Storm vs lull = success

The storm called RUSSIAN MOJITO has ended. The lull has arrived, allowing me to catch my breath and attend to all the housekeeping chores that built up while my brain was whirling with MOJITO. The modern do-it-yourself author has a never-ending to-do list related to marketing, social media, learning about the publishing industry, and so on. Success means the learning process never stops.

Although the next Emilia Cruz mystery is already percolating and the first chapter was a bonus at the end of RUSSIAN MOJITO, the lull is time to hit the road, looking at the big picture. Time to think about where we’re headed.

Related post: Open Letter to 2019

“Losers have goals. Winners have systems.”

This quote by Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams struck a nerve as I thought about how readers find my books and interact with me. There’s so much sheer noise out there, without an easy way to do things–structure, repeatable processes, checklists, etc.–accomplishment is going to be slower than the roaring wave. And let’s face it, we can easily be swept under the fierce rush.

The Mystery Ahead newsletter is a repeatable process that works. Every other Sunday, the newsletter contains announcements, an exclusive excerpt, and my review of a mystery that I’ve read and can recommend.

By keeping to a template, readers always know what to expect. Consistency has created a great sense of connection. Readership is growing swiftly.

Success! But what about everything else?

When in doubt, call an expert

In my case, it’s social media expert Frances Caballo. She’s doing an online audit and hopefully I’ll get some good feedback as to how best to manage my online self. No one wants to come off as bragging or sales-y but social media is a critical way for authors to introduce themselves to today’s online audience.

BTW, Frances is the author of SOCIAL MEDIA JUST FOR AUTHORS and a fellow dog lover.

I’ve also subscribed to {grow}, a blog by THE CONTENT CODE author Mark Schaefer. Anyone who creates content for an online audience has to read this book.

“There is no happiness without action.”

Benjamin Disraeli may not be the most famous British prime minister (Hello, Boris Johnson!) but I found this quote gets to the point. A lull is the perfect time to plan, prep and get ready for the next storm.

Happiness comes from a state of growth, as Gretchen Rubin discovered in THE HAPPINESS PROJECT. Blogger and author Mark Manson knocked it out of the park when he wrote that happiness comes from solving problems in THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F*CK.

This lull was the time to do the UNTHINKABLE.

Yes, I got a NEW LAPTOP! Lots of horsepower and a bigger screen. New versions of Word and Photoshop.

My ancient Sony (does Sony even make laptops any more??) laptop crashed if I accessed my website. Microsoft kept warning that its version of Windows was going to be mothballed. But in 7 years across 3 different countries, I wrote 7 novels, half a dozen short stories, and over 200 blog posts on that mighty little machine.

The next storm starts soon.

It’s called NARCO NOIR: Detective Emilia Cruz Book 8.

Are you in a storm or a lull?

2 Comments

  1. Bryan Fagan

    I just came across your blog and your books. Such an amazing life you lead. So impressed. Just wanted to stop and say hi. I’m also checking out some of the links you provided.

    I am a new author learning the ropes. So much to learn but it’s fun.

    Reply
    • Carmen

      Brian, thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. Today’s publishing industry is complicated but fascinating. Good luck!

      Reply

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CARMEN AMATO

Mystery and thriller author. Retired Central Intelligence Agency intel officer. Dog mom to Hazel and Dutch. Recovering Italian handbag addict. 

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