Expectations and The Wrong Words On The Page

I canceled the pre-order for The Billionaire’s Heiress. All of you know that by now. Some of you have emailed me about it and I appreciate your understanding.

The book wasn’t ready. The words were all wrong. I hated the characters. And I hated the circles I’d written, revised, edited, and re-written myself into. I wouldn’t put out a book that I hated.

There are penalties, of course. Loss of readers who might have wanted to try my work. The loss of pre-order privilege at Amazon for a year. Both hurt. Both I can do nothing about.

I scrapped the book and started over. It’s different, but the same. It’ll be more what I wanted it to be in the first place before I lost my way.

I tried to fix it. I couldn’t. I was in tears when I finally accepted the mess and disappointment and failure. I can on fix what I feel something for and I felt nothing for the book as it was. I had expectations that hadn’t been met. And you, my readers had expectations I couldn’t meet. Not your fault. Mine.

Self publishing is a hard thing and filled with realizations that I am just recently coming to understand. It’s harder now to be found, to be seen. It’s harder to up the ante and harder not to compare my lack of sales and income against those racking it all up in the thousands to ten thousands each month.

There’s the expectation to show work, to talk about it, to be on, to share, to giveaway, to create huge buzz… And that’s not me. Before this phase of my publishing career, I didn’t talk or share the books I worked on. It killed the love affair I had with the characters, the story to share it, to talk about it before it was done.

But it’s expected now, necessary even to make the reader salivate and push the buy button.

I set up pre-orders because there was an imposed deadline to meet and it would help me get to the end and offer buffer after the book was finished to start creating that buzz. It didn’t work this time.

I know how I work and I know it’s not going to turn out well when I deviate from it. Even if it is what I’m supposed to do now to get my name out there and start getting my books noticed by readers. Even if it is what everyone else is doing. Even if it is what I should be doing.

The thing is, I want to say those other things work for me. I want to say being on social media and talking about my book a lot works for me. I want to say all the buzz works. I want it so badly. But the truth is, we don’t all work the same and while we all say embrace your individuality, all we’re really doing is creating more boxes to try and fit ourselves or each other in. There dozens of ‘this worked for me and it can work for you too for only 9 payments of $90 courses’. Dozens of tips and tricks and just do it this way guides. The self publishing arm of the publishing industry is becoming a way for people to make money off those struggling to figure it out. It’s the next ‘just follow this one diet and you’ll lose 20lbs in 3 days’ fad. I see it in the newsletters I’m subscribed to, the books, the webinars. And it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

But the truth of the matter is, I work one way and it’s the way I wrote so many books in so little time, books that readers loved. And every now and then, I need a kick in the ass to be reminded of it.

I’m trying to be different by being the same, by wanting to be the same, do the same as those who are successful at this rather than spinning their wheels like I’m doing.

I wanted the Billionaire to be great and I tried too hard, so hard that I broke the book. We all had expectations of me and I failed.

I know what works for me and it’s not the same as what works for others. I know what works for me to finish a book I like and am proud of and it’s not what works for others.

And, that’s where I am now.

~lissa

Author Friday – Cover Reveals, Blurbs, Release Dates

LissaLogoYellow_reasonably_small There are new releases coming up, starting on October 22nd. Three new stories, the second in a series, and one re-release.

There are release dates on all except the re-release and Slide Down On Me. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be updating the website and giving you more information on my new series, Lone Star Sweets. (If you are so inclined, there is a Lone Star Sweets series page on Facebook that I’d love for you to Like)

I do have blurbs and covers for you, some of which you’ve seen, one or two that maybe you haven’t yet… Either way, here you go, in order of release…

 

 

Love and Tattoos, October 22nd…

Love&Tattoos_wlogo_200x300_300dpiA few years ago, Brax traded in his suit and law degree for part ownership in Love and Tattoos and he hasn’t looked back. Inked from head to toe, business smarts, and an affinity for loud music and hard sex, he’s got life right where he wants it.

Until the girl he can’t stop craving comes home.

Annie is lost and unsure how to find her way again. The corporate advertising firm she buttoned up her carefree personality for laid her off six months ago. Now her art is less than inspired, her sex life is nearly dead and buried, and the one thing worth having in the midst of her discontent is off limits.

