Writing Books and Ex-boyfriends

I can’t remember where, but I heard or read a comment comparing books that you’ve finished writing to ex-boyfriends. What is meant by that – for me anyway – is that once you’ve finished the writing and the revising and the editing you have moved on. Then, after some time has passed, you will think back on the book fondly, but won’t want to revisit it.

Recently I have discovered that this is absolutely true. Take for example my first novel “Running from Fate,” which I published on Amazon in August of last year. I spent some time trying the traditional publishing route – agent queries mainly – before I turned to publishing in ebook format. Prior to that I spent over a year writing and revising the manuscript. Even with revising I finished writing the book in September of 2010.

By the time it was published on Amazon it had been off my radar for two years and I was deeply into the writing of another book. In fact, I think I had finished one book and started on a third. But readers want to talk about the book they’ve just read; they comment on it, ask questions and, sometimes (and I love this part) rave about it.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all of my readers, even the ones who have something negative to say. I suppose the problem, like I’ve said, is that “Running from Fate” is now an ex-boyfriend. I remember it in a distant way – after all it was my creation, my blood, sweat and tears – but I don’t think of it often.

By all means, continue to comment and yes, absolutely yes, say nice things, rave about the parts you really like and I will thank you, but I might not completely recall the part you’re talking about.

Truthfully, once I’ve finished a book – and for you fellow writers you know it is hard work – I don’t really want to think about it again – well at least seriously think about it anyway (the kind of thinking that means reading it or, God forbid, working on it). I’ve spent months writing and just as long if not longer editing and revising. At least for a while anyway I’m sick of it. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t be willing to do another round of revising if say a publisher requested it, but I’d still grouch.

It’s a strange thing writing books, you always kind of live in your readers’ future. It’s a bit of a disconnect. I wonder if Neil Gaiman gets tired of people asking about “American Gods” or if J.K. Rowling will get sick of people talking about Harry Potter? Food for thought.

Anyway happy reading and inspired writing

Rose Connelly

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Marketing your Kindle ebook

I’ve been looking at all these websites about how to market your Kindle ebook. I’ve seen tags mentioned, guest blogging, having a Facebook fanpage, using twitter, etc…Of course, I did find websites that wanted to sell me a book about marketing ebooks, which in my mind is a great gambit for them, but defeats the purpose for me; I’m trying to make money, not spend it.
Anyway, I got to thinking, I don’t have many people who follow my blog, barely over 100 who are connected to me on Twitter, and only one or two non-family friends on my specific author-related Facebook page. Now, I’m not saying that, provided you put enough energy into it, those things couldn’t work, but they haven’t done much for me so far.
For the first month that my book “Running from Fate” was on Amazon I barely had 50 sales and most of those were probably from friends and family. I was wary of making my ebook exclusive to Amazon for 90 days, but I signed up for KDP Select. It allows me 5 days to use for promotion, where people can download my book for free. In two days I had almost 15,000 downloads and, after the free download ended I’ve sold close to 300 books.
Sales do drop off though and I’m wondering how other people have successfully marketed their ebooks. Perhaps it’s just me, but I’m a big reader and I don’t search blogs and forums before I buy a book. Maybe I’m just not that into technology or I’m showing my age.
Anyway, if anyone has any ideas to share I’d love to hear them.

Happy reading

Rose Connelly

Running from Fate book sales, reviews and comments

I just wanted to say thank you to all of the people who downloaded ‘Running from Fate‘ during the promotion and those who posted reviews and made comments on various websites. It was my very first book and I know there are some aspects that could perhaps have been done a bit better, but I believe writers always think that. It’s difficult and nerve-racking putting your work out there to be judged by others. It is a lot easier sending queries and even manuscripts off to unknown agents as it’s kind of impersonal and at least if they don’t like it, they won’t be posting comments on-line for everyone to see.

Still, I hope everyone enjoyed reading it. Since looking at a proof for Create Space I have noticed some spelling and grammar issues that neither myself nor beta readers noticed in the electronic version. I think you just get too used to seeing the text and a change of medium was what I needed. I have since uploaded a corrected version to Amazon and I have asked them how to go about notifying people who purchased the book before today of the update. As soon as I find out I will notify purchasers.

Over 14,000 people downloaded the book during the free promotion

I have since sold over 200 copies

Take a look at this review on Free Kindle News.

Within a few days a print copy should be available from Amazon.

Thank you again for all your support. Happy reading.

