Successful

It’s always the stuff I didn’t get done that bothers me and gets me down. Usually when it involves chores. I try to remind myself of all the things I have accomplished, but … its hard.

However, I do have a lot of good things going for me. I’ve got nearly everything I’ve wanted out of life. I am grateful for the things, the friends and family, and the freedoms I’ve got. There are still things I want to improve, but mostly those are with myself. I want to lose some belly and butt. I want to remodel my master bath and closets. I want to go to other countries for vacations.

I also want to make Moirae Publishing a successful company. I suppose I should define for myself what “Successful” is though.

Successful = having a goal and achieving it. Setting challenges and meeting them.

But that would probably be personal success. I set a goal to get a good job and a house of my own, and other nice things. Then I went and got them.

Business success though? Maybe being able to have paid employees who do the work I’m doing now because the company is making enough money to cover it.

What are all the things I’m currently doing as an ‘employee’ of MP:

  • Looking for books to publish.
  • Formatting books for print and epub on Amazon/KDP, and Smashwords plus the extended distribution.
  • Commissioning/purchasing art for covers and promotional materials.
  • Purchasing inventory for MP vendor tables at conventions.
  • Arranging for vendor tables at conventions, including accommodations.
  • Motivating artists under MP umbrella to create promotional artwork and original artwork for sale at MP vendor tables and on website.
  • Commissioning marketing materials and posting them online.
  • Maintaining FB, Twitter, and other social media presence for MP.
  • Personally appearing at all MP events.

I should get together with a local bookstore and see if they want to do an event… or would like to be an outlet for our books. And other author books I get in cahoots with.

In response to J. D. Huffman

J. D. Huffman wrote a thought-provoking piece on self-promotion here.
I’d like to add to it.

I too hate self-promotion. It’s a drag. Its time consuming. It’s terrifying! I’ve mentioned before that I have anxiety and depression. I don’t like speaking in public; mostly in situations where I’ve got to draw attention to myself and address a large group of people. But it’s something I gotta do.

My childhood was spent moving every year. I had to learn to rely on myself for entertainment. I learned to dig deep into my own mind and sometimes that was a curse; I was aware of my flaws and I didn’t know how to communicate with other people. But also, I knew myself. I was confident in being myself and didn’t really care about conforming. I didn’t know how to conform. In middle school, I got picked on a lot for this. These days, I’m pretty sure they were just jealous that I didn’t care and I did what I wanted.

As Huffman said, I love writing. I love that I wrote books, but also, after writing my first book I was so scared to promote it. The social stigma against self publishing back in 2008, when PTH first came out, was very hard to push through. Whenever I mentioned I had a book, people would first light up like “Oh neat!” and then I say I’m self published… and the disgust on their faces just made me feel dirty. I didn’t try to go to a major publishing house. I didn’t query anyone. The general consensus back then was that people only self-published when they were bad writers and couldn’t get anyone “in charge” to buy their crap.

However. I have absolutely no regrets on taking my work this direction. I still stand by the fact that both the big and small publishers of the day would not have taken a chance on NFS. If I had the chance to go back and do it again, the only thing I’d do different is that I’d push harder to get my work out there. The early 2000s was the prime time to get popular, as someone on the front lines of self-publishing in the new millennium. I regret not knowing then what I know now. I can only go forward, though.

While it has been a hard battle to get any kind of respect, the ease of self publishing has at least made people more open to the idea. They’ve become more understanding of the amount of effort, time, attention to detail, and formatting it takes to create a book they devour in a few days. Making something worth reading goes way beyond just a keyboard smash and a quick spellcheck. These days, every time I mention that I’m published in public, I inevitably get someone who says “I’ve always wanted to write a book…” and we both know that the reason why they haven’t done it is because they KNOW its hard. Not just getting the file ready to put out into people’s hands, but the work before that. The work of getting past your inner editor, that awful voice that says “No one wants to read this, you’re kidding yourself.” That’s really the first step. Then there’s the “Halfway” point where you look at the last 30 pages you wrote and resist the urge to delete it all because, honestly it sucks. Anyone who has created a book and put it out there should be proud of themselves.

