Happy Sunday! I hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying the start of 2022. I am Covid negative and feeling great since my last post. It lasted three weeks with the third week being asymptomatic. Due to CDFC’s new rules, I was forced to return to work a week early which I disagree with but thank goodness no one got sick as a result. Half my department was going through the same thing so I was not alone but at the time that they had Covid, the rule was to stay home from work for ten days instead of five. I had to return after five days. Luckily by that time, I was feeling better.
A few years ago, I felt that since my older books were no longer selling, I could put them on inkitt.com and let people read them for free. I received a lot of positive reviews for my first published novel A Woman of Courage which was the only romance novel I’ve ever written. I guess people enjoy romance. Those reviews could only be read on inkitt.com. before I canceled that account. I was getting readers nonstop for three or four years straight and it made me feel good knowing that all of these people were enjoying my novels.
When the new year began, I started having some regrets about putting my novels on inkitt.com. I concluded after thinking long and hard, that it is not in my best interest to offer my novels for free anymore. Not if I want to be taken seriously as an Author. I am not a beginner anymore and have published four books and am currently working on my fifth. My literary works may not be the best, but this is my brand and I need to treat them as such. Being an Indie Author is a lot of hard work and we have to invest large sums of money to make our novels good enough for publication.
It’s not about just thinking of an idea and then writing it. My brain hurts regularly trying to tune out the challenges and sometimes horrors of the real world to write every sentence you read from my novels. Especially since the pandemic began. The world is turning upside down and monsters come in human form and you can’t always tell who is and who isn’t. You just have to pray that they don’t hurt you as you struggle to try to live your life every day. When you go outside of your comfort zone, you hurry to your vehicle keep your head down low and hope nobody says or does anything to you that will make you turn around and run for cover. It’s hard… Every day it’s hard. But you do whatever you have to do to survive. You can’t trust anyone anymore. We are divided as a nation and it’s getting worse every day. Quite frankly it’s scaring me. Books are an escape for people to dive into and get away from all the crap so now there’s extra added pressure as a writer to be good. To be great.
When publishing a novel independently we have no one to rely on except ourselves and hope and pray that we are doing everything right because if we don’t, we will get criticized publicly for it. We have to use our own money to hire someone to edit our books which can run up into the thousands if you want somebody good. We have to hire a book designer to design our book covers, we have to pay for our marketing and advertising which is something that I don’t do too often simply because I honestly can’t afford it.
There have been many times when I have received $2 or $3 royalty checks. $100 was my highest. Just last week I received one for only $7. I look at the totals and look at how much I invested and wonder is it worth it? To continue publishing? But my answer is always …yes. For the reasons I mentioned. People need books. People need to escape the horrors of reality. Movies fill that void as well but books can show you things that a two-hour movie can’t because of running time limits. Writing doesn’t just help you; it helps me as well. I too need a release; I too need that escape for my mental health. It is important.
For those who can no longer access my novels on inkitt.com but would still like to read them, go to amazon.com and look them up under my name. All of them including new ones are still available but no longer free. They’ve been for sale all along, but some people just don’t want to pay. I am now a firm believer that if an artist has talent, they should never offer it for free. Not if you want to grow as an artist and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Being an Artist is a real job. The only difference is, we as artists love what we do so much that we will do it for very little money. That’s just how it is. Most of us do have day jobs to pay the bills and rent just like singers, musicians, and actors who haven’t become successful yet. Some of us are starving artists and some of us have decent enough jobs to be able to live comfortably like me. But I believe that if you keep moving forward and strive to be the best you can be, someday you will find the success that you want. You just can’t, let anything stop you. Not even this crazy world we live in.
Until next time…