Wednesday, April 5, 2023

IWSG - Flops & Friends

Happy IWSG Day!

The Insecure Writer's Support Group exists to support the writing community in the airing insecurities. Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, anyone can join. Simply click on his name and put your blog on the linky list.

The co-hosts this month are Jemima Pett, Nancy Gideon, and Natalie Aguirre. Be sure to drop by their blogs and thank them for their help!

The optional question this month is: Do you remember writing your first book? What were your thoughts about a career path on writing? Where are you now and how is it working out for you? If you're at the start of the journey, what are your goals?

Technically, my first published book was my nonfiction title The Business of Short Stories. The first ones I wrote are in limbo somewhere. My career path has been a bit different from that of most authors, as it's focused on short stories up to now. 

All that is changing, as I feel like I've grown stagnant in my writing career. I don't want to keep doing the same thing over and over again (this from a person whose longest work position before getting bored and moving along has been maybe 2 1/2 years). That doesn't mean I want to abandon horror or short stories, but it's time for me to grow and stretch and try new things. What that means right now is writing the next two books in my urban fantasy series so I can self-publish those, completing edits on a horror comedy novel I'll be shopping to agents this year, writing a memoir of my dad's journey with ALS, and writing the first in what will be a proposed amateur sleuth mystery series so I can start shopping that, as well. In addition, I'd like to revisit a YA Post-Apocalyptic novel I wrote way back when to see if I can bring it up to my current standards and either start shopping it again or finish what was a planned trilogy to self-publish.

So I have some fairly diverse plans for the next year, yeah?

I do have the rights back on enough short stories that I'll be releasing another collection in the next year. I just haven't decided how I want to time that yet. Plus I have to figure out which unpublished short stories to put in it, because I always like to put several brand new ones in for those who loyally purchase every publication I'm in. 

While I'm doing all this, I'm telling myself I will be pulling back on both submitting short stories and attending writing events as a speaker/featured author. Given, there are a few favorite events I'll likely keep appearing at, but I will not be seeking out new appearance opportunities. Which also means slowing down on the podcast appearances I was doing for a while. I think? (I have a work ethic I struggle to overcome, lol, which means I say I won't take on anything more, and then I do it anyway, but I REALLY need to give myself a break.)

Since I'm pulling back on submitting short stories, I'm going to probably cease keeping track on my IWSG posts to kind of discourage any deep focus on that. We'll see if that works or if I remember next month that I'm not doing that, LOL!

Both Sandra Cox and I are guests on L. Diane Wolfe's blog today, so stop by and say hi!

I want to thank anyone who helped with my book release in March! Diane is the last person on this hastily thrown together blog tour. Something significant and traumatic happened when I should have been prepping my book release, and it tied my hands for a couple weeks right after I got the book cover. I wrote out a whole post last month about it and ultimately decided it wasn't something I could share at this time. When I posted in desperation for help on Facebook the week of the release, a lot of people stepped up and helped by sharing the book release post. I feel bad, because, depending upon how that's shared (visibility setting) I can't see everyone who shared unless I happen to scroll past the post on their page. So some people don't end up getting thanked.

My current insecurity? I consider this launch a bit of a flop. The sales just weren't there. Since I released this title to force myself back into the game and it was meant to be fun for me, I've decided to move on and quit dwelling on the numbers. I didn't expect it to be BIG, but I did expect more than what ultimately happened. Interestingly, with the posts people did, several included other titles, and I saw a bump in sales on my older titles, so that was awesome and took away some of the sting of the low sales on Happy Ghoulidays II. But the support I got from the blogging community, the local writing community, and my friends and family when I asked for help is the most important and valuable thing that came from this book release. I appreciate all of you.

Onward and upward! The book is out. I learned some things. There were many factors I had zero control over due to personal life issues. But the factors I CAN control, I learned about. Each experience is an opportunity to learn, right? That's what I'm doing.

I'm actively editing the horror comedy novel now and will be asking for beta readers in the near future, and that's exciting! I have a plan for research material I'll need for my dad's memoir. And I've crappily outlined (I hate outlining and simply don't do it) the mystery novel. 

Cheers to next steps!

This ended up much longer than I intended. It was kind of a mental dump. I'll either add the open submissions onto this post later tonight or do a whole new post with those, but I wanted to get this posted.

What are your insecurities? Where are you on your journey? How has your journey changed since you started? Have you ever had a book release you considered a flop?

May you find your Muse.