I think I hate you, Mercury.

I feel like I owe everyone an apology, partially for a sort of absence on here and mostly due to how long it’s been taking me to get back with . . . everyone. I wonder if there will ever be a point in time where it doesn’t take me such ridiculously long stretches to get back with people consistently.

Yeah, probably not.

I guess I just need to accept that. I mentioned in the last post that my husband always tells me, “You’re only one person.” Obviously I hear that when I get stressed about one thing or another with work, at least when I’m stressing to the point where I tell him about it. Honestly? I hear that at least once a week. Seems like every time I do one thing, there’s this little voice telling me I should be doing something else. (Sometimes it’s not little in the slightest.) ‘It’s taken you over three hours to write this email. Don’t you know you have book stuff to be doing?’ (It happens.) ‘You’re writing right now? Don’t you know you have a pile of things you need to respond to? These people are going to think you’re a major a-hole.’

Lately it’s been, ‘You’re not doing anything productive? Don’t you know you have this massive pile of things that need doing? I mean, really. Aren’t you aware?’

I’ve been in a slump for about three weeks now, the sort of slump that I absolutely hate. I can usually get stuff done in some regard no matter how I’m feeling. The last few weeks? Nope.

I blamed it on the bad feels from the piracy garbage for about two and a half of those weeks. I’d tried to write afterward (because that almost always makes me feel better), and it just wasn’t working. It felt like I’d been sapped of about 94% of my energy stores. I also blamed it on the new scheduling and being awake (mostly) during the day. (My brain doesn’t function as well when it’s light outside. No joke.) I blamed it on the stress of upcoming releases and scrambling trying to get stuff done. But whatever I was feeling went beyond all that. Usually, no matter what is going on, I can and will find something to do. I just haven’t wanted to. (Not that I haven’t done anything at all, but nowhere near as much as I should have.)

So I was at the beginning of writing up this post, sitting here thinking about how there had to be some sort of reasoning for the sapping-feeling. (At least when it has lasted this long.) I thought about SAD yesterday, but fall isn’t depressing for me. Fall and winter have been great for me (writing-wise) in the past. I’m excited about fall and winter. (Besides, I’ve seen more sun in the last month than I did in all of spring and summer combined, I think.) I’ve worried more than once that I was having another repeat of whatever in the world was going on with me back in the summer, where I spent waaaaay too long so far down in something negative that I was concerned I’d somehow had some major personality shift or something. But this has been more a lack of energy/drive than legitimate down feelings.

For amusement, I looked up if Mercury was in retrograde again. You know what? IT IS. And WHEN did it start?

Three weeks ago.

Initially, I laughed the ‘Mercury in retrograde’ stuff off. I posted about it, mostly to be funny (and because I thought it was strange). I’m starting to wonder if it actually does make a difference, at least with me. I just think it’s weird that this feeling started at the beginning of it and has lasted the whole way through it, YET AGAIN.

The good news?

It supposedly ends tomorrow. I would say that if I miraculously feel closer to 100% tomorrow, then I’d be set on it. But if that happens, I’ll probably go with it being a mental thing. I’d imagine I’m going to spend the rest of the day thinking that things are going to get better tomorrow, which will (possibly) in turn make things better tomorrow. (At least where my headspace is concerned.)

To be honest though, just potentially seeing a light at the end of this tunnel does make me feel better. I miss being at 100% and having the feeling that I actually accomplished stuff.

Like I said, I haven’t been completely idle. Things are still moving along with the cover for the first in the trilogy. The front cover is almost complete (just needs the font). The back (cover) is on hold at the moment because I haven’t finished writing the blurb for it. I’m really so horrible at blurbs. I have been super excited about that. (The cover, not the blurb-writing.) And things are still looking good for me to hit the projected release date for it in December. So all that is really great. Obviously I’m still worried that something is going to happen to prevent that. I’m always ‘looking up and waiting for the sky to fall’ . . .

