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À la fin de la journée.






robe Maje (2008) / collants ? / chaussettes H&M / chaussures André

Interview with my cover artist Carl Graves


I've known Carl Graves for 24 years, and he's a close friend of mine. We've worked on numerous projects together, and I've never met anyone more talented, in any field, than Carl is. He blows my mind he's so good.

Joe: Let's start off with a bit of your background.

Carl: I've always been interested in art. Drawing, painting, animation, sculpture, and so on. When I got my first copy of Photoshop, I began playing around with computer images, and have been doing so for over a decade. You came to me a few years ago, asking if I could do an ebook cover for you. Since then I've done more than two dozen of your covers, and dozens of others.

Joe: You've got a lot of different styles. For example, your covers for Lisa Jackson look different than your covers for James Swain.

Carl: I try to work with the writer to match the cover to their book. At the same time, because of my art background, and because I read a lot, I understand the elements needed to make a cover stand out. People do judge books by their covers, and a well-done cover will help the author sell more books.

Joe: I've been screaming at authors for years about the importance of covers. Poorly done covers that look like your child did them do not help sales. Even people with new ereaders can pick out the self-made covers, and they equate those with self-pubbed ebooks, which they equate with unprofessional. An amateur cover subconsciously tells the reader to not buy the ebook. Your covers look like Big 6 covers.

Carl: Thanks. Some of my covers I'm very proud of. Others, I did what the author wanted, and I don't feel they're as strong. But I work for the author, and if the author wants to go down a certain path, I do what they ask.


Joe: You've gotten some negative feedback on the internet, in various forums. Writers unhappy with your communication skills.

Carl: I realize that, and I truly apologize for anyone I've inconvenienced. This has been a pretty tough year for me. Family problems, job issues, health issues, and some major computer/internet issues. I've lost some business, and people have been irritated because I haven't communicated like I needed to. I'm human, and I got in over my head. 

Joe: Writers tend to be needy.

Carl: I understand that a lot better than I did. I have a background (in animation) where dealines could be months, or even a year down the road. With a Big 6 book, the book comes out months after the cover art is done. There is never any rush.

Joe: But with ebooks, sometimes the cover art is needed right away so the writer can self-publish it.

Carl: I realize that now. 

Joe: How is your schedule these days?

Carl: Thankfully, a lot better. If someone emails me, I'll be in touch with 24 hours (weekends or holidays 48 hours.) This is now my fulltime job. When you contact me, we can talk about what you need, and I'll give you an honest estimate on how long it will take. Usually a week or less. If a writer needs a lot of changes, it can take a bit longer.



Joe: You've always done my covers pretty quickly.

Carl: You usually know exactly what you want. Authors should look at the covers on my website, and covers of their favorite books, and show me the style they're going for. It helps if you know the image you'd like, and if you have taglines and blurbs ready. That speeds the process. But if you're unsure, I'm happy to work with you to figure it out.

Joe: How are your prices?


Carl: Competitive. Much cheaper than what the Artist's Market lists for book covers. I can do an ebook cover for $400. If you also want a paper cover (for Lulu or Createspace, which includes the spine and back cover) I can do that for an extra $100 ($500 total). I can also do less expensive covers for $250. I call these eBookLite covers. They look better than amateur efforts, but aren't as specific as my custom covers. If a writer is just starting out and short on funds, I think it's probably a better way to go than trying to whip up something on your own in MS Paint.

Joe: Hey! I did that with my first covers!

Carl: And how did they sell?

Joe: When I had you redo them, sales went up 30%. Better covers equal better sales. how can people get in touch with you?

Carl: On my website, www.extendedimagery.com.

Joe: So have you ever done covers for authors and they didn't pay? Or they didn't like the end result?

Carl: Funny you should mention that. I currently have ten completed ebook covers that need good homes. If any authors reading this have written books that these covers would fit, email me and I'll let you have them for fire sale prices.

Joe: What's a fire sale price?

