Thursday, December 22, 2016
I'm trying to see this as a blessing in disguise. While I'm still searching for another part time job, most of my attention is going back into my writing. Since I moved out of my parent's house at the beginning of the year I have written next to nothing. I simply haven't had time what with working forty plus hours a week- I applaud anyone who does this and still manages to get in time for writing. You are basically a superhero of the writing community.
But thankfully now I have an amazing, wonderful boyfriend (my high school sweetheart came back to me! Everyone say awwwww) with an amazing, wonderful job. I can now focus on my writing again. And the best part? He WANTS me to focus on my writing! He loves me so much he wants me to do what makes me happy. And you know what that is? WRITING.
So you know what my new job is? WRITING BOOKS.
You know how freaking hard it is to make any money from writing book? VERY.
You know what that means? You guys seriously need to buy a copy of Abhorrence and Affection. Seriously. Though my babe is supportive of my writing career, I still want to bring in SOME form of money so I'm not just hanging around like a pet waiting for him to get off work. I'm sure my strong women out there get what I'm saying. (There will be a link to the book at the end of this blog post).
And you know what else I've noticed since I've started writing daily again? My *anxiety, which has been going off the roof for the past couple months, has calmed down enough for me to relax and enjoy life. I don't worry about stupid crap anymore. I know that has got to be so much better for the health.
I am so excited to get right back into the writing community again. (I hope no one's forgotten me!!! Or worse... I've forgotten how to write.,..) I look forward to seeing all the familiar faces and spending time just enjoying life, as opposed to stressing and withering away like an ox on a farm.
This will be good for me, I think.
Oh! And I'll start writing weekly blog posts again! YAY!!!!
Oh! And here's the link to Abhorrence and Affection I promised: https://www.amazon.com/Abhorrence-Affection-Madeline-Courtney-ebook/dp/B013J862H4
GO BUY IT. IT'S ON SALE FOR $0.99. JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
SERIOUSLY. PLEASE GO BUY IT. BEING A FULL TIME WRITER MEANS I NEED THE MONEY.
I've got to figure out how to end these things.
*For those of you that don't know, I suffer from a very severe case of worry- or WHAT IF- anxiety that peaks randomly throughout the day. Writing has been my creative outlet for years. Having it taken away from me made my life so difficult. I would have panic attacks over silly things that would probably never happen. Now that I've gone back to writing daily, the anxiety has dropped drastically and I can actually goes days without having a panic attack.
Saturday, July 2, 2016
I remember the day I finally told someone; a member of the church I was attending. I remember my best friend’s mom calling my mom and asking me about why I had told someone an older man was touching her daughter. I remember crying. I remember my mom crying. I remember my dad struggling not to strangle you. I will never forget that day.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
YES. I received the dreaded first one star review today (or, rather, yesterday. I just happened to check today).
When I first read the simple, one sentenced review I was heartbroken. What?! Somebody hated on my precious baby!? WHY? It's practically perfect in every way!
Hey, don't laugh! I'm not the only author who goes through this when they read their first one star. (At least I hope not... That would be embarrassing).
At first I was so upset. I had spent so much time on this novel... writing it and loving it and getting to know the characters... and someone didn't like it! What a waste of time! Why had I bothered to try when people are so difficult to please? I might as well just give up! I'll never write another book again! I hate my life! (Yes, I realize now this is terribly dramatic and ridiculous. Don't judge me).
Then, while listening to my meditation app, I decided to look up some of my favorite books by my favorite authors on Amazon and see how they've been reviewed. (Planning to make myself feel even worse in my little poor pitiful me act).
And guess what! They all had some one star reviews too! That's right! Best selling novels have bad reviews too! And guess what! They're still best selling and loved by many readers!
Just because I love this book... doesn't mean everyone else is going to as well... And I'm just now seeing this through the author's prospective instead of the reader's. If every author gave up because of a bad review... no one would write.
So you know what? YES. I got a one star review. And that's totally okay! You know why? Because not everyone likes the same thing and we, as authors, shouldn't expect them to.
A bad review is just a bad review.
If you happen to get one... Take a deep breath. Read it. Learn for it. And move on to your next project. You don't have time to dwell on it- you've got another book to write!
At least, that's what I'm telling myself.
What do you do when you get a bad review? Let us know in the comment section!
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Everyone who has ever published anything goes through this little bump in the road. There's no denying it.
