The Dreaded R Word

Today is the day I feel liberated.

Nothing fundamental has happened to spark this change, nothing life altering at all. Far from it in fact. What I did do, however, was read an article written by a traditional author. The author was an unknown to me, and is far from a millionaire, and is  still scraping a living from selling books. In her article, she discusses the disadvantages of self-publishing. And while she didn’t sneer at it per se, she pointed out the genuine pitfalls, ones I can whole heartedly relate to, but she went on to explain how if you want to be a “serious” writer, pretty much run away from self-publishing.

So why liberated?

What on earth did this article tell me that I didn’t already know?

Well, nothing exactly. Sorry. There was no great epiphany. But what it did do was to help remind me why I write, and more importantly why I self-publish. Unlike many amazing whiz self-published authors who manage to write a surplus of six novels a year, I take my time with each novel. This isn’t necessarily because of the love of it, more like it’s to do with balance, as well as my inability to not watch The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones. #truestory

But even though my Perfect series, for example, are released a year apart, I love writing. I love the escape it offers, the buzz from pouring words out on paper, and the absolute amazing feeling from knowing I touched someone’s life with my words. Again, pretty much the same reason as most writers out there. I know this can frustrate readers, because yep, I’m a reader too and I want to throttle my favourite authors when they’re taking too long. I get it. I truly do and I’m sorry, with a little bit of “not sorry” in there.

I can’t pump out words at a rapid pace and if I did, I’d be letting myself down, and just as importantly, you, my readers down, so I just can’t do it. Do I admire those who can? Damn straight I do. They’re bloody amazing!

Yes, I’m rambling… so I need to swing this back round to the title of this post.

What is the “dreaded R word”?

REVIEWS!

I don’t know why it’s hit me today, but I know to sell books apparently we need reviews, and there was a time I worked myself up in a frenzy about being stuck for so long without them, or “too few”, or stuck on the same blasted number. But no more. Life’s too short and way too stressful to bog myself down with constant promoting and review chasing.

Does it effect sales? No doubt it does. Does that matter so much to me? Honestly, not at this moment in time. Those few emails I receive a month from readers, they’re what matter to me–whether they’ve left a review or not. But today, I’ve made a positive choice with my “author” head on. I’m no longer going to stress or be disheartened when I see static sales or no move on my reviews. I’m so bloody excited about this choice!

Instead, what I will continue to do is support the success of those amazing authors around me and smile with genuine pride at their growing reviews and excellent sales, as it truly is an amazing thing. And what I will also do is stop checking sales, ranks and reviews. Okay… I’ll try my bloody hardest too. I’m only human after all. What I’ll do is focus on loving my family, spending time with my boys and putting myself under writing pressure when I feel the need to. That way, my amazing readers will receive what I hope to be quality stories, ones that can provide an escape and a smile.

That is the mission that I’m pushing to the forefront, as it’s by far the most important.

So in summary, bear with me! 😛

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