Carl: Each of the covers shown below is $150. That's as-is. The writer gives me their name, their title, and they get a 300dpi (high resolution) ebook cover.

Joe: $150 is dirt cheap. And these covers are terrific.

Carl: Thanks. If any author wants to change some things, or add some things, I can do that as well, but I have to charge a bit extra for that, depending on how extensive the changes are. And for an extra $100, I can add a spine and a back cover, so these can be used for paper books on Lulu or Createspace.

Joe: I assume you're only selling these once.

Carl: Right. Each of these is unique. Once someone buys it, it is theirs and theirs alone. So this is first come, first serve. Once it's gone, it's gone.

If you want to inquire about one of these covers, or you want to hire me to do a cover for you, email me. Please specify which cover you're interested in (the number is beneath the image.)


















Free

I've sold 7000 ebooks in the last 36 hours, making over $14,000.

For the next three days, I'm making 23 of my titles free on Amazon Kindle.

http://www.amazon.com/J.A.-Konrath/e/B000BCH4EM

Blake Crouch is doing the same.

http://www.amazon.com/Blake-Crouch/e/B001H6U8X0

Get them while they're free. :)

The List, A Story of Rejection

Just went through some of my old rejection letters. As readers of this blog know, I garnered more than 500 rejections before getting published.

One of my unpublished books was The List.


A billionaire Senator with money to burn...
A thirty year old science experiment, about to be revealed...
Seven people, marked for death, not for what they know, but for what they are...

THE LIST by JA Konrath
History is about to repeat itself

Book Description:

THE LIST is a bit of a departure for Konrath. It's a technothriller about a group of ten people who each have tattoos of numbers on the bottoms their feet, and don't know why.

One of them, a Chicago Homicide cop named Tom Mankowski, has had one of these strange tattoos since birth. When he investigates a violent murder and discovers the victim also has a tattooed number, it sets the ball rolling for an adventure of historic proportions.

To say more would give away too much.

The above description was, more or less, the query letter that my agent sent out to over a dozen top editors.


Here are some of the rejections The List received:

Here is The List. I'm returning it to you. Sorry it didn't work out at Ballantine, hope you'll place it elsewhere soon. - Ballantine Books

As discussed, The List by Joe Konrath isn't a book for me. Thank you, and I'm sorry. - Penguin Putnam

Thanks for letting me see The List by Joe Konrath. While it's certainly not a plot I've seen before--at least the cloning part--it seems very familiar all the same, plus the humor in the storytelling seems a little forced and sitcom-ish, and finally exhausted my interest. So it has to be a pass for me. Despite my reservations about The List, I suspect the originality of the concept will prove a lure to someone, and I wish you all the best with it. - Simon & Schuster


I have just taken on a thriller with comparable qualities, and we have such a small list that I can only afford to publish one novel of this kind every year. So, a pass, but many thanks for sending it my way. - Talk Miramax Books


Thanks for sending me The List by Joe Konrath. There's much to like here--particularly the author's savvy prose and the way he ieasily integrates his knowledge of police procedures into the story. As for the plot, I was initially intrigued by the way the protagonist was linked to the murders, but ultimately I had issues with it. I had a hard time believing inthe way he learned about his bizaree adoption taking it so well and regarding it simply as another clue surrounding the murders. I suppose the story twists from that point on were harder to swallow. But this is just my opinion, of course... I'm sure other editors will disagree. - Doubleday


Thanks for letting me read Joe Kramath's (sic) The List. I', sorry to say that despite the good writing and humor, I think the story may be too fabulous for us to publish it successfully. Thanks again and best of luck to you and the author. - Little, Brown and Company

As you know, Will passed along to me The List by Jo (sic) Konrath, which I read with great interest. It's certainly an original premise, and Konrath has an engaging style. I'm afraid though that ultimately we weren't sufficiently drawn into the thriller aspects of the novel, and thus have decided to pass. Thanks very much for thinking of us for this. I'll be interested to hear where this lands. - Hyperion (who later went on to publish six of my later novels)

