When people ask, "Do you want to hear the Good News first, or the Bad News?" what do you say? Do you always pick one over the other. Or does it depend on the person or your perception of the information that's about to be delivered?
My Good News last night: I went to my first school event of the year, and my very first Book Fair. I was so excited to be able to display my array of #ElenaRansom books, tshirts, pens, and bookmarks. I took goofy selfies where I was smiling far too much before the fair began.
And then... I waited.
The Bad News: Only 2 families showed for the Book Fair. Two families out of an entire middle school (Feel free to insert your favorite "failure" noise).
After an hour of sitting there, and realizing that the fair might just not happen, I took out my journal and began to pen some notes for Book 6. That's one good thing about this job I do... I can do it literally anywhere.
I'm so tempted to give up. I'm so tempted to resign myself to the fact that a lot of people don't read anymore. In fact, I'm a member of so many writers groups and read hundreds of posts each day from aspiring authors, and I think to myself, "Wow! A lot of people still want to write books, and are writing books. Where are all the readers that we're writing for?"
The bottom line is, I love my story. And that's why I keep writing. Maybe my words will never impact the masses, but for the few that have followed me along this journey, THANK YOU!
It's not just me. We all go out of our houses looking for a place to buy books and just can't find it anymore. A couple weeks ago I hit the pavement to look for bookstores to carry my new series, but alas, nothing. In response to the lack of book-selling-places in my area, I've joined together with other local women writers to plan an old fashioned, local book fair. The fair won't be until September, so what am I doing now?
Because I write for tweens/teens, I contacted all the local middle schools in my county to see if I could schedule some kind of speaking engagements.
One school is allowing me to come for their book fair at the end of March. Another scheduled me for an entire day to speak with their 600 6th graders! A woman from a local mentor program asked me to write a Discussion Guide for my first book so that she would have something to talk about with the girls she mentors.
So, I'm prepping old school style. I've ordered copies of my books. I've ordered tshirts and personalized pens (though I am crossing my fingers that they will arrive in time for the book fair at the end of this month).
Marketing my book series has been challenging, and confusing at times, but I keep trying because I love my story. And because I have a feeling that soon it might end up making a huge difference in the life of a tween/teen struggling with social anxiety, or feeling hopelessly lonely, or a kid that feels completely misunderstood. After all, one of the reasons I started writing was so that I could express my own feelings about life.
I am writing this series about teens and for teens. The “Elena Ransom” series chronicles the lives of Elena and her friends at Grimsby School of the Republic. Although the setting takes place in the future, it is truly a coming of age story that deals with making friends, death of parents, death of classmates, handling bullies, problem solving, betrayal, and numerous other topics throughout the course of the 6 books.
As a teacher or parent, you can be part of helping teens talk through their issues, too. Order and read my books for yourself. Encourage your teens to read them (perfect for ages 11-14). Download my Discussion Guide and start a conversation. Get involved! Being involved can make a huge difference in the life of a teen.
Dear Epic Inkers,
I felt out of place as a teen...more than once. But the truth is, we're only as alone as we choose to be. I'm not saying it's easy to make friends or feel connected with people, but don't be discouraged!