I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

Anyway, I hope everyone has been doing fantastically, and I really hope that whatever is going on with me hasn’t been messing with any of you. I’m really starting to think that Mercury is a major a-hole.

Positivity Journal, Day 50

I got to write that up there ^^^^ down today. Fifty days of the Positivity Journal isn’t exactly a milestone where months are concerned or anything, but fifty days of doing this was definitely a personal milestone. I’d imagine that’s enough time to say I’ve successfully managed to integrate this into my life. Whether or not it’s been a ‘success’ in all aspects I intended with it is yet to be seen. I really like to think it’s brought something positive into my life, but then I could get into the question of how much of a positive mindset is mental (strictly mindset) and how much of it is physical (events). I could ramble for days about that, I’m sure. (Now I’m thinking about Little Giants . . .)

Some days have been harder than others, of course. I feel like most have been salvageable, even when they’re riddled with more than a few frustrating events. My internet going out for ridiculously long stretches of time while I’m trying to do stuff on it doesn’t seem like as big of a deal now as it did on the day of, where almost every negative bullet had at least one F-bomb dropped. I’m not a very patient person, and as I know I’ve said multiple times on here, when I want/need to work on something, it drives me nuts if I can’t. So the internet going out consistently on a ‘catch up’ day makes me feel sort of crazy. Like the sort of crazy where I couldn’t even abandon what I was doing to go write (with a legitimate excuse) because I got so riled up about it.

There have only been a few unsalvageable days, where both events and mindset are concerned. Two, unless I’m missing one. If I’m missing one, I guess whatever happened wasn’t bad enough (at least in comparison) for me to focus on. There was the piracy day. That one’s obvious, and I’ll be honest, it’s still messing with my mindset. (Because it’s not something you can easily put out of your head, especially when you’re still trying to remedy the situation. And I think that, in a sense, it would be a good idea to not let it get completely out of my head.)

Then there was two days ago. I did something stupid. I’m talking potentially catastrophically stupid. I’m talking about the sort of stupid that should never happen because you know so much better and of course you would never be so careless.

I was sending the first book in the trilogy to the next beta-reader, right? I might ought to add that I was getting rushed by outside forces (along with being busy that day and rushing in general trying to get things done), and I’m sure all that played into it. Anyway, I wrote the email address down wrong. Then I typed it up the way I’d written it down. I’m sure you can gather that I sent my book – that I’m getting ready to publish – to some random, unknown person.

It took me a few hours to text and be like, ‘Hey. Did you ever get that?’ (I didn’t want to be annoying.)

‘Not yet.’ (Or something.)

‘Maybe you should check the spam folder.’

Obviously it wasn’t in the spam folder, so the next thing I did was type up the email address in a text with a question mark. Again, I’m sure it’s obvious that the email they sent back was not the same. I immediately checked the message where the email address was initially given to make sure because I could’ve sworn I’d written it down right.

Yeah, I hadn’t. This was totally my bad. When I’ve spent years being so unbelievably careful with my work, I’m still baffled as to how I could’ve done something so careless with it. I guess you get used to stuff, right?

I can’t even explain the panic that ensued. That was probably the fastest (and the most ‘violent’) instance of me going from maybe ten (because I’m never at zero) to one hundred that I can think of. (It was probably more like in the nineties. Getting that close to 100 is terrifying.) Even figuring out about the piracy didn’t happen that fast. There’s always some sort of buildup. This was seriously like snapping your fingers and going straight into panic-mode. I’m sure the bad feelings there were exacerbated by the recent piracy experience and knowing how quickly and easily your work can be messed with, or taken, or whatever.