Thanks so much for the look at The List by Joe Konrath. Needless to say, I found the premise extremely imaginative and original, and the author does a remarkable job balancing the brisk pacing with humor. In the end, however, I just thought it would be hard for us to really break this out in a competitive fiction market, as its novelty seems to hamper its commercial potential. - New American Library


I must say the cop-protagonist of this novel is one of the brightest lights in the clone world, an exact replica of Thomas Jefferson. But as I kept reading, the improbabilities kept bumping into each other and I just couldn't believe the storyline. Thank you for letting me see this, and I wish I could be more enthusiastic. HarperCollins Publishers


Thank you for sending me The List by Joe Konrath. I liked the set-up for this novel a great deal--a detective investigation a murder finds that the victim shares the same enigmatic tattoo that he possesses. Unfortunately, I just didn't think the rest of the novel could sustain that sense of eerie anticipation. The reason for the tattoos, that all participants were part of a secret government cloning experiment, just seemed a little too familiar, and the constant joking, while witty at times, also eroded the tension and sense of menace. I appreciate the look and hope another editor feels differently. Bantam Dell Publishing Group


I shared The List by Joe Konrath with some colleagues here. Several found it amusing but ultimately we felt it was a bit too odd and were concerned about the audience. So I will be declining. William Morrow


I certainly give Joe Konrath lots of credit for trying to put forth a most creative and different kind of thriller involving clones of famous people. And for the most part his wise-cracking dialogue held my attention, too. But int he final analysis, I just thought he tried to hard in this over-the-top novel. I just think it would be a very difficult thriller to sell to our sales force in a major way. The credibility factor is strained a wee bit too much. As such, I'm returning it with my regrets, but with my thanks for the look. - Warner Books


Thank you for sending The List by Joe Konrath. It has a lot going for it--especially certain moments of humor--but in the end it seemed too much like the novelization of a movie than a genuine novel. The characters are types, and the echoes of such movies as Lethal Weapon became distracting. if this really were a movie tie-in, I could see pursuing it, but as it is, I'm going to pass. I'm sure you'll find the right home for it, though. - Pocket Books


Thanks for following up so promptly and sending The List by Joe Konrath. I believe the idea is strong and the writer has great style.Unfortunately, I can not take this manuscript on in the state that it is in. To begin with, it is simply too long. The writer needs to trim his work down a good deal. The story is also too riddled with conversation, which slows down the pace and is cumbersome to read. It lacks the spark and sustained suspense required to stand out on the crowded fiction shelf. - St. Martin's Press

In April of 2009, I self-published The List.

As of this writing, December 26, 2011, The List has earned me over $100,000.

Right now it is in the Kindle Top 100 again (it has cracked the Top 100 four different times since I published it.)

What does that translate into sales?

The novel, rejected by everyone, is right now selling over 100 copies an hour, currently earning $3.50 a minute. That's $210 an hour, $5040 a day. And it seems to be picking up speed.

Hopefully, it will catch up to my novel Trapped, which is also in the Top 100 (for the third time) and is currently ranked at #73. Trapped was part of a two book deal with Grand Central, but they rejected it. I published it myself in June of 2010. Since then, it has earned me more than $100,000.

So I'd like to take this opportunity to send warm holiday cheer and sincere thanks the editors at HarperCollins, Bantam Dell, Hyperion, NAL, Simon & Schuster, Doubleday, William Morrow, Warner Books, St. Martin's Press, Ballantine, Penguin Putnam, Talk Miramax, Pocket Books, Little, Brown and Company, for rejecting The List. And thanks to Grand Central for rejecting Trapped.

Much success to you all in 2012.

And just to show my story isn't unique, my friend and writing partner, Blake Crouch, recently had a similar experience with his novel Run. It was shopped during the fall of 2010 to a dozen major publishers, all of whom rejected it. Since Blake published Run himself in March, it has sold over 40,000 copies, and is currently ranked at #92 in the Kindle store. In the last 48 hours alone, it has sold over 2000 copies.