What bump in the road am I talking about? Oh, you know the one where your book isn't selling quite as well as you want it to and you start questioning your entire life's decisions and wondering where you're gonna be in ten point seven years.
I've actually recently been going through this (for the past couple days, to be exact) and finally, while watching Saturday Night Live (featuring the sexy Ryan Gosling) I realized that I just need to take a step back and practice what I preach.
On Twitter I go on and on about how amazing it is to be a Writer, and how you shouldn't care about the sales and that you should just write to... well, write! And here I am, moping around the house in pjs, doing the exact opposite. Talk about hypocritical.
And that's where this blog post comes in. (And I'm not just telling you guys, I'm telling myself).
When you feel like giving up, or you feel like you've accomplished nothing in your writing career... just take a step back and remember why you write.
No one starts writing for the money or the fame and if they do... Well, good luck with that. No, more often than not people start writing because that is what they are born to do, because we like it. More often than not, we decide to publish our novels to share our stories with the world! Not to make bank and become the next JK Rowling (though that would be seriously awesome).
For example, let's say you're writing your book and you have the sudden urge to stop because no, no! this wont sell!
Just stop. Close your laptop. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath... and remember what brought this story to you. Why you wanted to write it in the first place. Why you started writing in the first place.
This helps. I promise.
Write because you love it. Write because you have a story to tell. Write because you want to share your story. Not because you want to make money. And DO NOT give up a story because you don't think it will sell well.
Now, if you'll all excuse me. I'm going to go eat spaghetti and watch Barbie's Christmas Carol.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Okay. I'm going to come right out and say it; I think auto tweeting is stupid. There you have it. That's my opinion. That's the end of the blog post. (Just kidding, of course! ... About it being the end of the blog post... not that I think auto tweeting is stupid).
The reason for this blog post is because I've noticed a lot of people are starting to use auto-tweets and almost my entire time line is filled with nothing but links and headlines screaming at me.
And you know what? I honestly hate it. It feels so... impersonal, so fake... almost like you (okay, not really you, but the person using the auto tweets) don't want to take the time to 1) talk with and get to know your readers and 2) actually spend some time on your published work.
You worked so hard on this novel/short story/novella/whatever... and you don't want to take the time to market it yourself?
I can honestly tell you, from an outsiders prospective, that these auto-tweets aren't affective (while, I guess I wouldn't actually know since I don't use them)... but as a reader, these tweets do not make me want to read your book. I, as a reader, want to get to know you. I wanna hear about what you went through to write this book, I want to hear updates, and the struggles you've face... and then, when it comes time to published, I want to hear how proud and excited you are that your project is available for others to read.
This is what makes someone click on the link you (personally) tweet. This is what makes somebody want to buy your book and read it.
Not monotone, robotic auto-tweets.
Honestly, and feel free to correct me in the comments if you use auto-tweets yourself, the only pro I can think of with using auto-tweets is... maybe you get retweeted and favored more often?
Maybe Briana will have more Pros, as I can't think of any at the moment....
As a busy woman, I can understand some of the merits of auto tweeting. For one thing, it allows you to “set it and forget it”—once you queue up some posts, you can schedule them to go out without thinking about it. This automation frees up time for other important things, such as writing.
While I can sympathize with busy people who feel the need to auto tweet, it’s not something that I personally recommend. For one thing, it’s impersonal. When you auto tweet, it looks like you can’t be bothered to interact with other people; like your time is so much more valuable than theirs. Also, I’m not convinced that it actually helps sell books. If I see too many auto tweets or get an auto DM from an author, I’m not likely to buy their book. Sometimes, I’ll even unfollow them. (See my post on socializing versus selling on Twitter.)
If you want to sell books, engage and interact like an actual human being. If you want to succeed on social media, you need to focus on socializing. As you build and strengthen relationships with people, they will naturally become more interested in your work and may become convinced to buy it on their own—all without being nagged or manipulated into it.
The bottom line is this: although auto tweeting is simple, convenient, and may save you a little bit of time, it isn’t worth it in the long-run. With auto-tweeting, you’re more likely to scare people off than draw them in. Stick to staying human.
I agree completely, Briana! It really does seem like you can't take the time to be bothered with your readers. Tweets are easy to send. Quicker than a text message.... Keep it simple, sweet, and human!
What are your opinions on auto-tweeting? Leave a comment and let us know! -MC
Monday, September 14, 2015
This is gonna be a short post... I'm kidding! I'm kidding!!! (Kinda).
