Profanity vs Principles

Profanity vs PrinciplesProfanity vs Principles?

One of my readers (if you read this post, please don’t take offense!) recently commented in her review that she felt my book Alex Hunt and the Chase for Rhapta was more suited to the YA market because of it not containing any swearing.  Now I didn’t necessarily see that as a negative comment, on the contrary, I’d love to be so talented that I speak to several genres at once, but it got me thinking and subsequently led me to write this post in the hope that my readers will understand who I am.

Let me start by just saying, that my Alex Hunt books are not primarily aimed at the Young Adult book market but aimed at the Action & Adventure and Historical Fiction Adult book markets.  With that said, however, I would be proud to have fifteen to twenty-five year olds also read my books.

I have been receiving a lot of mixed reviews on this book, some of which literally left me crying wanting to throw in the towel, but this one stole several hours of sleep and made me question something far more critical.  My morals.  Yes, yes, fellow authors. I hear you saying “see this is why you don’t read your reviews,”  and I get it.  Reviews have a way of cutting deep into the core which can, in turn, affect your writing and in some cases,  your very being.  I honestly don’t think this reviewer intended her feedback to sound harmful in any way, shape or form by the way.  It was her personal preference.  But to me it’s a case of profanity vs principles.

So let me explain why I lost sleep over this review compared to the suspicious one star one who has no friends or followers on Goodreads and reads a 600-page book practically every day.

You see, these words brought me to a face-off.  Do I write what I know sells like hot cakes, or do I stay true to who I am?

Most of you will choose the latter, of course.  It’s the right thing to do, but when you’re an Indie Author, like me, trying to break into an industry dominated by authors who challenge faith, human existence, and sexual morality, the answer isn’t that easy.  There are millions of Bestselling books on Amazon that contain mounds of excessive profanity, blasphemy, eroticism, rape, incest, graphic crime and demonism and they all sell!!  In the millions! Somehow these twisted dark underworld plots are what readers choose to escape an already saturated world encompassing all of the above with.  And that’s fine by me!  To each his own.  Far be it for me to judge.  I just choose not to add to this!

Besides the fact that I have children who emulate and look up to me, I have my values which I hold very dear.  I have a stepdaughter on the brink of adulthood, two tween sons and a little one who copies everything his brothers do.  Why on earth would I want any of my children, my mother or my mother’s best friend even, to read anything I am not proud to say across the dinner table from them?  Am I perfect?  Heck no!  Do I strive to be?  You bet!  Do I fall short?  OF COURSE!  I’m no saint.  And yes, there is very light swearing here and there in my books but it’s a long way off of a book I have to hide from my pastor.  I have a choice.  A choice to not write books with excessive vulgar swearing, blasphemy, explicit sex, etc. etc. etc.  I want my kids to read my books and pass it onto their friends with confidence knowing that their mother is the same person in front of them than through her books.

When I first put pen to paper, I made a choice.  A moral decision.  My books should carry my readers away from the perils of this world, inspire them, educate them and, to the YA’s reading my books, set an example.   I drew a line in the sand.  If I don’t sell as many books and lose half the reader population, so be it.  But I’d rather go down in The Good Book upstairs as an author who didn’t sacrifice her morals for the sake of the almighty dollar.

In closing, I have been at it for a mere seven months now.  Self-published three books with a fourth one in the making.  I am determined enough (ok stubborn!) to keep at it until I hit the nr 1 Bestseller spot on Amazon (or leave this earth). I shall not be shaken.

So,  if you choose to read my books, THANK YOU!  I vow to continually work hard at keeping you engaged and interested through all my books to come.

See you between my pages!

 

Book Sales vs Book Reviews

Which sells books? Book Sales or Book Reviews?

It’s practically the first wall you hit after having written a book.  Book Sales and Book Reviews.  Which sells books? Your Book reviews or more Book Sales?

As an aspiring author, I’ve pondered this conundrum many times. I’ve plucked up the courage to finally write my book. You know…the one I’ve had on my bucket list and swore I’d write before I turn fifty?

So I wake up in the middle of the night with a storyline to what I’m certain will be the next bestseller, and make a mad dash to my laptop. Armed with a strong mug of coffee I start thrashing out keys at the speed of light as the words and paragraphs gush out, slowly bringing my debut novel to life.