Anyone who has done it can tell you that the work doesn’t stop there. Even with a major publishing house, you still have to self-promote and build your Brand. You can’t just be a recluse and write books. Today, you still see J. K Rowling out there on twitter, talking to fans. You still see R. R. Martin doing interviews on the Ellen show or whatever. Yes. It sucks, but we live in a digital age where the inner lives of our idols are on display 24/7 and we’re just two clicks away from seeing them drunk and vomiting in a public bathroom. No one is perfect. Nothing is perfect. But it also means that anything out of sight is out of mind and easily forgotten.

You don’t hear much about that Eragon author anymore. What’s he done lately? Who knows. What about the person who wrote Divergent? Can’t even remember who wrote Hunger Games. I bet that you do remember what that one singer did recently that’s been all over the news; because it keeps getting brought to your attention.

That’s the reason for remaining active on social media and writing posts for your blog. You’ve got to bring attention to yourself, even though it’s uncomfortable.

Take heart, though. If you’ve written a book, or you’re posting stuff on Instagram, if you’re trying to become YouTube famous, you’re out there creating something, and people who like what you make will eventually show up as long as you keep making things and making yourself visible. Be proud of yourself for doing it. You’re not an impostor. You’re not faking anything. You’re not stealing from anyone. There are at least 10 people you personally know who are gonna say “I always wanted to…” but never done anything about it because they’re scared of the work it’s going to take.

Anyone who doesn’t like what you’re doing can sod off.

what kinda crap….

I’m working on short story collections for NFS. I need covers tho. I’ve put together a little over 20k words for an NFS 3.5 story. Grabbed the first scene from Shaxia, since I wrote a different scene to start that off. 

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on getting the print version of Touched by Death done. I’m kinda late on that due to a combination of overtime at work and lazitis. But the files are in review and should pass shortly. I’ve got another author lined up to publish. But that won’t be until the new year at the earliest. I’ve started ads for books on kindle, hopefully that will get some bites. 

My kitty hasn’t been doing great lately. I wish i could tell if she’s just tired and old or not feeling good or outright dying. I hope that I can be there when she passes. :-/

I redecorated my house slightly to improve feng sui and attract wealth. It seems to be working slightly. I had a friend over this weekend who sells things on the internet and she sold like 5 things in the two days she was here, some of the items having been on her shop for 2 years. My house is still dirty though and needs swept/mopped/dusted. Maybe that will happen before December. I’ve got a couple days off for TG. 

As for TG, and the accompanying Black Friday, I keep seeing really good deals on stuff, but like, they’re things _I_ would want for myself. So I can’t buy them. I’m not like my dad, buying everything I want before Xmas so that no one has anything to give me for Xmas. -eyeroll- … Thus far I want a Kitchen-aid mixer and a PS4 would be nice, but the mixer for certain I would use the heck out of. I haven’t made cookies lately just because my previous housemate took her mixer with her when she left (not on bad terms, her mom needs more constant care…) 

I picked up a friend at ConFuzion. He does 3D modeling and stuff. If I could hook him up with my other friend who is really great at making props and texturing things, I think with Clockwork Joker, I’d have the start of a gaming division for Moirae. Except we still need someone who can do the coding. I’ve got no idea and no time to learn that, so I’ll have to find someone.

I’ve been working on my leadership skills, but there don’t seem to be any easy resources that talk about how to be a good leader. How do I improve the whole telling people what to do and when to get it done aspect? I feel so awkward trying to tell people to do things. 

I’ve also got a line of products I’m getting Moirae’s JR artist working on. Cards for the Totality series. I think that’ll be fun. Gotta get the cover for book 2 of that series started too… Huffman already has the text written and I just need to read and do a quick edit on it. 

Ugh. I also need to work harder at Moirae’s website. But coming up with articles and content for it is difficult, since it has a higher level of difficulty than writing for my own blog where I can just word-vomit and talk about things that are going on in a more informal way. I’ll get onto our Editor Adele again later to see if she’s got those interview questions done. She’s been busy lately too. Tis the Season…