The Insecure Writer’s Support Group convenes the first Wednesday of every month. This month, September 2014, is the group’s leather (three-year) anniversary.

I’ve had to admit I really failed at marketing myself, and that I was far too naïve and idealistic about getting significant sales after my two releases. Doing a few guest posts by other blogs, having release announcements, announcing my releases well in advance, and using pertinent keywords really wasn’t enough to get enough sales. I’d been hoping to have physical copies in August, but I figured it’s not worth the time and effort at this point. Maybe later, when I have some more sales to merit it.

I really do feel like the odds are against me since I don’t write in a hot genre. Long historical sagas with ensemble casts, spanning many years, apparently went out of fashion awhile ago. If I wrote something like steamy contemporary YA romance or fantasy, I might be more popular. A lot of the stuff coming out of traditional publishing anymore just isn’t my style at all. It feels so formulaic, cookie-cutter, sterile, corporate. So many classics could never have gotten published today. It reminds me of the George Harrison song “Blood from a Clone,” an attack on the music industry’s insistence on sameness and unoriginality.

I’m still planning the release of my first Russian historical for 7 November, the anniversary of the October Revolution (and my character Nikolay Kutuzov-Tvardovskiy’s birthday). Since I reached the 700,000-word mark on my WIP, I figured it was as good a time as any to take a break and start the final edits and revisions (by this point mostly minimal) to prepare it for release. Thankfully, I’d already formatted it in Word 2004, before I changed computers and was forced to learn Pages. Since my old computer is still functional, I could always transfer the file back into Word if I can’t figure out any additional necessary formatting in Pages.

I finally found a name for Ivan and Lyuba’s Kabardin horse! I created him in September ’93, probably the last character I ever created on our dear 152K Mac, yet he’s been nameless all this time. His name is Branimir, the same name I gave a grizzly bear figurine from my surviving uncle. It means “powerful protection.” I thought the secondary villain of Part I also needed a new name, but I just found out Basil really is a Georgian name. Not so common as Vasil, but it exists regardless. (This came from a legit Georgian-language names site, not the kind of site claiming Heaven spelt backwards is “Slavic” for “beautiful sparkly butterfly fairy princess.”) So maybe the name can stay after all. (Renaming him Vasiliy was always out of the question, since I don’t want my wonderful character Vasya to share his name with such a dirtbag.)

I’m still looking to expand my DBA into a bona-fide small publishing house someday. I’d love to work with you if you write 20th century historical, Russian historical (including historicals set in the other former republics of the Russian Empire and USSR, like Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, and Georgia), Japanese historical, Persian/Iranian historical, WWII/Shoah historical, American historical, Israeli historical, memoir, or soft sci-fi/futuristic fiction.

7 thoughts on “IWSG—Forging ahead

  1. I definitely admire you for writing what you want to write – it seems to me that there are some writers out there who try to figure out what they “should” write, and then write that. I am of the opinion that we should all write what we love to read, otherwise it just won’t sound authentic when we write it down.

    That’s cool you will have print copies. I want to see some pics of those, thanks very much! 😀

    Personally I love reading long, drawn out sagas. I haven’t read yours, but would like to grab some copies sometime. 🙂


  2. The catch-22 is that marketing is a full time job if you’re going to do it right. Then the dilemma becomes write or market? Genre is not so much of an issue when you have a crafty marketing rep who is helping to make your genre hot. Or you can deal with it by time or luck. It’s not often easy to get your product in the eyes of the public, but persistence will help. I wish you well!

    Tossing It Out


  3. Who cares what’s popular? Writing is just as much for you as it is for readers. I understand you want sales (don’t we all!) but if you write something to fit a trend, you won’t get that sense of fullness and satisfication. Write what you want to leave on the world.


  4. You have to write what you’re passionate about. Otherwise, it’ll show in the writing. I still find the best form of marketing is word of mouth, yet even it can sometimes be hard to find. Good luck with everything!


  5. Write what you want to write and don’t ever compromise, don;t ever write something just because it’s popular. You love what you write and that is what matters. Keep going! You’re doing something great! You will find more readers if you market more. Blog tours, giveaways, Goodreads…all of it helps. 🙂


  6. Just stay true to yourself and enjoy the journey. I had to face the facts that perhaps the reason God put it on my heart to write these particular novels wasn’t so my books would hit the NY Times Best Seller lists. But if I’ve made the impact on just one person’s soul, it’s worth it 🙂


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