Cue up the popular song by Frank Sinatra and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
All kidding aside, I broke the rules and did it my way. Really, I did. When I was first published as an author, it was in an entirely different genre. Cool and exciting. I learned a lot since then and yes, I made my share of mistakes, but one thing I did and will do again, is approach writing and publicity my own way.
Heck, no. I’m not an international best-selling author sitting on Oprah’s couch—yet. But I didn’t, and still don’t, like the idea that you have to follow a set formula when you write a book, tell a story, or get that story in the hands of readers.
You’re probably thinking, “Kimberly you’re nuts. That’s why you’re not breaking bread with Oprah! You went off, half-cocked, and tried to do things your way.”
True dat. But not entirely. The truth is I didn’t completely snub the author’s rule book, I just bent a few of them—enough to make things simpler. Here’s what I mean…
First, I didn’t finish my book before I pitched it. Crazy, right? But guess what, a publisher loved it! Ta da! Still, that was a Unicorn. I would never do that again. Thankfully, I don’t have to. Since that day, I’ve written twenty-three full books. Ahem, ready!
Second, I attended as many author’s conferences as possible for three years straight without a plan. Guess what? I had the time of my life and met some dear people who continue to inspire me. But hey, that was a big no-no. Looking back, I’d have a plan and approach, especially if I’m going to spend some serious dough doing so. Update: I craft a plan each time I attend a conference which includes what I want to learn, who I want to meet, who I want to pitch to, and how I should engage.
Third, I broke author’s social media rules. I built a platform sharing everything that I like and enjoy without consistently marketing my works. Wait, did that just sound like a humble brag? Oops! What I meant to say was that I marketed heavily without a product and sold nada. But lesson learned and I’m back in line, no hand smacking necessary. Though I still focus on sharing everything that inspires me on social media, including interesting books, blogs, articles, and adorable puppy videos, I am also slipping in a little about me as an author, hoping to lure you back here so we can build a friendship.
What’s my point?
No, someone didn’t come along and throw a rule book at me and say, “Shape up, girl!” Rather, I did a little pondering, chastisement, then course-correcting. In other words, it’s okay to do things your way but respect others, the process, and the industry. That’s a pledge I’ve never broken.
Listen, I love being an author, but I also like breaking, uh, bending rules from time to time. I know you do too.
C’mon. I know I’m not alone. Let’s hear it. How did you do it your way???