So, I did what I could. I wrote a new email to whoever it was, explained the situation and whatnot. I tried to send the book to the correct person. Of course . . . internet goes out. About ten seconds later, my computer just . . . froze. (Maybe it was feeding off my vibes?) So I went outside, lit a cigarette, paced around for a minute, then I went and sat down on the concrete, putting my face in my hands. And I just sat there, going through all the potential (bad) scenarios my head could come up with. When I was done with my cigarette (not even sure if I actually smoked it or let it burn, to be honest), I went back inside. I sent the file to the correct person. I retyped the email to the unknown person and left it up until my husband would get home from work, so I could make sure it was alright to send. (It might be weird to some people, but I like to get his opinion on pretty much everything.) When I was done with that, I went and sat down on the couch, and I hugged Pig (my dog) until Husband got home.

Maybe that doesn’t sound like a super big deal to anyone. It was a majorly big deal to me. It was so ignorant and careless, but that sort of stuff happens in life. I guess it’s like taking your kid to a park (or something), taking your eyes off them for a few minutes, then realizing they’re standing next to a complete stranger. But you can’t be eyes-on 24/7. You can try. You can get close to that. But people blink and whatnot. Or accidentally fall asleep while they’re watching TV. You just have to hope that nothing bad happens when you hit the lulling moments. (That the aforementioned ‘stranger’ will ask, “Hey kid, where are your parents?” In this specific case of sending the book, I’d be more than happy with, “Get away from me, kid.”)

Careless mistakes just happen, even when you’re just about as careful as you can possibly be. Kids slam their hands in doors, fall out of trees, trip and bust their faces up. That’s life, right?

I feel like there was an important lesson to be learned for me in this, that it’s further proving what I already know about planning. No matter how meticulous you are, even the best of plans don’t always work out. I guess part of this that’s so hard for me to accept is that I just can’t be revving at NINE THOUSAND at all times. Something’s going to eventually break if I don’t slow my ass down sometimes. And all I can think of now is, ‘Unfortunately, that’s not really an option.’ If I’d just slowed down two days ago . . . this probably wouldn’t have happened.

Anyway, I’m still freaked out about and shaken by that. I’m sure you can guess that after all the piracy garbage (and by reading my second post about that in particular), I’m not exactly at a high where ‘faith in people’ is concerned. So . . . here’s to hoping that everything goes as smoothly as possible with this release, and that whatever address I sent that to is someone’s old, unused email account and that my book never gets seen.

I still feel like a moron. I could say that I wish I didn’t, but I do, and it’s probably best that way. I guess I can equate this to a shock collar. (Which I personally would never use for my dog, so if anyone is shouting, “INHUMANE!” . . . please don’t.) But yeah, where shock collars are relevant to this . . . I guess I won’t be stepping past whichever point in the grass again as long as I keep remembering how unpleasant this is, right?

So yeah. The PJ can’t stop me from getting close to 100. It can’t. It can’t make me feel better when I get close to that. But I do have to believe it’s helping, when two days after the fact, I’m trying to focus on the lessons learned (positive) rather than the event (negative). I have to believe it’s helping when the rational part of myself is able to break through at any point. ‘It’s not like you can’t prove the work is yours.’ That’s true. That’s completely true.

I’m just glad I had however many days of the PJ before the piracy, and before this. Those two things, especially happening that close together? I can imagine they would’ve caused a breakdown of epic proportions that could’ve potentially lasted for some ungodly length of time. I feel like I’m retraining my mind, to some degree, and I don’t think I could’ve/would’ve if I hadn’t started this. So, if there’s anyone else out there like me? Finding your equivalent of my PJ? It couldn’t be a bad idea.

I really don’t mind taking the time out of my days for this, knowing all it’s done for me already.

(Also, I just wanted to say that I’m going to be trying VERY hard today to get caught up with responding to comments on here, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to manage it. I have to do some stuff for the cover art and send a few emails along with that. I’ll be trying. Apologies for the length of time. I’m working on it.)

My Immediate Plans . . . (Including an upcoming release)

It’s about time for things to start getting ridiculously busy for me again. It’s not like things ever stop being busy, considering I have (what feels like) fifty million things to do. Sometimes I stop for a few seconds and sort of take stock on everything I’ve got going on book-wise and it usually results in either me shaking my head at myself or *handface*ing.

