I debated whether or not to post this. It came to me like a flash a few days ago. That often means there’s a revelation or message for me in it. I realize now that this is more about Annie miracles than book miracles. It’s a journey I’m on. Growing up with Annie had a profound effect on me; I’ve never denied it. As I mention in Dancing in Heaven, a lot of things got buried out of various needs: not to be a problem for my parents, not to feel guilty about my abilities—there’s probably a whole laundry list of things that happen in a child with a disabled sibling.
I debated because I don’t want everyone to think I’ve given up on Dancing in Heaven. I feel more at peace with its publication than ever. I hang on to the words of one of my faithful readers, William, who commented, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” I think I’m off the starting blocks and well into the race. I’ve worked out the early kinks and pains, and am settling into a comfort zone in this particular marathon. I intend to continue to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves. And I’ve got an idea or two that I hope to try. I’m just going to enjoy the view as I run, or in my particular case, walk.
(You might enjoy these humorous posts from William at Speak of the Devil: for dog-lovers—A day in the life of a dog, and for those who prefer feline friends—A day in the life of a cat. I promise you will at least smile and likely laugh. I did.)
I join the ranks of all the other writers I’ve read about who want to write, want to publish, but do not want to do the work necessary to promote their books.
Maybe it’s Annie’s story. Maybe it’s because it’s history, and family, and love. Maybe it’s because we always treated her gently and held her close. Even though talking about Annie’s story with others is rewarding, sending out press releases, holding book launch parties, and drumming up business at bookstores has never felt right.
Maybe if I wrote fiction, a fantasy or suspense. . .maybe then I would feel justified in beating the bushes and announcing to the world at every opportunity that I had a book to sell. Maybe I could approach it in the more professional manner I am continually encouraged to do in publishing-and-promotion-self-help posts and articles I read.
Maybe deep back in the dark recesses of my mind I always thought a miracle might happen for Annie’s story. Just like I grew up hoping for a miracle to happen for Annie. But miracles for Annie didn’t happen then. Why should the miracle of her story happen now?
Books from unknown authors, particularly self-published authors, don’t sell without people knowing about them. Promotion is required.
I see now that I may not be able to adequately promote that which is closest to my heart.
So I’ll wait for a miracle. That’s nothing new. I’m used to waiting for miracles.
18 thoughts on “Waiting for miracles”
Keep going with your marathon, Christine! I can well imagine what hard work it is — self promotion is very touch — maybe especially tough when it’s something so close to your heart. Take care my friend xoxo
Thanks for taking the time to comment, Julia. I’m still going. Every now and then I’ll get an idea I’m excited about. I’m working at a good pace now. You take care too.
My take on telling your story (not just Annies, but anyones) is that if you’re approaching a particular subject (which you are in this case) and you’ve touched or provided help to just one person, it is a success. I heard someone say once he’d rather change one life for the better than be a millionaire best selling author and I was impressed with that…after all, that is why most of us write in the first place. Don’t fret yourself about the number but focus on the good of telling the story. Your work was not done in vain…in time it will reach those who need to hear it.
Thank you Susan. I feel the same way. I think it already has in some cases.
Your book has already sparked miracles in my life. You are an authentic person and an authentic writer. Your words stir stagnate pools of hope so others can slip into the waters for heart healing. Don’t ever doubt this quest because readers might overlook your book in lieu of a delectable novel. Your story is real, alive, and full of heart. Those in search of something that ventures below the surface will appreciate your work.
Thanks, JoDee. What a sweet thing to say. The connection to Annie is so great that I really don’t doubt the quest.
The further I get into your book, the more evident that is. I also feel strongly that my book needed to be written. Yet, I still get frustrated with the marketing part. Your approach to marketing such a personal tribute to your sister and family gives me hope that I’ve got the right mindset. Stylistically speaking, I really love the way you go back and forth in time. You also invite the reader into your family’s process in such a beautiful way. I find this healing to my soul.
Thanks, JoDee. That’s a high compliment. Hang in there. Your book is also something of a niche book and it may take time for it to find its home. I know you felt strongly about your book, and I think you have a lot to offer. I was reading random blogs several weeks ago and came across someone who was struggling with the concept you talk about in your book of being eclectic. I gave her the link to your page. You’re not alone.
