[[Welcome to my weekly writer’s diary where I’ll share my “Woot Woot!” moments and the not so “woot woot” moments of my writing world. And, yes, I might even share the occasional musing or two about reading and writing, two of my favorite things!]]
It’s Thursday ~ 09/27/12 ~ and…
As you may know — if you’ve been following any of my recent Facebook laments — I’ve had another wild and interesting week. If I were a negative person, rather than the upbeat one than I usually am, I would be wondering when the cloud over my head would lob the next lightning bolt into my world. But, I am that positive person so I don’t want to talk (much 🙂 ) about what went wrong this past week. Let’s focus on the good stuff and what I’ve learned…about me and the book industry.
To catch up the tardy readers (Hey, it’s okay to be behind on your blog/email/loop viewing! With any luck, you’re behind because you’ve been having a life!), my novel, SATIN PLEASURES, was pirated. You can read all the sordid details in the Announcement I ran on Monday. I essentially gave the pirate site notice to take my book down or face my wrath…well, my nicely pointed fingernails against a chalkboard. No, I didn’t say that either but the sentiment is there, you’ll need to read between the lines.
I have to admit, when I decided to self-publish, it never even reached the realm of possibility in my brain that anyone would ever want to steal something I wrote. I mean, that only happens to N.Y. Times best-selling authors, right?
Wrong! Imagine my surprise when I opened up a Google Alert on Monday and discovered someone else was giving away my book. Without my permisson! The gall!
Okay, no, I didn’t quite react that way, in an all fire and brimstone, take them out and shoot ’em vein. Remember my “no one would ever want to steal my work” surety? For a long time — hmmm, a relatively long time in dog years — all I could do was stare at the evidence with disbelief. This couldn’t be right. I think the biggest shock to my system had more to do with the idea someone thought I was important enough to pirate than with the act itself. I mean, I just gave away an enormous number of freebies to get my book into reader hands, didn’t I? This person was giving them away. (There wasn’t an overt monetary gain that I could see anyway.) What was a few more? I wanted my book in reader hands, didn’t I?
Interestingly enough, I learned several things about myself trying to answer these questions.
1. I’m a control freak. This is not really news to anyone who knows me, or if you’ve been keeping me company on this blog any length of time. However, I now know the reason I am enjoying my Indie career can be traced right back to my need to control all aspects of my writing. I also know, deep down, I would never have been happy writing for the traditional marketplace. I would have done it, had any of the editors who liked my work offered me a contract. But I can see now that, sooner or later, I was going to rail at the lack of control I had over much of my career. If I’m going to muck it up, it needs to be because I screwed up. Not because I had no say in the process.
I might not have had any control over what happened in this instance. Much as it pains me to say this, this is only one of the Indie publishing bugaboos over which I have little control. The point is that it felt good to address the problem myself…well, in principle. 🙂
Which brings me to the second thing I learned about myself….
2. I haven’t distanced “Business Me” as far from “Writing Me” as I thought, as much as I need to at any rate. I spent over 30 years in the business world, in management, no less. I knew how to handle myself at work. I didn’t allow my feelings to overcome what I knew had to be done to take care of a problem. I managed to keep a cool head most of the time. “Writing Me”? Panicsville! That may be an overstatement but it would seem that my writing self is a bit too much in touch with her feelings. Because they were hurt. And she ran like a panicked jackrabbit to the Facebook rabbit hole in a tizzy.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. I’ll admit that I’m learning Indie publishing as I go, and I’ve made a lot of wonderful friends in the book industry who are all too eager to teach me what I need to know. Thankfully, all of those fabulous friends immediately came to my rescue, made suggestions, and gave me solutions to pursue. I think what surprised me most about the whole affair was that “Business Me” didn’t take charge first, calm the writer inside and then go fix the problem. I’ve always been both right and left brained. It would appear that I’ve swung a little more to my emotional side when it comes to my writing career. I’m not convinced this is a problem because I need those emotions to write well. But, I need to work on finding a better balance with my practical, problem-solving self. Practical me needs to take care of business. Period.
Which brings me to the third thing I’ve learned about myself….
3. I’m as insecure about my own writing as I ever was over the <mumble> years I’ve been doing this shtick. I have confidence in my ability most of the time. I’ve worked hard to hone my craft and revised my heart out. I know I can write, I’m learning the publishing ins-and-outs I never bothered to learn while I was aimed at traditional markets, and I’ve learned to toot my own horn when deep in my heart I’m an introvert who only wants to sit in a room by myself and create worlds. Sound like most writers you know?
Did you happen to notice my earlier conviction that no one would ever want to steal something I wrote? On the heels of my astonishment so many people downloaded my book when it was free, having someone think it worth the “trouble” of stealing it pointed at a basic insecurity about my work I thought I’d eradicated. After all, aren’t we supposed to be the first to know our own worth? Not I, said the fox! 🙂 I have no delusions that everyone picked up my free book because of what was inside — although to give most readers credit many did download it because of the promise of what I said, in the blurb, was inside, as well as the sample chapter that was available — but the new cover is spectacular and catches the eye. In any case, I find it interesting that these two instances brought my basic insecurities to light.
Now that I’m aware of it, maybe I won’t go in quite such a tizzy when something goes awry. Maybe not. A little insecurity may be a good thing, right? Makes me work harder. Keeps me from getting a big head. Gives me something to talk about in my diary entry. 🙂 I’ll take the new knowledge and move forward.
Speaking of moving forward, before I turn this diary page, I need to remind everyone of two fun things that are coming up. One for readers. One for writers, and maybe readers who want to become writers.
My first bookstore signing is coming up in three days! If you’re in the Denver Metro area come see me and just say hi. Hugs and smiles are always welcome, even if you don’t buy my book. Date: This Saturday, September 29th; Where: A Novel’s Story Bookstore & Fine Tea Emporium, 17 N. Main Street, Brighton, Colorado. Who: I’m signing alongside award-winning SciFi and Western author, Cynthia Woolf. She’s highlighting her wonderful Centauri series while I’m signing romantic comedy. Your bribe chocolates are already in the bag…well, most of them. Somehow, the bag got a hole this week and a few went missing in all of the trauma this week. I need to check the dogs’ breath. I’m sure they’re the guilty parties!
The second event is my 4-week plotting workshop, The “W” Plot…Or The Other White Meat For Plotters. Class begins Monday, October 1st. If you’re a writer and need a plotting technique even a pantser can use (my first book written with this technique is SATIN PLEASURES), check out the basic information below. This will be my last workshop of 2012 and is good for beginners and experienced writers. Those who join me will get a real hands-on-your-own-book experience.
Dates: October 1 -31, 2012 Fee: OIRW Outreach International Romance Writers Member $20 Fee: Non-Member $25 Workshop is open to all. You do not have to be a RWA or Outreach member. To register, go to http://www.oirwa.com/forum/
That’s it for now. I’m off for another round of adventures. Hope yours are full of fun, and not the least bit rocky! See you next Thursday for another rousing entry in Karen’s Diary Drop-In….