What do you do when life throws constant curve balls right at your face? Hey, I’m talking heavy duty, lots of kilos, knock you down balls.
Well? You find a way to dodge, and swerve until they go away, and they will.
Determination and a strong desire to achieve on their own are not a guarantee for success but they can be the driving force in seeking solutions, solutions to suit that particular individual.
Phillipa Nefri Clark , an author in a writing group I belong to, shared a great post about her first chaotic months in the industry. A fledgling gets bombarded with so many ideas on how to succeed. Most of them are costly, confusing and often conflicting. Phillipa’s itemised list reminded me of the film The Birds. You know that scary moment wings flutter madly on feathered bodies as they prepare to swoop. Imagine those beaks pecking at you while you struggle to decide what to protect.
As if formatting, choosing covers and editing isn’t enough to worry about we also have to deliberate on who to publish with and the possible limitations that may or may not arise from that choice and then choose a method to promote the book. What if you are not technologically gifted, or only have a measured ability? Seriously, this could be a ….breaker (‘deal’ fits in here but if you remember the curve ball analogy then you might prefer that word instead.
Having followed numerous authors for years as I am an avid reader (I am addicted to the euphoric feel I get turning pages), and having religiously reviewed their books I assumed the same would follow once I changed hats, giving me a head start into what really is a chaotic world. It wasn’t that simple as I found out. You have to think wider.
Promoting is a complex and consuming operation and not everyone understands to share and to like is vital, and those that do often don’t have a lot of time to spare. And, it is often also perceived as a commitment to an opinion, and it scares people. For me, it is a commitment to what a person is trying to achieve. I realised I needed help, independent help.
After a lot of research and reflection I chose Sylvia as my way to work at my writing with a clearer and happier mind. Although she lives in the UK her promptness and efficiency, her creativity and her flexibility to work with me and offer direction has allowed me to draw breath. Her services range from helping with websites, editing, creating images and posting to media, and Sylv also runs a blog where she interviews authors and gives insight into their work.
Having an author PA has freed me up considerably. I can now concentrate on Unexpected Passion, Book 2 of The Unexpected Series and a short story I hope to be able to offer free, and still continue the fine tuning (endless by the way) the craft requires. I have to do things consecutively. My age and circumstance in life dictates I need the required steps under control before I can move to the next step. Promotion, and media were slowing me down and impacting on confidence. It is not one of my strengths.
I don’t mind admitting I was nervous when I made the decision to trial a three-month-special with Sylv (me have a PA, a personal assistant?). Then I was nervous when I saw my novel come up too often on media for my liking (see how confidence was down) but I swallowed my fears and kept the faith. I had to trust I had made a good decision. I needed the book out there. I needed to experiment, to trial. The result has been a world of knowledge that continues to grow every day.
Sensing my insecurities Sylv went all out to show me different possibilities. My book trailer is a great example. My cover is modern; the trailer had more of an old world feel. My book is edgy but I also believe it is very romantic. Again we experimented. Sylv wants her authors happy and listens. When the second book is released we may change things up a bit, or not. Curve ball = learning curve =flexibility.
We are currently working on a plan that will suit me with affordability and consistency, and showcases my poetry book Emotions in Eruption, as well continuing to promote the novel whilst setting up what is needed for the second book in my series. Sounds scary, right?
I love it. I now have a means to feel less pressured and maintain focus. Sylv encourages working together (and that means all her clients). Writing is a large umbrella and an author has to remain pro-active and also network. Professional help is not someone doing it all for you. It is someone helping you help yourself.
Is it all coming together? Slowly. Am I less worried? Yes! I have real back up. Would it suit you? I think you may be surprised but I can’t guarantee it. I can only reiterate how much easier my life is these days with Sylv onside. Check out www.sylv.net or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until we meet again