Many of you (may) know that I’d completely finished writing two separate series before I started a blog. By the time I released Reave, I’d also finished writing a trilogy on top of that. I’m so glad I did things that way because I now have two different story lines I can release from. (We’re not including the first series I wrote, though I have been putting some major thought into getting that releasable. But I’ll admit I haven’t touched it in a couple years and whether or not I’m even capable of getting it releasable is . . . questionable.) So yeah, I’m glad I did things this way. Things got so hectic after releasing the first book and I just don’t have the time for writing that I used to. (To prove my point, I’m still working on finishing up this new series (8). I started on it in February and this has been the longest length of time it’s taken me to get the first drafts finished of something I work on consistently. Again, I’m not including the first series I wrote because I didn’t have a clue in the world as to what I was doing until it was already done. Whether or not I found a clue after the fact is even debatable.)

It gets a bit (a bit is a major under-exaggeration) overwhelming at times, especially because I function best when focusing on one specific thing until it’s finished before moving on to the next. With so many different things (and ‘projects’) going on at once . . . it gets hard. I’m constantly having my attention jerked from one thing to the other then back again. Almost all of it is due to necessity. I’ll want to work on one thing while needing to work on another. (‘Oh. You want to write? Well, that’s too bad. Don’t you remember that you’re trying to get this released? That means you have to work on this again. And when you’re done with that, you should probably go through the rest of the series one more time. When you’re done with that, you should probably go through this other series. Then there’s cover art, and beta-reading, and making changes, and formatting, etc. etc. etc. When all that is done, you can get back to writing.’ . . . . . ‘That’s going to take months.’ . . . . . ‘Yes, it is.’)

That’s the way it goes . . . roundabout. (Not to mention social stuff.)

Anyway, it’s one of those times again, for the focus-shift.

Book 1 of the trilogy? Well, that’s the focus as of right now. I’d planned on releasing it after the third in the Reave Series. (The plan was: RS1, RS2, RS3, T1, RS4, T2, T3) Plans change. Now, it’s: RS1, RS2, T1, RS3, RS4, T2, T3 . . . That’s also subject to change, but as of now, that’s the plan.

If you keep up with my WITW? page, you might know that releasing T1 (or if you’re going by that, S4, B1) was a priority for me. It’s been in the beta-reading phase for a while now. A few days ago, I contacted my cover artist. (Claudia at Phatpuppyart.) We’re going to start working on the cover here shortly. That’s always so exciting.

I’d planned on having everything ready much sooner than what it is, but as I said about plans . . . Well, they don’t always work out the way you intend. They rarely seem to. So many aspects of publishing are totally out of the author’s control, and that’s something that’s taking me a while to (mentally) grasp hold of. I mean, I have all these books ESSENTIALLY waiting to go, but they still need stuff. Many of them still need to go through the beta-reading phase. I wanted to get ahead of this because scrambling before releases is . . . . . . . . not ideal. I’ve scrambled before both of mine so far and it’s horrible. It’s so stressful. Looks like this is going to be another scrambler.

I’m planning on releasing the first in the trilogy around mid-December. As I said the last time I gave a projected release date . . . please do not hold me to that. That’s when it will be put out if I can manage to get it completely ready by that point. I’m definitely going to need some crossed fingers to manage it, so if you have some fingers to spare and some time to waste by crossing them for me . . . that would be great.

I’ve been asked several times about the next in the Reave Series and when it’s going to be released. I unfortunately don’t have a set enough answer for that to give one. If you read my initial post about the piracy of Reave, then you know a lot of that (it taking a while to release these books that are ready) is due to finances. In order to release that one, there needs to be another photo shoot. I’m planning on having the photo shoots for 2 (possibly 3) covers simultaneously, so it’s going to run on the expensive side. (Books 3 & 4, and a possible stand-alone that I nearly have finished (at least the first draft).) Like certain things with time being out of my hands, having enough funds to cover that is totally out of my hands. I’ve spent quite a while cutting back on as much as I possibly can to manage releasing these books, and there’s really only so much that I can do. I really don’t like saying this sort of stuff on here, but it’s the truth. When it reaches the point that I have a more set answer for this and when the others will be released, this will be the first place I share as much (publicly). I really can’t even tell you how badly I wish I could get that fourth book out. Anyway. I wish I had better news in that regard.

