Hello, all you passionate writers out there,
For our first blog post, we thought it would be good to share where the idea for FauphTalkFiction came from. As this is literally my first ever blog, I'm sure it will be wordy and shaky, and, like all writing does, will get better over time. But here it is...
As a writer, I have always been full of big dreams and goals. In Junior High School, where my personal journey began, I realized I had a talent and a passion for writing. I can still remember one of my old teachers sharing her amazement at my work, and encouraging me to keep pressing forward, and see where I could take it.
As school went on, and the grades passed by and turned into college courses and eventually university courses, my passion never faded. In my late teens, I began working on my first full length novel, Dreamshaper. This was going to be my big break, and I was going to be the next big deal in the writing world. I was sure of it.
As the years moved, and the story progressed, I was lucky enough to land an agent. Like me, this agency was in it's infant stages, but I was more than happy to work with them. Just telling people "I have an agent" was more than enough for me to feel accomplished and special. Through the agency, I very nearly landed a deal with Puffin, part of the Penguin publishing family.
Unfortunately, that deal never happened. Soon after, my agency closed, and I was once again on my own.
Time passed, words fell out of my fingers and into stories, but everything stayed static. I was unable to land a new agent, and the frustration started to grow on me. I decided one day that I may need to look at other routes, at least for now, and the idea of self-publishing simply wasn't an option I was ready to consider.
As I continued to work on Dreamshaper, I decided to start trying smaller publishing houses, specifically ones that didn't require agent representation. Through this method, I did finally manage to get Dreamshaper published, through a company called Black Rose Writing.
I won't lie, Black Rose wasn't my dream destination, and there are definitely some controversial pieces behind the company that I will get into on a future post. For my case, and where I was at, I did find the experience very useful. Through Black Rose, I was able to get my novel into the system for Chapters and Indigo stores in Canada, and it was made available to print at various other websites and locations.
The biggest challenge I found, however, came from the marketing front. Although Black Rose promised a marketing platform, the majority of the work, I soon found out, was going to be placed on me. To get the book into Chapters, I had to find the right people to talk to, and encourage both them and Black Rose to work together. I created my own website, talked to people, and put in a lot of leg work. I didn't mind, though. The journey was exciting, and I was learning more each and every day.
Throughout the process, however, I did discover just how difficult it is to market and promote your own book, without a major publisher behind you. I learned how to talk to potential customers at book signings, how to identify dangerous questions in interviews, and just the general patience that a young, inexperienced writer needs to have. At the time, I also wasn't big on Facebook or Twitter, and had yet to expand my social media platform bases, which, in today's world, is ever so important.
In the end, I managed to push the sales for Dreamshaper to somewhere in the 600 book range. Most of the books were sold in Canada, with some traveling out into the United States, and others reaching as far as South Korea and New Zealand. I wasn't a commercial success by any rate, but I still felt rewarded.
Which brings me to today.
I still have a goal of one day being the next big thing. Currently, I am working on the next stage of edits for a book that I do hope to land an agent for. However, in the meantime, I would like to explore the world of self-publishing as well, a world where marketing and exploration is CRITICAL.
As I started to ponder how to market my own stories, a new thought popped into my head. Why only offer my own stories, when I can expand my platform to others, and give many more writers a chance to promote their own work, and share their own experiences?
And thus, FauphTalk Fiction was born.
Everybody needs a stepping stone, and I would love to be one of yours. I feel that as writers, we can build a community that works together to help each other progress in our writing goals, big and strong. My goal isn't to make money off of people, it's to help people find a foothold and expand their reach. I want this to be a free platform for people to share their work and experiences, and pick up a few books along the way. If you're going to spend some money on a book, why not support another self-published author along the way?
Anyways, that is my dream for this site. I would also like to know what your "Big Dream" is. Please share in the comments below!
That's for listening, and thanks for #WritingStrong.