Some fellow Writers on Twitter and in some of my Facebook Writing groups have been asking me about my sales as a self-published author and, instead of telling everyone individually, I decided to write a quick blog post on the subject.
Before we get into that I would like to apologize for being absent from this blog for the past few months. As some of you know, this website is how my biological father came in contact with me. Now, this wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if 1) he hadn't left me ON CHRISTMAS when I was six years old and never came back and 2) he didn't try and manipulate me into thinking I had another sister when really it was the neighbor kid, just going along with the lie. I debated on deleting this blog all together, for fear he would continue to contact me, but I realized that would be a foolish thing to do. This is my blog. This is about ME and I'm not gonna let some douchebag take that from me. Now that I've realized this (and blocked him, his wife, and my "sister" on every part of social media that I would) I want to pick this blog back up...
Starting with this post: My Sales so Far As A Published Author.
As of today I have made exactly $40.40 since the publication of Abhorrence and Affection last month.
At first, I found myself totally annoyed at this (Um. I wrote a book. I should be a zillionaire by now)... but then I realized this is actually really good for a first time author. Like, really good apparently... Which is good. I think.
And how did I sell so many books in only a month and a half's time? I don't really know. I suck at marketing! I tweet a link at least once a day, but I feel like I'm annoying everyone... so I just... don't. It's one of my biggest concerns, actually. Like, I don't want to be one of those annoying people who only tweet links and beg for your money- that such a turn off and so dang annoying.
And I mean, I've gotten some descent reviews (five so far and only one of them negative- and the negative one was posted before I had the novel edited, so I personally don't count that)... so they must have something to do with the sales. Here's one for an example;
Lovely story. Vibrant and alive characters I can easily relate to. I love the regency feel with the speed and liveliness of complimentary language. Clearly written with youthful engery.
It was four stars. That's good, right? So I can assume that these have something to do with the raising sales.
Other than that... I honestly have no idea why or how I'm selling... And I'd like to change that. I'd like to start marketing, but I have no freaking idea how to do that.
How do you get sales? 'Cause I could seriously use some advice on marketing without becoming an annoying spammer.
Leave your advice/thoughts on the subject in the comments! I would greatly appreciate it!
P.S. If anyone is interested in taking a look at Abhorrence and Affection themselves... You can so here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B013J862H4?ie=UTF8&redirectFromSS=1&pc_redir=T1&noEncodingTag=1&fp=1
Sunday, June 14, 2015
When I first met Briana on Twitter, I knew we would instantly be BAFFYS (best author friends forever-y). And we have gotten pretty close as Writer and also as friends.
Which is why I knew I wanted her to be my first Guest Blog post! Here is Briana's post!
When Madeline reached out to me about guest posting on her blog, I was beyond thrilled. I’ve featured her on my own blog before, and I’m flattered she decided to return the favor. Thank you, Madeline, for letting me talk about my book!
For those of you who don’t keep up with my madness (can’t say I blame you), the book in question is my debut novel Blood and Water. It’s a post-apocalyptic young adult novel that reads like The Walking Dead and Fallout – minus the zombies. I wanted to examine how widespread trauma and disaster affects interpersonal relationships. How, for example, would losing both parents affect the relationship between two siblings? In the distant future, how much can a pandemic change the structure of humanity?
Here’s a short passage from the book that could also be a blurb:
Jay had spent the past few weeks looking for a cure. It was like Maia said—there was no help in London. He wondered if they would’ve been safer if they’d stayed in Chicago. Location didn’t matter now, but before the virus started—no, he couldn’t spend time dwelling on the “what if”s. It was Maia’s decision to move to London and his to follow after her. The virus was everywhere, and it had spread fast. Perhaps they never would have been able to avoid it.
My protagonist, Jay Harris, is a POC character. I went into this novel wanting to focus on diversity. As a result, Blood and Water is populated with two black Americans, a white Irish girl, and two biracial characters (Irish-Chinese and French-African). The lead scientist is a woman. There is a good amount of interracial romance. Young adult is severely lacking in the diversity department, and while I don’t think my book is the answer, I certainly hope it helps.
If this novel sounds like something you’d be interested in reading, keep an eye out for the first draft posted on my website soon. I’d love to hear your thoughts! If you want to be the first to know about exciting developments in my writing life, you can subscribe to my blog , follow me on Twitter , and become a fan of my work on Wattpad , where I’m posting all of my writing for free.
Thanks again for hosting me, Madeline! This has been fantastic!