Thursday, September 24, 2015

Some objective advice for authors...

Being on social media is obviously bittersweet. We see a lot of good things, and also a lot of bad things. There are a few consistent complaints that I see, though. I'd like to address them from an objective perspective. I've been on both sides of the line, so I feel like I'm qualified to make these points.

First of all... To all those authors who complain about other authors "not being friendly" or "thinking they are too good for you." Let me just say you are making a very brazen snap judgement. I understand you may have had your feelings hurt one way or another--not getting the return message you wanted, not having an author share your work like you've been sharing theirs, or not being accepted into a signing event because you're not well known enough; the list can go on. But perhaps you need to go through some of the issues other authors have had to go through to get where they're at before you give these opinions.

Most authors have had to start as a nobody. We all spend countless hours writing and proofing and marketing and networking...on top of the rest of our lives that deal with families and other jobs. It's a process. It can take some time. I work my ass off. I care about the quality of everything I do. Some days I feel like I should be further than I am, and other days I just don't care and go my own pace. I'm where I'm at, I worked hard to get here, and I've never expected anyone to give me an easy ride. I've been shit on repeatedly, it's a given, but you take notes and move on. Bad mouthing another author for not doing a "share-for-a-share" is just ridiculous. I share what I can, give shout outs where necessary, and try to thank everyone who has taken the time to support me. It is impossible to return every single favor. IMPOSSIBLE. So with that in mind, maybe just pay it forward instead? In return, you'll be a recipient of someone's unexpected generosity later on. We're all in this together; we can pick up the slack for each other when we're able to. I'll admit that I used to share and support a few different authors consistently and don't anymore. It's for a few reasons, but I don't need to bad mouth them or point out how they are too busy to return the favor. So much gets lost in the chaos, and when your readership grows, these authors have a lot more to keep up with. Don't punish them for that. Most, if not all, are humble enough to appreciate everyone who supports them and they don't deliberately ignore you just to make you feel bad. No one has time for that. It's just a matter of balance, and sometimes it is just too overwhelming to spend six hours a day responding to everyone. I truly believe that you get back what you give. Maybe not instantly, but at some point you will be glad you supported your fellow authors instead of jealously tearing them down.

Another issue I'd like to address is your relationship with others within this industry. If you know me, you know how much I shout about integrity, honesty, and professional courtesy (if not, see my other blog entries). It is a fact you'll be screwed over now and then, but I advise you to keep that chin up and not stoop to that cutthroat level. Harmony in an industry you love is AMAZING. No, it will never be perfect. But the harder we work to polish our behavior and the way we deal with others, the more content we will be about our own results. I do not measure my success fiscally; I measure it by how comfortable I am with my actions and the people around me. A sales number validates me in some ways, but the way others regard me as a person is far more important to me. How we treat each other says a lot about our character. I try my best to be helpful when new authors ask for my advice. I've never ignored a single person who has come to me for my help. I don't know how useful I actually am in that aspect, but I'm willing to share what I know. I didn't know a single person in this industry when I published my first books. I didn't build a facebook page and gather friends in hopes they'll support my book when it releases. I didn't even have a facebook page when I published a few years ago. I taught myself how to publish, I taught myself how to format (omg that was horrendous) and I taught myself how to design my book covers. I didn't have a network of people to ask. I had to build that for myself a couple years later.

Those relationships are hard. It's difficult to find people you can trust but also work well with. My advice is to be choosy with whom you spend your time with. Find business friends who are honest because that is so essential in this industry. It truly is tough, though. You'll have to go through a lot of bullshit as you search for these people. You'll be hurt, you'll be deceived, and you'll question your own decisions. But remember that YOU have control over who you keep close  in the end. Listen to your instincts. People who are straightforward, sometimes telling you honest things you don't really want to hear, are the ones who are doing you a favor. You don't need your ass kissed, you need to be supported one hundred percent and that sometimes involves hearing the truth. I really dislike being honest sometimes when I'm asked my opinion, but I wouldn't be helping you at all if I just told you what you want to hear. Choose well-rounded business friends; ones you know want what is best for YOU. And if you're reaching out, asking authors for advice...don't take their kindness for granted. Unless an author gives you the go-ahead to contact them any time you want if you need help, be mindful of their time. Sometimes those authors who seem "unfriendly" have really just been taken advantage of so many times, they need to give themselves a break. When you are used or deceived by people, you tend to shy away and aren't as willing to open yourself up for others as much. I'm not saying this is true for all, but for many of us, we are juggling so many things right now we don't even know what those things are sometimes.

