Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Writer Wednesday: Time For Another Confession

It's been a while since I've made a confession, so here it is. As much as I love writing, this industry makes me sad. I see authors I love go from being on bestseller lists to not selling well. The question I ask is why? Where are the readers? And when I go into a store and have to spend at least $5 on a greeting card, I can't help but think, "I'd rather buy a book." Most ebooks are so much cheaper than greeting cards, yet ebooks aren't selling like I'd hoped they would.

The bottom line is that it's really tough to be an author today. You have to love what you do and let that carry you through each day. I often remind myself that I choose to write for me and not to trends. I have a loyal fan base and I love them. Will I ever achieve my big dreams as a writer? Maybe. Maybe not. But it's not why I write. I write because it's who I am. I've been a writer since I could hold a pencil. So that's what I'll continue to do. Even on the days when I feel like crying. Even on the days when I question if anyone will ever read the book I'm pouring hours, days, and months into. And I'll continue to hope that the readers come and that they treasure the written word as much as I do.

*Remember: If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

36 comments:

  1. It's been a long time since I've bought a greeting card. Way too expensive and then postage to the US is killer.

    Anyhoos, you have to love writing to be a writer. Otherwise it's just too painful.

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    1. I really resent the social notion that you're supposed to send cards. lol

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  2. I confess this is exactly why I've been struggling all year. I love to write, but I don't love to pour so much of my time and effort into work that doesn't pay off. That sounds so much more selfish than I want it to. First and foremost, I too love and am thankful for my readers. However, I wouldn't continue working at a company that made it more and more difficult to do my job, would I? It's like someone moves my desk every couple of months, doesn't tell my where to, and cuts my salary in half while I search for it. By the time I find it, I'm exhausted and behind in my work. Just as I begin to catch up, it's moved again. Changes in the industry have offered authors so many choices, but they come with so many challenges.

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    1. I really feel like writers are expected to work for free or for peanuts these days. It's sad that people don't think a book is worth paying for. Don't get me wrong. I have free books out there and I see their purpose, but what about the ones that aren't free? $3.99 isn't much to spend on a novel, yet people don't want to.

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  3. I decided long ago that I didn't want a J.K. Rowling level of success. I'd take a slow, steady career with regular books on the shelves over a bestseller any day. Many people have never even heard of some of the authors I know of who have made a living wage as fiction writers for many years...that's "success" to me!

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    1. Yes, there are plenty of authors making good money who aren't well known.

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  4. I would like a JK Rowling level of success. but if doesn't happen I won't really care too much because I just love writing.

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    1. I think that's the attitude you need to survive in this industry.

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  5. It's such a different world than it was just a few years ago. I guess that's the one thing we can count on: change.

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  6. I've spent seven years so far in the pursuit of becoming a published author. And some days I do wonder if it will feel worth it, once that *maybe* book comes out, and all the fun and hype is done with. But like you, I feel like this is who I am. Nothing precious ever comes easy, I guess! =)

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    1. No, it doesn't come easy at all. It's so full of ups and downs too,

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  7. I think it all is due to marketing and promoting. Books do sell but you have to bring it to the readers notice. There are too many books out there. Readers are spoiled for choice.

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    1. True. It's incredible how much some people spend on marketing. I wish my budget was bigger, but I work with what I have.

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  8. OM gosh, Kelly. I feel this too. Soooo much. I actually loathe free ebooks because any book worth their 'ink' is valuable and shouldn't be free and yes we're buying greeting cards that are worth more than our words? Shouldn't be the case. I think the lack of sales has something to do with the Amazon indexing, popularity, review quotient. It's highly unfair. Great topic.

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    1. Amazon does seem to control visibility and therefore our success too.

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  9. Great post. Writing is the poorest paying job I've ever had. But I keep on writing because I love it. Every penny I earn is encouraging. There's always a tiny flicker of hope in my mind that one day my books will be popular. If not, I'll still write. Tomorrow is another day, as Scarlett said to Rhett.

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    1. Very true. I'll continue to write with you, Beverly.

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  10. It is a tough business, but writing is a wonderful adventure at the same time. I keep writing because I love to daydream and find words that might go with those ideas.

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  11. I love writing and can't imagine not writing and submitting. It's a hard business, though. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to quit it, but to me that's not a possibility.

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  12. Boy do I understand! Went to a book signing recently where I read two stories to the kids, sang songs together, played with the kids, gave them each a free toy and their mothers didn't even look at any of my books let alone buy one! I don't understand because their kids loved my stories. I just thought it was really rude of the mothers. We aren't just free entertainment, we are trying to earn a living here!!

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    1. Yes, sadly I know this feeling too, Allyn.

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  13. Books are still my idea of $ well-spent, while physical greeting cards have fallen by the wayside and replaced by home-made Emails with images. (They're so much fun to do and more personal.)
    I suspect we are at some sort of paradigm shift when it comes to books. But we will always need stories.

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    1. I make my own cards or use free ones that come in the mail. I'd rather buy books too.

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  14. What a great post! I agree that cards are quite pricey these days. I do buy them when I find a perfect one- but much prefer to spend my money on books (I still don't have an ereader).

    ~Jess

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    1. I read print and ebooks. I love them both. And I save books or pass them on to someone else. You can't save every card. Most wind up in the garbage, so it's not money well spent in my mind.

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  15. Shoutout to Jess above: please get an e-reader soon! I love reading on my tablet (font size adjustments and dictionary with just a press away)

    Kelly, with all the competition out there, it really is a tough time for authors. We are fortunate that we love what we do despite the earnings. I was just freewriting on this topic yesterday. As for greeting cards, I don't buy them anymore. For the past two years, I've been buying ebooks as X'mas gifts instead. :)

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    1. That's a great gift! I always welcome books.

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  16. I read both print and ebooks all the time, but what I see from the kids at school (4,5,6 grade) they devour print books. Most of the kids I work with (52 at last count) read a book every 2weeks--except my grand daughter, sigh. If I can talk her into a book a month, it's time to celebrate.

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    1. I'm happy to hear kids prefer print books. I love the feel of a book in my hands. :) I do read ebooks too though.

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  17. I hear what you're saying. We spend $5.25 for a latte, but balk at $.99 for a book. I guess there are ups and downs in all business, so we just have to know that's the way it is. We can always go into other endeavors, right? :-) Well, maybe not.

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    1. I split my time between writing and editing, but I love books, so that's where I'll stay.

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