota for now). Roz told Patty that she had actually written short stories when she was a teen. Then Patty confessed that she, too, had written (unpublished) short stories and essays for Redbook Magazine and the like. So they each subscribed to Writer’s Digest and The Writer Magazine and began their writing careers in earnest. Separately.

They wrote and shared with each other their yet-to-be (soon-to-be?) published novels (watch for Trousseau and Tangled Webs – in the distant future, if not sooner). Then both came to a creeping if not screeching halt.

So one day Roz called Patty and said, “How about we start a writing exercise? I’ll go first and send you a segment, you can add a segment and send it back, and so forth. At least we’ll be writing.”

And write the friends did. After about 100 pages, one of the friends turned it into a murder mystery. After a few more pages, one of them said, “This is really good!” And thus the friends eventually finished their first co-authored novel. It wasn’t the first of the Val & Kit Mystery Series, but rather a stand-alone murder mystery. Aptly titled Segments, it also remains yet-to-be (soon-to-be?) published. The friends won’t define soon J but watch for it in the near or distant future, too.

For now, they’re busy trying to get the 2nd in the Val & Kit Mystery Series to their readers, who are clamoring for it. Seriously. And they’re busy pinching themselves.

As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.

 
We now have 28 different titles on this website and two of those come from two awesome authors' debut novels.

I believe they have both broke new ground with their stories...but then again, I'm bias, lol.

Claire Simons with Falling From Grace and Heather Whetstine with Twilight's Last Gleaming. In fact, I'll leave you with two reviews from Twilight's Last Gleaming:

Awesome, thought provoking, it could be tomorrow’s news. Twilight's Last Gleaming by Heather Whetstine, takes you on an emotional thrill-ride as Clare, an ordinary college teenager with a passion for truth in journalism is witness to the best America has to offer and the worst it had become. As I traveled alongside Clare, her compelling story caused me to think, and then I became angry, at what I knew to be the truth. Next I wanted to jump up, raise my right hand and scream, YES. 

This Book is a must-read for any person that loves their country. Although it takes place in America, it is a wakeup call for anyone who believes in freedom. I am reluctant to give five-star ratings because I am a realist, but I truly wish I had a sixth star at my disposal for Twilight’s Last Gleaming.

Enjoy this book, as I know you will.
Douglas Nelson (PopATop).
5 Stars *****


The corruption and remake of the structure of America is not a new idea, but the author, writing from the view of a naive youth is the catalyst needed to make one continue reading. Well written, quick pace, very good flow between past and present. It was also hard hitting, depressing and frightening with the knowledge all in the book is possible. Whether or not it could all happen in such a small amount of time is a matter worth thinking about. The only part I found a little hilarious is the belief Texas would be a 'safe' place in such a scenario. If you like diaspora this is definitely a book to read.

By Ey Wade

Disclaimer: I'm the publisher for both of the above books. So yes, I make a smidgen on each sale of these two books, however, I believe these books are awesome and should be picked up and read by everyone! So please patronize these authors and help them to build their writing career. They will be eternally grateful ;)
 

I asked this special author..."Where do you start?" Then she proceeds to pull her hair out. Just kidding. It's a question some authors are likely asked a lot. So I had to return the favor ;) Anyway, Ms Byrd gave us a fantastic response, so I wanted to share:

Katrina Renee Byrd

Where Do I Start?

I hear this question a lot. It is one question that packs a real punch. When people ask this one questions they are usually asking three things.

1. How do I get my ideas on paper?

2. Where do I find time to write?

3.. Where does the piece of work need to begin?

Where do I start? How do I get my ideas on paper?

I can think of some great ideas but when I try to write them, there’s nothing there.”

Honey, there’s something there,” I say as I fluff my boa. “You just have to know how to access it.”