One last piece of advice for authors... Write what you want to write. Don't let fads and popular opinion sway your creativity. You know why? Because you want to be happy with what you've produced, and what better way to do that then to allow your individuality to be free. Fads come and go and they always will. Just watch the flux of book genres and topics and cover styles and you'll realize this. Don't jump on a bandwagon because most likely it's already too full. Hitch your own wagon and take your own ride YOUR way.

I have a lot of love for what I do. I'm sure I will always continue to write. As of now though, I've been taking a break. I got burnt out because of some individuals who I let dull my sparkle. It's not that I'm weak and can't take a beating, but sometimes too much is too much and stepping away is what you need. I'm recouping and regrouping. Sometimes it's necessary in order to come back stronger. I don't consider getting knocked down a failure, though. I consider it a stepping stone for learning. How I come back from it is what's important. That's how I measure character. People will hurt you, disappoint you, and deceive you, but how you deal with it says a lot about who you are. I forgive, no one is perfect, but I'll still be cautious. I love my readers who are now my friends. I'm always there for any of them. I focus on doing my best work so I can make myself happy, but I truly treasure their happiness too. When I get messages like some of the ones I've gotten about my books this year...messages that tell me how much I've impacted their life or how much they could relate to what I wrote...there is no better reward than that. One message or one thousand, it doesn't matter.

Thank you to those who maintain your high standards, even when it's hard. You'll be happy you did. Be accountable for yourself and your actions; you'll find it pays off better in the long run <3


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

You will be screwed over ... It's a fact

It's not a secret that I don't sleep much. It's a mix of reasons, really, but sometimes my brain never takes a rest. The worst nights are when I'm stressing out about something I have no control over, and even though I know there's nothing I can do, I worry about every little thing anyway. There has been a lot of weight on my shoulders lately, and for once in my life, it's ninety percent work related. The burden shouldn't be there, so I'm ready to remove it.

The book industry has gradually fucked up my sleep even more, and sadly, it's difficult to admit that something that used to be a hobby to me, something that I used to enjoy, has caused so much negativity in my life within this past year. Along with that, I've also experienced some of my happiest moments, so I can't say it has all been a waste. It's kind of a bittersweet situation.

These last few months especially have taught me the most. Sometimes all you want to do is trust everyone, and all you learn is that you can trust no one. You put your faith in people you believe are worth your time only to have your time wasted from being used, manipulated, or disrespected. You say what you mean and mean what you say when others will pussyfoot around, tell you what you want to hear, or straight up lie to your face. Then there's my favorite... You refuse to step foot in circles of gossip or the tearing down of others... only to be the one that is unfairly slandered.

Am I whining? Nope. It's just a harsh reality. The more visible you are to others, the more often you will be ripped apart. It's true that those doing the harm are the ones that need the most help and guidance, and even though I'm more than happy to forgive and move on because I feel it's the right thing to do, there is still a lot of aftermath that needs to be dealt with. I don't have the time to deal with it. I'll say that right now. I don't want to deal with your petty bullshit and ridiculous behavior. I know who I am and what I stand for, and I know I'm better than that. My time is valuable and I'd rather use it on things that matter. I genuinely care about people and how I make them feel, and if I knew I had hurt someone or done them wrong, I would not be okay with that.

