Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Okay, I'm cheating. LOL I posted this on my myspace blog last week, and I'm cuttin' and pasting it here. Sue me. LOL

This weekend starts off my events, and it's the second time around for me. My second book. And with llke anything, you learn from experience or you change things around from experience. And your thoughts and attitudes can changed, based on the experience from the first time around. What's different this time?

I'm more relaxed about things. The first time around, I was worried about getting all positive reviews, packing the bookstores with interested, avid readers, and trying to be everything to everybody and be everywhere. Now? Bump all that! LOL I've learned from the first time around that not everyone is going to like your writing or your stories. Does that make you a bad writer or a bad storyteller? No. It's just a fact that just like I might not enjoy a certain genre or prefer books that have less narrative, so might other readers and reviewers have a preference. Although I can say about a good 98% of my reviews from my first novel were positive, it's funny how as a new writer, you focus on the 1 or 2% "bad" reviews (and honstly, thinking back, I can only remember 2 not so kind reviews). You can allow one harsh review negate the 99 positive ones you receive. So, what I've learned is to concentrate on those that enjoy my style of writing. I've learned to take in constructive criticism and separate and absorb that from actual personal preferences in reading (because I found unpleased readers can take your story and re-write it for you in their mind and tell you how you should have written it to make it more pleasing or more relatable to them...all different ways, of course. So the moral is that no matter what you write, someone is not going to be totally pleased.). I've learned to focus on my audience. They'll let me know who they are.

And this second time around, if I can say, I've learned that it is very true that African American women give very little attention to reviews, ads, and accolades. But rather if their best friend or cousin Shaniqua read your book and if she loved it or hated it. That determines whether they buy your book or not. So again, focus on the readers who love my style rather than give thought to those who don't.

And this second time around, I'm enjoying it more. I don't worry about packing the house because I'm a new writer and I have to prove myself and build my readership. So, should I happen to have only one reader to come out to a book signing or 50, the focus is to connect with readers and encourage them to pass the word along to fellow avid readers if they enjoy my writing style. Now, thus far, I've been blessed to have even more readers to come out over my debut. And I pray it will continue to build from there.

This second time around, although I promote like crazy, I don't feel the need to push like I did the first time around. I mean, push readers to post reviews on Amazon.com, push reviewers to read and (hopefully) post positive reviews on my book. I'm very anxioius for feedback and reviews. But, this time around, I feel comfortable in allowing whatever to happen to happen. And with that, thus far, I've gotten positive feedback and friends to come to me and offer to do certain things from the heart, and not out of obligation. And that certainly feels better.

And because of all this and more, this second time around it's even MORE enjoyable. Because I don't look at or compete with other authors. We all have something to offer and an audience that will receive it. I'm more relaxed because the readers who come out either enjoy my writing or who are interested in what I'm doing and want to know more about me and my writing. And now, I'm loving this even more. I can be me, and have more fun this second time around. :-)


Friday, January 19, 2007

One down and one to go! Had my first event for First Fridays last night. Pics will be coming this weekend. But it was great and I had a great time. We just hung out at Mack’s Sports Bar and Grill, eating, drinking, and chatting. My motorcycle club members were hosting and ever present in their vests. And they even bought books too! How awesome! It was great to get the support of family and to see my different friends come together and act like they knew each other. Well, actually, some of them did, but we just didn’t know it. Found out that night. Small world. Isn’t it funny how that works out sometime? People came from Lyrics of the Lou, a Wednesday night poetry set I hit up at the Filter Bar (if you’re in St. Louis, you got to check this out. It’s hot!). And then there were people I’d never met before who told me they heard me on the radio and came by to check me out. Now that was so cool!

So, today is Friday and I’m chilling and fixing my mind to Saturday’s signing were this time I’m actually going to have to get up and talk in front of people. It’s a reading, Q & A session, and whatever before the signing. Then I get a call from someone that I came to find out was a Soror, who wants me to come to her book club meeting next week and to bring books because she selected my book for February! Awesome! And of course, I offered to come back in February and sit down and chat with them about it. But, of course! So, I’m feeling good about the 11 books for each member that she’s telling me to bring. Because I also know that my other friend, Angelia, who works in the school district and sold 25 of my self published books in a single day at work (and who gave the book club lady my info to contact me)…well, she’s taking orders for this book, so I’m feeling pretty. Next thing I know, another friend, a nurse at a hospital, calls and tells me she has a minimum order of 30 (but she hasn’t talked to everyone yet and this is only one of the hospitals she works in), and can I come up to the hospital next week to do a “hospital signing?” Okay, I never did that before but, HELLZ YEAH!

These are FRIENDS. It feels so good when you don’t ask, but people offer because they WANT you to succeed and sell books. They see you out there chasing your dream and they want to help you catch it. Asking nothing in return (although they will get something). I can’t tell you how warm that makes me feel. I got their back at any time.

So, kick off weekend is going GREAT thus far. I don’t think I could ask for anything better.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

In the midst of things. Going to events, passing out promo cards. And to people on the street everywhere I go. Calling on the job to try to hook up events, interviews, making arrangements for the book release party, doing follow ups, making my infamous "to-do" list...checking it twice.... Oh wait, that's Santa. LOL In other words, at the daily author grind.

Well, if you're in the St. Louis area, at 11:15AM tomorrow (Wednesday, January 17th), tune in your radio to FOXY 95.5FM because I'll be on the air for a live interview! Hope you're able to give it a listen!

Then Thursday is the book release party and I'm still in the process of tying up loose ends for it. But come on by Mack's at 6PM. You can pick up a copy of my book, get some Mack's appetizers and a free drink. And what's a party without cake?!!! It's going to be a good time. :-)

But if you can't make that, stop by the Brentwood Border's on Saturday afternoon at 2PM. I'll do a reading, take your questions, and then sign books. It's my kickoff weekend and I'm scurrying around trying to make things perfect. Yeah, I can be a bit of a perfectionist. LOL

It's the writer's grind. LOL


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Just got wind of a review in the Seattle Medium News: First Fridays Review Check it out.

And that reminds me, forgot to mention that the December/January issue of Heart & Soul magazine recommends First Fridays as a read in their Searching for Soul section. Check that out too!

Lots of good things are happening and I'm still working hard to put things together and doing promotions for my upcoming book release party. Overslept this morning cuz I was doing promotions last night and now I'm sitting here at this computer tired as all get out, hoping like heck this cup of coffee is going to do the trick and wake me up. LOL


Sunday, January 07, 2007

My page is finished!!! Check out my Myspace Page. Let me know what you think about it. If you're on Myspace too, hit me up and let's be friends! I know it took me a long time to get around to getting one done, but I've been on it ever since! It takes awhile sometimes for me to get with the latest program. LOL But check in with me there too. I plan to keep this blog and talk about my writing/publishing experience only. But there, I may talk about that, plus any other literary related thing that's going on. Check it out!

Well, so I'm back doing the promotion thing now. With the first book, I was in Cleveland and I did a lot of internet publicity, and ads, and did fairly well. However, this time, my strategy is to hit up the hometown and get word out on the street about me as a hometown author. It's easier to do that now that I'm here in the city. My first promotions was to hit attend our local First Fridays event and get word out. Now, usually, I'm shy and not very good about approaching people and starting discussions. But one thing I'm noticing, since joining a motorcycle club, I seem to be coming out of my shy shell. What?! Say it ain't so! LOL It's funny when you find out what it takes to get you to change. I'd taken public speaking classes and considered Toastmasters...who knew that all I needed to do was become a biker. LOL There's no such thing as being shy around bikers. They will make you talk, make you dance, and just make you be sociable. So much to the point where you're like, to heck with it. And you're always at functions where you no one knows each other but in 15 minutes, you will know everybody in the room! So, I've gotten a lot better at approaching people and I was able to do so Friday night. A lot of ladies were very receptive, especially since the book was called First Fridays. Hope they show up to the book release party! So, after I passed out my promotional business cards, I waited until the party got going, then I went to the parking garage to hit up everybody's cars, just in case I missed them. LOL Yeah, it's on again.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Release day was yesterday!!!! Hopefully books are on shelves. Okay, now here comes the part where I have to make people aware that it's there, tell them who I am and what I write and try to get them to give a new writer a chance. Hard work. But this time, I a book wiser. With Counting Raindrops, I tried a little bit of everything within my budget and too much stuff outside of it. So, with just a teeny weeny bit more knowledge and a little bit of experience, I'm choosing my promotions wisely. Being here in my hometown this time around affords me to introduce myself to St. Louis, so that's the focus this time. So peeps here will come across me in email, see me pubbing at events, in bookstores, and just walking down the street. LOL I got work to do!

Hey, if you get Heart & Soul magazine, check out the write up on First Fridays. In the Searching for Soul section that begins on page 63, First Fridays is included as a recommended read!

I'm also in the process of constructing my MySpace page. I want to keep this blog as strictly my writer's blog to capture my writing and publishing experience. Yeah, ,I know, when I write to it. LOL But there's so much other stuff I want to write, share and talk about that's not necessarily writing. Like about other things I'm involved in and riding my bike and my motorcycle club and just living life. I'll post when it's done.

Well, here's to praying people will pick up First Fridays and check it out. I'm anxious to start getting feedback.