Battle royale

It’s been a while since I’ve had a legitimate bipolar breakdown, so I guess yesterday’s little panic attack was overdue. Still, it would be nice not to have to go through that at all.

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Yeah….

So the marketing process for Abnormal combined with the marketing workshop that my publisher is running on Facebook combined with general anxiety about the projected success or failure of said book all are working together to create that perfect environment for a bipolar freak-out. Last night was the first of what I hope is a minimal number of said freak-outs.

It all started with the sudden realization that the workshop assignments were leading up to us authors identifying and contacting our top genre influencers about our works.

Wait…I have to find out who the top sci-fi/dystopian/LGBTQ bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, journalists, etc, are, then I have to write out emails asking them to read and review my book or do an interview with me, then I have to send out those same emails? Like, actually send them? To people who have thousands and thousands of followers, who probably already lead busy lives and already get gobs of junk emails with the same type of requests? But–but–but…what if I’m bothering them?

Ah, yeah, there’s that irrationality. There’s the anxiety rearing its ugly head.

Fuck you, anxiety. You ruined my evening yesterday.

Fighting with this type of anxiety is a tough one. I can always go to friends or family or to my husband or my publishers with my unfounded concerns, but I can’t always take their logical, rational advice and apply it to the very much illogical and irrational fear I’m experiencing. The irrational fear eats logic for breakfast, chews it up, and spits it out in a sloppy wet wad on the carpet. I always end up stepping square in that wad. I hate stepping on anything wet, literally or metaphorically.

Why is it so horrifying to have to send out some nice, polite emails requesting consideration for myself and my book? I don’t know. Again, it’s an irrational fear. And no, it’s not the fear of them ignoring my emails or sending rejections–it’s the fear of being a bother. A nuisance. An annoyance.

It was difficult to send email requests to some of my favorite authors asking if they’d be interested in having an Advanced Reader Copy of Abnormal to peruse and maybe write a blurb on. I was terrified of annoying them. Of being viewed as spam–even if it was potentially some random assistant who was handling that day’s particular emails. That is what had me paralyzed yesterday. It’s still got me shaken up a bit, but so far this morning no fountains of tears. So that’s progress, right?

Another stressor to add onto these imaginary stressors is the feeling that I have to get all my marketing done before the September 1 release date–which is now ten days away. Ten. Short. Days. My publisher assures me that’s not the case, that I have the entirety of the series to build upon and market to my fanbase, but the timing of the marketing workshop is not helping. Don’t get me wrong–I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to have such a workshop. It’s just giving me a minor heart attack thinking about all the assignments that are being given with “just ten days” in which to complete the assignments.

Ten days…I’m almost in the single digits.

I had my freak-out. I talked with close friends, with my publisher, with my husband. I whined and moaned and misunderstood the assignments and cried and sobbed and overreacted. I did all the things except stay calm and look at it from a logical standpoint. Logically, the bloggers and vloggers and podcasters and journalists are there to build on their own fanbase, and they (theoretically) welcome the opportunity to read and review something that their fanbase might enjoy. Illogically, they’re going to view me as an overeager spammer nobody who needs to leave them alone.

I’m going to get past this. I’m going to finish this post, search for my genre’s “influencers,” and get started on a template to share in the workshop to eventually turn into emails to said influencers.

It may not be within the next ten days. But I have a whole series to get this done in.

Still, better now than never.

Off I go.

Kicking and screaming, but off I go.

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And then there was one….

Tomorrow, folks! Tomorrow Abnormal gets its big cover reveal, and the preorder link goes live! I am so freakin’ excited!

baby opening present excited gif

Now, if you follow this blog on more than one platform (Facebook, Twitter, whatever in addition to here), you may notice that you’re not seeing this cross-posted. There are a couple of reasons for that. First off, I’m attending an virtual workshop on how to market a book, and surprise! Readers/followers don’t like repeat content. You’ve seen my blog post once; you don’t need to see it over and over again ad nauseum.