With that being said, I also feel it's in my best interest to step away from the time wasters; to avoid people who have poor business standards and even worse personal ethics. If your top priority is knowing what everyone is doing, wishing ill will on others, or intentionally trying to hurt someone...then just step away from me. I feel those good and bad vibes, it's usually not hard to figure out, but the chances end at some point. I'm a pretty tolerant person--it's why I carry so much stress, trying to figure it all out and make everyone happy. I have a longer line than most, but I'm at the end of it. Sorry, but it's done. I guess higher powers can sort out the devils in disguise, and hopefully not too many people get hurt in the process. If so, then it's a lesson to learn like the rest of us have gone through.

You're probably wondering what the hell is up to post all of this. Well, quite a lot. It has just accumulated over time. But for the most part, I'm extremely disappointed in the way some things have turned out lately, and even more disappointed in the people involved. If you follow along with some of my posts and announcements on social media, you probably have an idea. I have no problem with some of the business changes I have made and will still be making because like I said... my time is worth more than the garbage I've been getting in return. I love writing, but I definitely don't do it for the attention.

I also don't need to work with those that do. I don't care if you have a mass following of fans or if you think you're fucking facebook famous. I honestly couldn't care less. What I do care about is that small circle of fantastic people that are genuine and would drop what they are doing to help a fellow human being. I've met some amazing readers and authors in this industry that would do just that, and to be honest, I admire and respect them more than anyone. I witness it in the music industry too. There are those that flaunt for show and there are those that just DO because they want to. There's a difference. "Character is what you do when no one is watching."

I'm a people person. I love to get to know others. I'm somewhat reserved until you get to know me, but I am truly interested in lives besides my own. I just want all of you to know that you're just fine. You will be hurt, taken advantage of, used, gossiped about, disrespected, screwed over, judged, dismissed, stepped on and then some. There are some harsh realities out there. But you are also loving, appreciative, giving, respectful, wise, forgiving, compassionate, and NEEDED. You are what keeps this world balanced. Without that positive contribution, we would be swimming in a fathomless sea of despair. So keep standing tall. Don't get sucked into that shit pot that people like to add to. You have the power to walk away from people that are self-serving and undeserving of your time. Be a good example because maybe they need it, but you don't have to be pulled down with them.



Saturday, August 15, 2015

STOP the obsession !!

Back in May, I published a book titled "Maybe This." It was book 4 in a five-book standalone series, and it was one of my favorites to write because of the subject matter it contained. The series is about a Hollywood family, the McCallans, who don't exactly want to be in the public's eye. As I'm working on the final book, I've been re-reading the series so I'm able to tie every end just right for the conclusion of the series. I happened to read my own acknowledgements at the end of the book, which weren't exactly your normal "thank yous" and such. However, the message still rings true today and I feel that it always will. I'll leave it here, word for word like it is in the book, and hope that it serves as a reminder that everyone on this earth is equal. Who we choose to idolize is a personal choice, but I just ask that you re-evaulate your time and spend it on those people and causes that are worthy of your efforts <3 

From the Author:

My heart is a bit full as I write this. With the impact of the internet and the excessive amount of time people spend on social media, lately I’ve witnessed so much self-deprecation than I ever want to see. There is something that concerns me a great deal, and that is the adoration of public figures to the extent that some individuals spend hours a day tracking them and obsessing over them. Sure it is fun to keep up with those we find interesting, but when so much of your life is spent on a cyber fascination, how much of your own life are you missing out on? There seems to be an epidemic of envy, self-doubt, depression, and unhappiness and it hurts me to see this.
The internet is not all bad. There are so many enjoyable, educational aspects of it, and many people that are great examples to look up to. But moderation is key here. It’s so easy to get caught up in a virtual reality that we neglect the things right in front of us. Love your own life, don’t love someone else’s. Be supportive of the people you enjoy interacting with on social media, but don’t try to live their life with them. You’re meant to travel your own path, not someone else’s. Many of the figures that are deemed to be upper crust are really no different than any of us. Do not envy them and do not bring yourself down because you feel you cannot live up to standards that are not meant for you. Learn from social media, take what you need to better yourself, but make your own mark.
I know this book is about a Hollywood family, but I truly feel that there are many layers of this story that are relatable to all of us. Whether we are on one end or the other, never forget that you are one person amongst a world of billions; never forget that another person’s feelings and self-worth are just as important as yours. No matter your “status” in life, you are just as valuable as the person next to you.
DON’T EVER LET SOMEONE TELL YOU YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH, and if they happen to be that brazen and ignorant, remember this: “Chin up, shoulders back, wipe those tears and get back on track. Smile, wave and wink with class. Then tell them all to kiss your ass.”
Thank you to those of you that support and encourage me. I can only hope that I am doing the same for you.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