Sometimes waiting may be necessary. I know that timing can make all the difference. I say–be gentle with yoursself, Christine. Be where you are. Allow yourself what you need to do for you. Be at peace, my friend.
I’m not a very patient person, if you haven’t noticed. I think patience is a lesson I need to learn. I do actually feel at peace with it all. I am thinking of making some changes to my social media schedule, at least for the summer. There are too many things here I need and want to do when the weather is nice. I’m thinking of dropping back to 3 blogs a week or something less, and using my Facebook and Twitter pages a little more. I haven’t decided yet.
You are such a terrific supporter. Hugs back to you.
I don’t blame you. I’ve cut back to twice a week. I just can’t do morre.
Perhaps you just needed to tell your story, Annie’s story, and now that you’ve done so, it’s time to move on to other things. Or you’re just too close to it to want to get into the commercial aspects. A friend recently told me that the reason artist’s (writers, etc.) need someone to manage their work is because their good work, the real work, is close to their heart, and that makes it difficult for them to sell it in the way it needs to be sold if they want to get it out there and, yes, make a little money too.
You sound like you’re at peace with your decision, and doing what’s right for you right now. Good. 🙂
I can understand that about artists, and I suppose this is no different for me. I’m moving on with a couple of other stories I want to tell. Every now and then I initiate or follow-up on some kind of promotion for Dancing In Heaven. I just didn’t want readers who’ve been following my self-pub posts to feel like it’s a dead end. I know I could do a lot better if I would spend the time and effort promoting.
I’m okay doing just what and how I’m doing right now.
Annie’s story has an impact on everyone who reads it, Christine. It is strong and rings true, touching hearts. Your words reach out and tell Annie’s story.
I don’t know anything about marketing and promoting, but I can promise you this: when I finish Dancing in Heaven, it will land in the hands of my friends. Karen will be the first one and is looking forward to read and learn more about your sister.
I think that Annie’s story is a word of mouth book. People who’ll read it will let other people know, and so on and so forth. That’s the way it can spread.
I’ve debated myself posting things that come a little too close, so to speak. The obstacles and things that I’ve been dealing with in the last year or so. It can take a lot to make that kind of step, and right now I’m not quite there myself. I can’t imagine really trying to go into doing the same sort of thing you’ve done with your sister’s story as it would relate to my nephew… perhaps because that’s really not my story to tell.
And thank you kindly for the nod!
I think you’re right, William. I’m just not sure if, how, or when it will spread, and how much I need/should do to keep trying to get the word out.
I think we all have different needs for privacy versus sharing. I never feel like I have to make something that’s personal public unless I have a specific reason that’s compelling me to do so. Even then, I usually have a moment of thinking, “What have I done?” Aw well, you only live once.
I felt a strong compulsion to tell Annie’s story and I followed it. Otherwise I would have abandoned that project at several different interludes.
Sometimes it can be cathartic to write it, and even more cathartic to share it once written. If you’re not sure you want to post something, my advice would be, wait. You can always take down posts, but once they’re out there, they’re out.
I hear ya!
One reason I’m not focused on “formal” publication is because I’m a writer, not a marketer or promoter. Selling my work to an agent, a publisher, or the public is not how I want to spend my limited time on the planet. I don’t want to hold book signings, walk door to door, or sell store to store. Once I’ve written something, I want to move on to the next thing.
Two articles you (or your readers) might be interested in:
* How To Promote Your Book For FREE! http://nancycurteman.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/how-to-promote-your-book-for-free/
* How To Write A Press Release For Your Novel http://nancycurteman.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/how-to-write-a-press-release-for-your-mystery-novel/
Another thing we see eye-to-eye on. And the whole marketing drudgery is what is making me rethink my next projects. Early out I read the advice not to spend a lot of money on the publishing. I think that is good advice. If I follow that, and publish POD, there’s really not a big loss if I don’t market the book. It’s out there. No one may every know it, but it’s better than sitting in my desk drawer.
It can be extremely rewarding to have readers respond to your work.
Thanks for the links. I’ll check them out when I get a moment. (There’s a wealth of advice about this out there on the internet, isn’t there?) I’m thinking about drafting a press release if I ever have anything remotely news worthy to offer. The second link might come in handy.