WHAT ONE AUTHOR HAD TO SAY ABOUT
SOUTHERN OWL PUBLICATIONS!
C.L. Scholey – 2017
When Crystal asked me to write about my success as an author I was flattered and a bit overwhelmed. I’m not a USA Today bestseller or NYT bestseller but I do sell and have hit #1 Amazon numerous times, ARe bestseller though it’s a moot point now as with Fictionwise. I’ve hit bestseller on Bookstrand. Managed in the hundreds on Barnes and Noble. Was author of the year with a book of the year. Second in so many categories with different books and publishers with awards.
All authors love to write so it’s not that I’m doing anything differently. All authors have passion, drive, and I bet each of us is an emotional roller coaster. My words are geared to what I’m feeling most often. If I’m sad so are my characters, when happy, ticked off—same.
So why do some authors sell better than others? I’ve read amazing books that get little notice and some really awkward stories that go far. I’m not sure there is a ‘fair’ factor involved. I think there is a lot of luck. I also think promotion has a great deal to do with some authors. For instance: If you have a box of kittens in a barn in a corner who will know? You might get the odd family member or friend. But if you put a sign up outside the barn it may catch added attention. If you go a step further and put flyers out you may sell all your kittens, in the paper, you may even have some asking when the next litter will be born.
A good publisher is important if you decide to go traditional. It’s in a publisher’s best interest to help you with your book, after all they have an investment. Check out the publisher and their authors. If you have a publisher who couldn’t care less, callously tosses your hard work up for an unreasonable amount or a paltry sum you’ll run into difficulty if they leave you stranded and do zero promotion—either way. If the cost is too much remember, readers blame price on authors regardless when being informed the publisher sets the price. If the cost is too little other than for sales purpose readers may think the story isn’t even worth the small amount. Do your research. If you self-publish be forewarned you’ll need the backup of some die hard readers. Readers are invaluable. Readers who take the time to share your work, review your work or offer suggestions are gold. Treat them as such because they have no ulterior motive, they just love your work and you’re lucky to have them.
Know your worth. I don’t mean simply money, I mean know what your words mean to you. Years ago I had an editor rearrange a story until I felt it wasn’t mine, I felt bullied. Some changes are fine, some advice is truly wonderful, but the second you put your words down you own them, you have to be happy with them. Your life won’t be over if you tell someone ‘reject changes’ and put your foot down. YOUR name is on the cover. Yours. That’s what people remember.
Why do you write? No—really? Each time before I begin a story I ask myself that very question. Like dreams there are some who must continue their explorations in their sleep because their mind will not be contained when your eyes close. Words are explosions onto paper. Extensions of you that will not be harnessed.
Go big or go home…always go big because, no worries, if you’re an author you will always have a home. It’s inside you. It’s where your characters live until you write the life into them. I can write anywhere. My thoughts and ideas are a blink of an eye away at any given time. And don’t just ‘write what you know’. I’ve never met a Zargonnii, Castian or Tonan warrior! Step out of your comfort zone, there is no ‘box’. Do, write what you feel.
So, why/how do I sell books? Hell if you can figure it out let me know. It’s 1am as I finish this. I still have zero clue. Then again, it’s 1am. Everyone in my house is asleep including the dog.
Whether you sell or not, ask yourself one last question. Does writing make you happy? If the answer is yes, then you have the most important sale of your life; you just sold you—to you. That is the most important emotional financial exchange of your life. You must be important to you. You will be the one weathering the insecurities, the edits, the frustration, the patience needed involved from start to—lol, there is no finish. You will weather the reviews from day one until you pull the book and decide it’s ‘day done’. I hope you never have a day done. Welcome to being an author. 🙂