I’ve always been a writer at heart—I wrote long before I published my first book on December 12, 2005.
There have been many highs and lows during my publishing journey. Readers have emailed me or written reviews that assured me my words had affected them in the way I’d hoped. A few of them have even become long-term online friends. There are others, though, who have given a book of mine a low-rated review, stating that they didn’t enjoy it as much as some of my other works, but never took the time to post reviews for the ones they did enjoy. For those people is obviously easier to criticize than to give praise.
I’ve never let this trouble me; I appreciate feedback, whether positive or negative. My reading choices are diverse, and so is my writing. I enjoy every story I’ve ever written—I’m one of those writers who first write for themselves and then hope to find others out there with similar tastes. I don’t expect everyone to like everything I’ve written, although I write every story with the same passion and commitment. What I hope for is for them to take a minute to read the book’s blurb to see if the story is for them before purchasing it, or downloading it for free.
Fellow writers, however, are the ones who have surprised me the most. I’ve met some incredibly generous authors who have willingly shared their secrets of success and helped in many other ways. But, there have been others who deliberately tried to sabotage my books because they weren’t doing as well themselves or saw me as a threat.
This is the most baffling thing of all. As a writer I know how many tireless, lonely hours I spend at the keyboard trying to breathe life into my story ideas. The very last thing I would ever do is shoot another writer down.
Not everyone is cut out to be a writer. There are some people who are capable of penning masterpieces who simply lack the desire or patience to write them. There are others who have the tenacity but lack the talent. I don’t believe that the internet should be flooded with interior writing, but I do believe that anyone who’s made their very best effort by putting their heart and soul into a story deserves a chance for it to be read.
Due to certain constraints in my personal life, I haven’t been able to write or publish as I would have wished in the last two years. Now that I’m able to devote more time to writing again, I’ve found that self publishing has changed beyond recognition. It’s no longer simply a matter of writing a good book and letting readers find it organically. To be successful, most writers now spend countless hours on social networks cultivating fans, and thousands on dollars on advertising. There are a lucky few who built their fan bases years ago and now can afford to do less.
I’m not one for socializing on the internet. For me, it was enough to write and price my books cheaply so that they reached as wide an audience as possible. For years this approach worked—and more successfully than I could have ever dreamed—but now my books are no longer able to compete, especially on Amazon, due to lack of visibility.
The books I write are geared for a niche market. I enjoyed giving readers something a little different, but as a full-time writer I have to make some tough decisions if I want to be able to support myself from my royalties. The choice is now to continue using this pen name, but publish more commercial books, or create another which will give me that freedom. It will be hard to abandon Lexy, she’s been so good to me, but it may be time to spread my wings and fly, taking the good memories I have of her with me.
I will make my decision on the first day of 2016 and see where it takes me.
Lastly, Coming Home for Christmas has now been updated and is available on all major online retailers. It’s gone from a measly 12K words to 50K words in length and encapsulates the follow-up I’d planned. And in true Lexy fashion I believe that length is important and promise that you’ll find it even more satisfying.
Please, please, post reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, iTunes or Kobo, and anywhere else you’re able, for this and any of my books. Thank you.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND ALL THE VERY BEST FOR 2016!