The day after Cycon was a little strange. I woke up and it felt no different than any other day. In fact, it turned into a typical IT Monday rather quickly. Everyone else was jazzed. I felt nothing. Well, that not quite true… I sat in the middle of a civil war for most of the day. It wasn’t the normal logical versus emotional one that sometimes locks me up. This was negative versus positive emotions duking it out with logic keeping quiet mostly.
Don’t get me wrong, I had fun at the con. Spent most of my time on YouTube enjoying, and participating in, some great conversations that lasted into the wee hours of the morning. I even crashed and burned a couple of times when it got too late. Looking through some of the videos, my tooth gap showed more than I liked. Being all about the moment at the moment, I really didn’t, and don’t, care in either respect.
Therein lay the root of my conflict. I was out on the catwalk of the con strutting my stuff for three days then things returned to normal. Unlike last year, when I had achieved the major triumph of overcoming my camera shyness on YouTube, there was no big victory. Plenty of small ones, sure. That made the flatness seem like a major letdown.
There is a saying at con, “it isn’t about the sales you make, it is about the connections you forge and the experiences you create and/or partake in.” As a three year vet, I know this as well as I know my own name.
Besides the fun time on YouTube, Legend being read for story time is pretty significant. It’s the first time someone has performed my words. My hope, of course, that it isn’t the last. An even greater honor is having the lines of my poem being the intro on the back cover of the anthology.
One thing stung a lot and was probably the foundation of my angst. Like my covers last year, my character didn’t make it past round one of its competition. The covers I understand, they depend on taste and aesthetics. My character was a lot harder to deal with, mainly because it was a double digit loss. More than that, she is the strongest of my series and the closest to me. At one point in my musings of the day, I wondered if she would be more acceptable if she was a guy, instead of a strong woman, in a position of power. It didn’t help that I had skimmed a political article making the same argument about a candidate who lost an election for the same reason.
It’s the numbers of Amazon that have me kicking myself for my flat, blah feeling. Both books have seen a jump from a million up to a hundred thousand or so. That means at least one copy of each were bought. Who and why is anyone’s guess. YouTube? An author takeover I did? Spirit I know is the result of the later. Not only did I get a buy, but I also go my eighth review, which said:
At first I thought it was going to be a woman and her horse. It went many places I wasn’t expecting. Complex and well done.
This has inspired me to change my description on Amazon. Will it mean an increase in sales? Who knows? I have other plans that most likely will. Right now, I need to concentrate on writing the third and four books, Infinite Lens and A Dream to Share, which I officially announced as my WIPs at the con. Being a writer is my first priority. Everything else will fall into place as it will.
If the con reinforced anything this year, it’s that success isn’t measured in money, it’s measured in passion and the people one touches. That impact may be small and unnoticeable, but it’s there nonetheless. I just have to look back at one video of a late night session to remind myself of that. Someone complimented me on last year’s YouTube transformation.
My path to making my books my sole source of income may be lined with bumps, grinds, obstacles, and emotional pitfalls, but as long as I remain true to myself and my writing, it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) matter what anyone else thinks. Myself included.
It will happen.