Tuesday, April 17, 2012

a-z open-minded

This past weekend I had the opportunity to participate in a writer's conference--I taught two classes and had a spot between Kathi Orem Peterson and Angie Lofthouse in which to nestle my books and sell them. This was a weekend of firsts for me--I've never done any of the things I did. And . . . it was pretty awesome!

I discovered I love to teach and that I feel very passionate about my branding technique, which helped me give an awesome class. But I also discovered that I have a very hard time selling my book. Almost like I'm apologetic about it. I even found myself saying, "It's not for everyone". Bad, ali! Bad!

I've been doing a lot of soul-searching about this. I am not ashamed of my writing. I am not ashamed of the story I told. But I do think I wish I hadn't written such a dark story. I'd love to be able to say, "Yeah! This is a great book--you'll love it!"

So, I am making a serious, concerted effort to change my opinion about my own book. I just realized that when I think a reader might not be interested in my book (for whatever reason) I am making a judgement about them. A judgement that they are not the kind of reader who would enjoy my kind of book. But who am I to judge? I mean, isn't that what BECOME is all about? About being more than what others give you credit for? About being more than you ever thought you could be? Heck yes!

Why, then, do I judge my potential readers??

Yes, BECOME isn't for everyone. But NO book is enjoyed by absolutely everyone. So I am resolving to be open-minded about my potential readers and I will trust that said readers will be open-minded when they crack open my book.

Hello, my name is ali cross, and I wrote this book. Buy it, you'll (probably) love it!

You can buy the ebook for $2.99 or buy a paperback right here on my blog!

15 comments:

  1. Just so you know, I told a couple of people how incredibly awesome your book was. :D Just pretend to be me when you're selling, because you are one of my top five writers of all time!

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  2. That's the attitude, Ali! And I learned very quickly not to judge my readers because those who've enjoyed my books have really surprised me.

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  3. You see, BECOME may be a "dark" book, but it is also a "light" book. All true light has passed through darkness and shines all the brighter because of it. That's what BECOME is. It's a book about moving into light by discovering what you can become when forced through the dark.

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  4. Probably most helpful for prospective leaders is a logline - one sentence to tell them what your book is about and hook them. That opens it up for more questions, or if they aren't interested, they will probably say something awkward or rude and you can move on (hopefully not the case!).

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  5. It's hard to get rid of that probably word. Even the word marketing almost makes me break out in hives, but I guess we all need to come out of our comfort zones at some point.

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  6. You wouldn't know it, but I have a soft spot for dark books. As long as there is a silver lining (I like happy endings, even in darkness). Some need to be shared and some need to be written.

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  7. Hey. I bought that book recently! ;)

    On my list to read.

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  8. Such a great post! I did the same thing all the time, and I still catch myself downplaying my own writing. This post gave me some much needed courage. :)

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  9. Maybe its a fear that this person will associate your book with you, as an individual, and if they don't like it they may not 'like' you. We all want to be liked but we are all so very afraid of each other for some reason. *shrug* I suffer the same ailment. Maybe it is one of those things that come with the toughening of our skin, the brazen acceptance of ourselves despite our percieveed flaws.

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  10. That's awesome about the writer's conference!

    And BECOME is awesome! But I know what you mean. I feel the same way when I tell people about my novelettes, since they're not full-length novels. We write what we do, and we should be proud of that. :)

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  11. Ali,

    I haven't read your book yet but I'm sure it's great. I understand that not everyone likes dark stuff. Secondhand Shoes is dark but I've offset it with humor. Mostly because when writing it, I couldn't handle what my main character and her friends went through.

    But yeah, not everybody is going to like your book or my book. That's how it goes.

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  12. Sounds like you had a great experience teaching - thanks for sharing all that you learned from it. I think dark/light books can be some of the more powerful stories out there. It's all about overcoming.

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  13. Since I already bought, read it, loved it and raved about it...well, I just have to say that Become rocks. Dark or whatever. It's a great book.

    I was able to enjoy it as both a reader and a writer.

    As a writer, I found your style enjoyable, sort of conversational in that way that draws a person in.

    As a reader. it kept me riveted. Yeah, so what that Desi is the daughter of the devil, she found her way, and I love it.

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  14. I'm just like you, ali! I apologize about my writing all the time!

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  15. Well said, Ali. I think most of us go through that. My debut novel was an action/adventure/romance story. The second was a family drama. I've told people that I would have preferred to get the 2nd book to market first. I realize that I was ashamed of writing something that dealt with pure escapism. Well, I'm sooo over that now. :) Yep, we grow and change as writers.

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