Secondly, I actually do check my stats on this blog pretty frequently. Obsessively, even. And I’ve noticed that lately, it’s not Twitter or Facebook that gets the most views for me. It’s WordPress reader. So, my hope is that these still get read even if they’re not in-your-face on every platform.

I’m also going to venture into creating a website for myself. There are going to be links to the preorder (starting tomorrow, or when I get the site up–I have no idea how long this will take me), there will be the book trailer, and there will even be a link to Whispers of Death, my first novel.

This site will probably take a while to get up and running, because I know zero about website creation. I’ll keep posting here for a while, but soon ajmullican.com will be the place to go. (No point in putting an actual hyperlink there until I know the site works lol)

Off I go down the rabbit hole of website creation and stuff!

Being #ABNORMAL is not a crime

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Abnormal is rapidly approaching release, and I want to know: What makes you #ABNORMAL?

There are tons of “abnormalities” in life that are criminalized, penalized, or ostracized in society. Transsexualism, LGBTQIA “lifestyle,” being overweight, underweight, tall, short, rich, poor, too ugly, too pretty even. What about you makes you “abnormal” by today’s society? What have you had to deal with due to your “abnormality”?

Let me know. In a comment, a tweet, an Instagram post–let me know what makes you #ABNORMAL. Hashtag #WhatMakesMeAbnormal and #ABNORMAL, and let’s get a conversation going. I want to know what you’ve gone through. I want to know your trials and tribulations due to not being the impossible “normal.”

I want to get “normal” thrown out the window–or maybe redefined. I want us all to be proud of our “abnormalities,” not shamed by them. I want to create a new normal, one that includes all of humanity–no matter what they look like, act like, talk like, whatever.

Ever the student

i have no idea what im doing

Well, it’s getting to Documentation Time for my Arts and Sciences projects, so of course I start with the hardest one: the research paper. I haven’t done a research paper since the last time I was in college–so twelve years. Twelve years rusty. Why did I choose to do a research paper again?

Oh yeah…I had a brilliant idea.

No, I won’t go into it here. I only have two very rough draft paragraphs done, and it’s going to take this whole week to get it done and up to snuff…and to document the arts project. That one should be easier, but first thing’s first.

A lot of people have told me that they do the research first, then the thing. I ended up going backwards on my arts project. I did the embroidery using stitches that I knew to be used in period times; now I have to prove that they were used. D’oh!

With the competition a week away, I have to put Book 2 on hold. I guess that’s a good thing, though, because I’m kinda stuck a bit. Not stuck-stuck, but stuck enough. I’m at that point I usually get to in my writing where I’ve reached the near-end before enough has happened. I have to add more action, more description, and/or more dialogue. I think I’ve dialouged things out, so it’s going to have to be the former two.

I started my research on local media outlets, bookstores, and libraries for Abnormal‘s release, too. There are a lot of libraries in Tucson. I haven’t finished there yet, and I still have Phoenix left to go. I plan on taking one of my half days/partial days at work to start making calls to set up potential appearances/book signings/etc. I want to have the marketing materials in hand though, so I will have to just research until then. Maybe by then I can narrow down where I want to go to plug my book.

The web media sites I haven’t really gotten into yet. I need to, but it’s a bit hard to weed out the clickbait sites and find the real entertainment/book websites. I also have to avoid the “pay to be put on X lists” sites. I want none of those shenanigans.

Proofreading is done, the publisher loves the ending, and things are moving along. I just need to finish my Arts and Sciences writing, finish the second first draft of Book 2, finish a bunch of illumination/scrolls that I said I’d do, and oh, yeah, the arts exchange project and…..I’m probably forgetting something in there. Work! Yeah. I have to work. Damn day job.

I guess that’s enough rambling for now.

 

Media frenzy

The time has come to research media outlets near me to receive the press kits for Abnormal. 😀

Okay, so the time was probably long ago–the point is, I’m getting ready to do it now, before I head back to work after my vacation. I’ve got a browser window open to locate the various Arizona media outlets I may want to contact and a blank Word document open to receive those outlets’ contact information.

