True Confessions

Revised book cover for The Space Between Time

“Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, with Annotations – 1841 – 1844

I’ve written a novel that I’m proud of. It’s long and some people say it’s slow moving, but that’s the kind of book I gravitate to. The ones where the characters have lots of challenges and learn a great deal about themselves.

I love the process of writing. When I’m sitting at the computer and my fingers are running over the keys, time seems to recede into the background. I feel pure bliss. But then, there’s the part of writing that I don’t take to at all, book promotion.

It’s logical that people will not buy my book if they don’t know about it. But for the longest time, I did just the bare minimum of self-promotion hoping that some huge fan would tell all their friends about my book, and then they’d tell all their friends, and word of mouth marketing would make my book a huge hit.

Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way. Well, I suppose word of mouth marketing can work for somethings, but have you seen how many books come out in a week? Hundreds. And they are all vying for readers.

Over the last year or so as I’ve been working on Time’s Echo, book two of the series, I’ve felt that I needed to abandon the idea of finding a volunteer marketing genius to help me promote my books. What I had to do was find a way to be an introvert/marketing/book promoting business woman. Telling myself that I didn’t know anything about how to promote my work wasn’t getting me anywhere.

Then I remembered Marie Foleo’s phrase, “everything is figureoutable.” She even wrote a book with that title. Okay! I can do this. I can figure out how to market my work in a way that works for me! I bought the book and I’m doing the exercises so I can figure out my own unique way to let the millions of readers out there know what my books are about and hopefully they’ll be intrigued enough to buy them.

It’s scary putting myself out there. But it’s fun too. I’ve tried to figure this out before, but the courses were too detail oriented, or had too much information that didn’t fit my situation, or I had to follow their exact formula which didn’t fit the way my brain works. I have to say, I rebel at such one size fits all ways of doing things. But, I think I finally found the system that allows me to create my own business strategy. Marie asks the questions. I come up with the answers that fit me.

One thing I realized as I was doing some of the exercises was that I’ve got to have the right book blurb. I don’t think my current blurb has the right hook that makes people want to read the book. Here is a new one I came up with the other day. Tell me what you think. Your feedback will help me make the needed adjustments.

“Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In THE SPACE BETWEEN TIME, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she finds unexpected help when she finds her 3-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.”

For social media purposes, I added, “This started off as a very different book. It’s amazing where the muses take you. You can get a hard copy of TSBT at Amazon, or at your favorite ebook retailer. Now back to working on book two.”

What do you think? Would you like to read a story like that?

This is the challenge for me, I have to keep posting about my book to social media at regular intervals. I can’t just do it once and then expect the entire world to be intrigued and rush to Amazon. This is a bit of an obstacle because I really dislike all those ads on my social media feed. “Buy thus and so and your life will become a dream.” Nope. I’m not doing that! So, I’ve come up with ideas of how to vary the posts. I’ve asked friends to take pictures of themselves with my book and add a caption. These I’ll post to Instagram, which is also linked to Facebook and Twitter. That way my readers can help me attract potential new readers by sharing their impressions. You can help, if you want to. If you’ve read my book and liked it, will you consider sending me a picture of yourself with the book and a caption to go with it? Or If you don’t want your picture splashed all over social media, just a picture of your hands holding the book and a caption will help so much.

Just this morning I thought of going to all those book sites I joined and instead of posting an ad for my book, I thought I’d ask questions, for example: How did you become a writer? What kinds of books inspire you? Do you like long books with lots of character development, or short fast paced plot driven books? Are you a member of writer’s group? If so, does that help you improve your writing? And so on.

I’m just getting started on this book promotion adventure. These are just the first ideas I’m trying. I’m looking forward to coming up with more. If you have ideas of ways I can create a community of readers and writers, please share them with me.

This post is getting long, but I want to say that my writing is inspired by everything that happens to and around me. When I sit down to write anything, I’m always trying to figure out what I’m thinking and feeling about current events both inner and outer. It seems to me that people who love stories, then talk and write about them are part of my tribe, because they pay attention to the layers of what it means to be a human being. That’s always my goal in watching, reading, and writing. I prefer face-to-face discussions, but I’m getting better at virtual ones. I hope you’ll give me some great things to think about.