BUT. I am excited about releasing from the trilogy. I’m nervous as all get-out about it, but I really am excited. I might blog more in-depth about this sometime relatively soon, so stay on the lookout for that.

So yeah. I might not be on here too often while I’m trying to get this ready. Not saying I won’t be, only that I might not. It all depends on time and whatever busyness is going on at whichever point in it.

Poor Series 8, getting put on the back burner again. I’ll finish that one up eventually.

My first experience with piracy, thus far. (Part Two)

I’m sitting here a few days after the fact still trying to process this. (If you’re just stopping by and don’t have a clue what I’m talking about – or what I will be talking about – you can read my previous post here.) I’ve gone through a pretty wide range of emotions since learning that Reave is being pirated, everything from outright fury to something I can only describe as down. Since putting word out there that this has happened, I’ve realized . . . it happens A LOT more than one would think. I’m not the sort of person that rationalizes bad things happening by saying, “This happens, and that makes it okay.”

I feel worse. It’s, “This happens way too much and it’s so far from okay.”

When most people are sick, they don’t wish for other people to get sick. (Unless you’re the sort of person that laughs maniacally for getting sick-germs all over a person’s face.) Most people don’t wish that.

How I’m feeling a few days after the fact is: Why does this have to happen? Why do we, as people, have to completely disregard others? Just . . . why? (I could also ask, ‘Why are you insisting on sneezing your sick-germs on my face?’)

We aren’t all like that, and I really would still like to believe that most people – when given the choice – will do the right thing. But there’s all this stuff going on everywhere, all this crazy, absolutely horrible stuff with people disregarding the person standing next to them. Worse, people blindly hating the person standing next to them. And for what? Because they’re different? How are we as a culture not past this by now?

I have my opinions on all that, those questions (and more). I have a lot of opinions, and I pretty much always keep mine to myself. I only share my opinions with a few select people who I know can and will respect them or won’t think differently of me because of them.

I don’t ever get opiniony (non-word) on my blog. I talk about work on my blog. But my work getting essentially stolen from me (still having a hard time grasping that) makes this work-related. Roundabout.

My husband started a new job recently. (That’s the adjustment mentioned several entries ago.) He has to deal with people at this new job. Now, my husband is great with people. He’s seriously the nicest person ever. (Not to mention that he’s extremely nice to look at along with that. It’s a conundrum, I know.) He’s so level-headed and relaxed about everything. (I have no idea how he can tolerate me.) Some of the stuff I’ve listened to him say when coming home is . . . . . . . . Well, it doesn’t give me much hope for the future of the human race, I’ll say that.

So I’ve been hearing that. I’ve been walking past when the TV is on the news (which I’ve always tried to avoid due to it inevitably making me unbearably sad). Then I had this happen to me, with the piracy. So there are quite a few pieces of straw on the camel’s back, if you will.

I’m so . . . disappointed.

To me, there’s a major difference between downloading a free book and being the one who steals someone’s work to make it available for those people to download. There’s a difference in that and being the facilitator (site).

There’s a difference between being the stander-by while your friend is pulling their pants down in front of kids (WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!) and being the one who’s doing it. There’s a difference between that and being the person who *tries* to physically assault someone for just doing their job because you decided to be an ass. (Is that literal enough?) (And by the way? *TRYING to physically assault veterans? Yeah . . . probably not the brightest idea ever.) (Can I ask . . . Who is raising these people to be this way?)

I’m not even going to get into what’s going on in the WORLD. But really?


I usually write about this sort of stuff in my books – not these acts, thank god, but human nature. As much as I try to keep my distance from people (DO I NEED TO SAY WHY?), human nature is and will always be nothing short of fascinating to me. But let me tell ya . . . I would so much rather write about it.

