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  • aleeraceres

Let's talk about... The struggle of not being where you want to be in your author career.


Let’s get real, nitty, gritty, and raw, folks.





I’m an author. I’ve been an author for 5+ years and for as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be an author. After successfully failing (ha, ha) under a small press, I became a self published author and I’ve written an array of genres all featured around one central theme: romance. Whether it be paranormal, urban fantasy, fantasy, why choose, M/F, F/F, sci-fi, etc. I’ve been writing romance for years all under one penname.


I am always surprised when I get readers in my inbox telling me how much they love my work. I get even more surprised when they squee because “Omg you responded to me!” Seriously, the novelty never wears off for me. It’s so surprising to have other authors/aspiring authors/readers look up to me and my supposed ‘success’. When they assume I’m well known. When they assume that just because I have the USA Today Best Selling Author tag in front of my name that I’m somebody famous… somebody important…


Let me tell you a secret…


*whispers* I’m not.





I said it folks. I’m not important. I’m not viral. I’m not even famous. Sure, I’ve written a few books, some that did pretty well, but I always find it very funny how people on the outside see me, while on the inside, I see myself as a struggling author trying–and failing–to get my books off the ground.







*gasps* “But Aleera, you have 20+ books out!”








I know, I know.


I have so many books out because I rapid released under the assumption that





more books quickly=more money.















The lie detector test says… that is a lie.






See, I don’t see myself the way you guys see me. I don’t see myself as someone worthy, important, famous, successful…


I think success, in the grand scheme of things, is measured differently for different people. And that’s okay! But me? With my 20+ published books and my 5+ years of publishing? Nope. I don’t see myself as successful. You might be asking yourselves why I don’t see myself that way, and the answer is really simple.


Because of my income.


Of course, I’m grateful that I took the plunge and wrote and published. That alone is a success. But after being in this game for so long, publishing is almost second nature to me. The fact (for me) that I’m still not seeing my books in the top 100 on the entire amazon store? The fact that I rarely see my books in the top 100 in its category? The fact that I’m mostly making pennies at this point?


This is not success (for me).


This is a struggle. A mental struggle in trying to get where I want to be in my author career.


Look, even if I don’t make the top 100 in the entire amazon store, you know what I want? A livable income. This is my full time job. I naively believed in the beginning that the more books you publish, the more money you’ll make, because you’ll have a big backlist. But what they never tell you is that you still have to market that huge backlist. And sometimes, when you want to focus on writing, marketing can slip through the cracks. You can’t get your books out there in front of audiences, and without eyes on your book, there is no reading, no buys, and without that, there is no income.


I promise you, I write because I want to. Because it’s my one true love. I have written on market, I have written for the passion, I have rapid released, I’ve slowed down, I run ads, I promo, I do everything I can. Sometimes it works. Mostly it doesn’t.


The fact that it mostly doesn’t has me questioning the entirety of my life and career as an author. At this point, I could write a book called “What not to do as a new author” and just give you a list of everything I did and be like “This is what you shouldn’t do!”


I made so many mistakes in my career. So much so that sometimes I still feel like I’m paying the price for them. Because I don’t always sell. And when I ask other authors how they get so popular, how they go viral, how they do so and so, and they tell me things like:


“You’ll get there, don’t worry!”


“I don’t know what I did.”


“I went viral on TikTok!”


“It was just luck…”


“Just wait it out and you’ll see!”







Yikes.






That is privilege speaking. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m bitter. But it burns when authors who have been in it less time than me or at the same time are getting book box deals left and right, making the top 100 in the entire store, are getting hundreds of orders on their author websites for signed copies and I’m just…


Stuck


This is not a post insulting them. Really. I am happy for every one of my peers. Writing and publishing is NOT a competition. I love seeing others thrive because it motivates me to do better, be better, and it puts my ass in gear. But emotions are a complicated thing and you can feel several things at once. So while I am happy for others, I also feel sad for myself. Because I’m not where I want to be. Because when will my moment come? Because I want that too. Because am I doing something wrong? Because, should I just give up?


Should

I

Just

Give

Up

?




Readers will flock and say “No please don’t give up we love your books!” and I love you all for saying that. But to continue this job that I desperately love, I need income for myself and my family. This is all that I know how to do. It’s all that I love.


And sometimes, the reality is fucking brutal.


It’s nitty.

And gritty.

And raw.


And sometimes, it’s just hard to get to where you want to be in your author career.



I’m trying. I promise you, I am trying. I’ve been trying for years, and I will keep trying for years more. The point of this blog isn’t to discourage, or to say that I’m quitting, because I’m not. The point of this blog is to let everyone know that I’m just a person with struggles and insecurities like anyone else. And when you say “Omg I can’t believe you responded to me!” and I answer with something like “Oh, stop!” It’s not humility. It’s not me being fake-humble. I want you to know I appreciate you all for that, because you all keep me going, and you all keep me trying new things every day.


So yeah. This is the brutal honesty behind author-ing, and not just for me, but likely for several others as well. It’s hard, it’s mentally draining, exhausting, and sometimes we want to quit on a daily basis.


If you have an author you love, let them know. If you have books you love, recommend them, review them (if you can!), buy them, talk about them, squee about them.


It helps.


Way more than you know.


Signing off,






6 Comments


yazminsophiam
Mar 27, 2023

I love your stories and i’m so glad i’ve met people who introduced me to your stories. i’ll always recommend your books as my top 🖤 thank you for the honesty

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aleeraceres
Mar 27, 2023
Replying to

This means to the world to me. I love to hear this. *cries a cry*

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mildrenreads
Mar 27, 2023

LOVE YOU ALEERA! There hasn’t been a single time I don’t get happy that I get to talk to you about your books! It’s so fun! And even months after meeting you through the internet it’s still surreal that I’m talking to an author I LOVE!

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aleeraceres
Mar 27, 2023
Replying to

This means so much to me! I hope that novelty never wears off for you because it never ceases to amaze me how awesome my readers are. I love you!!

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Stephanie matos
Stephanie matos
Mar 27, 2023

Thank you for your transparency and raw honesty. I love you!!!

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aleeraceres
Mar 27, 2023
Replying to

I love you too! Thanks so much for reading!

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