writers

Indie and I Love It

Posted on

It is every author’s dream to get THAT lucrative book deal and an agent who never sleeps. Along with that book deal comes the media blitz, the tours, and resources you cannot imagine—all working for you. When you hit that point, you know you have arrived.

Thursdays_in_Savanna_Cover_for_KindleI am cool with a grandiose arrival, but damn, the journey that I am taking right now, I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I want all of those things I mentioned before, but I want those things when I no longer need the money. You see, with those things, you have to split every dime you make. Yes, that agent who never sleeps wants her share. The publisher wants their share. The media consultant wants their share, and selling a million books becomes necessary to pay all of those people. You no longer care if what you have written is formulaic or if it is even good. You just want to stay on top.

I am an indie author and I started from the bottom.

I am still kind of there, but it’s cool, and let me tell you why.

I have made a name for myself by the sheer sweat of my brow. I tell the stories I want to tell and I tell them the way my heart says they should flow. I have hired editors who understand my voice and my storytelling style. I hired a cover designer to evoke a certain feel on the covers that tell the reader, when your turn the page, you will understand those people on the jacket.

Each and every word in the story is carefully selected.

Each funny line is taken from my soul.

Each chapter moves your forward in the characters journey, taking you along with them until the last word.

When the reader is done, it is a story that has touched them. Some may feel adamantly opposed to the heroine and believe her to be stupid. But a woman who has been in her shoes, understands. Others may view the hero as a man on a mission. A man they want to come into their lives. Yet in the end, the story has stayed with them.

Every copy that I sell moves me one step closer.

Each review I earn touched one more reader.

I am not there yet, but I am proud of my journey.

In 54 Days, I sat at #2 on the Amazon top 100. A week later I fell to #3 seated behind a New York Times bestselling author contracted to Harlequin. I am still sitting in the top 100 with the same number of reviews.

For an indie author, that is pretty darn good. One hundred reviews in 54 days? I am okay with that. I am an indie author and I am proud.

I am working my dream job. Come with me on the journey and read my words.

Thursday in Savannah, available on Amazon.com and online retailers.

Advertisements

Entry Number 3: The Reader and Writer Meet

Posted on

Today’s entry takes us deeper into the plot of the story and we see the characters really start to take form. I will be very honest with you, I am having to really push myself and challenge my imagination.

67094_111815065653204_1298985819_n

Akins-Anderson Sydney: “I’ve seen these before.” Sydney said in an awe struck whisper. The ideograms, illuminated and project by azure light scrawled across the walls with vivid detail. Realizing his mouth had dropped open, he snapped his jaws shut and push back his glasses. As his eyes roved the arcane symbols he suddenly, and with less shock than he would have expected, noticed another thing. Everyone in the café had gone still. In a single sweep he saw that no one was moving. Like mannequins they had frozen in place. A Barista had been in the middle of pouring a mug of coffee, but now the liquid hung patiently in midair.

Sydney turned to the Writer.

Until now she had said nothing. Only observed. That would change.

“What is this?” Sydney asked with forced evenness.

The Writer cocked her head to the side and stared at him piercingly. He could feel her examining him; mind, body, and soul. It made him feel naked, yet strangely enough he wanted her to deem him worthy. And on the tail of that inclination he thought. Worthy of what? He returned her stared with great effort. The Writer sat less than three feet away from him and yet he could not see her. It was as if the nerves connecting his eyes to his brain had been laced with LSD. Her features changed, her clothes changed, and the more he concentrated the less he could make out.

“It’s easier if you don’t try to see me.” The Writer at last spoke. Like her features, her voice shifted with spagyric ease. One second he heard a child, the next an old woman, and everything in between. Yet beneath it all there was a unifying aura, a singular presence. .if only he could reach it.

“Forgive me for the shock of this occasion, but it was . . . necessary.” The Writer added.

“What is all of this?” Sydney asked bluntly. He was surprised at how well he was handling the unreality of the situation. Perhaps later he would go psychotic, but for now he wanted answers. The Writer turned and gazed at the spirituous transcript. Sydney sensed rather than saw a burning conviction in her. After a moment she turned back and engulfed him in the full maelstrom of her gaze.

“What does it say?” She demanded rather than asked.

“I don’t know.” Sydney said

“Who wrote it?” She continued

“I don’t know.” He replied

“Where have you seen it before?” She insisted.

“My dreams.” He answered.

She leaned back and considered his answers, yet her eyes remained on him. He sipped at the coffee she had ordered for him, but found it unappealingly cold. Her bombardment of questions had rattled him more than anything else thus far. In it he sensed, almost desperation. Why that should bother him so much he did not know, at the most it lent this seemingly inhuman figure a semblance of humanity.

“Can you read it?” she asked tentatively.

In her tone Sydney sensed a change in tactics.

“I don’t think so.” He said guardedly.

In a now pleasant tone she said: “Try.”

Sydney turned to the light blue script and tried. He did not know what language it was but it looked almost oriental, or perhaps Sanskrit; wavy and connecting in some places, geometrical and pictorial in others. Yet it all came together quite beautifully. He frowned, how was he supposed to read a language he did not know. He had no idea, but as he considered the unreality of all that was happening, who knew what was possible in this rabbit hole of a coffee shop.