Blake and I want to wish all of those editors who rejected us a very Happy New Year.

Prendre enfin l'air.




manteau Lili Rose Vintage / chaussures André 

Konrath's Resolutions for Writers 2012

Every December I do a post about resolutions for writers, and every year I add more of them.

2006
Newbie Writer Resolutions
  • I will start/finish the damn book
  • I will always have at least three stories on submission, while working on a fourth
  • I will attend at least one writer's conference, and introduce myself to agents, editors, and other writers
  • I will subscribe to the magazines I submit to
  • I will join a critique group. If one doesn't exist, I will start one at the local bookstore or library
  • I will finish every story I start
  • I will listen to criticism
  • I will create/update my website
  • I will master the query process and search for an agent
  • I'll quit procrastinating in the form of research, outlines, synopses, taking classes, reading how-to books, talking about writing, and actually write something
  • I will refuse to get discouraged, because I know JA Konrath wrote 9 novels, received almost 500 rejections, and penned over 1 million words before he sold a thing--and I'm a lot more talented than that guy
Professional Writer Resolutions
  • I will keep my website updated
  • I will keep up with my blog and social networks
  • I will schedule bookstore signings, and while at the bookstore I'll meet and greet the customers rather than sit dejected in the corner
  • I will send out a newsletter, emphasizing what I have to offer rather than what I have for sale, and I won't send out more than four a year
  • I will learn to speak in public, even if I think I already know how
  • I will make selling my books my responsibility, not my publisher's
  • I will stay in touch with my fans
  • I will contact local libraries, and tell them I'm available for speaking engagements
  • I will attend as many writing conferences as I can afford
  • I will spend a large portion of my advance on self-promotion
  • I will help out other writers
  • I will not get jealous, will never compare myself to my peers, and will cleanse my soul of envy
  • I will be accessible, amiable, and enthusiastic
  • I will do one thing every day to self-promote
  • I will always remember where I came from

2007

  • Keep an Open Mind. It's easier to defend your position than seriously consider new ways of thinking. But there is no innovation, no evolution, no "next big thing" unless someone thinks differently. Be that someone.

  • Look Inward. We tend to write for ourselves. But for some reason we don't market for ourselves. Figure out what sort of marketing works on you; that's the type of marketing you should be trying. You should always know why you're doing what you're doing, and what results are acceptable to you.

  • Find Your Own Way. Advice is cheap, and the Internet abounds with people telling you how to do things. Question everything. The only advice you should take is the advice that makes sense to you. And if it doesn't work, don't be afraid to ditch it.

  • Set Attainable Goals. Saying you'll find an agent, or sell 30,000 books, isn't attainable, because it involves things out of your control. Saying you'll query 50 agents next month, or do signings at 20 bookstores, is within your power and fully attainable.

  • Enjoy the Ride. John Lennon said that life is what happens while you're busy planning other things. Writing isn't about the destination; it's about the journey. If you aren't enjoying the process, why are you doing it?

  • Help Each Other. One hand should always be reaching up for your next goal. The other should be reaching down to help others get where you're at. We're all in the same boat. Start passing out oars.

2008


I Will Use Anger As Fuel


We all know that this is a hard business. Luck plays a huge part. Rejection is part of the job. Things happen beyond our control, and we can get screwed.

It's impossible not to dwell on it when we're wronged. But rather than vent or stew or rage against the world and everyone in it, we should use that anger and the energy it provides for productive things.

The next time you get bad news, resolve to use that pain to drive your work. Show fate that when it pushes you, you push right back. By writing. By querying. By marketing.


I Will Abandon My Comfort Zone

The only difference between routine and rut is spelling.

As a writer, you are part artist and part businessman.

Great artists take chances.

Successful businessmen take chances.

