Thursday, February 2, 2017
Limbo-Land or Call Me Chicken by Jannine Gallant
I've been trying to figure out what to blog about for days...and failed miserably. So I asked myself why and realized there are topics I want to talk about but can't...or won't.
Let's start with the elephant in the room...politics. I have strong opinions, and I've occasionally left fairly moderate and reasoned comments on real-life friends' and other authors' Facebook and blog posts. BUT, I don't post anything related to the topic on my own wall. It's not that I don't have confidence in my convictions, but I look at writing as a business. Sure, I have personal friends on FB, but I'm also there to connect with readers. Authors are flat out alienating people with their strong political presence, which tells me they care more about their beliefs than selling books. I applaud them and hope they can make their voices heard. But I've also unfollowed a few. And, I've noticed that most of the bigger names who actually make a living from their craft avoid the topic. Call me a coward, but I don't want to piss off readers. I also have to wonder how publishers feel about the situation. They're in it to make money, too, and can easily throw their support behind the authors on their team not stirring up controversy. I want that support.
So, while we're talking about taboo subjects, let's toss money into the arena. Authors almost never talk about how much they make (or don't make) from their writing. Maybe because it was ingrained into us at an early age that it's bad manners. Maybe because we feel it's no one's business. Honestly, when I was new to the game, I was under the naive impression I would actually make a living writing books. (You can all stop laughing now!) I still think small presses (and even the bigger ones) should warn newbies not to quit their day jobs. Not necessarily to discourage them from writing, but to at least give them a reality check so they don't have unrealistic expectations. Perhaps after a while, most of us quit focusing on the "making a living" aspect of the business. And in a way, that allows us more freedom to say what we want and not care how it's perceived. But with print releases looming on my horizon, I'm not ready to let go of the fantasy where I actually earn a living from my craft. It's quite possible I'm delusional, but there you have it. This is why those contracts should come with warning labels!
And speaking of my first mass market print release not due out until March of 2018, I just got my cover for BURIED TRUTH. I can't share it yet, but I'm super excited about it. One more thing I couldn't blog about! LOL See, I told you. Limbo-Land when it comes to appropriate topics.
I also have a new release due out the end of this month, WILDE THING. But since I don't want to bore you on that topic yet, I'll just post a cover photo (since I'm allowed to share it) and leave you with the promise of more to come soon.
So, now that you all know I'm a chicken (but maybe a smart one), we can debate why I crossed the road. Hopefully that won't upset any readers...
You can find info on all my books on my WEBSITE. Thanks for dropping by.
Posted by Jannine Gallant at 12:01 AM
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
First, that is my favorite Wilde cover. Loved the book too. Oops! Am I allowed to say that? ;-) politics? Hmmmm. No comment, except to say there's a time and place for it and this isn't it! Ah, yes, the money trap. I so remember opening my first royalty statement with such high hopes. I guess that means we write for love of the craft, the process, sure not the return. Not to say making a living at it is impossible - you're starting to be proof of that. May the good times, and works, continue.
Jannine, I'm clucking along with you. I have strong opinions as well, but aside from being an author, I work for a news organization in my "real life." Many readers will call, rant for a bit, then ask my opinion. I can easily and truthfully tell them I can't discuss my personal viewpoint, but if they want to read the paper's stand, they can check the editorial pages. As an author, it's easier to avoid because no one is calling me asking my opinion! Hahahaha. I've never been one to jump into public controversy, and Facebook is becoming a cesspool of anger to the point I'm starting to avoid it. As far as the money, one of the RWA chapter meetings I went to, one of the published authors told me she was getting royalty checks of 25 cents, every 3 months. Then another who wrote erotica told me she was getting big money. I'm not sure what that says about the industry, other than sex sells? At least it did back then! Great non-topics, Jannine. I can't wait for the new Wilde book, and for your new mass market reveal. You go!
Jannine, the only hot spots you didn't cover were religion and the other elephant in the room, Amazon. Maybe later. The days of women keeping to themselves what they earn should be over. We're still only earning $.79 to the men's dollar and that happened because employers bullied workers to keep their salaries to themselves. You've heard the controversies about the politics on ratings...which is tied to how much money authors make. I wish all that were out in the open so we could see what's going on in the business. On the political front, my sense is that since there is a gap between the two voter halves, that gap will remain unless the two halves start talking...I mean serious talk with leaders who bridge the gap. It might not be pretty, but it has to happen, along with finding ways to help people manage the effects of technology and globalization.
All this to say, you're feeling what everyone is...uncomfortable because we've got some work to do that we've never had to do before. I'm still defining how I'll move ahead in these troubled times
Margo, it's my favorite of the three, too. Maybe because the models actually look like how I pictured the characters. Yes, we write for love (but a decent royalty check sure wouldn't hurt!).
Leah, so you have the double whammy. No talking about it in real life, either! I don't think erotica dominates as much as it used to for a while there. And that, IMO, is a good thing!
Rolynn, I agree leaders need to talk and listen and work out solutions. However, they don't--on either side. Because everyone thinks their side is the right one (or they're heavily invested so stick to their guns--sorry about the pun!). As for everyone on FB shouting their beliefs, what good does it do? You're either preaching to the choir or making people who won't change their minds angry. I think it will take people being negatively affected personally to change their stance. As sad as that it.
Congrats on Wilde Thing. I know it will be fun.
As for being a chicken, all I can say is "cluck, cluck, cluck." I, too, post political comments on friends' walls but never my own. I'm not so worried about offending readers, because I'm not sure I really have any on FB. I just don't want to invite the kind of rabidly nasty responses I've seen to others' comments. I hate confrontation. It's bad for my physical and mental health and never changes anything. However, I will admit I don't feel all sunshiny and perky a lot of the time these days, either, so I stick to my nature photos. I'm lucky enough to live in a place that soothes me every time I go outside.
