Thursday, July 28, 2016

Crippling Self Doubt

There's a meme going around Facebook for writers which, paraphrased, says "Give someone a book and they are entertained for an hour. Teach someone to write and they are crippled with paralyzing self-doubt for the rest of their lives."

I don't subscribe to that. Writing comes easy to me. However, doubt also comes easy to me. Not for writing, but for other things. With doubt comes depression and that I do suffer from and have for a long, long time. This is not a post about depression and stuff, because I want to keep the Alana pen name happy and talking about writing and sexy things and stuff. But, you know, life happens and people do get sad or depressed (which are not the same thing) or busy or any number of things. How do you work, as a writer, through it?

If you can't write, there are still a number of things you can do instead which are still work, at least for self-published authors.

  • Edit: Editing's not fun, but if you can't write, sometimes you can still go through what you have written and make changes. Sometimes it might inspire you. Sometimes it might depress you more, but it's worth a shot.
  • Work on ideas: This one is much more fun. You can brainstorm and try to come up with new ideas. You can expand on ideas you have already. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to make sense. Even in the midst of sadness and thinking, "UGH GOD I AM THE WORST WRITER EVER" you can still use that sadness to come up with sad things, or tragic characters, or the worst situation you can think of. Believe me, depressed people are really fucking creative when it comes to thinking how awful things are. Why not use that? You may discard all of the ideas later when you are feeling better, but you might find something in your ennui or sadness which you can use.
  • Work on covers. A lot of self-published people do their own covers. A lot of them are pretty standard: stock photo, name, title, done. Some are more elaborate. Even if you don't feel like writing, you can still do something creative which will help you later on. No, you may not have a story ready for it, but if you find a stock photo which is really cool and you make a cover for it, you have inspiration for when you are ready. Keep in mind I write erotica and I have another pen which writes romance, so covers are pretty simple overall. That may not work if you write for horror or science fiction, or if you hire someone to do your covers.
  • Bundle stories together. Again, I come from an erotica background here, and many erotica writers bundle their stories together. I advise against using the same stories over and over again, because your customers want new stuff, but if you have the blahs and don't want to write, then you can take some of your stories with a similar theme or niche and bundle them together using three or more of them. It takes a bit of work editing it for table of contents and links and suchlike, as well as a cover, but you can have a many page book ready to go in less than an hour and then sit back and think, "Well, I'm at least publishing a book for today." And you can charge higher prices for them too, of course. Erotica generally sells at 2.99$ for a price point. For a bundle of three stories, I charge 3.99$. For four to five, it's around 4.99$, and so on. It's another way to make money off of work you've already done.
  • If you haven't investigated audio books or print books, then do some research. I can't recommend making audio books enough. It's free money, basically. You've already done your work! Check out and for audio and print books through Amazon. If you publish through Amazon already, you're a step ahead. I haven't investigated print books yet, but I do plan to. Audio books are very easy to make. If you are already into that, then put another of your books up for a producer to audition for, or look for narrators. It's work. It will make you money. Best of all, it's really light on the work you need to do at that moment. 
  • Go to social media. Social media isn't about advertising your books, though I'm sure many authors use it for that. It's to make a connection with like minded people, like other authors, and to connect with your fans. You can find things to post which inspire you to write or remind you of a character--say a music video or a song, perhaps pictures posted to Pinterest--or make observations on life. Go through your friends list and read what they are posting. Comment on it. Like people's posts (if you like them; I will never advocate lying to boost yourself. It comes back to bite you later). Interact. This has the added benefit of communication and contact with anonymity. I know when I'm sad it's sometimes easier to talk to a stranger than someone close to me, and it helps cheer me up. People are more inclined to buy books from an author they know than a stranger.
All of these things can be work, and many are needed to be done to write and sell self-published books. I know life and writing and stuff can be discouraging at times, but you shouldn't let it stop you. Being a self-published author is pretty rewarding, but it can be tough too, so you need to just keep going and treat it like a job... a job you love and like doing, but a job nevertheless. Like many jobs, there are many aspects of self-publishing which have to be addressed and even if you aren't in the mood to write, there's still a LOT you can do to help achieve your goals.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Delilah Devilshot #3: The Bruja and the Beast is LIVE on Amazon!

And lastly tonight, I have a new ebook out. It's Delilah Devilshot #3: The Bruja and the Beast is LIVE on Amazon! In the Weird, Wild West, Delilah will do what she has to in order to avenge her murdered loved ones. In this novella, over 33,000 words in length, Delilah and her companion Celia travel into Mexico to meet with Celia's grandmother, a bruja. The bruja offers her a deal for her help: break a man out of prison in return for information she needs. It's never quite that simple though....

Dominating Her Vampire the Audiobook is LIVE on Audible and Amazon!

And another audio book is also out! Dominating Her Man #7: Dominating Her Vampire is LIVE on Audible and Amazon! Narrated by the lovely Audrey Lusk, give this sexy audio book a try!

The Witches of Back End #1: Knob Jobs and Broomsticks Audiobook is LIVE on Amazon and Audible!

That's right folks, you heard it. The next audiobook is out: Knob Jobs and Broomsticks! This was a light, sexy paranormal story which was a lot of fun to write. Check it out below!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Rump Raiding Raptors, the Audiobook, is LIVE on Audible!

That's right, the first of the Janus Key Chronicles, Rump Raiding Raptors, is LIVE on Audible! Audrey Lusk did a great job bringing the series to life. I think she liked it a lot because she went straight onto the second one. XD Pick it upon on Audible, or wait a few days and it should be live on Amazon as well!

The Bruja and the Beast Coming Soon!

Delilah Devilshot #3: The Bruja and the Beast will be released on July 17th. There's a Facebook Event, which I highly suggest people go to as there are some really good authors there. I also have a graphic with some information which might be of interest... I'm revealing it here first since I've neglected my poor blog so.

That's right! The first Delilah Devilshot: The Devil and Delilah will be FREE on the 15th-17th. The Brothels of Brimstone will ONLY be 99cents... and then finally, the Bruja and the Beast will be out on the 17th! I'll post this on the event eventually, but as I said, I've neglected my blog so, so it's announced here first.