Having then also conquered the self-publishing beast, my book is live on Amazon and Goodreads and I’ve even gone one step further in creating a paperback through Createspace.

Voilá. I am an Author. A self published Author nonetheless, but now what?

As a new Author, writing your first book, is a personal achievement that brings great joy and you tell yourself that it was just that… for yourself.

But deep down you want your book to sell and get recommended amongst avid readers on online book forums and the likes who can appreciate reading a good book. So you join all the online Indy Author forums and start interacting with readers, fellow authors, reviewers and the likes in the hope that you can create somewhat of a book following with online friends to generate some Book Sales.

A month down the line you have plenty of free book downloads (having entered all the online book giveaways, countdown deals and free book promotions!) but no book sales to speak of and once again, turn to the online book forums for advice.

Only to then learn that, in order to Sell your book, you need Book Reviews. Confused you ponder this statement to kingdom come because, in order to get the Book Reviews in the first place, you need to Sell your book, but to Sell your book, you need Reviews? Say what now? What comes first? The chicken or the egg?

Some new Authors would even suggest paying for Reviews and trust me, there are plenty “Books Reviewers” out there that will offer their services for free if you send them a free copy of your book to review. Months later, with no book review anywhere on any Amazon marketplace site, you go back to the small print on their blogs only to see they do warn that their inboxes are always inundated with requests to review so don’t expect your review anytime soon!

So next time you ask yourself, which sells books, you need to ask yourself at this point. Why are you writing? Do you really need to beg and pay for reviews or would you rather rely on organic book sales and therefore organic honest reviews?  Wouldn’t this be a more truthful reflection of your actual talent?

Writer Inspiration - which sells books

 

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Hello Indie Author world!

Indie Author and Self-Publishing

It’s official!  My longterm goal to achieve before I hit the half-century mark has a big green tick behind it!  In fact, it has two and a third on the way!

I am an Author.  A Writer.  A Scriber.  Whatever you want to call it.  I wrote a book and published it!  Self-published it.  So now I’m also fondly known as a Self-published Author or the slang… Indie Author.  Now some of the more… shall we call it, established traditional authors out there, somewhat frown upon us Indie Authors with our Indie Publishing.  Apparently, you’re not really an Author unless it was done the traditional way, referring to having had an actual Publisher rip through your hard work with a red pen and copious amounts of personal opinions and ideas causing you to be rejected beyond what your confidence (or any human being’s) should withstand.  Only to then make you write and re-write your manuscript until they’re finally satisfied it will sell.  Of course, should the Author survive this torture, the pressure would be on to produce more such self-esteem challenging works because there’s now a salary paid employee whose sole task it is to blast the market and social media with marketing your book and a Publisher who needs to make his share of the book he so fondly re-wrote.  How can it not sell??

You see, these Authors (not all I should say!) look down upon us Indie Authors.  As if likened to the woman who chose the Caesarian route over enduring twenty hours of painful authentic labor.  (She still birthed right?)  But they haven’t had to learn how to edit their own book cover, conquer the mighty Amazon or figure out social media campaigns and meta tags.    They merely did what they loved doing… write a book, and then proudly sat back while someone else does all these things with their own money.

Now please!  I’m by no means coming down on the traditional Published Author, please don’t get me wrong.  Anyone brave enough to willingly put themselves through the criticism and rejection over and over again certainly deserves an honorary badge or medal in my book.  I certainly am not brave enough for this I humbly confess.  (I did however still celebrate when my first book ever was written went live on Amazon!)

I’m merely expressing how tough it really is to be an Indie Author.  Something no google or Wikipedia ever mentioned when I googled “What is an Indie Author”  So let me put it out there to enlighten those other Authors like me.  (By the way, Wikipedia’s definition of an Author is in fact “ An author is narrowly defined as the originator of any written work and can thus also be described as a writer. “ … just saying!)

To write a book for the first time is challenging but to figure out and execute Self-publishing pushes you beyond that same confidence thrashing measures as you are now up against the criticism and personal options of the almighty Reviews!

So next time you doubt yourself based off of the lack of Reviews or Sales you might or might not have, DONT!  Just keep writing….

 

Indie author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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