Hello, dear readers, and welcome!
So, this week I welcome you with some good news, and some news that is also good, but perhaps not what you were expecting.
I'll cut to the chase: in the time I've had this business, I've tried many things, a few of which have worked and plenty of which have not worked for me. Such is the way of life.
Recently, I tried a new venture, and almost immediately I could tell that it wasn't working. But I wanted to stay the course, because often we equate "giving up" with "quitting", when sometimes they are not, it fact, the same thing.
I needed a reminder of what I've learned over the years: that sometimes, things simply don't work well for you personally. But that doesn't mean you failed by trying and giving up when you discovered that something wasn't working.
I love the magazine Success. It's one of my favorites. In the new edition (October 2016), there was a particular article that spoke about "quitting", and how sometimes it's actually smarter than staying the course.
And then I remembered: why would I want to put energy into something that is not working for me, or into something that I'm only mediocre at?
I could be spending that time elsewhere, on other projects and mediums that I am talented in.
By spending our time on what we actually care about, and what we're actually good at, I believe we go further than we would otherwise. And we're more genuine in doing so.
And so comes my news: I'm shaking things up again.
Shortly after I finished the first draft of SOP-Squared, I decided to try something new: posting said story up on my blog while I did my revision.
I have seen plenty of authors be successful with this method, but I had never tried it myself (on my personal site), so I wanted to give it a shot. And I did.
And I'll be honest: It definitely isn't working for me.
But I had to try it to know that it isn't working. If I had never tried, I wouldn't know.
So, I'm going to take the good advice I've been re-given, and that I've learned over the years, and give it up (let it go). Not quit the story, of course, because I love it and I want it to be read, but quit this method that doesn't suit me.
Recently, I also tried my hand at Tumblr (again), and Instagram, neither of which are working for me, either. I think they're great mediums - just not for me.
Tried -- discovered -- created a new road map.
So, what prompted this discovery?
I'll be honest: it was a few things. Random things, some of them. God likes to throw random things at you to set you on the right path, or so I think.
There were several big, obvious signs that this method was not panning out, but there was also this:
Several people asked me why I wasn't querying SOP-Squared. In case you're unfamiliar with the word, "querying" refers to a "query letter" - a letter sent a literary agent to ask for representation of a particular story.
At first I brushed the question off, though I was flattered.
Why? Because long ago in a galaxy far, far away -- in what seems like another life -- I published a novel that is technically connected to SOP-Squared, though they really are not the same thing.
And everyone knows querying something like that is a no-no.
But then I got to thinking: why aren't I querying it?
I secretly I wanted to send this story off, but I was afraid of wasting my time, because typically it is an instant "no" to send out a story that is connected to previously published material.
Might it be a waste of time? Yes. There's a possibility (probably a large one) that it might. But I won't know until I try.
A lot has changed in the publishing landscape in the last few years -- and especially since I released SOPM in early 2011. Many people will still tell you that querying this kind of story is silly, but I still want to try.
Being asked why I wasn't querying brought out the truth that I wanted to, and that's what really matters.
So, am I doing the possibly crazy thing? Yes. But that's okay, because I don't think I've ever been conventional -- and I'm okay with that.
I've decided to go ahead and add SOP-Squared, my beloved story, to the roster of "things to query", because I think it's the best thing for the story at this moment, and I want to give it a shot.
I don't believe that anything is set in stone, and I do believe that hard work eventually leads to success. Even if this isn't the story that gets picked up, one will eventually.
And, of course, I'll continue to self-publish. We still have this year's The Tale of Wind and Winter, and 2017's Clara Frost to look forward to!
So, I will be taking down Shadows of Past Memories from retailers (as it's a "technically connected" story), and will be taking down the two rough chapters of SOP-Squared that I've posted here.
Thank you to everyone who has read and enjoyed! I look forward to sharing the entire story with you in the future, in some format or other. I really appreciate your support.
Story, we will keep moving forward, even if it seems unlikely -- because I'm not giving up on you.