I have been away from this blog for a few months due to my insane work and writing schedule. That has since calmed down a bit and so I will be posting regularly.
Its been an amazing few weeks. I had an incredible summer. I have also taken on training seriously. I realized that a healthy body facilitates a healthy mind which means I can write more.
That’s me doing a 500 lb dead-lift and making the only face possible when lifting that much-we call it a squat face lol.
I’m currently putting the finishing touches on the third book in the Sepia Blue series and it has been a blast to write. Book Two(cover above) will be released this month and the story is twisting in some unexpected and surprising ways. By the time you read this-Sepia Blue Sisters will be available. Grab a copy and let me know what you think.
I’ll be releasing some new content soon. I have a new kind of story rolling around in my head and I would like to bounce some ideas here, before I pursue them elsewhere. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. I truly hope you have had a pleasant and exciting summer.
I am eyeballs deep into a new course being run by Mark Dawson(Self Publishing Formula) but I will get to why that’s important a little later.
I know I have touched on this topic before but in this post I wanted to go into more detail.
So first a few facts:
From January to December of 2015, the entire calendar year-my books generated…$56.81.
From January to May of 2016 (to date) my books have generated over $2k and Im on track to gross over 5k for the year.
In plain math, in the space of a year( really a few months), I will be making 100x what I made last year. This is mind shattering.
So how did this happen? I got help. Not help as a writer. I got help as an Author.
See last year I was firmly in the camp of “If you write it they will buy.” My books didn’t sell well( most days they didnt sell at all) and I was oblivious to the marketing aspect of being an Author. Until I met John (you will meet him later).
Prior to getting help I had heard of Mark Dawson but I didn’t know who he was or what he did. You have all heard me mention my amazing uber editor Lorelei Logsdon, well she introduced me to John, her husband and the other half of this power couple.
John’s first question to me was “Have you heard of Mark Dawson?”
To which I answered “Not really.” This was back in December 2015. So he points me in the direction of Mark’s free videos which of course( if you are familiar with Mark Dawson) present me with an entirely new perspective to marketing and selling my work. I followed these videos and would ask John for tips here and there.
Another question John asked me was “How large is your mailing list?”
Now I knew mailing lists were important and I had one and in 2015 my list had a grand total of 11 members. At least 4 of those were family.
To date my mailing list in 2016 has 1709 subscribers with a smaller subset being part of my launch team, which is a group of committed fans who have taken on the role to help me launch my books and make them a success. I had never heard of a launch team before I met John. Now I frequently add between 15-30 people a day to my main mailing list.
So where did I get this help and how did I make these changes?
Free videos from Self Publishing Formula and The Author Helper. This site is a treasure trove of information and videos for those willing to learn and apply the lessons contained within.
Where did John learn all of this? With Mark Dawson and the Self Publishing Formula system.But here let John tell you himself.
Watch this video I promise its worth the 3 minutes you will invest.
You still have time to sign up for this course. Its affordable and more importantly its essential to your growth as an Author. My reasoning is that if I was able to learn a great deal with the free videos from Mark Dawson and the Author Helper site. I now I have an opportunity to learn even more from the Self Publishing Formula course.
You can sign up for Mark’s course HERE. It will be closing soon so I suggest you sign up and get this information !
Consider it an investment in your writing career. Just as importantly visit the Author Helper if you find yourself stuck or with questions. Chances are they will have the answer you need. The site is a resource for all Authors and I still drop in almost daily to listen to the podcasts and to increase my knowledge.
So I have been away from the blog for a bit due to writing and most recently editing. In the midst of this i have released a short story which is the prequel to the next book. You can find this book on Amazon here.
This short went through a few changes. I had to add several chapters because if I didn’t I was threatened with bodily harm from my beta readers. I cant go into detail without spoiling it for you. Pick it up and let me know what you think.
The next few months are going to be full of activity. The next book is scheduled for early May I will have a cover reveal soon.
He would sacrifice all for love.
Roland James is an Arch Mystic and an expectant father. When the Enclave discovers his wife-Mei is pregnant, they demand he adhere to the rules and give up the baby for mandatory reprogramming and Enforcer training. When he refuses, the Enclave decides he is better off dead, along with his wife and unborn child. Now, together with Mei, they must evade the Enclave forces sent to kill them long enough for her to give birth. They must find a way to escape the Enclave or lose it all.
I enjoy hearing from you! Leave me a comment below or send me an email.
I made peace with that. Understand that this is MY OPINION and you are welcome to disagree with me. Hell you can even completely ignore this entire post. That is your prerogative. Still here? Good. Strap in and lets go. If this one raises your hackles or if you feel the need to illuminate me on the error of my ways…I direct you to the comment section below.
There is no such thing as writer’s block.
Barring depression and or anxiety which are real things and can stand in the way of your writing (and if you suffer from these I strongly urge you to seek medical help) the other reasons that writers come up with to attribute to writer’s block sound like so many excuses.
