"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane
Hello, all. I have wanted for a very long time to introduce you to one of my favorite authors, Jennifer Malone Wright. And now here she is!
Hi everyone! I hope your holiday season is going great this year. I am super-duper busy as always. Well, I guess I had better introduce myself before I go much on with this post much more. LOL
I am Jennifer Malone Wright, some of you may know me as the author of The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter series. I have a few other things out there, but that is the most common one people recognize when I talk about myself. I am an indie author, stay at home mom of five children and wife of a military man. I live in the boonies of North Idaho and most of the time I love it. Winter here is a snow bound hell, so I prefer the summer time. I think when my kids are all grown I will become a snow bird and spend my winters in the warm weather. J
I always struggle when people ask me to write a guest post and give me free reign on the topic. Should I make it serious, should I write about my work, should I make it funny and not about writing? It’s always hard for me to choose.
So, today, I think I’m going to go with the topic of never giving up.
I know it’s hard for anyone who is trying to make a living doing something they love. Whatever it may be, it’s always something that we have to work for. For me, this was writing. When I was little I used to tell people I was going to be an author. They smiled and encouraged me. When I got a bit older and still told people that is what I was going to do, they laughed and said “Make sure that you learn to do something else, because most people don’t make a living being an author.” As true as this was and still is, it’s hard because you know it’s the truth, but you just wish people would believe in you enough to say encouraging words.
I got married and my husband was always encouraging of my writing, but the harder times got and the more kids we had, I had to find a way to make money. I couldn’t work because day care was too much. We tried working opposite shifts on a few occasions but that didn’t last long. I ended up writing a lot of free-lance articles and building a platform for myself there, but I didn’t make much money doing that AT ALL! And my love still lay with fiction, not non-fiction.
Then, it happened. My husband was deployed and I had just given birth to my fifth baby and the eBook boom hit. Amanda Hocking became a kindle millionaire for her vampire and fantasy books. I wrote a vampire book that was finished… I could publish that.
Before I published I did a LOT of research on the publishing industry. Actually, I had spent the last ten years researching publishing, agents, query letters, and anything that had to do with the writing business. So I knew what I was getting into.
And people still told me I couldn’t do it. They told me to go to school and study to get a real job.
I understood where they were coming from, but at the same time I heard them talk about how I lived in a fantasy world and would never be able to live out my dreams.
I published that first book and it didn’t do very well. It took me like three months to make 20 dollars, enough to get a paycheck from Amazon. But I wrote the first Vampire Hunter’s Daughter short story in the series and published that. It sold a few and then I put out the second one.
In between all the waiting for books to sell. I worked at building my platform. I twittered and socialized. I interacted on Facebook. I stayed up all hours of the night sharing for people, commenting, answering their comments on my posts. I made a blog and blogged about others books. In the long run I made a lot of wonderful friends.
I also contacted hundreds of book blogs and requested reviews. This was very time consuming because you have to make sure that they accept your genre and that you read their review policy.
I worked. Even when I wasn’t writing, I worked at making a name for myself in the new world of self-publishing.
Then the first in The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter series went free and within two weeks 11,000 copies were downloaded and people wanted more of that story. It happened. Finally!
I won’t get into details that sound like bragging, but I will tell you that I went from making 20 dollars a month to making more money than my husband some months. This is what happens when you ignore the Negative Nellies and everyone who tells you that you can’t do it. Because you CAN! It just takes hard work and determination.
Never give up! If you love something, whether it’s writing, music, art, whatever… you can find a way to make a living doing what you love.
After the first initial blast of the book going free, the reviews started rolling in more frequently. I wrote more and kept doing what I was doing for everyone else. My mentor and friend in writing told me that she knows that part of my success is how much I care about and help others. I am a believer in karma, so I tend to believe is true. You get what you give.
My success story isn’t as grand as others, but it has allowed me to buy presents for my kids on the holidays and birthdays, to put them in sports, to give them a better life than before. That is what is important to me … not fame. (Although that would be nice. LOL)
You can do it too! Whatever it is you want in life you freaking go for it and go full force. If you need me to help in anyway, get ahold of me and I will do what I can to help you. Everyone deserves to live a life doing what they love and reaching to achieve their dreams.
So, I leave you all with this … Believe in yourself, no matter what anyone says, because you can do anything you want to do as long as you believe that you can.
Happy Holidays Everyone!