This is How We Do It

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ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.

First of all, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for the overwhelming responses I received for the release of my second novella, John of Art! I am beyond touched and honored to have so many congratulations for this latest book of mine! This was the book that didn’t want to be written. With so many obstacles and twists and turns over the years, I’m so thrilled that this book was finally published.

For those of you who are interested in purchasing the book, for now, it’s only available through Amazon in paperback and Kindle e-book format, also e-book format through Nook, Kobo, iBooks, and anywhere e-books are sold. I am working on getting the paperback distributed through B&N, Lulu, and other outlets and will reveal that when it’s finally available that way as well. My wonderful voice over artist will be working on the audiobook soon and that will be out the end of August, early September and I will let you guys know when that’s available as well. There is a song that accompanies the book. If you purchase the paperback or ebook, the QR code scans directly to the song. I figured there’s no sense in waiting for everything little thing to be completely done when the book is just sitting there on Amazon so I decided to do a limited release for the paperback and e-book version through Amazon and trickle the remaining releases as they come over the next few weeks. If you’re interested in purchasing the book you can do so by clicking on the book cover below. Thanks again to everyone. I have never felt this loved! Hugs to all.

There is one thought-provoking phenomenon that I’d like to address based on the many comments, compliments, and praises I’ve been receiving regarding my latest book that has me thinking. One of the most common comments that I hear as an author when I talk to non-writers is “Oh, you wrote a book? I should write a book too!” Not only do I find this to be a backhanded compliment which, in my opinion at least, diminishes the accomplishment of the author and makes it seem like it’s such an easy task that any average Joe off the street can achieve this themselves, which they very well may, but there are some things many don’t consider.

There are issues many don’t realize when they decide they want to write a book. Writing the book is the easiest part of the whole journey, it’s what you do after the book is done that’s what really weeds out the weak. You have to shift away from being a consumer to being someone who wants to sell your product. An important thing to ask yourself too when you want to write a book is “Do I support other local writers?” If that answer is a hard no then ask yourself the next question, “If I don’t support local writers then what makes me think that other people will support my work?” I try my best to give shout outs, likes, and praises to fellow authors. Honestly, I just don’t have the funds to buy each and every book of authors that I really like but there are so many ways to show your support. Even a friendly shout out and kudos from a fellow writer is one of the greatest joys and pleasures that I get out of writing that surpasses the delight of actually publishing the book. I made a promise to myself that when I was financially set that I would buy books of fledgling artists but for now my praises are all I have to give.

I’ve been writing professionally since 2016, and I’ve learned the hard way that friends, family, acquaintances, etc. are not always going to be your target audience. Depending on what you write, your style of writing, what you’re trying to depict in your work may not resonate with those in your closest circle. You need to widen the net past those closest to you and start networking and talking to others and build a connection. The novelty wears off after the first book and your friends and family will buy less and less of your work. You need a fanbase and those who follow and support your mission and what you’re hoping to relay with your words. Writing is not a frivolous action. Writers write with meaning, with intention, with the hopes that with every word we write, our readers will decipher and decode our words to learn who we really are as human beings. Writing, to me, is my battle cry. Writing is my way of getting people’s attention to a certain issue that bothers me so that others will get just as passionate and join me in making the world just a little nicer for us all.

Marketing your work takes patience and takes hours of networking. Social media exchanges, blogging, podcasting, newspaper articles, interviews, etc. It’s a lot to digest. Building a writing community with other fellow writers and artists so you don’t feel like you’re in this all alone is paramount to any other action done to create a successful career as an author. A prospective writer needs to decide who they want their demographic to be. Consider why you are writing a piece and why should someone care that you’re writing? It’s so much more than saying here, here’s my book, now give me your money. No, it’s I’ve just poured my heart out on these pages, will you take a chance and read this book? And even though it’s a work of fiction, if you read between the lines, you’ll learn more about me than you’d ever hope to know.

Saying things like I should write a book too truly reduces the hard work that went into writing and presenting this work to others and makes it seem like just anyone can just pick up a pen and write and make a good book. I wrote about this in a blog a year ago where I stated that just because you can string words together in a sentence doesn’t make you a writer and just because you can write doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Everyone’s got a sob story. Everyone has a story they believe would make a great book. But there’s a significant gap between those who feel they could write a book compared to those who actually achieve that goal and make the book a success. I’ve known people who spent their whole lives just writing one novel. I also know people who can crank out book after book after book. Everyone is different. Writing is challenging. People are going to criticize you and diminish you and reduce you to minuscule proportions. Writers develop thick, reptilian skin and rejection and criticism comes with the territory of writing.

You will learn who your true friends are, who your true advocates and champions are, as well as the leeches who hang onto you for dear life hoping you’ll make it big so they have an excuse to follow you around wherever you head next in life and be able to say, “Hey, I know that person! She’s my friend!” When in actuality they are no friend of yours. Other questions to consider: Do you become self-published or traditionally published? What genre you want to write: poetry, short stories, screenplays, movie scripts, tv shows, Broadway plays, novels, fiction, nonfiction, romance, speculative fiction, etc.? Do you get an agent? Do you need an agent? What’s your budget for each work? Can you live without watching t.v., going out with friends and family, and living as a hermit for months until your work is finally finished? Who will edit your work? Are the people you choose to read your work willing to sign non-disclosure agreements? Do you have trustworthy people in your life that will give you helpful, supportive feedback that is not negative or mean-spirited? As a writer, you begin to weed people out of your life who don’t follow or support your mission as a writer. You are either Team me or you’re not. There’s no time for being on the fence or being unsupportive.

I have people who have been reading my blogs, listening to my podcast, and following me since I started writing day one and that is something that I cherish the most. Those who have proven themselves loyal and have stuck by me and have carried me through the worst patches of my life while also joining me in celebration during my triumphs. Life is a nasty road to navigate through and you cannot do it alone. It is an honor and privilege to have you all there alongside me throughout this Odyssey.

Also, the expenses for writing and working really hard trying not to get duped by companies desperately trying to steal your precious dollars for services you don’t need like editing, formatting, book cover creation, submitting to services like Amazon where it’s free to publish, book review services, etc. People just see the final product. The book. And everyone’s suddenly a writer and an expert. It’s a silly thing to say really. And those words shouldn’t be wasted. I don’t want to hear maybe you should write a book too. Come back to me when the statement becomes, “Look, I’ve written a book.” Then we’ll talk. Until then, saying congratulations followed by a period is sometimes all the commentary that’s needed. Thanks for the continued support and thanks to those who have or will purchase the new book. I cherish you all and look forward to new and exciting things that are yet to come.