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So, I’m toiling away on the last bits of Canticle of Destruction, the third installment of the Songs of Atlanitis YA fantasy series. I put dragons in my first fantasy series (called them fflorin) and figured, what the heck, might as well put dragons in this series. I like ‘em. So do others. In they go. But of course, they have to be part of a historical twist within the story arc and coincide with the previous books. Check. Check.

Anyway, the last six months have thrown my goals off track due to involvement with a friend’s estate and collaborating with her writing. Won’t do that again. Doing so proved painfully illustrative and validated a set of rules my critique partner, Judy Post, aka Judi Lynn, and I have learned to our cost. Rule Two—which comes after the sacred Rule One of writing one’s tushie off every day—is never, EVER let up on promoting your own work. I did for the last months, spending more time elsewhere, but always managing to get some writing done. Still, I dismally failed at Rule Two: promote and advertise your work until you die. Or lie bleeding out on the floor.

The year started off great with a fabulous bounce from an ad on BookBub for the regency series written as Julia Donner. Yes, I do the no-no of writing under more than one name. Here comes the whine: I gotta do more than one genre!

Fortunately, and blessedly, as writers in this day and present industry construct, we no longer have to line up under the sign that says writers MUST follow a formulaic code of composition. Of course, that outdated rule must be observed if one is signed with a traditional publisher. (Shoulder shrug here.) That’s a given, but writers now have a wide range of choices. Whether we go with the traditional publishing path or not, we all have to promote ourselves. The days of book junketing is pretty much dead and gone, unless your agent has signed you for a million buck deal with a clause that clearly states the publisher will provide this. Ergo, Rule Two (hence known as the Eleventh Commandment) is not to be forgotten, never ignored. I did to my cost, my sales sagged, and now I’ve got to get back on board the advertising express.

At the end of the month, I hope to have that new YA fantasy up and live on Amazon and two (yes, count them, two) campaigns running. This means (insert dramatic groan) I have to scour pages and pages of advertising ideas. As writer and playwright friend, Rachel Roberts has expressed, it’s not easy to toot one’s own horn. Can’t agree more. I’ve endured  the disappointment of three declines from BookBub in the last months. Have to wait for a while to resubmit, but in the interim, look out Twitter, here I come.

Wrapping up, publicizing one’s work is wicked heart-wrenching—a hair-pulling, out- loud wailing, and lying-on-the-floor-heel-kicking endeavor. But it’s the only way to sell the books we’ve sweated blood and rained tears on the keyboard to bring to life. So bring on the dragons and burn up the procrastination tactics. Your work and what you have to say is worth it.

While we’re on the subject of horn-tooting, Judi Lynn’s latest installment of the delicious Mill Pond Romance series, Love on Tap, is now available for presale. Please take a looksee on Amazon, Face Book or her webpage: