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. :-)


LadyLee Tue Jan 23, 11:10:00 PM EST  

Yo Cherlyn... I just finished the book... Read it in three days! I was trying to stretch it to a week, but I couldn't put it down! First Fridays was EXCELLENT! I hate that it was over!!! I'll review it on my site soon!

Great job... Now go head on and finish up the next book! Can't wait to read THAT one too:) Too bad I have to wait so long!!

Cherlyn Michaels Wed Jan 24, 08:03:00 AM EST  

Hey Ladylee,

Thanks so much for your feedback. I've been dying to hear something or read a review from avid readers. Glad to hear that you couldn't stretch it out to a week. That's a good sign. Give me a heads up when you complete a reveiw! Thanks again and may you continue to be blessed.

Frederick Smith Fri Jan 26, 07:43:00 PM EST  

Hey Cherlyn... thanks for posting this. I'll be jumping back on the ride for the second time this fall, and I'm feeling more relaxed this time around... sometimes I worry that I'm not worried enough.

Your post reassures me. Thanks!

princessdominique Sun Jan 28, 08:35:00 AM EST  

Amen to that! Too bad we can't re-post what you said on Publishers Weekly or something. Congrats!

Cherlyn Michaels Mon Jan 29, 01:43:00 PM EST  

Hey Fred,

Thanks. Yeah, I can relate to your feeling too. Well, I'll be on the lookout for you this fall. :-)

And thanks Dom!

Michelle Mon Jan 29, 05:05:00 PM EST  
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Michelle Mon Jan 29, 05:09:00 PM EST  

That's funny, I had the opposite feeling with my second book. With book #1, Bulletproof Soul, I didn't know what to expect, so I just tried to enjoy every minute. With the second book, Trippin', knowing more about the business, worrying about the sophmore jinx...and concern about #s (i.e. sales)...made me much more stressed the second time around.

I hope with #3 I can return to how I was with the first release. Ahhh...the journey of a writer :-)

Hope you're well...

MsJayy Sat Feb 03, 07:09:00 AM EST  

Love your POV Cherlyn & I'm glad you're able to enjoy it more the second time around. Gotta snag my copy. I'll be sure to let you know when I've read AND reviwed it.

Cherlyn Michaels Thu Feb 08, 10:28:00 AM EST  

Hey Michelle,

Yeah, funny how that works. Everybody experiences things differently, and that's what's hot. :-) One thing that I'm sure we see the same way, though, loving being a writer! I really love this.

Hey MsJayy,

Yeah, it's cool when you love what you do. I'm more relaxed now and just loving being able to write stories and share with those who love to read. It's an awesome feeling. :-)