IWSG—December edition

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

It’s time for the December meeting of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, which convenes the first Wednesday of every month.

I’m still trying to figure out ways to market myself better, and hoping I might see a real increase in sales after I have physical copies of my books. I also can’t help but wonder if it’s really a good idea for two of the three books I’d planned on releasing in 2015 to be sequels to two of the books I released in 2014, since there haven’t been so many sales yet. If most people haven’t read the first book yet, it’s not like there’s a huge demand for the sequel.

I’m also kind of hesitant to ask book review bloggers for reviews, since I’m worried they might not like my writing, might not have an opening in their schedules, or might not take review requests, even from writers they’re already acquainted with through the blogosphere. Nobody wants to ask someone for a review and then find a scathing review of 3 stars or less.

I’m sure some reviewers might also be held back because two of the three books I currently have out are saga-length, at over 300,000 words. (And believe me, I slaved away to get them down to their final lengths, from much longer initial lengths!) Those were just the lengths which naturally unfolded for those particular books, contrary to the current status quo pushed by traditional publishing.

I’m sure a big part of it is just related to my overall phone, bill-paying, and e-mail anxiety, which is part of how my particular iteration of Asperger’s manifests itself. I don’t want to use being an Aspie as a crutch, but my brain happens to be wired differently. While I view Asperger’s as a beautiful blessing and gift from God, and couldn’t imagine myself as a neurotypical, there are also times where I kind of wish I knew how to behave neurotypically, like not being so introverted in social settings and not having such crippling anxiety over asking for book reviews or paying my bills the moment I get them.

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If anyone is interested, I rearranged the “About my Russian novels” page, so that it’s nested and the main page now has links to the pages for each individual book. I also finally wrote a synopsis for the third book, my massive WIP which is hopefully finally only a few months away from completion. I also wrote synopses for the future fourth and fifth books, though I haven’t come up with working titles or synopses for the two prequels yet.

There’s also a new synopsis for my NaNo WIP, my alternative history, under the “Other projects” page. I’ve rewritten this synopsis a number of times and still amn’t happy with it.

One of the three books I’d planned to release in 2015 is And the Lark Arose from Sullen Earth, my second volume about Jakob and Rachel. I imagine I’ll be using the same cover artist I used for the first volume, though I may just continue creating my own covers for my other books. I’m improving as an artist all the time, so long as I stay within my current capabilities. I definitely won’t be using my original cover for The Very First, which I drew in 2000:

DSC00050

Seriously, I’ve improved so much as an artist since then. Not only am I now using artist-quality materials, but I also know how to draw better-proportioned hands and necks, and know how to draw a natural-looking face, with a separation between the neck and chin.

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13 comments on “IWSG—December edition

  1. I love your book covers. They’re unique and fun. Don’t change a thing. Best of luck with your projects.

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  2. Chrys Fey says:

    Getting over the fear of marketing and asking reviewers to review our books is something we all have to do, and the best way to do this is to just take a plunge. Don’t hold yourself or your books back. There are going to be people who don’t like your book, but that is the same for every single writer and even a negative review can have a positive impact on sales. As a matter of fact, no reviews is worse than a negative one. I know it causes anxiety, because I get it to, but start sending those reviewers emails and wait to hear back from them. Some may decline or not reply back because it’s not their kind of read, and you may even have to wait awhile, but it’s worth it. Good luck!!

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  3. They say more books spur more sales.
    As Chrys said, just take the plunge. Some will say no. Some will say nothing. (Those are fun.) But some will also say yes…

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  4. jamieayres says:

    I never ask anyone for reviews either . . . it IS scary! Now that I’m on book 3, it’s really too late if they haven’t read the first two. I’m hoping with my next novel (a stand alone), I’ll be better about putting myself out there. One step at a time . . .

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  5. Morgan Shamy says:

    I think you’re amazing, Carrie-Anne. I really do. And I had no idea you had Aspergers! No clue! Wow… I’ve always enjoyed the way you express yourself and the way you see things. It’s refreshing, because it’s so clear you view things differently. Keep pushing. Keep pressing on—there are people out there searching for stories just like yours.

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  6. I’ve finally gotten over the fear of asking people for reviews. At first I was sweating bullets, then it gets easier. And yes, not all reviews will be to your liking, but it seems writer’s must have them. It’s hard opening yourself up to people especially the first time and handing over something you’ve written. Just Do It!!! (like the saying goes)

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  7. I haven’t published my own book yet, but just the THOUGHT of having to ask people for reviews is a scary thing!
    Congrats on your NaNoWriMo win!

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  8. storyteller5 says:

    I’ve never asked anyone for a review yet, but I imagine that would be quite intimidating and scary. However, your book will be reviewed by readers once it’s out there, and I actually find that a few negative reviews make every review seem more authentic. If I see someone with only four and five-star reviews, I know they most likely hit up their friends and colleagues. Not everyone is going to like our stuff–sad but true.

    And I hear you about long books. I used to only buy epic books because I felt like I got my money’s worth. I’m glad you stick to your guns on that one.

    J.H. Moncrieff

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  9. it’s not a crutch, it’s an explanation when we can’t figure out the “why’s”. you have a support system here! and we will support and lift you. use us!

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  10. Nicki Elson says:

    Ugh. I know what you mean about asking for reviews. Have you considered going through a book blogger to have them set up a review tour for your books? It’s really nice because you’re not asking for the reviews, the book blogger is – and this way you know people are agreeing because they really want to read it, not because they’re doing it only as a favor. There’s still a chance of someone not liking it, but having the third party involved is a more comfortable way to go about it.

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  11. When I needed reviews, I searched for reviewers who regularly read my blog. (That started before that, when I started reading their blogs.) Recognizing my name, they were more than happy to help. I also repay the favor if they have books coming out–occasionally they do!

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  12. Honestly, I think you will have problems getting reviewers when your books are that long. It’s more about time than anything. The best suggest I have is look for reviewers who like books that are long and in the genre you write in.

    My boys use their AS as a crutch all the time. I’m trying to train them not to do that.

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  13. I actually had a book blogger over to NA Alley to talk about this! 🙂 http://www.naalley.com/2014/11/10-tips-for-requesting-book-review.html

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