3 Bottom-Line Business "Must Haves" ...

Put your business hat on. What do you see? Does it put you in go-getter mode? Are you thinking dollars and cents? Is this where you skim over your business plan (if you have one) and focus on your goals and objectives stated? Does the word "business" automatically make you think of the physical operations of your company? Does a "well run" business mean fiscal success to you?

In my 15 years of experience, I've realized that the most important aspects of how you run your business is not found in a carefully planned outline. That outline is your basic foundation--sell your product and make a profit. Many people have been successful with this formula, but if you're already running your own business right now, I'm not going to lay out the do's and don'ts at this point.

I'd rather talk about THREE aspects of running a people-oriented business that are just as important and will essentially strengthen your name, your brand, and even your product. Not only that, but you'll just feel way better about yourself and your business practices. No matter what industry you work in, your values will impact those around you.

You can run a business without it, but don't come knocking on my door for a business relationship. I want no part of you or what you have to offer because obviously you don't have what I want. Most of us associate "integrity" as a character trait, but more importantly, it is a trait that requires some action. You should be practicing what you preach. Integrity is a reflection of what you believe; it is demonstrated through your behavior. None of us can read minds so obviously I can't guess your intentions, but if there is a pattern of falling short on your promises, or you're just not all you talked yourself up to be, then you've misrepresented yourself. <-- That's the kind way of saying you're full of shit, and don't think that people won't figure it out. Bottom line, be the kind of person you would like to do business with. Don't just cheer on good ethics, be the one working his or her ass off to make a respectable name for yourself.

You may not realize it, but courtesy has become one of the most lacking traits within business relationships. I've realized this the most after I started publishing books a few years ago. The disrespect and self-serving habits of individuals can be overwhelming, and at times, unbelievable. I am not speaking of everyone in this manner, because there are certainly some people out there that are not selfish and cutthroat, but the ones that feel it is necessary to act that way are the ones you wish karma would work her magic on. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way. However, to be courteous is to compromise, and to compromise is to put yourself in someone else's shoes and decide from there. We get so self-absorbed in our own desire for success, so caught up in watching our own backs, that we continually fail to extend this opportunity to ourselves. We fail to extend common courtesies to those we work with, to show that respect we would like in return. Some may feel being courteous is just an opportunity to get screwed by someone else, and I certainly don't turn a blind eye to that. Been there, done that, it's not fun and I don't like to be in that position...but I'd rather be the one giving than the one taking. I've found that far better things happen in your life when you take on that approach. Give the benefit of the doubt once in a while, but be careful of being burned the same way or by the same person more than once. Never hang yourself out there to dry, but just be mindful of others in your industry. Bottom line, don't do something that you wouldn't want done to you. Be careful of the toes you step on because you'll eventually have to account for them in the long run.

Do I really need to say it? Apparently so. Being dishonest means flat out lying, intentionally deceiving, telling only partial truths, or telling a person what they want to hear when you have no intention of following through. A lot of people are great at justifying their dishonest moments. They want to believe it was a reasonable choice. But be sure to ask yourself the tough questions if you really want to have an honest business. If you can apply the first two principles that I've already mentioned--integrity and courtesy--then you should have no problem being honest. I'm not talking about the gray area, like when we tell our kids there's a fairy that collects teeth, or when we are launching a new idea and choose to keep it to ourselves for the time being. I'm talking about deliberately deceiving someone for your own gain; purposely doing business in a manner that you would not approve of had it been done to you instead. Bottom line, don't do dirty business. Refrain from backing yourself into a corner that you can't get out of, because eventually your lies will catch up to you.  