This means doing things you're afraid of, and things you hate, and things you've never tried before.

If, in 2008, you don't fail at something, you weren't trying hard enough.



I Will Feed My Addiction 

Life is busy. There are always things you can and should be doing, and your writing career often comes second.

So make it come first.

Right now, you're reading A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. Not A Newbie's Guide to Leading a Content and Balanced Life.

You want to get published and stay published? That means making writing a priority. That means making sacrifices. A sacrifice involves choosing one thing over another.

If you can't devote the time, energy, and money it takes to pursue this career, go do something else.



I Will Never Be Satisfied 

Think the last resolution was extreme? This one really separates the die-hards from the hobbyists.

While an overwhelming sense of peace and enlightenment sounds pretty nice, I wouldn't want to hire a bunch of Zen masters to build an addition on my house.

Satisfaction and contentment are great for your personal life. In your professional life, once you start accepting the way things are, you stop trying.

No one is going to hand you anything in this business. You have to be smart, be good, work hard, and get lucky.

Every time you get published, you got lucky. Don't take it for granted.

When something bad happens, it should make you work harder. But when something good happens, you can't believe you earned it. Because it isn't true. You aren't entitled to this career. No one is.

Yes, you should celebrate successes. Sure, you should enjoy good things when they happen. Smile and laugh and feel warm and fuzzy whenever you finish a story or make a sale or reach a goal.

But remember that happiness isn't productive. Mankind's greatest accomplishments are all tales of struggle, hardship, sacrifice, work, and effort. You won't do any of those things if you're satisfied with the status quo.

Who do you want on your team? The kid who plays for fun? Or the kid who plays to win?

If you want this to be your year, you know which kid you have to be.



2009


This year I'm only going to add one resolution to this growing list, but if you're writing for a living, or trying to write for a living, it's an important one.



I Won't Blame Anyone For Anything

It's tempting to look at the many problems that arise in this business and start pointing fingers. This is a slippery slope, and no good can come from it.

Do agents, editors, and publishers make mistakes? Of course.

You make mistakes too.

Hindsight is 20/20, so we can all look at things that didn't go our way and fantasize about how things should have gone.

But blaming others, or yourself, is dwelling on the past. What's done is done, and being bitter isn't going to help your career.

So try to learn from misfortune, forgive yourself and others, and make 2009 a blameless year.



2010

I Will Be Wary

The medium in which stories are absorbed is changing in a big way, and it will continue to change. 2009 will go down in publishing history as Year Zero for the upcoming ebook revolution. Writers should explore this new territory, but we need to understand that Print is still King, and any goals and dreams a writer might have regarding publication should be focused on getting into print.

That's not to say that ebooks shouldn't be explored and experimented with. They should be, and in a serious way. Erights are a very long tail--one that can potentially continue long after our lifetimes.

Don't forsake print for ebooks without understanding what you're giving up, and don't give away your ebook rights to get a print deal.



I Will Be A Pioneer

Remember the old saying about how to recognize a pioneer? They're the one with the arrows in their backs and fronts.

I've tried to be forward-thinking in my career, rather than being content with my role as a cog in a broken machine. Your best chance for longevity is to question everything, test boundaries, experiment with new ideas, and be willing to change your mind and learn from your mistakes.

Your job is to survive, by any means necessary. So pull out the arrows and forge ahead. Discover the difference between determination and stupidity by being an example for one or the other or both.

Though this may seem at odds with the previous resolution about being wary, it's actually quite simpatico.

Q: What do you call a wary pioneer? A: Still alive.



I Will Read Books

I'm surprised I haven't mentioned this in previous years. If you're a writer, you must be a reader. I don't care if you read on your Kindle, or on stone tablets. Reading, and giving the gift of reading to others, is essential. Period.



I Will Stop Worrying 

Worrying, along with envy, blame, guilt, and regret, is a useless emotion. It's also bad storytelling. Protagonists should be proactive, not reactive. They should forge ahead, not dwell on things beyond their control. Fretting, whining, complaining, and bemoaning the state of the industry isn't the way to get ahead.


