|May the Fourth be with You...|
ALL SYSTEMS GO! (First posted May 4th, 2011)
May the ‘Fourth’ Be With You!
Sorry. I couldn’t resist. After all, it is Luke Skywalker Day.
First, let me introduce myself—my name is Sharon Ledwith and I write young adult fiction. My genres include: time travel mysteries (kind of like a mesh of fantasy with a splash of sci-fi meets Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys), as well as paranormal stories where teens deal with psychic powers like psychometry, telekinesis, animal communication—stuff like that.
My intention of this blog is to:
#1 Get you to know me as a writer, and post my experiences as an indie publisher of eBooks.
#2 Introduce and showcase my stories and characters.
In a nutshell—market myself and promote my work.
That’s it really. You see, writing is all about the reader. My goal is to influence and empower today’s youth—the next generation—through the stories I create. I believe everyone is here at this time with a mission and a purpose, and every child has something to add to our evolutionary advancement. Children truly are the keys to our future. It is my hope to unlock this portent.
Wow! To be honest, I was so afraid when I started blogging and putting myself out in cyber-space. Reading my first post over again, I realize that I’ve come a long way in my writing journey. Back in 2011, I didn’t have a publisher and was still querying agents and publishers. This blog and my Facebook account was the beginning of my online presence, and I really felt like a fish out of water. But I kept blogging and posting on Facebook. I learned to share interesting and helpful posts for other authors as a way of connection. I figured out what works for me and what doesn’t—still an ongoing process, I must admit! And I continue to work on my author brand and platform through blogging and networking with other authors, readers, publishers, and bloggers.
I’ve also gotten better with time. Go figure. My intention has changed a lot since that first blog post. I’m much more confident and tech savvy then I was. Now I’m a published author, and represented by a literary agency. I’ve also learned to adapt to my environment, and go with the flow through the ups and downs of the publishing industry. So what have I learned in the last four years? In grand Oprah-like fashion, I’d like to share with you what I know for sure:
· I’ve realized that I do NOT want to be an indie publisher, but rather be part of a publishing company. I’m more of a team player and had to figure that out for myself. I like having the support of a publisher behind me. Plus I didn’t have to look for, and invest in an editor, cover artist, and book formatter.
· I’d rather write blogs that uplift or help authors and readers.
· I love showcasing middle grade and young adult authors and their books and/or series on my blog for readers to find.
· I enjoy doing Goodreads Giveaways. I’ve connected with so many readers this way!
· Book blog tours are exhausting. I’ve learned to delegate blog tours to the professionals whenever possible!
· Trying to fit into other authors’ shoes is painful and unproductive. Stand in your truth.
· I can only be one place at a time. Too many social media accounts = too many distractions and not enough writing time. I decided to stick with Facebook, get on Twitter, join Google+ and Goodreads, and occasionally share on LinkedIn. That’s it!
· I blog every Monday. I used to do it twice a week, but couldn’t keep up. I’ve learned being consistent keeps you out there and creates an audience.
· I’ve learned to develop a positive mental attitude. Trust me, a PMA will keep you afloat on the days you just want to throw in the towel.
· I’ve learned from other authors. Success leaves clues. Follow the clues.
· Finally, I’ve learned that writing is both a business and a passion. It requires wearing two different hats. You need to juggle these hats if you want to be a successful author.
|Where the Magic Happens...|
I still believe writing is all about the reader. And I still hope to influence, uplift, and empower through my books. My personal motto is: I write to make people’s lives better, create something of value to make them smile. May the fourth be with you, everyone! Cheers!