I'd just like to say that I'm not being preachy and I'm not standing on my soap box. I do pride myself in the way I do business, and yes I gravitate toward those that share my same values, but no matter how my decisions turn out for me, I can always be happy that it all came from a good place. I may have to make some business choices that are not all sunshine and rainbows, but in the end, I know I tried my best to be fair and respectful. Decisions to cut my ties with someone or choose not to work with them don't come lightly.  Apply good standards, observe, learn, and have compassion... but do what you feel is best for you and your business. I write for myself, and in that writing--whether it be my books, music, or just a blog like this--I leave advice for myself. I like to look back at the things I've learned because most often there is a lesson I can apply to what is currently going on in my life. These are age-old principles that will never die, and as long as I own my own business or work with others, I will always look to these qualities as the true foundation of who I am and what I stand for.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Some controversial thoughts on business relationships...

This industry has changed so much in the past few years, for me at least, that I need to completely regroup and start over. I'm finding myself questioning all of my previous methods, ideas, and routines when it comes to publishing books...and I don't think I'm the only one.

My writing will always be my writing--I'm not changing that for anything. I'm never going to write a book because the topic is a popular fad, nor will I ever write in a style that is not ME. I don't believe in selling a part of who Author Hadley Quinn is just to jump on a bandwagon for increased sales. This has hurt me financially, but it will never hurt my integrity.

Many of you know that I have very strict business ethics. Sadly, these ethics and high standards seems to be what's unique these days and sometimes they hold me back market-wise. That's terrible. It makes me disappointed. Will there always be bad business? Of course there will be. But you will never see me on the active end of it. When you work in an industry where different professions collaborate, you find yourself in some interesting situations sometimes. So many experiences are amazing--the people, the art, everything that comes together--and there are some that you have to learn from when things go wrong. I would not call these "unfortunate" experiences, because you do learn SO much from these instances, but it can be frustrating. Especially when you pride yourself on your integrity and how you treat others... When you get shafted, it makes you question why.

I've gone into some business ventures that I was sure were going to be amazing, successful, brilliant, the best business friendships ever...only to be knocked down in shock. Is this failure? No, I don't think so. I can read people pretty well, and I enjoy this strength of mine. I even see the conflict happen before it does, and some would question why I would go forward with it anyway. Here's the thing... Sometimes I get a gut feeling about someone, and when my business head says NOPE, NO WAY... my heart and intuition say, YES GIVE THEM A CHANCE. I cannot know everything going on in someone's life, nor do they understand what has been in mine, but I feel that everyone deserves the opportunity for EXPERIENCES. See, whether they be good ones or bad ones, you are surrounded in instances that TEACH YOU SOMETHING. It can be about people in general, or straight up business do's and don'ts, but you are always learning something, therefore...achieving.

I've recently put a lot of faith in some individuals, and yes, I'm extremely disappointed in how things turned out. For me, there is no excuse when I see myself constantly accommodating another individual, trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, wanting them to succeed...only for them to give me nothing but shitty business in return. I really don't have to take this garbage the way I do, but let me tell you why I haven't made a big deal over "what kind of person they are": they are human too. I understand that not everyone thinks like me or treats others like I do, but it goes beyond that. Here's the truth... We all have moments in our lives where we are completely oblivious to how we've negatively affected someone. I've been there, you've been there...we all have. It wasn't intentional, and for some reason, we've made the kind of impact on someone that we didn't really mean to make. It happens. Don't judge a person on a single instance, for heaven's sake! Your perception is not always where it needs to be, give them a second chance.