You are the hero in the story of your life. Act like it.



2011

I Will Self-Publish

Just twelve short months ago, I made $1650 on Kindle in December, and was amazed I could pay my mortgage with ebook sales.

This December, I'll earn over $22,000.

The majority of this is on Kindle. But I'm also doing well self-pubbing in print through Amazon's Createspace program, and will earn $2700 this month on nine POD books. I'm also finally trying out B&N's PubIt program, which looks to be good for over $1k a month, and I'm doing okay on Smashwords, with Sony, Apple, and Kobo combining for another $1k.

This is nothing short of revolutionary.

The gatekeepers--agents who submit to editors who acquire books to publish and distribute to booksellers--are no longer needed to make a living as a fiction writer. For the first time in history, writers can reach readers without having to jump through hoops, get anointed, compromise integrity, or fit the cookie-cutter definition for What New York Wants.

I'm not saying you should give up on traditional publishing. But I am saying that there is ZERO downside to self-pubbing. At worst, you'll make a few bucks. At best, you'll make a fortune, and have agents and editors fighting over you.

But remember: even if you are being fought over, you still have a choice.

DO NOT take any deal that's less than what you believe you could earn in six years. If you're selling 1000 ebooks a month, that means $144,000 is the minimum advance you should be offered before you consider signing.

It blows my mind to think that way, let alone blog about it. I got a $34,000 advance for my first novel, and even less for my last few.

Currently, I have seven self-pubbed novels, each earning more than $24k a year. In six years, at the current rate, I'll earn more than one million bucks on those.

But I don't expect them to maintain their current sales.

I expect sales to go up.

Ebooks haven't saturated the market yet. But they will. And you need to be ready for it. Which leads me to...



I Won't Self-Publish Crap


Just because it's easier than ever before to reach an audience doesn't mean you should.

I can safely say that I'm either directly or indirectly responsible for thousands of writers trying out self-publishing. The majority of these writers aren't making the same amount of money that I am, and are scratching their heads, wondering what they're doing wrong.

Luck still plays a part in success. But so does professionalism.

Being a professional means you make sure you have a professional cover (http://www.extendedimagery.com), and you have been professionally formatted for ebooks (www.52novels.com) and for print books (http://yourepublished.blogspot.com.)

Being a professional means you're prolific, with many titles for sale, and that you diversify, exploiting all possible places to sell your work (Kindle, Createspace, Smashwords, iBooks, iTunes, Sony, Nook, Kobo, Borders, Android, and no doubt more to come.)

But most of all, being a professional means you won't inflict your shitty writing on the public.

Self-pubbing is not the kiddie pool, where you learn how to swim. You need to be an excellent swimmer before you jump in.

If your sales aren't where you'd like them to be, especially if you've done everything else I've mentioned, then it's time to take a cold, hard, critical look at the writing. Which segues into...


I'll Pay Attention to the Market

To say I'm excited about the ebook future is putting it mildly. But that doesn't mean I have carte blanche to write whatever the hell I want to, and then expect it to sell.

Yes, writers now have more freedom. Yes, we can now cater to niche tastes, and write novellas, and focus on more personal projects.

But if you want to make a living, you still have to understand your audience, and how to give them what they want.

Self-pubbing is not an excuse to be a self-indulgent egomaniac. On the contrary, it's a chance for you to learn what sells.

For the very first time, the writer can conduct their own real-world experiments. By trying different things, learning from mistakes, and constantly tweaking and improving, we have more power than ever before to find our readers.

A lot of folks know how much money I'm making. But how many know:

I've changed or tweaked cover art 45 times.
I've reformatted my books five times each.
I've changed product descriptions over 80 times.
I've changed prices on each book two or three times.

Unlike the traditional publishing world, where published books are static, self-publishing is dynamic. If something isn't selling as well as you'd like, you can change it. The work doesn't end when you upload your ebook to Kindle. The work is never-ending, and vigilance is mandatory.

