Thursday, February 2, 2012

So much for resolutions, promises, goals -- all down the toilet

I would like to say that the reason this blog has been inactive for so long is that I've been writing and writing and writing, and managing all the money that's come in as a result of my writing, but that would be a lie, and I really try not to lie except within the framework of fiction.  This blog is not fiction.

But it is a confessional of sorts.  It is my opportunity to put in the public sphere some of the experiences -- I would never presume to call it wisdom -- that have brought me to whatever point I'm at when I wrote that particular post.  Perspectives do change as the experience that informs them changes.  In other words, we look at Christmas much differently after we learn the truth about Santa Claus than we did before.

I came to this blog with all the same excitement and enthusiasm and hope that accompanied my long-ago writing endeavors.  The dreams I had set aside 15 or more years ago came back to life.  I revised and digitally republished one of my books, and I hoped to do the same for the others.  I was looking forward to restoring one of those books, Moonsilver,  to its original intended length and adding the segment that had been left out when the length was chopped from the 130,000 words of the original proposal to 100,000 via the contract.

Oh, the hopes and dreams and enthusiasm!

But Pocket Books would not relinquish the rights to Moonsilver and held onto them via the contract terms that said they only had to make the book "available" to readers.  What appeared to be a print-on-demand edition was offered at Amazon and Barnes and Noble online, at an outrageous price with no cover art until several days after the official "release."  Within three weeks, even that much had disappeared from

And the sales of Secrets to Surrender languished, generating far less income than anticipated and not quite even recouping the cost of a professionally executed cover. 

But other events occurred that chipped away at my enthusiasm, and even at my faith in myself.  People I trusted proved to be, shall we say, untrustworthy.  I began to doubt my judgment even -- or maybe especially -- when it came to my writing.  Was any of it any good?  Was I wasting my time?  Should I give up my dreams -- again -- and just spend the rest of my life transcribing accident claim statements for insurance companies?

The argument at Dear Author didn't help.  The backstabbing by two long-time friends was devastating.  I felt as if there wasn't much reason to continue.  Just go through life one boring, directionless day at a time. . . . forever.

Has anything changed?  No, not really.  There have been some small successes, all outside of the writing sphere.  I put some of my jewelry and other crafts on an Etsy site and made a few sales.  I did well at the art shows I participated in, especially the Canyon Arts Festival in Gold Canyon the end of January.  But
the ongoing disappointment and frustration lingered.

I'm not sure how I'm going to shake it off, but I refuse to let Caroline Tolley and Pocket Books defeat me again.


  1. Can I be frank Linda, and say that the cover for "Secrets to Surrender" isn't very eye-catching. In fact, it doesn't say lush historical romance set in (I assume) mid-19th century California at all, but general fiction set in some snowy mountain town. If I were the average Kindle user, I'd pass this book by because the cover does not tell me it is a historical (and a historical not set in Regency England!), much less a romance novel. And for its length, I'd bump the price up to at least $1.99 since more and more readers are also bypassing 99 cent books expecting novellas and low quality for that matter. I'm speaking as a reader, a fellow writer, and someone who keeps her ear to the ground in this swiftly changing publishing industry, and I know there is an audience for your book!

  2. Ah, hello, Evangeline!

    Your comments are always welcome!

    The cover -- You'll get no real disagreement from me on that. I wish I could reconstruct the series of emails and phone calls that went between myself and the person who put it together because although in some ways it was exactly what I ordered, in other ways it wasn't. I had located and chosen the original photograph -- I didn't want a "clinch" cover like the one Zebra had originally given it -- but I wasn't 100% pleased with the execution of the lettering, etc. And I realized after it was all uploaded and everything that there wasn't sufficient contrast between the lettering and the photo, nor did it convey the romance the way I wanted it to. It was too harsh, too blunt. While the photo accurately depicted the setting I had imagined, it didn't accurately convey the mood and tone. Am I making sense? At any rate, I wasn't happy with it. I'm not surprised it didn't attract readers.

    The price -- I originally listed it at $2.99, then dropped it to the bargain price of $.99 to see what would happen. Still not very impressive sales. As a reader/shopper, I do look for the bargains and I do check for length regardless of price, but maybe I'm not typical. Interestingly enough, just last week I had a conversation with a friend regarding my jewelry, and I commented that on one particular category of my jewelry, my sales had dramatically improved when I raised the price. :shrug:

    The two together -- I'm in the process of revising another of my previously published books to upload to Kindle. Part of the pricing strategy with the 99-cent bargain was that I had hoped to increase sales, then put the next book out at teh $2.99 level. But I'm in a quandary about the cover for that one, too. Art is not my strong suit, and while I may have a mental image of what I want, I have great difficulty conveying that image into the visual. Even dealing with the person who put together the cover art for "Secrets to Surrender" was an exercise in futility because I don't think I sufficiently explained to him what kind of an effect I was going for (which was something akin to the Robyn Carr "Virgin River" illustrations). Or maybe he just didn't get it, or didn't want to???

    At any rate, that's where it all came from. I'm just not sure where it's going to go to. But your comments are always welcome!