Hi everyone. As promised earlier this week, I'm devoting Thursdays (or perhaps Friday if I have a prior booking) to chatting about me, my books, my animal friends, and anything else that pops into my head.
When I first started writing, and had my novel 'Starquest' accepted by The Wild Rose Press, I hadn't a clue what I was doing, or how to go about that all important thing 'promotion'. Yes, that word strikes terror into the heart of most writers, especially new ones, because unless you're a best selling author who stands to sell millions of copies, you have to get the 'word' out about your book yourself, because very few publishers these days will do much in the way of promotion for you. I was thrilled to be published by the Wild Rose Press, although as a British author, this made promotion even more difficult, because I had to try and promote to two audiences, so to speak. The Wild Rose Press does with some of the promotion, but I still had a lot to learn and knew I had to do most of the work myself.
Now if you're a reader, you may be thinking that this writing lark is all about making money, but you would be mistaken Don't get me wrong, if I were to suddenly sell millions and make enough money to return to my beloved Wales and buy the small horse farm of my dreams, I would be ecstatic. However, to be realistic, this is about as likely to happen as an alien landing in our small front garden and offering me a ride in his starship (although that would be very exciting.) Most writers, or at least most of the ones I know, write because they love writing, and make very little in the way of Royalties. Even when our books are selling well, the return is usually not all that great, we have to purchase print books to sell at conferences or book signings ourselves, and pay subscriptions to organisations like the RWA (Romance Writers of America) or the UK based RNA (Romance Novelists Association). Then attending conferences, writers groups etc. all costs money, (and if the author self publishes the costs are even higher as they have to also pay for editing and cover design.) So most of what we make tends to get ploughed back into the writing business.
The real reward is to know that one's book has touched someone's heart and they have spent a couple of happy hours reading the book we worked so hard on.
Believe me, there is no greater thrill (apart from receiving an acceptance letter from an editor) than receiving a letter or email from a reader saying they 'loved' your book, or to see a five star review. What I'm trying to say, in a long winded way, is that in order to reach readers, you have to be able to let them know that your book exists - and there is no more supportive or helpful community than that of Romance Writers. As I said, when I started out, I knew very little about the art of promotion, but soon discovered that there were many other writers out there, willing to host me on their blogs, mention me on the loops, and generally offer help and support. To start with, most of these were other authors with theWild Rose Press, but as time went on I got to know other authors with other publishers as well.
I have made so many friends among the writing community I can't count them, but each one of them is valued and special. Several of them have become such close friends I feel I have known them all my life. One such was Sharon Donovan, who having lost her sight and being unable to paint the pictures she so enjoyed creating, turned to writing and published some heart warming Inspirational romances and several wonderfully exciting romantic suspense novels. Those of you who visit the Author Roast and Toast, the Blog I host with Mary Ricksen, P L Parker and Mac Crowne, will know about 'Oliver' Sharon's hunky virtual butler, who she kindly allowed to 'moonlight' at the Roast, and who appears as a character in her WRP novellas 'Charade Of Hearts' and 'Kiss Of Death'. She brought such fun to The Roast, where she was also a 'hostess.' Tragically Sharon passed away a year today, after a second major heart operation. She is sorely missed by all her friends, but she lives on in her books and our memories, and I will forever be grateful that I came to know her through the world of writing and books. I flew to the US last year and met up with Mary and together we visited Sharon's family, although it was so sad that Sharon passed just a month before I was due to fly out.
So I'd like to raise a virtual glass in Honour of Sharon, and all the wonderful friends I've made, including the readers who are kind enough to leave comments on this Blog.
Thank you all for your continued friendship and support. And Sharon, I'm sure you're up there, watching over us and knowing that our friends still love and miss you. Your spirit lives on and you will never be forgotten.
PS: If you get a moment, don't forget to visit me at Evelyn Cullet's Blog: http://evelyncullet.com/blog/
Until next week,
'STARQUEST' 'CHILDREN OF THE MIST' (The sequel to Starquest) Dancing With Fate 'Freeread':'A BARGAIN WITH DEATH