Needless to say, I’m having a pretty difficult time trying to find the motivation to interact. I really just want to go into hermit-mode until I’m feeling better. I’m just really down right now, to be honest, and I really don’t like interacting when I’m down. That’s more so because I don’t like putting my stuff on other people than a legitimate desire to be away. If I’m down, I don’t want to drag anyone else there with me because that’s not right. And I always worry that if I try interacting while in that sort of mood, someone will be able to tell and might potentially feel bad right along with me. (Even if it’s just for the minute or two they might be reading whatever.)

I’m also sort of struggling with trying to get book 1 of the trilogy ready for release. I was super excited about it, and for right now? Yeah, kind of hard finding the usual energy in the tank for that.

With as much as I’ve heard this happens after telling about it happening to me, I’m wondering why I haven’t heard more about it. Like I’ve said, I’m extremely hesitant to say much of anything on here (about anything), so I’m wondering if that’s it. Nobody wants to make people angry or whatever. And I know there are the people out there who don’t care. (Exposure is exposure?) Or maybe I’m just missing posts about it. That’s possible. I’m pretty bad about that.

But you know, it’s not strictly the feeling of violation I’m going through. I’m worried. What if this illegal copy of my book has somehow been altered? What if it was messed with, these people download it, and it absolutely ruins my reputation? Is that reaching? Maybe. Do I think it’s a legitimate concern? Yes. There’s no way I could know as much because I’m not putting a virus on my computer (WITH ALL MY WORK ON IT) to find out. It’s possible, isn’t it?

It’s so scary thinking that you can put so much work into something and have it all ruined in an instant. It’s terrifying. That’s why I won’t give out information on upcoming books. I don’t want my ideas stolen. And apparently everything is fair game, right? Someone puts in all the effort and someone else messes it up? Right.

Human nature. *sigh*

I’ve warred with myself on posting this, and I’ll admit I warred with myself on leaving the initial post up. Nobody seems to be talking much about this out in the open, so is it taboo or something? But it’s like I said up top. I don’t believe that something happening or being ‘normal’ makes it okay. And I’m sorry (not sorry), but I’m just not okay with this sort of garbage happening.

We should have the right to say where our work goes and how it goes there. If we want our books to be free? They should be free. If we don’t want them free? They shouldn’t be available for free. (And again, I WILL GIVE OUT FREE E-BOOK COPIES.) That’s not wrong, and it’s not difficult.

I’m not angry at the people who downloaded it. I’m angry at whoever made it available. But ah, the joys of being separated by computer screens. Right?

Anyway. I don’t know what I’m going to do as of now. I might bury myself in writing. I might not. I really want to, just to sort of get my headspace readjusted. So if it takes me a while to get back with anyone, please don’t be upset with me. I’m trying to work through this. And to any/everyone else this has happened to? I am so sorry. I am genuinely sorry that anyone has had and will have to go through this. I wouldn’t wish this feeling or experience on anyone. We all work so hard.

I think we should all learn to cover our mouths when coughing/sneezing. Just saying.


(I had to go back into the previous post to clear one thing up where I was talking about my email address and spam. I just wanted to make sure I was being clear about it to ensure it wasn’t taken the wrong way.)

My first experience with piracy, thus far.

I’m trying to process my feelings right now, and I’ll admit . . . I’m struggling with it. I’m also trying to figure out whether it’s ironic that only yesterday I read an article about someone’s opinions on the piracy of books and thought, ‘Hey, chick. I’m totally in agreement with you on this.’ Then I disregarded it (mentally) and moved on. (I’d link to the post if I still had it up or remembered whose site I read it on.)

So yeah, if you haven’t guessed by the title of this post, Reave is being pirated. Every so often I do searches for it and I’ve never found anything like this. I altered the search slightly today and that popped right up.

