I should be over the moon ecstatic with next weeks release, but the truth is, I'm nervous and scared. You see, since early fall of 2015, something shifted in my sales. Not just for me, but a lot of writers. (Knowing this makes me sad they have low sales, but also means I don't suck at writing, lol) I tell myself to keep my chin high, keep on writing, and soon whatever is going on will pass. I have good weeks. I see sales pick up and I think, "Finally!" But then next week comes, and it's back down. I'm not being over dramatic either. Last time I checked my dashboard on sales, I'd had 10 this month. 10 books with over 30 books on my back list.
I'm going to be real, it makes me sad and hard to sit down and write anymore. I love to write, but in truth, I did get into this to make a career out of writing. And for awhile, I was. And I thank each and every one of my readers. I love you all. I really do. I love to hear how much you enjoyed my books. What it is you like, such as my dialogue, how I describe characters, and so on. It brings me so much joy.
Unfortunately, selling 10 books a month isn't making this a career for me anymore. It's more of a hobby. I work this like a full-time job. Monday - Friday from 9-4 it's all writing, editing, promo, etc. Then some time on the weekends too. I've been lucky to get to be home for almost five years, writing while my kids are at school. I remember the joy I felt a few years back when I went with my husband to get him a new car and I was making his car payment plus several other bills. The rewarding feeling that my writing, my passion, was bringing in an income to my family.
I had to hand that car payment back to him last December. :(
I look at what's changed, why am I not selling anymore, and so on. I hear the advice all the time to keep writing what I love and the sales will come. It's hard not to jump on the trend and follow that, especially when you don't have a day job and this is your job.
There has been some recent discussions over first person vs third person point of view in writing. I'm a third person writer but when I read that readers WANT first person. PREFER it now and often won't touch a third person book anymore, I had to stop and think. Can I still put out the same stories I write but just change the tense? We shall see with my next release.
Depression has set in as well and I haven't been releasing books like I used to, and then I get even more sad. Ugh...it's a viscous cycle. I'm getting ready for my release season, where I got out of my negative talk and wrote for a few months and now that hard work is paying off with some releases. But I'm back in the slump, trying to get my words in while worrying about my future as an author.
Next week Strangers At The Altar releases. July is William's story (True Love in Laguna) from The Maddox Brothers. I'm working my tail off, trying to stay motivated to finish a novella for a bull rider anthology that will come out August 1st. And then the last Carver Ranch will come out in September. All of these were written in winter/early spring. Except the bull rider and I'm pushing hard to fight the negative talk and get this one written.
So yes, a little release season that I'm hoping does well. I should be excited for next week because it's something new I've done and a fresh idea. Instead, I feel like this is going to release and I have to make big decisions about my career based on this book and how it does. I want to feel successful again.
This isn't meant to be a pity post, but I needed to get out how I've been feeling. I'm a writer and I needed to write out my feelings and share them. You see, even though I'm most likely returning to work next school year and writing will become a hobby, it's still my passion. I'm still going to keep writing and hopefully releasing stories you'll love.
It's time for a change and I hope my readers will stick with me even if I put out a few less books a year. Of course, now the idea of finding a job has me on pins and needles too. A little excited about being around people again, hope I'm not too weird.
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