BUT...there are those times where you give that benefit of the doubt, you keep accommodating them in a positive manner, you keep waiting for the same fairness to be recipricated... and you get nothing. I'm just going to straight up state right here that these people are not the ones you want to work with. You're thinking, uhhh that's my family. Haha, I know. But sometimes in business, you deal with people you want to strangle, and unlike your family, you can choose to NOT be around them. Drop them. Don't work with them. Don't promote them anymore, don't recommend them to anyone, and don't give anymore chances. DO NOT badmouth them, though. These topics come up amongst authors and such when we discuss business--if you're terrible to work with, it will get talked about at some point. But with me, it won't go further than, "I don't recommend working with this person." And for me to say that, it means it's bad, because I am Queen Mercy. I give multiple chances-- I mean a SHIT TON-- before I drop someone completely. Do I give up on them in life? Of course not. I believe everyone has a chance to redeem themselves eventually, and that's what I'm getting at.

We're all at different points in our lives when it comes to lessons learned. We don't all learn them at the same time and in the same manner. Some business folk have a no bullshit policy right off the bat, and I respect them for that and I could definitely go that route in a heartbeat, but I'm willing to share what I know to those that are willing to learn. We all start from somewhere, we all learn from someone, we all make mistakes...and even though I believe the key to financially successful business is to SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE THAT ARE SMARTER THAN YOU... I also believe I learn more as a person when I'm there to guide someone else. Coming from an industry where finding that "diamond in the rough" is important, I've transferred these tactics over to my current business. You don't find the best looking individual for a cover... Surprise! You find the one that can deliver more than Ooh Ooh, take my picture! Not all authors care who they put on a cover, but I sure as hell do. I do like working with people that are smarter than me, but that's not always what is important. Loyalty is important. Generosity is important. Sincerity is important. And...a person who takes pride in hard work, not only for themselves, but because they've recognized it in you and want to represent you properly. To me, those individuals are brilliant at life.

Are you wondering where I'm going with this? Well here goes! I've been fucked over in this industry more than I'd like to admit. But truthfully? I've seen other people screwing each other over even more. Apparently the Golden Rule has been manipulated and fucked over as well, because I really don't see its beauty often enough. Social media has become a very powerful tool that is breeding more underhanded business, backstabbing, and special gossip groups that tear others down. It's. Getting. Ridiculous. I scroll through my newsfeed and all I see are the same "professionals" posting their passive aggressive posts about each other, cutting others down in sneaky silver tongued ways, and pulling in blind followers that don't see this happening. Don't be surprised if I state my opinion more often on there because I'm getting tired of it. For one, I wish all of you fake business friends would just unfriend each other; the photographers that make snide digs at one another, and the models that have nothing to contribute other than their overblown egos. If you think this isn't you, then no worries. But if for a second you thought I was talking about you, then I probably am.

Here's what I suggest:

Photographers, start doing your own thing. Quit chasing one another. Stop pointing out what you believe to be each other's faults and weaknesses. Don't ever pretend to be friendly when all you're doing is manipulating one another. Your fans may worship you and not see it, but there are many others who do. You're not fooling everyone. I love many of you and respect your hard work. Without you, we wouldn't have the beautiful covers that flood social media. I love book covers! I will interact with you because I want to, but there are a few of you that are pissing me off, I'm not going to lie. And it's not just me because there are other issues brought to my attention by other authors and readers as well. Stay classy, and if you find that you've been one of these photogs that have gone to the dark side, no worries. Just regroup and focus on what's important. It's never too late. We love your work.

Models, step up and take your position seriously. You have an amazing opportunity to help others instead of yourself. You'll actually find that you're achieving more this way. Trust me. I know what I'm talking about. If you doubt that, let's converse sometime. You might be surprised by where I've been. PLEASE be honest when you're doing business with an author. Don't just tell him/her what you think they want to hear. If you say something that turns them away, then your connection was not meant to be. Seek out authors that have your same mindset, do your research. If you just want to be a face on a cover and nothing more, then be up front about that and say so. There's nothing wrong with that. If you'd like to work with authors that take you to events, make sure you are giving them the respect they deserve by showing you care about them, their work, and the events they are going to. You guys get far more out of events than we do for taking you. Authors are spending a lot of money on you, the least you could do is say a simple "thank you for inviting me." We did not build you, we did not make you successful, we do not take credit for your hard work getting yourself "cover ready," you may think your face has made us a ton of money but you're wrong. But shit, I see this as an equal partnership. Treat each other well, show some respect, and those basic qualities will bring so many opportunities in the future. More covers does not mean more success, either. Pace yourselves. Don't burn yourself out with too many covers too soon. Especially if you work with traveling authors. You may think a ton of authors asking you to go to events is a cool thing, but it's not for us when you spread yourself too thin. I always compare it to a band that tours. There's a headliner and an opener that commits to a tour; they don't run off and do shows with other bands in between. It just doesn't work that way. They need to focus on one project at a time. For most authors, we want you to be successful and have other opportunities. Just don't shaft us or give us a raw deal by not being able to follow through with your promises to us. Please and thank you. We invest a lot in you.

