Shouting in the Wind, Spitting in the Torrent

It’s not easy. I never thought it would be, but then the tiniest glimmer of hope landed in my lap. I finished my first novel and felt confident in it. I had a couple of small publishers interested and accepted the terms from one. Since A Lovely County published a year ago, I’ve come to realize how hard it is to make that a dream worth pursuing in today’s publishing world.

The waterfall that feeds the stream behind our home in Northwest Arkansas.

The waterfall that feeds the stream behind our home in Northwest Arkansas.

I feel like a drop of water in a rushing waterfall.

I blog. I’m not especially good at it, but I put my thoughts out there. I have a Pinterest presence. I Pin things writerly, beautiful landscapes, yummy looking recipes, and more. I even Tweet. In addition, I have an author’s page on Facebook and on Goodreads. I talk about things other than writing. I don’t overly push my book on social media, just try to keep my presence there and hope to be noticed. Does any of it mean anything?

I shout, I scream, I type, but it does little to bring attention to my book, my struggle to get readers, reviews, NOTICED!

I’ve even entered contests and have had some success. (Thank you, Ozark Writer’s League for the recognition with your prized President’s Award last year.)

Is Amazon, today’s Mega-God of Publishing, to blame? Surely, the legions of wannabe authors who’ve flooded the market with unedited or poorly written work can take some credit for the hard struggle of authors today. My book isn’t published by one of the big New York houses. It’s not sold in bookstores. (Maybe someday.) But, frankly, the bookstores want publishers to send them X number of copies and vow to reimburse them when they only sell Y number of copies. A small publisher, even many mid-range publishers, can’t afford that risk.

So, all the experts say an author has to push themselves on social media, get recognition and you’ll get reviews on Amazon and sales. I do that, but so do thousands of others. We shout at each other on social media, but who else cares?

I’ll never stop writing. I have dozens of Danni Edens mysteries in my head, one ready to go the publisher, a half-written thriller, and a young adult paranormal series I’d love to start writing.

I push on and hope for the best, but I have to wonder if it wouldn’t be easier on me to give copies to a few friends and family, and call it good. I love to write, love to tell the stories that bang around in my head, and that trumps all the struggle, so I press on.

If you have the same dream, tell me how you deal with the challenge.

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14 thoughts on “Shouting in the Wind, Spitting in the Torrent

  1. Reblogged this on Alice White Author and commented:
    Yes, yes, and yes. I can relate to the questionable role of social media in the world of an author 100%. Lori puts it very succinctly here. The point in even having social media, with regards to authorly things, does seem redundant at times.

    BUT. Sometimes, our posts and blogs DO generate followers, or reviews, or just general interest, other times… not so much, and what I have discovered helps is this. If one posts what one would post anyway, regardless of whether or not you are an author; if one blogs about what ever fancy dictates–and yes, sometimes that is about writing/books; If one does all of this without expectation of book sales/new followers/reviews, one can rest a little easier. Because, when we DO get even a little interest from a blog or post, it then comes as a very pleasant bonus. Does social media promotion/marketing really work?? I have no idea! BUT, we can but try 🙂 Just enjoy what you do and by all means dream of selling large numbers of books, and/or having a huge fan base similar to Stephen King’s. Nothing wrong with dreams, but above all, just enjoy it and be proud of all your accomplishments 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think the point beyond is when others read you and feel a connection. Now… whether those numbers run into single figures or six… is a completely different ballgame. To me, every reader who has connected/liked/reviewed/commented about any of my books fills me with joy 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel your pain. One of the ways I deal with this is by taking an extremely long term view. I don’t think the whole problem is the amount of other books out there (poorly edited or not), but it does make it awful hard to get noticed. Sometimes it all feels like a rigged game with rules i didnt even know about. My long view includes building my brand and making my website my brand’s home. Then there’s the work of getting that noticed. After doing the things that appease the Google gods it takes about a year of consistent content writing before you get much notice, and this content all has to satisfy the Google gods appetite too. Eventually traffic begins to visit your site and they see links to your books and go buy them at Amazon. That’s the plan I’m working on, anyway. It’s finally gotten easier to be found when anyone searches for information about ginseng (not by using the one word, but definitely when typing some sort of ginseng question related to finding or learning about the plant). And having that happen is the first apparent result from all the work. So I’ll continue with the plan and keep writing, doing talks, and building brand. Good luck in your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Lori, my belief; if it is in your soul, you just keep on doing it. I reached a point as a songwriter where I realized the craft was more important to me than the reward. You might be in a somewhat different circumstance because it seems like your muse still runs much more freely than mine. I guess what I’m suggesting as a friend and fan is don’t let the chase obscure the joy of your craft. Here’s hoping your dream comes true.

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    • Thanks, Marty. I appreciate the support. I will soldier on, do better at the blogging and keep writing. I’m anxious to get started on a young adult book series and think doing that might be a lot of fun and get my creative juices really jazzed. It’s definitely in my soul!

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  4. Lori, good blog and some succinct points. We’ve discussed some of this and the secret, after 25 years I can tell you is do what you love and hope others come to love it too, but if they don’t, you’ve still spent your time enjoying life instead of being unhappy. I’ve had huge sales and I’ve had tiny ones in my career as a writer. Neither made a difference to how much I enjoy creating that story.

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  5. I have no idea about how to be a successfully published writer. I do not read books and therefore am not worthy to be a writer. I rejected the “call to be a speaker” like Jonah once did and was delivered in the belly of a big fish. Once I arrived on a shore, the shore turned out to be United States Courts in the Western District of Arkansas. I told Jimm Larry Hendren an illogical prior decision made in his Court was perhaps a symptom of early-onset senility or biological brain deterioration or other type brain damage. Guess what you should NOT SAY to an elderly judge? Is it ironic this was 59 days before his retirement?

    I found your website reading about Second Saturday at arc. I doubt I would EVER read a fiction book and yet I can understand the fight to get a story out and read. GOOG spent about half-a-million in legal fees alone and offered 5,000K to make my story go away.

    Is your book available as a PDF?

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