I agree 100%, Alison. Yeah, nature does smooth out the rough edges in life. Maybe not Tahoe nature right now, however. My husband is on day two of roof shoveling. I don't think he's feeling very soothed right now. LOL
Loved the blog and loved reading the comments. I've felt like such a cop out, not speaking out strongly on FB even though I believe we should use that particular social media for fun and business. I do get so riled that I want to spew and rant, but where? Am I not being true to my beliefs by mostly keeping quiet on FB. I do comment on others posts if I see them, but wow, I can't even spend much time there anymore. But I want to attract readers not dislike me. I know people who won't read books (no matter how good the story is) or go see a movie (not matter how great it is) because of an opinion that author or actor stated. So...I'm calling and emailing my senators and trying to forget there is all that hatred on FB. Make a living? My goal is to make enough to send me traveling a few times a year.
The division in our country is pretty wide and nasty. I've tried being middle of the road on FB, appealing to people's better angels. Evidently those angels have flown the coop for many. At times I hate that I can't voice my true opinions, too. I also have that right. But I also want to sell books. So I cluck my thoughts to Calvin.
As for making a living from writing, this was the first year I made more from it that I did from Social Security, but then we're talking Social Security so...yeah... I mention it not in a bragging way, but because it will probably never happen again. For me, it was a banner year. I couldn't survive off of it, but my granddaughter's wedding and grandson's tuition got a little help from it, which pleased this grandma.
I hear you, Brenda, about the people dropping books/movies over political views. Kind of off topic, but I saw posts about that new dog movie (can't remember the name) telling people not to go see it because of cruelty on the set. Tons of people immediately said they wouldn't. Then a few days later, I saw a follow up piece that showed most of the "bad" clips were pieced together and didn't show the true situation. So, without all the facts from both sides, people made decisions to not see a movie. Many are quick to judge. I've worn out my fact check site trying not to give credence to posts before I check to see if something is true or not. The false news only leads to more outrage and arguments and divisiveness.
Good for you, Vonnie! I had a couple of advances in 2016 that really helped my bottom line. 2017 won't be so great, I fear. I won't know if I earned back those advances until 2018/2019, so that will be the true indicator of any financial success for me. It seems like a long time away...
Like you, Jannine, I've avoided politics--until my post here on immigration. I felt so strongly about that issue I HAD to write. On social media, I'll add a comment to a post that I feel strongly about. I try to do so in a respectful manner. I hate confrontations. One of my sisters and a brother have super strong political views that are opposite my own. With them, I avoid any talk of politics. I have to in order to maintain peace in the family. That means more to me than trying to get them to change, which won't ever happen. LOL
Money. What money? LOL When I first started consistently earning money from writing, I asked our financial planner if he needed to know anything about it. His answer: not until I earned more than my social security. No need to talk with him yet about that. You go, Vonnie. That is super. Like many of you, I was taught that how much I make is nobody's business. I won't answer that question on demographic forms. Nobody's business.
It's my most hated thing about the Internet, Jannine. If it's on the Internet, people will believe it. No fact checking. So many causes and people have been impacted negatively.
Diane, it's best to stay away from politics at family gatherings. It seems like we're back in the Civil War era with so many families divided on the subject!
I'm a fact check fiend, Brenda! I agree tons of people are impacted every day, from immigrants to minorities to women to people living in areas with few employment opportunities, but until it hits home personally, many won't believe it's happening. I'm guilty of shaking my head over all the stuff I see about the economy being in the crapper. Maybe it is for some people, but in Tahoe, the ski areas are begging for workers and construction is booming again. No one who wants a job isn't working. I have to try to remember that all areas aren't prospering. Just like people who don't see prejudice and injustice in their circle deny it exists. We all need to be more willing to look at the other side.
A well-known romance author is on my blog at the moment with a piece about japanese Internment during WWII. I have no idea what her politics are, but a couple of the comments have touched on similarities between then and now, and one was positively outspoken. I looked at that last, torn between deleting it and letting it go. In the end, I left it. Despite being brought up never to discuss sex, politics or religion, here we are romance writers pretty much dealing in sex. Part of me wants to say, why not politics? the other half believes romance writing is not the place...
Andrea, good point. LOL I hadn't even thought of sex as one of those taboo subjects. I guess we all pretty much broke out of the traditional mold when we chose to write romance! I'll admit I went to your site to check out the comment. A bit strident, but nothing that'll make people back away from your blog. Yes, there are a lot of forceful opinions being expressed lately!
Great post, Jannine. Like you, and most of us it seems, I avoid politics on social media. For me it's a business platform and remaining out of the political fray does not makes us cowards in my opinion. On the contrary. If you are anything like me, it takes a lot of self-control to keep your mouth shut. But, there are endless books out there. I am less likely to purchase a book from an author who has demonized people for having a different opinion. That's human nature, and readers are human, after all. I guess it comes down to what one uses places like FB for. If the goal is to gain exposure for one's brand, pissing off half your potential client base doesn't seem like a wise business decision to me.
Besides, talking about sex and hot guys is so much more fun. :-)
I totally agree, Mac. Let's stick to posting memes of hot guys. LOL
Heck of a great blog post, considering you didn't know what to write about. I agree about politics. I try to steer clear, but I also have strong opinions. I am not going to alienate readers OR friends just for the satisfaction of stating my opinion. SO happy for you on the print book deal...yay you!!
Thanks for stopping by, Ally. You're right. Stating our opinions is mostly for our own satisfaction because we aren't changing anyone's mind...
Post a Comment