Hey everybody! It’s another Meditative Monday and today I wanted to take a little break to do something a little different.
When I first started this blog, one of the things I wanted was to be able to share what it’s like to go through the process of going from writer to author, but of course back then I was stuck in the limbo of editing and didn’t know how to go about this.
But now since I’m officially published and threw myself to the pubbing wolves, I feel I finally do have things to share and I want to share them because (as far as I know) many authors tend to share condensed stories about their successes and media blows up “overnight success” when really things don’t actually happen like that. There’s a lot of quiet struggle and uncertainty that doesn’t get covered.
I don’t know if anyone can relate, but personally I often wished that my favorite writers would share more detailed stories of what they were doing before they became successful. And I guess until I find that sort of thing, I’ve got to fill that niche myself.
And of course, I’ll talk about my progress in drawing and music as relevant, too, but those will not be as forefront as writing. But I do feel that all art does connect eventually so maybe someone out there might find another’s struggle encouraging.
But without further ado, let’s get to the meat! 😀
I don’t know how far along some of you are in your writing, but eventually we all come to the point where we have to market our books and let readers know we exist.
I decided to try one of those sites that do email blasts of books that are free and for sale. I’d already settled on BookRunes because it’s cheap at $25 and people that apply don’t seem to need reviews for it.
At first I was super nervous about it because I thought, what if they don’t pick me? Are they still going to take my money? (No they can’t.) When they did pick me I was super excited. I was set for May 25th and every day I was wondering more and more about what to do to prepare.
And when May 25th came around, I was pissed.
The email blast came around and my book was nowhere on it. I was like “wait a minute, what’s going on?” I checked my account and my money was definitely gone. I checked the site and my book showed up there.
Now I’d like to give the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe it was something on my end or something that I didn’t read. Or maybe even that they didn’t put the book in my email specifically because that would be redundant.
But I was left feeling a bit— I don’t know, peeved and confused? Because the site itself is very simple, it doesn’t say anything like ‘oh, this book will get picked for emails and this book won’t’. It doesn’t say much at all actually. Just put in your $25 dollars and we’ll ‘promote’ your stuff.
But it didn’t translate much into downloads, which gave me that suspicion, so in a way, I felt like it was kind of a waste. That money could’ve bought me three videos from a CGMA art course that I saw for cheap.
Though another part of me wonders if maybe it’s just because my book is too new and my niches are really small. Or if Bookrunes’s reach is just small because I don’t think that it’s very old.
I wasn’t expecting crazy numbers or anything, but I just suppose this just serves as a reminder that marketing is a wonky world and that I just haven’t been out there long enough to figure it out. I’m okay with that being the reason.
As one of my favorite artists would say, “Get back in that water! Keep swimming!” >:[
And since that’s an ‘oh so convenient segway’…
I really wanted to talk about this because I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I’ve encountered a lot of people who might look at things that I draw or write and say, ‘wow, I wish I could do that’ or ‘hey, you’re so talented’.
And let me tell you, I hate the word talented. I actually find it a little rude.
And no it’s not a thing about being modest or thinking my work is good or bad. It’s because when people say that, (and I’ve had people insist that I am talented) it feels like they’re completely disregarding the hard work behind what I did.
I don’t like the idea that anything I do is somehow ‘magic’ because it creates this false belief that only certain people can do art and everyone else is just out of luck.
I strongly believe that professional level drawing, writing, music, or whatever is accessible to everyone. It’s only when we start asking the question, “Are you willing to put in a shit ton of hours of hard work?” that the real artists start to come out and separate from the crowd of people who just talk and dabble.
Something that I see a lot, are people who like the idea of writing or drawing, but when it comes time to actually hustle and get things done, you’ll get every excuse in the book. ‘I need this fancy software, this novel, this computer, this class, this cintiq and then I’ll get started’.
And so many times I just want to pull my hair out and say, ‘No! Get started first and then worry about those things when you have the skill to actually use them. The tool won’t do miracles for you!’
There are artists that can draw really cool stuff on a napkin! There are writers that can pen a story on a cardboard box. There are musicians that could probably do an entire orchestral piece using just the stuff laying around in their kitchen.
The tool never matters.
I’m learning this lesson all over again as I try to learn drawing from scratch and comparing the parallels to writing. And in the end, I really do feel it is about the mileage (practice). Sure I could give you a list of all the books that I read, but the book knowledge, to me always felt temporary.
I would always read the book, and while I read the book, I’m like, “Woooo yeah, I’m improving!” But then I put the book down and then I feel like my work went back down the shitter. I didn’t stop having this feeling until I took getting mileage more seriously.
And it’s very empowering too because then you realize that your growth is in your hands and not in the hands of a book or a teacher. When you have that, you can accomplish almost anything.
Alright, I think I’ve ranted enough for one day. I’m not sure how often I’ll get to do these as I can’t ever really predict when something will change in my life. But hopefully because I’m doing writing, drawing, and music, there will always be something to talk about.
But until next time…
Get back in that water! 😛