14 January 2013

What's In A Name? Everything if it's Remembered...


Greetings Kittens,

Remember me? It’s been a long time, even longer in publishing terms. It used to be that an author who could crank out a book a year, was considered prolific. With the advent of digital publishing and the flourishing of novellas,  a book a year just doesn’t cut if you’re not a big name on the national bestseller list. And let’s be honest, even most of them have come up to the two book minimum.

Why a two book minimum? In publishing, and business in general, this is referred to as staying “front of mind” with your audience. When a reader thinks of getting a new book, whose name comes to mind first? Who have they just heard about recently? Who lingers at the front of their mind? In many circles, a book every six months, be they stand alone or alternating series, is considered basic to accomplishing continued name recognition.

2012 was a rough year for me medically and emotionally. I all but disappeared as an online presence and I didn’t write a single new word of original fiction for the entire year. Things drew to such a halt, that a book I’ve been trying to get published for years finally had its shot, and I was too ill to move it forward, leaving the contract on indefinite hold. That left me with just one published story for the year...that quite fortunately turned into two publication dates and kept me from disappearing altogether.

LOVE NOTES, a four author Valentine’s Day anthology by Musa Publishing, came out on January 27, 2012. It reviewed well, but didn’t sell to expectation. As a result, my contribution ITS SWEETEST FORM, came out as an individual ebook on September 11th, 2012. That’s a little longer than the ideal new publication every six months, but it was enough.

Due to the embassy attacks, I didn’t do promotion the day of release. Almost immediately afterward, I fell sick again, everything changed at the day job, and all sorts of life rained down upon me. I didn’t get back online the way I’d hoped, and for the second time, the story was left to stand on its own. A second time made all the difference.

Although I couldn’t do the guest blog and promotional rounds, the book’s existence served the vital purpose of keeping me “front of mind”. Readers who enjoyed my previous work, but perhaps who don’t buy anthologies, or who didn’t notice me lost in the bigger names, saw the stand alone and made room for me. Fans of A WAY TO ADRAGON’S HEART, who made it a multi-category bestseller at All Romance Ebooks, did the same for ITS SWEETEST FORM, just when I’m well enough to get back in the game.

Thank you.

I’m still rebuilding my strength, but both stories will get their sequels written this year. And my limbo baby, will finish edits and find publication, likely around Halloween to be most realistic. That’s three projects in line for completion, plus this, my first blog post of 2013. I’m slowly coming back.

Staying realistic, my own blog will have the dust blown off and at least one regular post a week by the end of February, and guest posts as soon as my writing friends wish to start. Bit by bit, everything will build back into place, until it looks something like it used to, only adapted to my new circumstances.

Publishing, like life, is all about adaptation and getting back up after you’ve been knocked down. It’s about putting in the work, managing the time, and staying front of mind. For my fellow writers, be sure to stay front of mind through everything you do, in this, our chosen passions. For my fellow readers, which is all of you, be sure to keep yourselves front of mind in your own lives, and don’t let the rest overshadow. If you have to pause, then pause, you can always push play later. You can always come back. We’ll be here.

Ramble Done, Kittens!

~Xakara
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