Self-publishing is a wonderful opportunity to learn and to grow. This means you MUST try new things.

2011 is going to be a turbulent year for publishers and bookstores and editors and agents. Change is coming, and many of the stalwarts of the industry aren't going to be around for much longer.

But savvy writers will be safe from harm. In fact, they'll thrive like never before.

For the first time in the history of publishing, we have control. Embrace that control, and make 2011 your year.


2012


Hard to believe this will be my sixth year offering New Year's Resolutions to writers. Even harder to believe is how much the publishing industry has changed during that time.

When I first began this blog, it was about helping authors find an agent and a legacy publishing deal. And once they did, it was about working with your publisher to sell as many books as possible by understanding how to self-promote and market.

Now, writers are much better served learning how to upload their work to Kindle and write a product description than learning how to write a query letter or do a successful book signing.

So is there still anything left for me to say?

Yes. There's plenty.



I Will Experiment

Don't let fear prevent you from taking chances and trying new things. I'm talking to all of you who refuse to raise or lower your ebook prices. I'm talking to all of you who pass judgement without any experience to back up your position. I'm talking to all of you who insist that your way is the right way without ever having tried any other way--or in some cases, knowing nothing about the path you want to take (I'm looking right at you folks still chasing legacy deals.)

The goals you set should constantly be adapting and changing as more data comes in. But don't be a lump, expecting data to come to you by surfing the net, or reading this blog, or praying Santa Claus helps you out.

You need to be the one actively trying different things, taking different directions, and learning through trial and error.

In the past, there were a lot of gatekeepers who could hold you back.

Today the only one holding you back is you.



I Will Help Other Writers


If you learn something, share it. If you have some success, show others how to follow your lead. If you fail miserably, warn your peers.

Writing and publishing were once solitary, private matters, and everyone played their cards close to their chests. No one knew how much anyone else was earning, or how many books they sold, and this suited the publishers just fine. The dark ages are all about being kept in the dark.

Well, let there be light.

The more we share, and help one another, the more our collective base of knowledge can grow.

Self-publishing is an open source project. Add to the database.



I Will Control My Fear


There will always be doubt and uncertainty, because luck plays such a big role in success. I know there are writers who are doing everything right, who still haven't found readers.

But don't let fear own you.

It is easy to get frustrated.

It is easy to get envious of those doing better.

It is easy to dismiss the success or failures of others.

It is easy to worry about the future.

It is easy to ignore good advice. It's also easy to take bad advice.

It is easy to make snap judgments and quick dismissals.

It is easy to make predictions without evidence.

It is easy to give up.

BUT NOBODY EVER SAID SUCCESS IS EASY.

Yes, it is the greatest time ever to be a writer. But no one owes you a living, and no one promised that even if you write a great book and promote the hell out of it you'll get stinking rich.

Not to get all Yoda here, but fear leads to doubt, and doubt will take you down the wrong path.

Controlling fear is easier than you might think. Just accept that failure is part of the process.

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. All major success stories are filled with setbacks and mistakes and bad luck. But all successful people persevere.

We've all heard that luck favors those who are prepared. So be prepared, and stay prepared, for as long as it takes for success to find you.

Remember that. You don't find success. Success finds you.

This is especially important when you realize this truism:


What Goes Up Must Come Down

I've had a lot of writers email me that their sales are down. Mine are, too. Because ebooks are so new, no one knows what this means, and it is easy to let fear cause doubt.

Here's a mantra for you to help you get over it.

1. Ebooks are forever, and shelf space is infinite. Once you're published, you'll always be selling.

2. Ebooks are not a trend. They are the new, preferred way to read, and mankind will always have the need and desire to read.

3. Ebooks are global. Doing poorly in the USA? That's okay. There are plenty of other countries where you can make money.

4. Sales fluctuate. Always. And there is often no logical or discernible reason why. Riding high in April, shot down in May, that's life.