One of the most common mistakes about getting ideas on paper is that we try to edit before we write. We hear the ideas in our head but we work diligently to erase them and we don’t even know it. Here let me show you. Take out a sheet of paper or open your word processor. Write the following:

sorry” she said but that wasn’t good enough for the teacher. She still said that she’d call her mother That scared Ellen. She walked slowly from her bus stop thinking… When she reached the front steps her mother stood on the porch. “Get into this house right now,” her mother said.

Look at what you’ve just written. Is it punctuated properly? Is it coherent? Is it something you want to share with your English teacher? Of course not but you have gotten the idea on paper. Take a minute to do some editing. Then take a look at my edits.

“Sorry,” Ella said. She stared at Mrs. Johnson, her second grade teacher behind thick glasses. Ella said it again, but sorry wasn’t good enough for Old Lady Johnson.

“I’m calling your mother this afternoon, young lady,” Mrs. Johnson said shaking a finger at Ella then turning her back to Ella and addressing the rest of the class.

Where do I start? Where do I find time to write?

I am too busy. I just don’t have time to write?

Busy doing what, honey?” I ask.

That’s the real question. We are all busy but what are we busy doing? If you want to be a writer you must write. I was shocked when I realized this concept. So walking around town advertising myself as a writer is not the same as being a writer? Sadly it is not. Neither is cleaning your house, nursing your boa flouncing career or being at every writers’ group meeting. So when I really embraced this concept I found some fun ways to write small pieces AND get feedback!! Dare I say it out loud? FACEBOOK, blogging, twitter… All of these entities give you the opportunity to come up with creative, short pieces in a short period of time. Another way to jump start your writing life is to carve out small periods of time for your writing. At this point it’s not the number of minutes or hours that you write but rather that you honor the time that you’ve set for yourself. If you say you are going to write from 3:00 pm – 3:02 pm then have your butt in chair, keyboard in hand and sit there for two, uninterrupted minutes of writing.

Where do I start? Where does the piece of work begin?

This question is a bit difficult to answer because so many of us write differently. Some use an outline, some fly by the seat of their pants and some do both. For me, I have come to realize that where I begin writing the story is not necessarily where the reader begins reading it. So when I sit down to begin writing a story I may begin writing “…and they lived happily ever after.” Where as once the story reaches the hands of the reader the first line he sees may be “Once upon a time.”

Some writers write linear and some don’t. Even with an outline I may choose to write chapter five first then go back and write chapter two. I really think the import thing is to know yourself and feel brave enough and free enough to begin writing wherever you’d like.

 So to answer the question where do I start? I say, “WRITE!”

As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.

 
We all have them.

What are yours?

What do you dream about? What gets your heart racing in the morning? What lights your fire through out the day?

What are your demons? What do you fight and struggle with, within yourself? Things that most people don't know about that you struggle with daily. What makes life challenging for you?

Good writers channel both their dreams and their demons into their writing. Writing is an art, and artists channel their inner selves into their work. Those things we struggle with, we put into words and flesh them out into fictional or non-fictional characters to bring them to life on the page...or screen. We attribute our own characteristics and characteristics of people we know and people we meet into these two-dimensional beings to make them seem three-dimensional. We have to live in the character's world for a while, then add heart and soul to each two-dimensional figure head.

We do this so that...

As a reader, you become completely engulfed in this world that we've presented to you. The goal is that we've reached into you mind, into your heart, into your soul, and touched, fondled, even squeezed and yanked your personal dreams and demons and ripped them out of you and placed them on the page or screen in front of you. We've put them right in front of your eyes and make you stand up and take notice of them. We've brought them to life for you to the extent that you can't deny their existence...if even for a few hours.

And we do this....to please you, the reader.

Yes, we bring your demons and dreams to the forefront of your mind and our demons and dreams to them...to entertain you. To please you. To make you happy.

To give you a break from your own life. And to pull you into our life.

Just briefly.

Then we'll let the chain drop that we've yanked you out with and let you fall back to your comfort zone, putting all of your dreams and demons back in their safe place.

But just until you read our next book ;)
 
Are you top notch or are you egotistical?

