Fifty Shades of Fallout – After the Promotion

Memoirs of a Gigolo was available on Amazon for free for five days. Never again will I do a five day promotion. I must have been out of my mind. Or woefully inexperienced with the process. Never again. I have learned my lesson via trial by fire. Two days, perhaps even three, would have been enough. Five was too many.

Here are the hard numbers and a few facts:

  1. 1972 copies of Memoirs were downloaded across the various amazon sites. I was so close to 2000. I very nearly did another promo push, but just didn’t have the heart to ask for support one final time.
  2. Memoirs reached #7 on the top 100 free erotic downloads list.
  3. Since the promotion ended a week ago, I’ve sold 79 copies priced at $.99.
  4. 18 five star reviews have been written on the various amazon sites. Readers seem to get what I was trying to do with Memoirs.
  5. 1 four star review was written on amazon.
  6. I’ve been contacted by four agents – two are highly respected, two I’ve never heard of. I’d love an agent. I think I might go down this road.
  7. No less than two publishers that rejected Memoirs asked me if I’d be interested in placing Memoirs with them. I haven’t responded. I’m not sure if I turn on the hyper-bitch, accept, or just politely send them a form letter that reads something like… While I am unable to comment personally on every query, please know I did give your work my full consideration.  Thanks for thinking of me. I wish you nothing but the best in your publishing career…. OH the temptation!!!! I wouldn’t do it. I want to work with these people at some point in the future. But it would be so delicious to dish it out for once.
  8. 214 guests attended my virtual release party on Face Book.
  9. I tried to figure out how to market on Twitter – and then failed. I can’t figure out Twitter.
  10. I very nearly posted a picture of my BFF’s husband, the scary freaking Marine who is currently in Afghanistan, on my Facebook Page and told everyone he’s my boyfriend. I write erotica – as one of my friends told me it’s like blood in the water for the sharks. I’ve attracted a couple of weirdos. They’ve been banished from my Facebook Page.

Memoirs of a Gigolo Volume Two will be available on November 1st.  I’m absolutely terrified that it won’t live up to expectations. Sophomore syndrome or something like that. I’ve already started sending out the invitations to my virtual release party. I’m lining up blog slots. I have a few interviews set up. I’m watching and learning from my writer friends. The learning curve arches like a rainbow. Something is happening. I can feel it.

Manuscript Peddling: Only Slighlty Preferable to Being Waterboarded

Writing isn’t the hard part of being a writer. That’s the easy part. I have more ideas than I’ll ever put down. Getting published…. that’s the hard part. Imagine engaging yourself in an activity that purposefully invites criticism and rejection on a daily basis. It’s masochistic.

I’m in the process of flogging my latest manuscript. I used to keep rejection letters when they were actual letters. Now I just delete and move on. It’s part of the business. Even if it does feel personal after the umpteenth rejection, ultimately it isn’t. It is what it is. Frustrating. Unkind. Demoralizing. Impersonal. There is no business that will kill you quicker with hope than publishing.

Because of my location it’s difficult for me to get to the majority of writers conventions. That’s where the money is. That’s where you meet the agents and publishers and can sell your idea, your love for it, and your enthusiasm in person. I really would have no problem wrestling an editor to the ground and forcing her to read my manuscript. Every time I’ve had an opportunity to get a publisher by the proverbial throat and force them to read what I’ve written I’ve walked away successful. It’s just a matter of getting their attention.

The blossoming of the internet has made the process of selling my ideas infinitely easier than it was eight or so years ago. Back then I would have to buy hundreds of dollars worth of postage when I was in the states and smuggle it through customs (FYI it’s taxable). Then I would have to prepare submission packages complete with the SASE. I received more requests for partials and fulls back then than I do now. The reason is (confirmed by several people in the know) because now that agents and publishers have opened up the doors to electronic submissions they get bombarded. When it took some work to get your work into anyone’s hands, writers tended not to shot-gun out submissions like they do now.

Despair comes with the territory. Then you have a moment. A shining, validating, golden moment. Sort of like when you’re learning to golf and you’ve just about convinced yourself you can’t hit the ball then you drive that sucker like Annika Sorenstam. There is no giving up. You’ve tasted how delicious it can be if you just keep whacking away at it. You can’t give up. Those moments are the ones that pull you back in. I had one of those moments. There are harder, more painful, horrible fates in the world than having to face an inbox full of rejection emails. Waterboarding comes to mind.