One afternoon, Brax’s cockiness dares her to believe he knows her better than she knows herself and when he promises he can help her find what’s been missing, she reluctantly agrees to his little game. The challenge he lays out comes with a few strings, the suggestion of stripping, and the temptation of ink… But, they’ve never really been that close. How could she possibly lose?

 

The Cupcake Cowboy, Lone Star Sweets Book 1, November 19th…

CupcakeCowboy200x300Dear Readers,

My name is Jackson Dawson and I am The Cupcake Cowboy. I own and operate a cupcake truck in downtown San Antonio, Texas.

Born and raised on a cattle ranch a few miles outside San Antonio, I can rope, tie, ride, drive, and wrangle with the best of ‘em. It’s what my father does and what his father did before him. It’s what I was supposed to do too, only… I didn’t want it.
One thing you should know up front, is that I’m more stubborn than a mule and when I get something in my head, I don’t let go until I get it done.

You see, when I realized my little sister had a way off the ranch by way of making people happy with our grandma’s sticky buns, well, I figured I could learn a thing or two about food myself. I liked eating and I knew my way around cooking meals so, how hard could baking be?

I soon found out.

I wasn’t cut out for sticky buns. In fact, I was a downright disaster at it. Sam suggested I go to culinary school, see what I might be good at. Turns out it was cakes and cupcakes.
Culinary school is also where I met Cass. She was my Introduction to Pastry Arts instructor and honestly, I wouldn’t have cared what she taught so long as I got to be around her. I was head over heels the second she smiled. Her enthusiasm was a sight to behold and it drew me in like a moth to a flame.

You’ll like her. Cass is a good woman, smart as a whip, knows what she’s talking about, and I didn’t want to listen. Remember? More stubborn than a mule…

And that’s where this book, begins…

Our story will hit the presses November 19th.

Jackson

 

Eli’s Promise, The Bar Next Door Book 2, December 31st…

ElisPromise72webTime and distance have a way of sneaking up on feelings thought long buried.

The Bar Next Door, Book 2

Five years ago, Eli held the hand of his dying lover and made a promise he never intended to keep. Find someone new to love? Be happy? Fat chance. Eli’s happiness died that day. He’s doing well to put one foot in front of the other, much less risk his heart again.

The only thorn in his side is Asa, part-time waiter at The Bar Next Door, who can’t seem to take a hint.

After years of carrying more responsibility on his broad, cowboy shoulders than most people twice his age, Asa knows what he wants when he sees it. Eli. Shadows haunt the gorgeous older bartender, who also happens to be one of Asa’s bosses, but Asa doesn’t care about potential complications. He only wants to banish Eli’s ghosts—and bring Eli back to life.

Persistence, a little impatience, and Asa’s very wicked mouth go to work on Eli’s grumpy, prickly defenses. But Asa may have to block the door to love with his foot—or his heart—before Eli slams it in his face.

Warning: Beware of stubborn cowboys, sticky bar floors and hot sexy showers, eavesdropping cooks and well-meaning friends, Irish whiskey, and a young man who doesn’t understand the word no.

Pre-order Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

 

Slide Down On Me, Release Date Unknown…

slidedownonme_msrSmall town mechanic and tattooed, bad boy Travis keeps his profile low, his needs satisfied outside the city limits, and his business running smoothly. He doesn’t cause trouble and he certainly doesn’t want any, only fallen from grace heiress Arabella Drake owes him money for work on her car. Due to her current circumstances, she can’t come up with the cash needed to pay for repairs.

Their situation requires a creative solution and while Bella desires respectability from her former wild child ways, Travis desires something very different. He offers a proposal, one that will, if not pay for the transmission and labor on her car, satisfy his long held wish to have Bella Drake naked, writhing, and sliding down on every inch of him.

In the new year, you can expect to see the following books:

The Sticky Cowgirl, Lone Star Sweets, Book 2 – January 2014
Exposed, Masked 4 – February 2014
The Tattooed Barista, Lone Star Sweets, Book 3 – March/April 201
Arrested Holiday will be re-released as soon as it becomes available to me from Loose Id. I will keep you updated.

So, if you’re a fan of my work, you have things to look forward to…

~lissa