As a writer and as a reader?

Are you the absolute best at what you do and no one, anywhere, anytime, in any manner is qualified to give you advice of any type?

Are you open to hearing advice because any little tidbit can help you grow and improve?

This sprung into my mind because I've been seeing a trend lately. A bad trend. We've always had a few writers in our community that have the elitist mentality. They believe they are better than everyone else, period. And, although there's a ton of trash in our community, which hurts our community overall, the elitist mentality does NOT help our cause, either.

Some countries actually very much discourage this type of thinking, and we can all learn a bit from that. There's nothing wrong with being humble. Nothing at all. Who knows, you may actually make another friend or two if you're a bit more humble. 

There's also nothing wrong with having pride in your work...but then there's pride and there's ego. Two different things. No matter what country you're in, from Australia to Japan to Russia to Europe to South America to Canada to the U.S.A., ego is the same everywhere. And ego is not a good thing.

I admit, this does not just affect indie writers. Some of the biggest branded big names have big egos as well. However, that affects them. That affects the major companies. Indie authors have enough going against them as it is. Why add an over-inflated ego to that equation?

So, are you top notch or are you egotistical?
 
Welcome to your daily therapy session with the Doctor. Wait...I'm not a doctor for therapy...only dating. Oh yes, I'm supposed to introduce you to today's guest speaker, er blogger, er writer. Well, you know what I mean. So, without further adieu....hereeeeee's Marcia!

Marcia Singer Byerly

I am an artist and author living in North Carolina. "Aquilla, Indian Captive" is a Young Adult historical fiction book that was actually written by my mother who was not able to have it published in her lifetime. I had typed and edited this inspiring story and so yearned for it to be read by many people, but had no idea how to go about that until self-publishing became a possibility. I was so excited and learned what I needed to have this story made into an eBook. I'm pleased that it has been selling well. Aquilla is a bright, spunky 15-year old girl living in the 1700's in Bath, NC who is captured by Indians. The story is based on true events and my mother did a lot of research in writing this novel.

After Aquilla was done, I had a dream and woke up with the vivid memory of it and thought, "This would make a great story!" and so I began to write about Jonny "Dimbo" Dimborowski and to date have a series of 5 books with him as the main character. I am currently working on Book 6.

I never thought of myself as a writer, but found that writing is a way to take my vivid imagination and creative talents into something that I enjoy making and others enjoy reading. It is, indeed, good therapy too!

Marcia Singer Byerly


As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.
 
It hit me today. Yes, I'm becoming more "independent" with my work, in that it's getting out there more. My writing is in more hands. More eyes are reading what I've written.

Yet, that independence leads to dependence. Sort of.

I realized that around 10,000 people have a copy of one book. I then realized that those people could be riding a bus or a train, sitting in a doctor's office, sitting in a corner shutting the world out, killing time while waiting for a loved one to come home, or sitting on a beach somewhere...while reading my book. People all over the country have a copy of my book on their ereader.

This actually leads to more dependence, while giving the writer more independence. It's in the business side of things. If a person is simply a writer and not a business person, that person can simply write whatever they want and not care. They won't care if anyone ever reads their work. They won't care if their work is shared. They won't care if their work is bought. They won't care if their work is popular. They simply write to write. Period.

However, for the write that's also a business person, the independence and dependence are actually tied together. In order for us to be independent, we must also realize that we are dependent. We are dependent on the reader to actually enjoy what we write. After all, if the reader doesn't enjoy it, the work will never go far.

So yes, I have around 10,000 people with a copy of one of my books. Now I wonder how many of those are enjoying with they are reading. I'm sure at least some are, because I've had great reviews. I'm also sure some are, because they've bought the first sequel. I'm also sure some are, because they've bought the short story prequel.

In the end, yes, I'm dependent on these readers to be happy. To spread word-of-mouth. To help me build my brand and my series, to please their reading tastes.

So, in this case, being dependent to be independent feels so good.