Just a quick note that today is the last day to pick up Danny Dirks and the Heir of Pendragon for just $0.99 over at Amazon.
It’s Tuesday afternoon, September 23rd as I write this. With vacation less than 48 hours away, I should be thinking about basking in the warmth and humidity of the fall Floridian sun (guaranteed I’m bitching about the humidity when this post goes live). Instead, I’m worried about my job and where my company is headed.
I’ve worked in offices for almost fifteen years now, mostly as an editor. Not a long time for some, but long enough to know that you should be afraid the moment you feel comfortable. At my very first desk job, back in 2001, the company was 250 strong. Four months later, we had a layoff. Four months after that, another layoff. Four months after that… you get the picture. In a matter of 3 years, they went through 5 layoffs and shed ~100 people from that office. I left that job willingly to complete my college degree.
When I found my way back into a large company again in 2005, I got comfortable. Four plus years at a place will do that. And just when it seemed like we’d reached a peak of performance (a small group of people working on medical journals that moved like well oiled machines and made money) the controlling conglomerate came in and changed what wasn’t broken. I tried to go with the change and found that I just wasn’t cut out for a characterless work environment. I like people. People are what makes a job fun. Remove all need to interact with people: remove all the fun.
Anyway, I landed at my current job just over 3 years ago. I loved it from day one. It had the kind of people I liked, the flexibility I needed, and the pay was good. Didn’t hurt that it was also a 10 minute drive from home. It was my first dip into the advertising industry. Be careful, some said. You can get burnout pretty quickly. I felt it, suffered a bit of it, but still found the desire to get up in the morning and go to work. Always a plus.
So, when I started feeling really comfortable, it was really just a matter of time before the bottom fell out, right? I just was hoping to get a little more time. That’s not to say that the bottom has fallen out… yet. It’s just not looking good. Working for a branch that’s part of a larger network helps in the sense that they try and place employees at other branches that have work. Trick is, the branch they’re sending me to requires a train ride into New York City.
I realize that, for some, this would be a dream come true. For me, it’s a hassle and costly. And, as much as I enjoy the bright lights and big city, I love nothing more than leaving it behind when I’m done visiting. Now, on my return from vacation, I have a 90-day stint in Chelsea, NY to look forward to. I’m not totally dreading the opportunity, but that’s partly because I can see an end. If it was indefinite, I’d be dusting off the resume once again (which might happen anyway). Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to still be employed. I just wish I could settle in where I wouldn’t be concerned with the fate of the company. I guess that’s just the age we live in. Don’t get comfortable. It could all change tomorrow.
No, really. In fact, I’ve scheduled this post to go live when we’re expected to land in Orlando. 😉 So, things might be a bit quiet around here other than the occasional selfie with Mickey (and a few pre-loaded posts). I know you’ll miss me, so I’ll leave you with some of my previous (and most popular) posts from the last few months.
See you in October! 😀
For a limited time (9/24 to 9/30), you can get my YA fantasy novel, Danny Dirks and the Heir of Pendragon for just $0.99 at Amazon.com. (update: looks like it’s finally live…phew) As always, the book is free for members of Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime. Thanks and enjoy! 😀
This week’s roundup of what I think are some of the best links I’ve shared over on Twitter:
As always, you can get these links first hand by following me over on Twitter. 🙂
My name is…?
It happens to the best of us. It happens to the worst of us even more. I’m talking about that major error you find in something you’ve published. It’s usually followed by stomach ulcers and weeping and gnashing of teeth. How could you have possibly missed this?! I’m not talking typo or grammar goof. I’m talking a major plot point. You know… like changing the character’s name from book #1 to book #2. We’ve all done this, though, right? Right?
Oy. I was glancing through Divisible by Six the other night. In preparation of crafting book #3, it occurred to me that I couldn’t remember Agent Norris’ first name. Robert or Richard. It’s a bit understandable given the fact that 98% of the time, I refer to him as “Norris.” I did a quick search of the manuscript and stared at a word on the page in horror. “John.”
Wait a second.