“Something bad is coming from the void.” Sydney said. The words slipped out before he knew what they meant or where they came from. Immediately he turned back to the Writer and asked: “Why did I say that.”
She smiled; the expression both caliginous and bright.

“You read it.” She breathed with an air of relief, than almost to herself: “You are the Reader.”
Sydney didn’t speak, but simply waited for explanation. The Writer muttered something to herself the focused back on him.

“I have a story for you Reader; a very important one. So listen well and believe. It is an old tale that has been retold, reworked, and resold for as long as humans have looked towards the night sky and asked why. But for our purpose I think there is only one beginning that is truly fitting.” She drained her coffee mug and began. “In the beginning was the Word. . .”

You can continue to follow the story and provide us feed back on my Notes Page on Facebook.

Are you managing your brand?

Posted on Updated on

                I read a lot of Blogs.  I read a lot of books.  I read a lot.

I am subscribed to several RSS Feeds that keep me up to date and in the know.  In turn, I relay this information on to those who are following, subscribing or listening to me. The other day, I ran across an update from some group that offers to help you obtain 100,000 followers on Twitter. I signed up back in February of 2011 and for some reason, when the email update came in, I read it.  I was shocked.  There was information in there which was really relevant to what I wanted to know. There was information in this article that told me things that I needed to do.  There was information in this update that reminded me that I am a brand. There was information in this article that told me ways to better manage my brand. Then it donned on me, that I was in fact a brand and I had not been doing a very good job of managing my product.

My product is words. I am a Wordsmith. I am the local Word brand manager of where to go, what to do, and what is hot. If you are having a local event and you want people to come, I am usually invited. Why? Not because I am Über cool, but because if it is something interesting and new, I am usually there sharing my Words with others and why they should be there too. If it is run of the mill and I can see it any day or any time, more than likely, I am not going and will not share any Words about this event. If I am going you will know because I will check it at the location and send out words about cost, the happenings and if you may be interested in coming out as well. I usually check in on my favorite app called Foursquare. I have over 1,295 physical check ins from Anchorage, Alaska to San Juan, Puerto Rico. I hold 21 Mayorships and have 64 badges. I often leave tips and clues on businesses in Augusta that can earn you points and locations about town to unlock badges. Look for my words at your next check in.

I have a blog full of words that tell you all of the out-of-the-way places in Augusta that many people forget are there. These little places are “Off the Beaten Path”, and offer unique gift ideas, great bargains and meals that you can afford. I even use my words feature local artists and events worth coming out to support. I am not featuring these areas for any reason other than, hey, look what I found and to let others know that are many things to do and enjoy in our city.  Along with my Examiner.com blog, I also have a personal Blog where I just get words off my chest or rather out of my head and onto a piece of paper. I called these words, “I was Just Thinking.”  Am I going to save the world, why hell no, but hey, I was just thinking about a few words I wanted to share them and guess what, other people want to know my words too because I have subscribers. And I thank you for reading my words.

I also have Twitter followers who follow me @assistingu where I provide up to date words in the form of information from quotes to tips to keep you from overspending while you shop.

 

“Avoid overspending by eating sunflower or pumpkin seeds while you shop. Release of tryptophan calms you down.#assistingu

 

I found, in reading other words from this article, that I was following words from people who were not following my words. You can find those unfriendly Wordmongers who you follow but who don’t follow you by using http://friendorfollow.com. I also found that I could really go viral and tap into the viral nature by encouraging retweets of my words. This can again be a condition of entry to a giveaway; or you can invite people to ‘pay with a tweet’ to download a chapter, e-book or other resource. Do this using www.paywithatweet.com. I also found that you also gain a higher position in the Twitter directories such as http://www.wefollow.com . I then began using more words in sentence from about how to and began to finds ways that my words could actually assist you.

 

I have a local word building group at Augusta Writers where 1,253 people enjoy tips and tools that keep them inspired be word craftsmen.  Since I am an avid reader, moving quickly toward voracious, I began to throw around my adjectives and encourage others to download free eBooks to encourage other wordsmiths. I do so in hoping that their words can also encourage you to use your own words. If not, there are weekly word combination challenges, updates on word building conferences, word smithing workshops, hard bound word festivals and more. The challenges are fun and can be deceptively difficult and sometimes can require the use of an adverb.

Your three words for Tuesday, August 9th are: Cinnamon toast, toilet bowl, and red handled scissors.  You many begin.

Wordsmithing can be the start of a journey. And speaking of journey’s, I collected some words that formed the syllables of  travel club which is a group of friends and associates who are over 40 and like to go places but often find it can be expensive to vacation they way that you really want. We put our words together. We found that if you do it as a group, you can save money by leveraging your words with dollar signs. In 2012, our words are cruising to Belize.  In 2013 our words are heading to the Montreal Jazz Festival. I like the sounds jazz notes make and so do my friends.

This is who I am.

I am a word wrangler. I subscribe to learn a new word a day.

I collect words and put them together.  I am paid by you sharing my word collections.

These collected words are resold to subscribers that assist you in going about your day.

These words can tell you places to eat.

My words can tell you how to win prizes.

My words suggest books to read.

My collection of words can save you money.

My words can help you feel better.

I manage my words very carefully.

I am Assistingu and this is my brand.

What is it exactly that you do and how are you managing your brand?