I’m . . . upset. I try to keep my opinions to myself, especially with issues that are bound to get someone all riled up about something or other (which is pretty much anything), but yeah, I’m not going to do that right now. I am genuinely upset, and I’m going to explain why. When I explain why, it’s going to sound rather similar to what I read yesterday. It probably won’t sound as great because I’ll admit that my hands are shaking and being as upset as I am right now is like sticking a screwdriver in the cogs of my brain.

I could get into a massive spiel about how I have not yet made back the money I spent to release one book, let alone both of them. I could get into that. I could get into how unbelievably difficult it is to do this financially, and do it in the way that I feel is right (which is by not putting out crap, which takes a significant amount of money that is not easy to come by). Believe you me, I could get into that thoroughly. I could get into how unbelievably frustrating it is to have all these books essentially waiting to be released, and to be unable to do so DUE TO FINANCES. Let me tell you that one of the most amazing feelings in the world is when someone enjoyed one of your books and wants to read the next one badly enough that they ask you about it. What’s NOT so great is having to say, “I’m sorry. I don’t know when I can get that next one out. I’m trying as hard as I can.”

Yeah. I could get into that. Past what I’ve said just now? I’m not going to.

What I AM going to get into is this:

Did you know I’ll give out free e-books of Reave? Yeah, I’ll do that. I’ll give out free e-books in exchange for a review. Send me a message on GoodReads. Send me a message on Facebook. Send me an email. Comment on my blog. Believe me, I’d be more than happy for you to contact me directly and express genuine interest in my book, then I’ll send it to you so you can read it. You get a free e-book. I potentially get more exposure (which IS most important to me). You leave a review, and other people who might’ve been on the fence about my book(s) might be able to decide one way or another. You might love my book and tell all your friends and family about it. You might love my book and tell me, which is seriously one of the most fantastic things ever. When you’re struggling to follow your dreams and start your career? Yeah, hearing that helps. It keeps you fighting through all the struggles. It gives you validation for what you’re doing, and when you’re constantly struggling to feel like you’re good enough to do what you’re doing? You have no idea how much the one sentence of ‘I loved your book’ can do.

It can do a lot.

I actually wrote up a post about two weeks ago to tell everyone that I had every intention of taking Reave off Smashwords in order to enroll it in Select (on Amazon) SO THAT I COULD DO THE PROMOS TO MAKE IT FREE FOR CERTAIN DAYS. I didn’t end up posting it due to that adjustment I wrote about last week. I was thinking I’d wait a little while. I just got the first book in the trilogy back from the first beta-reader and I needed to get that ready to send off to the next. So I just needed a bit of time to fit it in.

Let me assure you that exposure has been my biggest goal from the get-go with this. I get it, people. I’m a new author. If you haven’t read my books, you might be hesitant to spend the money and take a chance on me. There’s a stigma with self-publishing and you know what? That stigma with self-publishing is often justified. How do you know if I had a professional editor? How do you know whether my book is going to be riddled with errors? YOU DON’T, AND I GET IT. Let me just add here that I did not self-publish due to an inability to land an agentI self-published so that I could keep all rights to my work, and to ensure that what was put out was what I wanted put out. Full stop.

But I’ve seen some self-published books that make me want to pull my hair out. I have. So please believe me when I say that I get it.

My willingness to give away free copies of my book is not because I think it isn’t worth being paid for. It’s because I understand. It’s also because I have the faith that my work can stand on its own feet. Given that I have QUITE A FEW BOOKS to release, I’m more than happy to throw one of them out there. Sure, some people will hate it. That’s inevitable because not everyone likes the same stuff. That’s just preference. But the thing is? If I give out a free copy of Reave, someone might love it. Someone might love it enough that they’ll want to read every book I put out. It’s insane to me, but it’s happened so I know it can happen. Am I losing there by giving out a free book? No, I don’t believe so.

So you might be wondering why this upsets me at all, right? If exposure is most important, if the readers are what matter, why would this upset me?

