Wow! Has it really been since May since I posted last? Can that be right? Well, it's right. I've got to be honest, this whole self-publishing thing has its ups and downs. And lately I've been, just, down.
The quote from above is from my first book. I wrote a strong fatherly figure into "Elena Ransom and the Firebird Unit" because a lot of people lack good, healthy dad figures in their lives. Truman Ransom says this to his daughter, Elena, on the night before her 13th birthday. I meant his statement to inspire her. I wrote it to inspire you...and me, too. But today I still don't feel "extraordinary" as an author.
After being on a big high from visiting schools in May, the summer hit with a summer slump in book sales. Not just mine. A lot of books lack sales in the summer.
But, then I did something that's only advisable if either: (A) you want to punish yourself or (B) you are far too confident. What did I do? I took to social media to get feedback on my book covers because my book sales were so poor on Amazon.
I DID NOT receive much positive feedback. So, what's the point of having a book you love and art you love if you can't sell copies on Amazon? It's a tricky game to play.
So, over the summer I started the long process of looking at my work and asking myself how I might appeal to more of the target market I'm looking to appeal to. I've done this from the beginning, but my books are in such a odd category: not quite middle-grade and not quite YA.
I just don't feel I fit anywhere. Or, if I do fit, it's only around 6th-7th grade. Do you know how hard it is to sell books to 6th graders through their parents and grandparents on Amazon? It's REALLY, REALLY DIFFICULT!
I began working to find a new artist and began to plan what #ElenaRansom was going to look like this fall. And guess what? My new artist is almost done designing 2 new covers for my first 2 books and a cover for my 3rd book that I hope to release on November 1, 2018.
This process has been long, frustrating, and disappointing. It has been SUPER hard for me to start again with all this. But it's also encouraging to see the new art coming in and it's encouraging to think that in a few short weeks I'll be an author of a trilogy.
The road hasn't been easy. And I may not be "extraordinary". But Elena Ransom's story has had an extraordinary effect on the children that love her. And soon, she'll have some new art I can share, and that's something to be excited about!
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!