I got up out of my chair (and other acts of bravery)

I have to give credit where it is due. My title today refers to my favorite book title ever: She Got Up Off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Moreland Indiana by Haven Kimmel. Not only is the title hysterical but it also reminds me that what might look like an everyday act to others might be a huge act of bravery for someone else.

I did one of those acts this weekend. I went to an author convention. That in itself is an act of bravery because you have to announce to the world that you consider yourself an author. Then I got really crazy–like way out of my comfort zone, felt-like-I-might-puke-while-I-did-it crazy. I got up out of my chair and passed out my homemade business cards to the other authors. It was one of those acts that looks like nothing to everyone else, but it was so much more.

I gave them to people who had made the NY Times and USA Today best seller lists. I gave them to writers who have been working in the industry for over twenty years and those who have published multiple books. I announced that I considered myself one of them. It was unnerving, but it was huge. I almost fell over in shock when one writer said she had read my books and liked them. Mind blown. 

It was at this convention that I finally wrapped my head around the idea that I have started my own business and that the product I’m selling is me. I realized its time for me to come out of my introvert cave, woman up, and truly jump into the arena. I’ll never grow as a writer or business owner if I keep trying to skirt the edges and only dip my toe in the shallow end.

I’m not exactly sure what this new, braver me is going to do with all my new-found marketing knowledge yet. I’m still sorting through the mountain of gems I gathered. But I’m excited. And I feel so much less alone! I made some wonderful connections–writers from my hometown, writers in my genre, writers in the same place I am in the publishing timeline, just writers in general who get the ups and downs of creating something then throwing out to the world to be loved and/or judged.

I’m flying home tomorrow and I’m already itching to get started on…something. I want to write and connect with readers and stay connected with other writers. I want to figure out my goals so I can reach them. I want to share this excitement and knowledge.

The name of the retreat was “Pay It Forward” and that is one of my goals. I’m so blessed to be part of an industry where we truly don’t compete with each other. A book sale for me does not equal one less for someone else. In fact it’s the opposite. It’s an industry that grows by referrals to each other.

I got up off my chair only a few hours ago but I already feel different. It was such a small act but it changed me. Once I crossed that line I couldn’t go back (and that’s a good thing.) I’m not the wallflower with a purse full of unused business cards anymore.

Your Post-Party Gift

So many of you stopped by my new author home last week to check the place out. I know we ran out of hors d’oeuvres early and I should have stocked more Everclear to go in the slushies. I just never dreamed that so many of you wanted to get to know me and the characters from my books better.  

I feel bad that I couldn’t get around and get a chance to talk to everyone. I also had a talk with my couples about focusing more on our readers and less on disappearing into closets and locked rooms with each other.  (What can I say, they’re young and in love.) We’d like to make it up to you and give you a way to stay connected to all of us plus Vivienne and her crew that will be arriving later this year. Starting today I am offering my complete character interviews with both Steve and MG from Popstars, Friends & Lovers: a dreamer’s tale as a free gift. If you loved the book or are interested in reading it these interviews will give you insight into the things that made MG and Steve who they are; their families and the big events in their lives that happened before they met. 

Everyone who signs up for my author newsletter will receive a free copy of the interviews. You will also get advance notification on future publishing dates with a special reduced price on new books that will be only for subscribers. In addition I will be sending out more character interviews as I create new books. What you won’t get is any junk email from me and I will never share or sell my list. I cherish my readers and respect their privacy. 

So swing by my author website again today and enter your email address in the box on the front page. I’ll send you the interviews via email so be looking for them. (If you don’t see them by the next day, check your junk mail folder then add me to your approved address list.) Then you can mix up a cocktail, put your feet up and spend some more time with two of your favorite friends and lovers.

P.S. In case last week is still a blur and you can’t remember the address: KarenGordonAuthor.com

Swing By My Place

I have a place! My very own place. And it’s decorated and full of cool stuff. I want to invite the world, literally the world, to come over and see it. So, swing by my place today–here’s the address: KarenGordonAuthor.com

I can’t tell you how excited I am to have my own place. Not only is it THE place to get information about my current books, but I will also be updating it with information about my work-in-progress, The Vivienne Series, as it develops. 

For readers interested in getting emails from me when I release a new book, there’s a place to sign up for my email list. Starting next week I will also be offering some coolio extras to anyone who joins the list. 

If you click on the “Upcoming” tab you will get a little more insight into Vivienne. I’m already two chapters into creating the first novella in this series so I should be on schedule to release all eight books at once later this year. (binge reading, anyone?)

Finally, I want to give a shout out to the phreaks at DIGIphreak Designs who created my webpage for me. They are a new team that is looking to work with more self-published authors so they are priced to be indie-author budget friendly. You can find them at DIGIphreakDesigns.com.

Alright, party at my place! See you there…