I’ve put literal blood (cut my hand open on a binder while editing), literal sweat (I write in a shed and an AC in the summer out here doesn’t work as well as one would hope, and that’s not even getting into what it’s like in the winter), and literal tears (I cry while writing/editing quite often) into my work. Just like so many other authors out there. I’ve worked my ass off for years now trying to fortify the foundation of something before starting to build it. My workaholic tendencies (if it/they could be called ‘tendencies’) have damaged more than one relationship in my life. What I’m saying is: The work is most important to me. I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile here, and the goal is to potentially make some sort of difference. I can’t accomplish that if I’m not focused on the work.

So seeing my work on some seedy, backwoods channel that set off the antivirus on my computer? Equate that to seeing your daughter standing on street corner doing I’m sure you can guess what. My books are like children to me. They are, and the street corner thing is how I’m feeling right now. (Along with feeling like there’s a line of people with their middle finger up in the air in my direction sounding off a chorus of, “F*** you, C.”)

Disregarding the ratio of pirated copies to legitimately bought copies . . . All you people who downloaded it?

Yeah, you could’ve just asked me for a copy. Just saying.

And so there’s no confusion?

Here is my Facebook account: C. Miller on Facebook

Here is my GoodReads account: C. Miller on GoodReads

Here is my email address: Email Address (Yes, that is a photo of my email address. Clicking on it will not send me an email. Call me crazy, but I’m just really not feeling like dealing with spam today.)


Here’s to hoping I can get this taken down swiftly and that any free copies of my work given out will be my choice, as it should be.

(Yes, I know this sort of thing happens. Knowing it happens does not make my feelings on it happening to me irrational or invalid in any way.)

** I’m coming back to this a bit after the fact to add a few things. (Along with taking out one somewhat passive-aggressive remark.) Some of the anger (and similar emotions) . . . it’s worn off a little. Now I’m mostly upset, like legitimately sad/down-upset. Here are the things I want to add:

  • Please, people, respect the hard work of authors and other artists. Some people put their work up for free on sites, or do free promos, or give out free copies. Some people don’t ever do any of that. Please respect their wishes for their work, whatever those wishes may be. I like to think that most people wouldn’t walk into a store and take something simply because they want it. This is the exact same thing. If someone doesn’t want to give out a free product, that is their decision.
  • This is a smidgen bigger than I initially thought. I’m still trying to figure it all out. Doesn’t help that my antivirus keeps getting set off. But I don’t have a clue what any of this stuff is or anything about any of the sites. Working on it.
  • I’m kind of internally warring with myself on this. (Though don’t get me wrong, that sucker is coming down off the sites if it’s the last thing I do. Because I did not put it there.) I guess some people wanted to read my book, right? And that’s good. It really is good, yeah. And you know what? If this was actually impacting anything in a positive way? I just might have left it where it was despite how gross I feel about it. (Not saying I would, only that I would’ve thought about it.) But the truth is that it isn’t. There hasn’t been an influx of reviews or ratings anywhere. There hasn’t been an influx of sales. I’d be totally happy with ratings/reviews (even a sentence, if that’s all someone had to say) and a bit of word of mouth. So if anyone who downloaded a copy of my book off some random site I didn’t put it on is actually reading this? I genuinely hope you enjoyed it. I do. If you did? Tell your friends/family. When/if you do so, it would be super great if you could direct them to one of the legal avenues of obtaining my book. If you seriously cannot afford to spend the $2.99 (less than an order at Starbucks, just saying) to obtain my book legally? LET ME KNOW.
  • I feel like I have a lot more I could say, but I’m seriously just upset and can’t decide if I want to go inside and get away from all this or bury myself in writing and get away from all this.

(Coming back WELL after the fact to clear one thing up. Looking back at this post now and seeing the bit where I give out my email, I’m realizing that could potentially be taken the wrong way. I wasn’t saying that I don’t want to get emails from actual PEOPLE. I was talking about ACTUAL spam, which is much more likely to happen by just typing my email address out. Just wanted to be clear.)