Except…I don’t really know where to start.

Okay, so I did have a starting point yesterday when I first did a search, but that starting point was a costly one. Sure, I could’ve had the contact info for whichever media outlet in Arizona I chose–or all of them–for a cost, that is. The site I found was not a free resource. Back to the drawing board, I guess.

I know I want to promote in my local town, as well as the larger areas like Tucson and Phoenix (especially Tucson, seeing as how I’ll be attending one of their conventions in the fall), but beyond that I’m clueless. How far am I willing to travel to promote? Would I even need to travel? And what about online outlets like Talk Nerdy With Us, Starry Constellation Mag, and others? They would be great resources for reaching my audience, too. I already know one of my old friends at Talk Nerdy who would like to do a read for review, and possibly someone at Starry Constellation. I have to go through the proper channels, though; I can’t just say “Hey, remember me? I wrote for you a time or two–how about you give this here book to one of your reviewers and have them type up a little something-something for me?” Yeah, that’s not very professional. Not gonna fly, much as I would like to pull a string here or there.

It’s kind of exciting to think about potentially being on the receiving end of a review or interview. I had a review done of Whispers of Death the day I self published it, but that was definitely a string-pulling event. “Hey, guys, I wrote and published a thing–somebody go read and review it!” Exciting though it may be, I tend to also get nervous when I think about phone or radio interviews. I tend to stammer and stutter, and my voice is weird in recordings. All high-pitched and girly, not at all how I hear it when it comes out of my mouth. Is that what I really sound like? And that machine-gun nervous laugh I have? Geez.

It’s gotta be done, though. I have to grin and bear it and not worry so much about how I sound. Worry about promoting the book, about getting word out there, about getting Abnormal to those who would enjoy the story.

Guarded outlook

I spent most of the active hours of the day guarding my Queen, and it was kind of nice. She rested most of the time I was on duty, and she even ordered me to have some ice cream.

Tomorrow I try fighting at this altitude. I’m doing okay now, but I get tired quickly. It’s nine fifteen at night and my glasses are fogging up from the heat and mugginess. But I’m okay. I’ll just sleep on top of the sleeping bag until it cools off.

It’s been a strange day, time-wise. I started in the wee hours writing futuristic sci-fi on my laptop…in a tent in the middle of the woods… And throughout the day I was pretty much dressed like a Viking…. while wearing Sketchers. (My foot started hurting, and I’ll never make it through the weekend on medieval shoes like that.) It’s kinda surreal.

It will be strange to be back in real, current times. Back at work, back writing, back doing all the things I’ve been doing–but dressed normal. Well, normal for us.

Time for bed–er, cot now. See you all on the morrow.

Slow but sure

Revisions are… coming along. Slowly. Mainly because of adverbs like slowly and mainly. And because of gerunds. I apparently love gerunds. It’s funny the things you don’t realize you do until someone points out how often you do them.

I’ll get it all fixed though. I am so excited for this book to be published! It’s been a long couple of years since I made the resolution to get the first draft finished, but I’m now on the final revisions and Book 2 is in the early stages of revisions for the first draft. It’s got a long way to go as well, but now that I’m more aware of my gerund affinity I’m sure it’ll be easier … Won’t it?

Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll be just as stressed for Book 2, 3, and onward. Lol But it’ll all be worth it. I just have to push on.

In other news, the house is almost home and I’m doing some unwinding this weekend in between revision sessions. Soon things will be back to (my) normal. Work is work, and crafting is taking a hiatus while I finish the book. That means I probably won’t get the time to make and document enough stuff to enter as Champion for the Baronial Arts and Sciences competition. I can still enter as novice in a couple categories, but I’m a little disappointed in myself for not being able to go for the big prize right out of the gate. I had wanted to push myself, but maybe all this is the Universe’s way of telling me to simmer down and just take my time. I have the rest of my life with the SCA to try for Champion; I don’t need to get greedy the first time I enter.

Well, guess I should stop dwelling and get to the relaxation part of my weekend… While it lasts 😉