Thursday, April 12, 2018

Why I Feel Like Giving-up on Writing

I've been a huge supporter of self-published writers for years now. I love self-publishing, I love to self-publish and I created the #IndieBookGoal2018 challenge to encourage people to read more indie and self-published books.

But it would be a lie to say that I don't occasionally get jaded by the process and lately I've been starting to feel depressed by the state of self-publishing.

The reality is, as much as I love indie books, there are too many of them. The market is flooded. There are a lot of junk indie books out there -- and not that they haven't always existed, but there's so many more now -- and while there are also still some great books, it's so much harder for them to find an audience.



For me, the hardest thing is looking at the sales of my newest release, Unearthed After Sunset. And sure, I've been selling books, I've gained some great reviews, but I put in probably twice the effort to advertise this book than I did with my debut novel Into the Deep in 2012, and have had half the response as I did with that book. This is incredibly disheartening, especially since I know how much my writing and my storytelling ability has grown over the past six years.

I used to feel like even if I never got rich writing that it was possible to make enough money to make the expenses worth it. That, if nothing else, I could reach readers. More and more I feel like writing a good book and putting in the hard work just aren't enough.

It's starting to feel like this isn't worth it.

To spend months crafting a story. Editing. Reworking. Tearing it apart and putting it back together. Creating a cover. Setting up promotions. Advertising. Countless hours of work, and love, and pain...and to have it all fall flat...

I've always felt like writing was like breathing like I could never give it up.

But, lately, low sales and being upside down in my budget has sucked all the inspiration out of me.

I don't think this is the end. Even now, feeling like I want to give up I've turned to writing about this to get me through it.

I hope this is just another bump in the road.

I hope I figure out some new tactics in this crazy publishing world. Or, hell, maybe I'll start querying agents. Or, maybe I'll just say to hell with making money and start posting all my books on Wattpad. Or, maybe this is all just crazy ramblings and I'll keep going like I always have.

I don't know. Maybe things will change, maybe they won't. But writing and being a self-published author is a crazy rollercoaster of a ride and I'm not getting off just yet.


If you liked this, you might also like Ways it's Gotten Harder to Self-Publish

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Reading and Writing Wrap-up: March

March was a rough month for me. Book sales weren't great, and I've fallen into a bit of a funk. 




READING:

Books Reviewed in March:

I finished Veiled by Stacey Rourke - 4 Stars.

I also reviewed Where Worlds Meet by Lucinda Elliot - 4.5 Stars

Both books were for my #IndieBookGoal2018 pledge

Books Read in March:

After finishing up Where Worlds Meet I downloaded a few sample books, but haven't started any yet.

Books to read in April:

I plan to start another book from my Indie Book List. I have a few books in mind that I plan to look at next, but I haven't officially picked one yet.



WRITING:

Unraveling in the Night (Book 2 in the Cereus Vampire Chronicles) has already been sent off to a few betas. I've also been busy on Scribophile, earning Karma points, to post it there for feedback as well. I plan to start posting on scrib, and hopefully hear back from a beta or two by the end of the month.



BLOGGING:

I didn't blog a ton in March other than posting a few reviews and my usual Made-up Word of the Month, but I have been posting to my Instagram account! You can now follow me on Instagram at laurynaprilwrites


My Favorite Blog Posts in March:

Favorite Post Written: Fictional Bucket List was a fun random post about all the things I wish I could do if fiction people and places were real.

Favorite Post Read: I didn't do a lot of reading last month. :(



PERSONAL:

I quit my job in March and started a new one April 2nd. Between just those two things I had a lot of transitions and was feeling a little overwhelmed. I had a lot of things to wrap up at my old job before leaving, and working with kids meant having to manage some sad goodbyes. But, that place was really burning me out so it was a good move. I love my new job, but it's still very new and I have a lot to learn. Hopefully I'll be getting back into the swing of things in April and have more time for writing.


How was your March?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Review for Where Worlds Meet by Lucinda Elliot

4.5 Stars. Sherlock Holmes meets Dracula with Time Travel. Set a number of years after That Scoundrel Emile Dubois and the stand-alone Ravensdale, Where Worlds Meet opens with our characters from both novels living in their happily ever after. Emile has retired from his life on the road as a highwayman. And both Emile and Sophie as well as Emile's cousin Reynaud (Ravensdale) and Isabella have children now. You should read That Scoundrel Emile Dubois before reading this, but I don't think anything would be confusing if you haven't read Ravensdale.

The beginning of the book re-caps That Scoundrel Emile Dubois nicely without feeling repetitive and quickly introduces the reader to the threat our characters face. There are also lots of little jokes along the way that reference both earlier books, which was fun.

As the story continues you're pulled into a fast-paced adventure. Filled with all the excitement time-travel, vampires, and other curious monsters can provide. This gothic historical romance was like nothing I've ever read before.

I loved seeing Emile and Sophie again. But I have to say, I was probably most interested in Arthur and Elouise, at least for the first half of the book. We see a much more vulnerable side to Arthur. He’s alive and still a vampire, and while he's seeking revenge he also has a soft spot for Elouise. Sweet Elouise has been tending to him and ends up put in a position where she doesn’t want to see Emile hurt, but also wants to protect Arthur. She seeks to save Author from his half-vampire status. As the story went on I found myself rooting for them. They were the underdogs as Kenrick was still pulling some of Arthur's strings, but it was clear that he was a victim too. It was also funny seeing Longface and Guto trying to protect Eloise from Arthur.

I feel like the time-travel aspects in this novel were handled even better than they were in the first book. I understood the mechanics of this world in this book a little better, and you get to see more of those time travel aspects, which I liked.

Kenrick's monsters were a new element to the story that while new, still felt like classic gothic horror monsters. We're also introduced to other new characters like Guinevere Gwynne, who aids Kenrick with magic books in his attempts to navigate the time mazes. She also has some interesting encounters with both Emile and Reynaud. Together Gwynne and Kenrick seek to not only enter the past but alter it as well with the hope of bringing long-dead loved ones back into their lives.

Emile and Reynaud are a charismatic duo that drive this story. Filled with strong female characters, humor, love, and betrayal, Where Worlds Meet will suck you in.



Was the writing/editing solid?

5/5 - This book was well written, edited and formatted and even provided some nice reminders in the footnotes of things that had happened in the past books.

Did the book have a well-formed plot/subplots?

5/5 - Elliot did a good job merging the two stand-alone novels that came before this into a cohesive tale with plenty of twists and turns.

Could you relate to the characters?

5/5 - Since this was a sequel I already felt invested in these characters and felt like their development and growth was true to the character's I'd been introduced to in the first two books.

Did the story make you feel?

4/5 - There were plenty of parts where I truly felt for these characters and rooted them on or was scared of what might happen to them. However, Emile and Sophie are happily married now as are Reynaud and Isabel, so there wasn't that same "I hope they get together soon," feeling that the first two books had.

Was the book unputdownable?

3/5 - If you don't typically read gothic novels the language can be a little tougher and for me, I found I wasn't able to read this as fast as I've read other books, but it was definitely a worthwhile read.



Indie Book Goal 2018 Notes

This is the second book I've finished for #IndieBookGoal2018 where I've pledged to read at least 10 Indie books before the end of the year.

Indie Book Goal 2018