That’s what I tell myself after this week’s many fiascos that have left me shaking my head.
- Hitting the wrong button to unpublish my latest release and then being unable to track down all the old links that go nowhere so I could update them.
- Getting 90% of my reviews of the latest release taken down after they’d been up since the republishing with no problems.
- Forgetting to update the blog tour company that all those links to the new release go nowhere.
- Getting letters from KDP wanting proof that I own the copyright of many of my books and I have to submit the documents (not just a statement from me) in four days or they may close my account. And after submitting the required certificates, not hearing from them for three days even after I follow up.
- Acquiring a new *ARC reader who left my audiobooks (and their ebooks) negative reviews.
When you don’t get to hold all the cards, it’s certainly nerve-wracking.
But it hasn’t been all bad. When these things happen, I’ve discovered that I somehow default to writing erotica (as if erotica will save my career ha ha ha; it certainly won’t save my soul) even when I know I’ll risk being welcomed by an exorcism crew at the next family Christmas gathering. It’s under the secret pen name that’s drowning in obscurity… like, in the six figures when it comes to Amazon’s ranking.
But you know what? It doesn’t bother me, because I get to write the things I’m not “supposed” to write. There’s something very interesting about anonymity and maybe that happens after you catch yourself censoring your writing time and time again because, under that naughty pen, I don’t. Even this morning, I removed a paragraph in the prologue of Falling for Jordan that featured THE act. I mean, come on, they had a one-night stand. You don’t play Old Maid during a one-night stand. Still, I removed it. I didn’t have to, but I did anyway. This after I told myself that my stories aren’t for everyone. Dax and Harlow’s story isn’t for everyone; they’ve called the “safety police” on that story because Harlow suffers through miscarriages and a stillbirth in her backstory, apparently, no-no’s in contemporary romance. Whatever.
In Ashe and Riley, Riley has no backbone, according to some readers. But you know what ONE reader got right? Riley suffers from depression and the story chronicles what happens when she meets a Hollywood star, (yeah, of all people, it had to be a star. Get over it), who happened to grow up in a sheep farm in Reeth, and maybe that’s why he’s more grounded. Maybe he’s the catalyst that sets her on the right path. But yes, it’s not for everyone if you want a kick-ass heroine to explode from your pages and a supportive cast who won’t hurt the heroine. Newsflash: they do.
I like writing about flawed people; even in my erotic stories, the flaws come out along with the backstory for I can never just write straight naughty. I like writing about people who are at a crossroads. We all start somewhere and sometimes, that ‘somewhere’ isn’t pretty. But as long as I know where I want them to go in the vast Wonderland I’ve created for them, they’re going to get somewhere better.
And like all the missteps with my latest release, it’s going to get better.
- Falling for Jordan will sort itself out and sell more copies. (Don’t get me wrong: Falling for Jordan had a good release all around when it was available on all platforms throughout its 8-month preorder period and three full days post-release, and that’s without paying a lot for advertising.)
- I’ll find the reader who like my stories and who may even look forward to reading the latest ones.
- I’ll keep writing, and when I’m stressed, I’ll write that damn erotic romance where I’ve lost count of the many times I’ve written the naughty words I can’t write here.
Yes, things will get better.
*ARC stands for Advanced Reader Copy and it’s a book/ebook/paperback/audiobook copy a reader receives before the book is released to the public so that they can leave reviews on release week and give that book social proof. Traditional publishers began this practice and indie authors like me have adopted it for our books. It’s also free. Ideally, authors would like to have ARC readers who are fans of their books but sometimes you get someone who doesn’t like your stories. If they happen to be on your ARC team, an author has two choices: keep them until they actually like a book and maybe leave you a good review or remove them.