Monday, October 24, 2011

When You Can't Please Everyone

I have a confession. I've been sitting on my hands for a few months now. Yes, I've been writing, but not as much as perhaps I ought to be. I get so far, put the story aside, and start another one.
After writing several half stories I had to ask myself what gives? Then it finally came to me. Each day I begin my writing day with one glaring thought—I'm not good enough. I mean I can't please every reader, so that must mean I'm really not that good, right? Sure, lots of readers love my stories, but I still lack total faith in my talent—much like every other author out there.

Recently I started looking at reviews for the authors I admire. I won't name names for the simple fact that I discovered, much to my surprise, all of these authors fail to please all of their readers. They all have hundreds of reviews which range from five stars to one star reviews. The one star reviews usually come from disappointed readers who bought the book on the strength of the five star reviews then found the books lacked what they were looking for.

This made me realise that if even the big name authors can't satisfy every reader of their books, why do I think I should hold back until I can achieve this impossible task? I may be slow in coming to this raw fact but it is indeed a very real reality that you just can't please all of the people all of the time. You can only hope to please some of the people some of the time and, for me, this is a freeing insight. I can only push ahead and do my best. And pray that my stories bring joy to the majority of my readers.

It's liberating to forge ahead with the decision that I'm only aiming to please some of my readers. Those who love my work will come back and those who don’t will find someone they love instead.

I'm finally okay with that.

This sounds simple, but I like people to like me, so to come to the acceptance that not everyone will is indeed a huge physiological step to scaling the wall I’ve been running into for a while now.

If the big name authors can put out book after book even though they know their books aren’t well received by everyone who reads them, what makes me any different?

The only difference is they are doing their job and putting out books while I am not! Time to change that I think cos I discovered something—when you find you can't please everyone, it's okay just to please yourself!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Scary Beast Called Book Marketing

With four months to go until my little girl is finally finished chemo I find myself looking at my writing career once again. It was in 2009 that Meg was diagnosed with Leukaemia. Needless to say the diagnosis totally turned my priorities on its head. Before that, I had a great plan--which fell by the wayside for the last two years.

Now I can see light at the end of the long chemotherapy tunnel I realise life will soon return to normal...what's that again? Before I know it, she'll return to school fulltime and back to her independent self which will leave me free to get some serious work out into the world.

And with that comes the need to market. I am the world’s worst self-promoter. As an introvert I always feel vain talking about my books and operate under the belief that people will somehow happen upon my books, read the excerpts and of course buy the books--cos, well, after all...they're is every other books out there, right?

Since this belief system hasn't worked for me up to now, I've decided I need to learn how to market my books and myself. I've been learning lots from Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn. This woman is amazing in her diligence in providing the information she has for writers. Right now, she is my number one resource and I absolutely love her! She has tons of audios on her site, which works for me since it allows me simply to listen rather than having to read hundreds of posts. Did I mention I love her?

If you get a chance, pop over to The Creative Penn. You won't regret it.

On the other hand, if you have any great marketing advice you wouldn't mind sharing with me, please leave a comment. Thanks :)

NOTE: The links take you away from this site. If you pop out to visit Joanna, please pop back here and leave a comment. I'd really appreciate it--thanks again.