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. Take care of yourselves and those close by who need help too.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Jenna’s life is shattered and she must put her life back together. When she finds old journals as she’s clearing out her mother’s house, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan. She is able to come back to her own life at intervals and apply what she’s learned to heal and forgive.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.

It’s Here!

Revised book cover for The Space Between Time

“Why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.” ~ J. K. Rowling

“Finishing books – and leaving the world you’ve created – is always a kind of emotionally wrenching experience. I usually cry.” ~ Lauren Oliver

I’m not crying, that The Space Between Time is live on Amazon, I’m cheering. The process of publishing a book is long and arduous and now that I’ve completely finished, okay I may do an audio book, I can now devote my full attention to the sequel novel and other projects. That’s a huge relief.

On the other hand, there are things I discovered while making the final corrections that I could have gone back and changed. Instead I said, “Hmm, should I go back and make those corrections to the sheriff’s dialect, or should I be like Elizabeth Gilbert and say, ‘Done is better than good.’” I do want my book to be good but will the reader really care if the sheriff says, “ya”, instead of “y’all”? I will change his dialect in the second book, but it was just time to get all versions of this book out into the world and move on to the next.

I do have a word to say about writing dialogue in general and dialect specifically. The way we speak and the vocabulary we use says a lot about us, and about characters in a book. I have several characters with specific dialects in this book. I didn’t even attempt to write the New England dialect, because I couldn’t hear that one in my head. However, since my background is in theatre, I automatically hear the characters speaking, so mostly I write the dialogue first. But that doesn’t mean I type the dialect correctly on the first few go arounds. I’m going to have to look for some writer apps or websites that can help me with that on the next book.

I think writing dialect is a tricky thing because you have to make sure the reader understands what the character is saying. Not long ago I was reading a book that took place someplace in what is now the UK. The author wrote what one character was saying in their native dialect, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what the heck that character was saying. My conclusion: indicate the dialect, but make it readable for all readers, not just the ones who are familiar with it.

Of course, now that my book is published in both ebook and print-on-demand options, the fun (ugh) work of marketing and promotion begins. That’s going to be an interesting learning process. I’m only somewhat familiar with how to proceed, so I will keep working on that a little bit at a time. I know that many authors do pre-sales of their books and are so happy when they get lots of books sold ahead of time. I’m just not that kind of person. I’d rather have a slow but steady interest in my book. I hope that happens and I hope that this book will be one that people are reading many, many years from now.

If you buy The Space Between Time, I ask you to do somethings for me. Reviews help sell books, so if you would be willing to write a few sentences on Amazon, Goodreads, or any of your social networks (posting the links where people can buy it too) that would be a big help. And please post an honest review.

If  you don’t have time to read the book yet, but belong to Goodreads, putting it on your “want to read” shelf helps the Goodreads administrators see that there is interest and they may choose to promote it.

Also, if you feel so inclined and like the book, recommend it to your local bookstore, and/or library, book club group, on social media, or any other place you can think to talk about it. Even if you only tell your friends about it, that would be great. If you’ve got a blog, a mention there would also help me get the word out.

Here is a description of The Space Between Time:

Life is not going well for Jenna Holden. Her live-in-fiancé walks out. Her estranged mother is in a terrible accident that may kill her. And instead of the promotion she’s expecting at her book editor job, she’s fired. Jenna must return to the small town where she grew up to recoup. With all that’s happened she sees no future for herself.

But then, in her mother’s attic, Jenna finds journals written by a long-dead ancestress. They transport her to another time and place, giving her access to the thoughts and feelings of another woman, also alone in the world, who is facing similar trials of heartache and loss. Reading them somehow gives Jenna an escape from her own pain and sorrow, yet offers a doorway to resilience, healing, and the joy of a supportive love. Jenna need only find the self-knowledge and courage to step through, into that space between time.

Thanks so much for continuing to read, Sage Woman Chronicles. I appreciate your likes and comments.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2017

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, a historical, time-travel, magical realism women’s novel. It’s available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon, CreateSpace, and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.