October 1, 2014

Defying the Odds: One #Indie Author’s Perspective

Today I’d like to share with you the dedication from my upcoming book, Defy. For those of you who don’t know, Defy was a book that just about made me give up writing.  It seems silly to say that now, but there you have it.

I’ve never revised a book as much as I did this one, and I spend a lot of time editing my books. At one point, I chopped 20,000 words and rewrote them. Then I chopped and rewrote some more. It felt like every time I was “done,” yet another change had to be made. My husband eventually took pity on me and shipped me off to a local hotel for a long weekend just so I could sit in peace and revise.

And still, I wasn’t done.

But whenever my frustration took hold and I wanted to throw the proverbial pen across the room, I’d receive some kind of positive feedback…a great review of one of my books, an unbelievably appreciated shoutout by a fellow author to an interested literary agent, or (most especially) contact from a new fan. It was messages like the one saying, “Thank you so much for your hard work and talent, and for putting forth such an intelligent story and beautiful imagery!” that got me through the rough spots.

Someone I don’t even know thanked me for all of my pain and suffering? How could I not go on?

What I’ve also learned in the process of finishing Defy is that I’m not alone. Many authors feel this way at some point. I’m contacted periodically by writers who express frustration, depression, feelings of inferiority, and/or the sentiment that they don’t feel like continuing on with their writing. And the advice I give them is the same advice I followed: never, ever give up.

Before I share the Defy dedication, I’ll offer a few tips for writers that I’ve recently picked up in hopes they’ll help someone out there. If you missed my first post featuring tips for writers, you can check it out here. As for my latest tips:

1. Don’t give up. Okay, I just said that…but it can’t be said enough!

2. Socialize like you’ve never socialized before. On a surprising number of occasions, I’ve observed other writers saying things like, “Pinterest is just a passing fad,” “I’m not going to waste time beefing up my Facebook presence,” or “I don’t get Twitter, so I just use it occasionally.” Um…seriously? I won’t even touch the Facebook and Twitter comments because, quite frankly, if you don’t see the value in those hundreds of millions of followers by now, I probably won’t be able to reason with you.

But, people–have we learned nothing from the past? There was a time when Facebook and Twitter were thought to be “passing fads.” There’s a quote by Steve Jobs (you might’ve heard of him) that says, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Pinterest is the most visual site there is. On top of that, it can link to your Facebook and Twitter feeds. Get on there and start pinning your books, your blogs, pictures that resemble your characters, images that inspire your settings, amazing wardrobe photos, and anything else that you think might draw interested readers into your world. This is the hottest social media site out there right now. Don’t miss out because you think it has no bearing on the writing world!

And, yes…I’ve made book sales via Pinterest.

3. Support other writers. I believe in the power of karma. There has been some negativity in different segments of the writing community, and a lot of it stems from whether or not an author is traditionally published. In my mind, we should look beyond that. We should acknowledge that we’re all working exceedingly hard at our craft. We should support each other. We should read each other’s books, tweet about them, like them, pin them, blog about them and refer them to all of our friends and relatives. This is a hard enough industry to succeed in without having unnecessary obstacles caused by narrow viewpoints.

If you work hard on your writing, keep your mind open to creative ways to sell and market your books, and never stop developing your social media platform, you can defy the odds and have a successful writing career. Believe it.

And with that, I leave you with the dedication to Defy, which releases on April 30th. I hope you all enjoy Tate and Zachariah’s story as much as I enjoyed completing it!

This book is dedicated with sincerest gratitude to all indie authors and everyone who supports us.

It never ceases to amaze me what an inspiring and supportive community this is. Here’s to defying the odds, pursuing our dreams and reaching for the stars!

Comments

  1. Toby Neal says:

    Raine, well said. Great advice and dedication. Let’s keep DEFYing the odds and succeeding, helping each other along the way!
    Aloha
    Toby Neal
    http://www.tobyneal.net/

  2. What a beautiful dedication! Well done for not giving up and for getting to the (final) end of DEFY :-)

  3. Excellent advice, Raine, and oh so true. I think we all have days where we question “what the hell am I doing?” We need to keep in mind the positive and soldier on. This is a marathon and nobody wins a marathon by quitting halfway through.