I quickly went to the manuscript for book #1. His name’s not John! It’s Richard! WTF?! Well, maybe I’d only done it once. No… despite an early introduction as Agent Richard Norris, he later introduces himself as John… and then for the remainder of the book, he and another character engage in a conversation where he’s called John the entire time.
[Insert F-bomb here.]
I quickly searched the entire document and fixed every mention in both the ebook and paperback. Luckily, a) no one had purchased a paperback (lucky? hmmm) and b) I had yet to produce paperback versions for myself. Crisis slightly averted. Still, several hundred (~1200) folks now have e-copies with a curious change of character. I’m not so surprised that no one caught it, but I went so far as posting a “request to re-upload” the latest version on the Amazon page. It’d make me feel better.
As a self-published author, you’re inevitably responsible for what you publish. But, in the same sense, you also have the ability to go in and fix what you’ve published at any time. A perk to having control over everything.
In the end, on the scale of mistakes, it could have been much worse. With all the erring I do, there’s now no doubt that I’m human. 😉
How about you? Ever discovered (or worse, had a reader point out) an error in your published work? Share in the comments and thanks for stopping by!
As indie authors, we tend to celebrate each milestone, no matter how insignificant it might seem to everyone else. Finishing our first novel. Publishing our first novel. Making our first sale. Making our first sale to a complete stranger. Once you’ve cleared those initial goals, the milestones tend to become a little more personal. Finishing book 2. Reaching X sales. Finishing your first series/trilogy. Some seem more daunting than others. And often, we look at other authors and think, “Jeez! They’re so far ahead of me!” It may be true, but you can only do what you are capable of. And half the trick is to just keep your head down and move forward.
I’ve been self published since 2011. I had one book (Multiples of Six by Andy Rane) for a very long time (June 2011 to December 2013) and even went a solid year where I sold only 36 copies (May of 2012 to May of 2013). Take it from me, having one book out (part of a supposed series no less!) will get you nowhere fast. But, over the years, sales came through various promotions and I crossed the 1000 paid sales mark in June of 2013. When I finally released that book’s sequel last December, I had high hopes of moving more books. Well, it’s been 9 months, a few more releases, and with a little… ok, a lot of help from a BookBub ad, I can say I’ve made some headway.
It’s important to set goals for yourself and celebrate when you reach them. You don’t have to throw a party. Just pat yourself on the back and recognize that you’ve accomplished something, whether it’s a daily writing goal or a yearly sales milestone. Share it among your friends, family, and interested colleagues. It’s not boasting. It’s about sharing the journey. It’s about letting others out there, who might be at the starting line, know that this is a path where even no-name authors (like myself) can find a level of success.
With the help of the recent ad, I crossed the 2750 paid sales mark (over 3 novels and 1 novella and two author names). Yay me! It might be a pittance to some, but I remember when it seemed an unthinkable goal. It’s not. If I can do it, so can you. Am I successful? I haven’t reached that point. The day I can sit back and watch my books sell themselves with little to no marketing necessary, then I’ll consider myself a success. But, I’m certainly pleased with where I now am. I look forward to writing more stories and sharing my continuing journey in this great adventure. I hope you all may find a level of success you can be proud of and celebrate in everything that you do.
Did you reach a milestone lately?! Share it in the comments! 😀
But are they just making the rich, richer?
If you haven’t seen this post from Amazon about the new Select All-Stars program, I suggest you head over and take a look, especially if your books are in KDP Select. Essentially, Amazon needed an additional $2.7 million (on top of the standard $2 million), just to get August’s KU/KOLL borrows payout to $1.54. They had to more than double the pot, and it still came out almost $0.50 below the average for the last two years!
In addition, they’ve installed an All-Star program for the Top 100 books and authors per month who are in the Select program. The numbers look amazing, but when it comes down to it, Amazon is simply rewarding those who are already successful. And, if these top authors are then further thrust into additional spotlight, what chance does it give to anyone else wanting to break into the top? Are they just making it better for those who already have it good?
As always, the folks over at kboards are already heatedly debating the possible issues. 😉
What do you think? Good for the author or bad for the author?