Authors... Write your own style, share each others' successes when you can, and don't judge each other negatively. And stop paying so much for covers!!! Holy crap, some of the prices I've heard! What is going on??? There are so many photographers out there, ones that are amazing. Just because they have a lot of followers and high prices, it doesn't mean they are who you need to work with. I see a variety of covers from a variety of photographers...they are amazing! Talk to each other, find out which photogs are amazing to work with and have fair prices. Some of them become lifelong friends because they aren't overused. I'd like to suggest that you not use the same cover models, too. The same faces within the same genre within the same author/reader circles are just getting old. Not everyone agrees with me, and I know photographers and models hate that I feel this way, but there are so many faces out there. If you need a new face, ask me! Also, make sure you are up front with your models with what you expect from them. Hopefully they are honest with you and don't just agree with everything without the intention of following through. Call me crazy, but I feel if they're going to travel with you, they at least need to support you in making that possible. If we don't sell books, we don't make money. Simple as that. I've made mistakes in this area and do regret it, but I don't have to do it again. Models that don't care about your project are not the ones you want to work with, and definitely do not feel obligated to take them to events if they can't even share your work. Move on to a model that deserves it. Enough said. They are not entitled to anything. And bless those awesome people that love their authors and show it! Treasure them forever! You'll never get every single one of your cover models to be gems, but when you do get one, reward them for their strong character. And finally, stop de-valuing your work. Stand up for pricing complaints. $2-$3 is NOT too much for a book. I can't even believe we have a 99¢ option, but please be careful when using it.

Hey, just love your neighbor, people! Business or otherwise! Harmony is a beautiful thing and we have the power to make some amazing things happen. Embrace it. I am very passionate about not only my work, but the people I choose to have involved in it. All of this seems opinionated? Well good. Because I believe there is always room for improvement and I see industry harmony as one major victory. It will never be perfect, but I truly feel some of the negativity needs to be squeezed out, even if it's bit by bit. I know human nature causes us do nasty things sometimes just to stay ahead, but seriously, it doesn't have to be cutthroat. Please help me bring back more of the trust and integrity that makes it enjoyable to have business relationships. We desperately need to set higher standards.

Indeed I would love to hear some input from others, like what you expect from the people you work with. Maybe we can throw it all on the table for a session of enlightenment. I'm always up for improvement =)


Thursday, March 26, 2015

What's coming up this year?

As soon as one of my books is published, I immediately get messages asking, "When is the next one coming out?" or... "I really hope you're doing a story on ______ next!" I truly appreciate this excitement. It not only tells me you loved the book you just read, but you want more. And yes, I like to give you whatever I can but...there is a bit of a schedule I have to follow.

Right now I'm focusing on finishing up the McCallan series. I have Kellie's story, "Maybe This," that I want to publish in May. Then I'll start Max's story, which will be the final book in the series. I'm hoping to have that done by the fall at the latest.

For The Fighter's Block, yes I'm doing a book on Cody. I have who I want for the cover but I don't know when I'll publish the book. I'm assuming before Christmas. However, there's a special edition for that series that you guys are going to pee yourselves over so....I'm not sure if I want that one to come first or not! We will see how many distractions are presented to me this year lol. Maybe I can get them both out in 2015!