July 11, 2016

Why Publish? Facing Some Hard Truths

This post is coming a little late in the day. There are many reasons, including some health issues and the fact that I've been fighting with Ingram Spark—again—to get correctly printed copies of my latest book. I always question how much of the "real" world to share here on my blog, how big a window to open for you all into my life, including into my life as an author.

We're so often taught that any "negativity" will only come back to haunt us, whether it's admitting our weaknesses or addressing a less-than-stellar experience. It's a big part of why I stayed mostly quiet about my time with GMMG. (And no, that's not what this post is about; for me, that's all ancient history.)

At the same time, we're advised to be honest, genuine, and vulnerable. I try to focus on the first two, giving you all a glimpse behind the scenes and sharing all the excitement without going too far into all the anxiety, and heartbreak, and feelings of failure. Today, for better or for worse, is different.

I've published 3 novels in 10 months (August 2015–June 2016), independently. I've spent a significant amount of both money and time to make that happen. One of my novels (Mortal Musings) is up for an award, which is incredibly exciting (and nerve-wracking, since the results will be announced Wednesday). But readers aren't buying it. My other novels aren't doing so well either, with my latest release, Tasting Temptation, doing the worst of them all in terms of sales, though personally I think it's my best to date. I'm not kidding or exaggerating, folks: it's sold fewer than 15 copies total so far.

I've always known I was terrible at marketing, so I've tried hiring companies to do it for me or paying for ads, as much as I could afford. Those seemed to do as poorly as my own attempts. So lately I've had to confront the question of why I publish my work, as opposed to just writing it and letting it go. Why spend months torturing the draft into something readable and then something decent and then something (hopefully) enjoyable? Why spend hours agonizing over marketing decisions, and cover design ideas, and how to pay for it all?

And part of the answer is that I'm a perfectionist, but the real reason is: you. Readers. And yet the hardest thing for me has been simply getting my books read. So I'd like to try something new, just for those of you who read my blog.

A limited number of copies of Tasting Temptation are available for free right here—first come, first served. All you have to do is click on the link and choose your format. Fair warning: this book contains explicit scenes; please do not download it if that makes you uncomfortable.

I'm truly only doing this because I hope you'll enjoy this book. I'd really appreciate if, after reading it, you'd take the time to leave your honest review. I am toying with the idea of a reviewer appreciation giveaway to come (I'd love your thoughts in the comments on that one). If you have other budget-friendly ideas you think may help, I'd appreciate hearing those too.

Regardless, I will be taking a brief break from publishing for the foreseeable future (at least several months). Partially, this is because I need to have time to work on the actual writing and revising that precedes the publishing, and partially because I have a lot of thinking to do. I don't have any plans to stop blogging, however, and regardless of anything, there are festivities planned for Mortal Musings' anniversary in August. I hope you'll join me.

Thanks as always for reading!


  1. Thank you for the refreshingly honest post, Aria. I'm one of the 15 who bought your book, and I don't understand why other people aren't scooping it up like crazy! I wonder if something like Patreon might work for you?

    1. Thanks for sharing this post, Jen, and for being a loyal reader! I've thought about Patreon, but I hesitate in part because of how my books do currently. If people aren't willing to pay $3.99 one time, what could possibly convince them to pay more? (since even $1/month ends up being more per year)