Got your attention with that title, didn’t I? I am sure you are thinking…not much, unless one is writing about the paelo diet. Which I’m not. But I am on the diet. Since February I have only had two small slices of pizza, have ordered salads at burger and pasta places, have given up cheese, biscuits, casseroles with bread toppings, don’t eat corn, peas, or regular baked potatoes…and okay, I’ve lost a lot of weight. 17 lbs to be exact. But yesterday morning, I couldn’t stop thinking about pancakes. I went to the paleo recipe bank online and found a recipe for pumpkin pancakes, with a photo that looked promising and I had all the ingredients, including the coconut flour, which honestly, does have a distinctive taste. So I decided I would make pumpkin pancakes for me for Sunday breakfast and regular, ‘real’ pancakes for my husband and son. Theirs looked great. All light and fluffy and IHOP had nothing on what I put on their plates. Mine on the other hand, looked awful and had almost no flavor outside the maple syrup. I took three bites and my breakfast consisted mostly of two strips of bacon.
Now here’s the analogy. Writing is a little like the paleo diet in that you are never quite sure what you can expect. Sometimes it’s like the recipes for cauliflower rice and almond butter bread- surprisingly good. And other times it’s like the pumpkin pancakes- a real disappointment.
I am speaking of course, from the POV of an indie writer. I had two books traditionally published and the never did much of anything, except sit in oblivion until I got all the rights back and put them up on kindle. I love the freedom of being able to publish when I want and having control of the covers and so on. I also realize that without the backing of a big six publisher, I am at the mercy of Amazon algorithems people randomly finding me among the millions of books that are on Amazon.
I have not been a master at advertising and promotion, although I am sifting through ideas about how to do that on a virtually non -existent budget. And still, I do sell books every month. Just not as many most months as I would like to sell. The good cauliflower-rice-almond-butter-bread months give me hope that one day I could just write for a living. (On those months I can hear my grandfather say “Lynn this could turn into something full time for you.” Which, for some reason and having nothing to do with my writing he used to always say to my mother whenever she got a new full time job.) During the pumpkin pancake months, I find myself a little depressed and wondering what happened to all the almond butter bread.
This year has seen a decline in sales that I am not happy with. I have more books, better books, even than when I started.The problem has always been that I don’t know what makes 500 readers find one book this month and then no one find it the next. June is supposed to be a big book sale month- vacations and all that, but for the last two summers, it hasn’t been, for me. July hasn’t been as profitable as I would like either. But I’m trying. Getting out there on social media, talking them up.
My biggest asset and my biggest flaw is the same thing. I am optimistic, a dreamer, a believer. I can see myself making a good living writing. I believe in my characters and my words and my story lines. I always think all it will take is for one book to go viral…and I’m always working on the next book. I’d like this to be that year that it happens.
If you are the slightest bit interested in helping me make that happen, check out my books at http://www.booksbylynnmurphy.com.
Meanwhile I will keep writing. Currently I’m working on a time travel tale called The Blue Butterfly. Summer reading suggestions from me: Hiding Mona Lisa and the other two books in The Louvre Trilogy, Unsinkable and Dream A Little Dream.