Thursday, June 20, 2013

Breaking Point


Breaking Point

You have this job where you've signed on to do a certain set if tasks. You work all day, pouring your heart into your work until it feels like your whole life is tied up in that one place, that one product. At the end of the day you are emotionally and physically spent. But it's worth it, because you gave all of yourself and produced something that you drew out of everything you are.

Then your boss walks in. His nose is turned up in disgust before he even sees your work. He despises you and can tear you down without saying a word. You're a disappointment. Your work is a disappointment. He begins to methodically dissect what you've done. He would have done it different, better, and you will never live up to your task.

Eight out of ten days he responds this way. Disgusted. Disapproving. You wonder why he doesn't just fire you. Why did he even hire you in the first place?

But he doesn't fire you. He keeps paying you week after week. Somedays he even smiles at you. You don't understand. He even gives you a bonus now and then.

Yet every time he lets you do the job your way he has to tear it apart, only to look disgustedly at you like you are a sniveling brat who has to get your way or you'll cry. Because you do. Cry that is. On a regular basis. And he is so much the bigger person that he'll let you get your way, again, even though you are clearly wrong.

There is no joy in that job. Only pain.

There is no success. Only failure.

What do you do?

Quit?

What if you can't quit? What if you've signed a contract and the terms have no expiration? You can't leave your job, even if it is slowly destroying your self-worth. Your value.

What then?

Do you give up? Stop trying because you'll only fail anyway? Sit in your chair at your desk day after day but never give away any of yourself? He'll take it anyway. Come into tear you down, but at least he'll be right.

No, you can't do that.

That would destroy any self-worth you've managed to cling to. So you keep giving your best performance, expecting the worst review and bracing for it. The problem is, your heart isn't in it anymore. It can't be. And even when it's not, it still eats away at you little by little.

You're afraid. You feel the pressure always building up. You wait and wait to cave into yourself. You wait and wait for him to see you and finally get what you're going through.

You're waiting for your job to mean something to someone. You're waiting to feel the tightness in your chest let up.

But it never does.

It never stops and it never goes away.

And you don't understand why.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Middle Grade and E-Publishing


After self-publishing three books in the Young Adult market, I published my first Middle Grade. I was curious to see how the process and results would differ. I mean, how many Middle Grade readers are reading e-books and how many are willing to give a self-published author a chance? I figured the numbers might be lower and word of mouth become even more valuable.

Here are a few of the comparison numbers I’ve seen so far:

Amazon Free Kindle Promotions:

For my Young Adult books, 5 days of free promo resulted in roughly 500-800 downloads. Middle Grade resulted in 50. Wow, huge difference.

Goodreads Paperback Giveaways:

Young Adult giveaways gained the interest of about 400-600 participants. Middle Grade was right in between with just under 500. Not much difference there.

 

So for Middle Grade I’m inclined to believe that paper reading is still king.

Now word of mouth and reviews will be interesting to tabulate too. Will reviews come in quicker than with Young Adult, or will they be comparable?

If I see a trend, I’ll let you in on it.

 

Any sales trends you’ve noticed? And how have they affected how you market your MG vs. YA vs. Adult category books?