5. This is a marathon, not a sprint. You're a writer. You're in this until the day you die. As long as you continue to write good books, you'll find readers.

2012 is going to be a very interesting year. We'll see unknown writers get rich. We'll see big name writers leave their publishers. We'll see more and more people buy ereaders throughout the world. We'll see some companies go out of business. We'll see other companies start growing market share.

We're part of something big, and it's going to get even bigger. And while everything that goes up must come down, we've got a very long time before that happens with ebooks.

And when it does? That's okay. Formats and gadgets come and go.

But the world will always need storytellers.

Have a great 2012.

Un petit retour aux années 20, ça faisait longtemps.

Bientôt les vacances, bientôt mon établi à la maison, bientôt l'éclate :)





Photos réalisées avec l'aide de Tony.

J'aurais pu rajouter un titre en police un peu romantique pour faire pochette de vinyle 70, mais j'avais que des trucs pourris en tête, suis toujours aussi naze en titres.

Happy Holidays

We wanted to wish you all a Happy Holiday Season!
Jamie and I will be spending the holidays with our families and will be back in January with a bunch of new posts. Until then, please enjoy browsing around.

Here's Tara's Christmas Card! ;0)

Maybe you're cold...



model : Lila.

(merci Andria)

Heard on the Playground Review

Heard on the Playground is a really fun site where you can share stories.  Stories of what kids say!! I have read so many cute stories over there from grandparents, parents, kids and people who have overheard stories too! So fun!

I even shared a story a while back from my 5 year old at the time. She is now 7. ;0)

...Our Shared Story...
{This is a recent conversation I overheard between my son and daughter} "Why were you the first born?" my daughter asked. "Because God wanted a boy first in our family, then a girl, girl and another girl." my son responded. "Well that's not right...it's always supposed to be ladies first!" my daughter protested.
Caidee 5 - California

Isn't that cute? I'm kinda partial! Well Andrea, the creator of Heard on the Playground site thought is was cute too! She used it as one of her favorites in the book she published! YEAH! We were so excited to find out!
The book is available now on Amazon! You can also find it through Andrea's site, Heard on the Playground! Andrea was kind enough to send us a copy! Thank you! Thank you! We will treasure it!

Don't forget to stop by and share a story at Heard on the Playground! You might see it in the second book. Which I am sure there will be one. Kids never fail when it comes to finding funny things to say! ;0)


This book would make a perfect gift for Grandparents, Parents, Teachers and Kids! Get yours ordered TODAY!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!
Happy New Year!!

I pray that your Christmas celebration is filled with Jesus! I pray that you are aware of the blessings around you. I pray that you take time to capture the moments and memories that make up your family and loved ones. I pray that you experience Christmas through the eyes of a child with all the wonder and excitiment that it brings. I pray that you cherish every moment you have with your loved ones. I pray that you are blessed in new and exciting ways.

I had asked my Aunt if she would help us take some photos of our family after our Thanksgiving feast so we would have a current photo for our Christmas card. I also wanted to make sure to be in some photos with my kids. It was a joint effort between my aunt, Greg and myself and I think we did pretty good. Yeah, I don't really enjoy being photographed and I'd like to lose some weight before I'm photographed but my kids won't be saying that when they look back as these photos ("man, I wish mom would have lost 10 pounds before we took those pictures"). They will be saying things like, "remember when we ran around in the backyard and remember how Micah didn't want his picture taken. And remember how dad threw us in the air. Yeah, those were good times." So, here's to capturing good memories, picture perfect or not. And if you have to photoshop a blemish or two I give you permission!! We can put our best face forward right ;)

    











  





Here's a "real life" shot for you!

I'll see you back here in 2012! If you'd care to follow our Christmas adventures and just life in general join me on my family/photography blog!! Can't wait to see you there, and let me know you stopped by! And don't forget my shop is open if you need any last minute gifts!!!
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