For every ‘reason’ out there that has stopped a writer, there are countless others who have had the same(or worse) setbacks and have continued to write. It’s time we let go of the crutches and get to walking on our own.
Take ownership of your writing. Stop ascribing near mythical properties to these challenges in your life.
Not enough time? Reevaluate how you spend yours.
Demanding Job? Do what needs to be done then get to writing.
Family responsibilities? Meet your responsibilities and then get to writing.
Death of a loved one? Grieve, grieve some more. Remember that you are still alive and choose life. Use your writing as a catharsis if you must, but get back to it.
Lost your desire? Remember why you started writing in the first place… and then start again.
Dont fall into this trap. Dont make excuses. Dont put it off.
Develop the discipline to see it through and FINISH WHAT YOU START.
I’ll leave you with a quote that sums this up for me.
“Write every day, line by line, page by page, hour by hour. Do this despite fear. For above all else, beyond imagination and skill, what the world asks of you is courage, courage to risk rejection, ridicule and failure. As you follow the quest for stories told with meaning and beauty, study thoughtfully but write boldly. Then, like the hero of the fable, your dance will dazzle the world.”
― Robert McKee
In order to be a writer you must struggle ALONE in obscurity.
There is no way you can write while surrounded by other writers or artists.
Writing forces you to be disconnected and its better that way.
A writer can only truly depend on themselves, no ones knows you like you.
I’m sure there are countless others and I’m here to tell you that its false. Actually I believed this and worse for a long time while I wrote and struggled to identify as a writer. Then I realized, if I am going through this other writers must be going through the same thing. It wasn’t an epiphany, but it was close. So I started to look around and found groups of writers who band together to write or offer support.
There are teachers who will share their experiences( Julia Cameron comes to mind with one of my favorite writing book:
If you haven’t picked up these books please do. They will motivate you and give you a glimpse of what it means to write.
Another great source I have found recently ( OK I’m slow to this) are blogs. There are countless writing blogs in existence but I have found quite a few excellent ones, here are some:
http://terribleminds.com/ -Blogged by Chuck Wendig who is an excellent writer with a very unique sense of humor. On occasion he has guest writers which make for great reading and plenty of useful information.
http://goinswriter.com/– Blogged by Jeff Goins. A very good blog filled with down to earth inspiration and motivation.
Its a fast read, but a very profound call to action. If you haven’t embraced your calling as a writer this book will spur you to answer that call. Look up Jeff he has some great books that will transform your view on writing..
I also recently joined an online writers group you can find them here:
This site is run by Cathy Yardley and she has great resources for writers.
There are many more that I will share with you over time, but ideally the key is to go out and connect with others, writers, readers, bloggers, agents, publishers-Basically anyone who loves using words to express themselves. Go find them. Stop thinking you need to be alone to be a writer- I thought that for a long time and its not true. Join a writers club. Find a place where writes converge, online and off.
In NY we have a few writing cafes that are excellent places to meet fellow writers. Find the one that suits you or create one.
The key is not to be alone in this adventure we call writing.
We live in a era of connectivity. Never before our time has communicating been so easy. I can on my phone, get the weather, check my email, call someone across the planet, schedule my day, surf the web, play a game, send a multiple texts and do this all before breakfast. We have arrived at a point where if we leave our homes without our devices we feel distraught and in many cases return to pick up said device. I remember the time when a cell phone was a luxury, now a smartphone is a necessity. Or is it? Continue reading Make Time to Unplug→
I recently joined a local gym after many years of not being in one(long ago I used to be a personal trainer). I was focused on my kettlebell work and had reached a plateau. So I opted for a gym which meant getting up at 4am and travelling 30 mins to this facility. I recruited my son in this adventure of gym going because if I’m going to get up at 4 its only fitting to share the wonder of being up before dawn. I get the impression he doesn’t see it as wondrous as I do. Right O?
So we meet at the gym at 5 am and get to work. Yes, it takes me about 20 minutes to fully wake up get sorted and out the door. Another 30 minutes has me at the door of the gym(I walk there at least now while its not freezing). A five minute wait has me inside the facility where I claim one of the power racks.
Yesterday my wife and I took the little ones to the Cloisters. I have to confess that even though I am a native new yorker, I have never been to the Cloisters, although I knew of its existence. Sitting atop Fort Tryon park the first impression you get when you approach the building is that of entering a castle( even though it is modeled after a monastery). Crossing the cobblestone driveway gives you the illusion of entering into another era. The fact that its tucked away in a park and surrounded by trees adds to this otherworldly feel. Continue reading Storming the castle→
I recently finished Martin Crosbie’s book on marketing an eBook. In an effort to share the tools and knowledge I acquire I suggest you read this book. Its full of insight and practical steps you can take to get your book out there. Martin writes in a clear and concise style and provides real direction for those of us new to the self-publishing world. It may contain some things you know, but I guarantee it will have tools and methods you can use. In the near future I will be adding an Author Tools tab to the page to provide links and sites you can use to help you get your book out there and to find other writers you can join.