Rose Connelly

Contemporary Romance – Running from Fate

Well sales have slowed on my ebook ‘Running from Fate,’ likely due to the fact that I have done very little in the way of marketing or being visible on-line. I’ve been so busy and stressed, working so much (and not on my writing), that it’s difficult to get up the energy. Still, I have decided to make it available in print through CreateSpace. Just waiting for the proof to come in, which I’m quite exited about. Then I’ll see what I can do to make myself more visible.

Writing for a Genre – or Not

As every writer knows, it’s wonderful to let your imagination go, allow your characters room to breathe and speak, and just write. Then comes reality. You’ve finally finished your book. You’ve agonized over the words, edited it until you can barely handle looking at it then passed it on to a friend with an eagle eye. You’ve closed your eyes, taken a deep breath and sent your manuscript out to a group of friends, friends of friends, members of your writing group. You’ve told people to be honest with you and know that some of them have because you feel like the comments in the margins of your Word document should be in glaring red and some of them make you see that colour.

Then you get over your anger because, as a writer, you have to be able to handle criticism; chances are very good that it will only get worse.  So you suck it up, carefully consider what your focus group has said, make your final adjustments, and start the process of querying.  At this point I’m going to talk about my own experiences so far with my most recently completed manuscript, ‘A Blush of Magic.’ As I have previously mentioned in other blogs, the feedback from agents and publishers, in one case, has been quite mixed.

Sourcebooks, who will accept un-agented manuscripts, said it had a good, solid foundation and enchanting accents; they had nothing really negative to say about it, only that it didn’t fit in with what they published. All in all a good start. Then I had a partial manuscript request from an agent; she liked it but felt the romance didn’t move quickly enough. Another agent requested a full manuscript and felt I should clean it up, cut big parts of the story. I’m assuming that she wanted me to cut those parts that didn’t directly contribute to the romance, but doing that, I felt, would change do too much to of the story, what I wanted to say, what my characters had to say. ‘A Blush of Magic’ is definitely a romance, but that’s not all it is. It’s about a woman struggling to overcome a debilitating social anxiety disorder, finding out who she is, discovering a family, overcoming a difficult problem.

And that, it seems, is my problem.  According to Wikepedia, ” Novels in this (romance0 genre place their primary focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people…”  And if your book, as mine did, strays outside these constraints even a wee bit, you’ve gone into dangerous territory, territory that, in general, agents and publishers want to stay far away from (at least until you’ve published a few best sellers then I’d imagine that you have a bit more freedom).

This issue became even more apparent in a comment from a publisher on my first manuscript, ‘Running from Fate.’ It was apparently a solid plot, but the tone was uneven, mixing elements of both the contemporary and suspenseful categories of romance, which would apparently make it difficult to market. What’s wrong with that I say? What about comedic relief. When they’ve lost the bad guys for a bit, why can’t the characters take a little break from the stress, dance together, play together, just decompress.

I’ve been stressing over this issue, wondering how I change my already finished works to more closely fit the parameters, worrying that I’ll never get published, doubting my own abilities. And it has played havoc with my creativity, my confidence, my writing. It was something I didn’t even realize until a few weeks ago when I was sitting on the bus and had a flash that I haven’t had in good long while: the germ of a new story. And God how I’d missed that buzz, the excitement, the quick-fire thoughts that I had to get down immediately or lose them. I realized then that I had allowed all the reasons that I had started writing in the first place to become a distant speck, where they were barely even recognizable.

And then I picked up a book by Sherrilyn Kenyon and found something interesting in the author’s note. She says that, prior to this book, she had published six books in one year, but hadn’t sold one book in four years because the genre she was writing in (paranormal/futuristic) had become passée (my words). Then she wrote a book that specifically had everything a ‘marketable’ book of the time should have, but it received a scathing rejection and made her realize something: that she “…didn’t want to succeed by trying to play by other people’s ‘rules.'”  If she was going to fail it would be by writing books that she wanted to write. (Excerpt taken from “Born of Fire” by Sherrilyn Kenyon).

Why can’t I colour outside the lines?

Happy writing,

Rose Connelly

As a note: I will continue to look for an agent for “A Blush of Magic,” but I’m going to give publishing “Running from Fate” as a Kindle ebook a try. I still have to get a cover designed (thankfully I have friends and family members who are artists) and figure out how to market it (for free preferably), but it’s worth a shot.

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