    And definitely agreed on the social aspect. I still haven’t gotten into Pinterest, but instead
    I’m getting more active on various forums and such. And twitter has just been fabulous. I have met so many awesome people (readers and writers alike) there that it’s almost mindblowing.

    ps: I admire your conviction. If my wife ever sends me to a hotel for a weekend, I’m going to lounge around the pool and order cocktails. :)

    • Raine Thomas says:

      Now why didn’t I think of the pool and cocktail idea, Rick?? ;) Your comment about participating in forums is excellent. There are many ways for authors to gain visibility, and it’s not always through the most popular site of the moment!

  4. Congratulations on the upcoming release of DEFY Raine!

    Thank you for your post, your inspiration and the heads up re: Pinterest! This is the first time I’ve ever heard of it! It is definitely one I will check out!

    No matter how the miles may separate us, this is still a very small but diverse community bubbling with wonderfully talented and creative people! The word “awesome” is thrown around so easily these days, but I truly am awestruck by people like you!

    • Raine Thomas says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your kind words, Minnie! I’m always thrilled to see writers coming together in support of each other. We’re so fortunate to have an unending and “recyclable” client base…readers around the world!

  5. A.M.Burns says:

    Thanks for the very inspiring post. These are things that I tell my author friends everyday. More people need to get a tight focus on what they are trying to do. Awesome sharing. Thanks.

    • Raine Thomas says:

      I truly appreciate you sharing your thoughts, Andy! “Focus” is an excellent word choice, and something that we all tend to lose on occasion. It’s nice to know there are others out there who struggle…but overcome!

  6. Such an uplifting post, Raine. Thanks for sharing your struggle with DEFY and your triumph with completing it! I love your comments about Twitter and Facebook, but especially your thoughts on Pinterest. What a creative way to bring our books to life visually for readers (and ourselves).

    Thanks for the inspiration – funny how it comes along just when I need it…

  7. Great dedication. Writers are the best support groups.
    Good advice too.
    Wagging Tales

  8. J.C. Martin says:

    I spotted your new profile pic on Twitter and thought, Raine has a new book? I GOT to check it out! So here I am! As usual, the cover is GAW-JUS! Well done for not giving up and for seeing this story through!

    • Raine Thomas says:

      Aww–thanks, J.C.! Developing the cover with my designer, Devan, is the most fun part about the publication process. Glad you like it!

  9. I just got back and stopped back to see what you were up to… Great post! I know that I often feel discouraged and wonder if I am just kidding myself by thinking I can be a writer, then someone like you makes me realize that we all have these moments of doubt, and it is normal. Then you get a sweet comment from a reader or a word of encouragement from a fellow writer, and you remember why you love it! You are one if my favorite writers… I think what you have accomplished is amazing, and I will always pass that along and have your back!

    • Raine Thomas says:

      Aww! Thanks, Bethany! You know the feeling is definitely mutual. You’re remarkably talented, and I’m very excited to see what you come up with next!

  10. Angeline says:

    I LOVE this blog post, Raine! And yes, thank you for not quitting! Writing is he hardest, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I’m proud of you for pushing through, and I hope Defy rises the charts and reaches tons of readers!! <3

  11. Wow… I am a reformed debate queen (it’s so fun to stun the just out of high school crowd by going to college umm… lets say years.. later, and showing them wisdom means more than old) and frankly even after training in in communication. I cant think of anything to add… I think ya said it all hon! Lol! As a now middle aged artist who loves to read but can’t write and can’t afford to read only the big box store books, I am pretty dang thankful that Indie authors see fit to share with a world so quick to judge!!! People forget… it is real easy to slam somone else when it is something you haven’t done! It takes a CONSIDERABLY bigger person to put themselves out there and say “take your best shot”. I am notorious for catching every screw up in a movie.. and yes, despite my kindle’s desire to prove otherwise, I am a spelling nag..lol. I shut up and just think wow… well maybe those words didn’t really fit but since I love run on sentences… I will just relax and have fun. Tis a blessed shame that more people cant learn that old saying..”If you have nothing nice to say, stick to saying nothing at all.”
    Oh and I am in the beginning of “Central” and I vow to finish both that and “Foretold” today with reviews and links to follow as soon as I am not sick as a dog. Lol. But thank you because the distraction is beyond appreciated at times like this!!!!!:)
    Becky

    • Raine Thomas says:

      You made some excellent points, Becky! I’m sorry to hear that you’re not feeling well…but I’m glad that you have a great excuse for getting lots of reading in. ;) I hope you enjoy the books, and truly appreciate you stopping by the blog and commenting!