To Be A Writer Is To Endure A Form Of Slavery

guest post by Evy Journey

I’m so happy to have as my guest Evy Journey, author of The Shade Under the Mango Tree. She’s brave enough to tackle the worst (yes, worse than negative reviews!) parts of being a writer. She’s also offering a giveaway, which you can enter below. Thanks, Evy, for your courage and your words.

Most writers are resigned to the fact that what they do is a business. A disproportionate number of introverted introspective souls among writers find this uncomfortable and unwelcome. But grovel, you must, if you want to grow your business. For reviews that could make or break your babies. For as much attention as you can get on social media. For high SEO (search engine optimization) values of your blog posts. For anything else that could help “market your brand.”

Many real and self-proclaimed experts tell you brand marketing is the name of the game in selling. They sell books touting the last word in this game. Despite understanding that your brand must stand out among others in your genre, I’m still essentially clueless about what it is. As individuals, we’re each of us unique. But uniqueness isn’t enough. It must also be saleable.

I write from a desire to tell certain stories my way. I’ve long ago realized my books wouldn’t have wide appeal because of who I am and what I write. Marketing my “brand” is an unnerving prospect.

I’ve paid for the services of promoters and marketers. The return on my publicity dollars can’t count as profits.

And yet, why does my first book, published in 2012, continue to sell and sell better than the others? I never promote it. It’s a sequel to a classic-lit-cum-BBC production that attracted a large female audience hungry to recreate the titillation elicited by the actor who played the hero in the miniseries. Character-driven, it’s “meh” on plot. Also, no bedroom scenes to drool over, nor spine-tingling scenes to push you to the edge of your seat.

Is it because the book already had an audience packaged with it before I wrote it. Somehow, an identified, passionate, and devoted audience finds what it seeks without much help. Target such an audience and you’ve probably won half the battle.

After two heartbreaking losses, Luna wants adventure. Something and somewhere very different from the affluent, sheltered home in California and Hawaii where she grew up. An adventure in which she can also make some difference.

Lucien, a worldly, well-traveled young architect, finds a stranger’s journal at a café. Though he has qualms and pangs of guilt about reading it, they don’t stop him. His decision changes his life forever.

Months later, they meet at a bookstore. Fascinated by his stories and adventurous spirit, Luna goes on a Peace Corps stint to a rural rice-growing village in Cambodia. There, she finds a world steeped in ancient culture and the lasting ravages of a deadly history. Will she leave this world unscathed?

An epistolary tale of courage, resilience, and the bonds that bring diverse people together.

About the Author

Evy Journey writes. Stories and blog posts. Novels that tend to cross genres. She’s also a wannabe artist and a flâneuse. Evy studied psychology (Ph.D. University of Illinois) so she spins tales about nuanced characters dealing with the problems and issues of contemporary life. She believes in love and its many faces. Though she has traveled to many places, she has one ungranted wish: To live in Paris where art is everywhere and people have honed aimless roaming to an art form. She visits and stays a few months.

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