Amanda Hocking

some things…

December 31st, 2010 by
This post currently has 63 comments

I can’t be everything to everyone.

When I blog, I have to think about who I am writing for. Is it for readers? Is it for other writers? Is it for myself? Because how answer that question affects what kind of blog I write.

I used to just say whatever I wanted to say, because nobody was reading it. I had free reign to be inappropriate and silly and sometimes to vent and complain. About anything I want. Because who cares? It’s not like anybody read anything I said.

Now just writing a blog, I have so much to think about. There are still so many things I want to say. I want to talk about my path as a writer. I want to talk about how grateful I am for my readers and some of the really neat, inspiring fan mail I get. I want to talk about my books and the exciting things I have coming up. And sometimes, I just want to talk about Christian Bale and Batman.

But I haven’t defined what kind of blog I want this to be. I think mostly because I have defined myself as one thing I want to be.

I write books, and I am so, so very grateful for all the things that have come along with that. The ability I have to connect with other people on a really personal way. I’ve read far more books than I’ve written, and I know how deeply you begin to care for characters and stories that don’t exist. And I am so humbled and thankful that so many people have begun to characters and stories that I created.

But that is not at all I am. I’m also a daughter, and a grand daughter, and a friend, and a pet owner, and a lousy roommate. I have a gramma who I have been very close to who is now struggling with Alzheimer’s, and I know I don’t spend as much time with her as I should, but seeing the effects that it’s had on her is very, very hard for me.

I have schnauzer and three cats. One of those cats was only supposed to be here temporarily, and she freaks out and meows at my door because she can’t stand to be away from me.

I have friends who call me and try to spend time with me, but I am impossible to get a hold or do things with because I am almost always working. I live on the computer. And I’m always writing and editing and trying to answer emails (although lately I am getting more than I can keep up with).

I am so, so grateful for all of this. But I am truly overwhelmed. I have not yet figured out how to manage my time or when to say when. I am working constantly.

Last week, I was approached by a publishing company. We talked on the phone on Monday before Christmas. They wanted to publish the Trylle Trilogy, but they wanted me to wait to release Ascend with them. It would probably be late 2011. I didn’t like it, but I had to at least consider the offer.

I know how disappointing and upsetting it was to some readers. Most were very supportive and understanding. But doing everything that I do – marketing, editing, writing, making covers, etc – is exhausting. I am exhausted. And it takes away from my time and ability to write books. So when somebody offered to share the load with me, I had to at least listen.

And to be perfectly honest, I was and still am hurt by some of the responses I got. For me to not even consider something that could benefit myself, my books, and the readers because of a date I had set up seems not only unfair but bad business.

I don’t do things on a whim. I don’t randomly think, “Hey, let’s mess with my readers.” I am completely aware that my readers are the reason I have food on the table. I put an immense amount of pressure and stress on myself because I know that. I know that it’s because of people with families and bills and problems spending their hard earned on money on something I created that I get to do this. I really do understand that, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it.

Eventually, I decided the offer was not in the best interest of myself, my books, or the readers. I won’t go into it, because it’s a private thing. But the fact that I would have to hold off on releasing Ascend did factor into my decision.

But I can’t do everything everybody wants me to do all the time. I can’t have Alice end up with both Peter and Jack. I can’t be everything to anybody. I can only be me, and I will always try to do the best I can and do right by everybody I come across and treat people with respect.

But that doesn’t mean I can always give you everything you want. I have a finite amount of time in this life, and it frustrates as much as it does you.

Most of you are really great and understand and amazing and beyond anything I could ever ask for. I am truly honored and humbled to have had the response that I’ve had and the readers that I’ve had and the overall support and encouragement. I cannot say enough about that. Really and truly.

But sometimes, if some of you get upset about something I’ve said or done or a decision I’ve made regarding my personal life or my books, can you please take a moment to consider that I am a person. I am an author, yes, and somewhat of a public figure because of that. But I am not a commodity. I do things that I hope people will enjoy and give them some happiness, but I do not live to serve.

As much as it pains me, I cannot be and do everything. And that’s the sad truth of life.

Leave a Reply

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  • Well Put Amanda Hockings…you are not a commodity and as you stated, everyone is human:”As much as it pains me, I cannot be and do everything. And that’s the sad truth of life.”

  • Jeff says:

    Hi Amanda,

    I think you are awesome. I want to encourage you to stay Indie!! It is very important to ride this wave of digital publishing. The Corporations are just looking to suck profits away from you. Trust me. You will make far more money doing things the way you have been. It is also important to support the anti-corporate movement by staying indie. Please!

  • S. V. Rowle says:

    It scares me that you would even have to deal with those kind of comments, and I am mildly terrified of the crazies that will start ranting my way when I release my books this spring. I’m still going to do it, though.

    Don’t waste time thinking about the jerks, and take care of yourself first, even if that means a vacation. Also consider outsourcing some of the non-writing tasks. You can afford a decent cover artist or typesetter/proofreader. 🙂

  • Erin Gordon says:

    God, I hate blogger. Just had it eat a huge reply to this.

    Do what’s right for you and your stories, Amanda. You’ve got the advantage when it comes to publishers–make them work to get you. Find a GOOD agent, one with a proven track record.

    You’ve far surpassed Publisher’s Weekly estimates regarding book sales. The sky is the limit!

  • I’ll be honest, I haven’t read any of your books yet. I’ve been checking out your blog because I’ve been in awe of your success and I’m enjoying watching it happen. I’m very happy for you and I’m sure all of this will continue to grow.

    But mostly, I’m thoroughly amazed and awed by your character. I’m a writer – I appreciate how hard you work and what it must have taken to get where you are. Not only that, you are a trailblazer. You’re on the cutting edge of this thing and you’re surfing it like a wave. AND you said ‘no’ to a publisher. You held firm, you stood up for what you felt was best in the long term. I have a feeling you’ll be hearing from others as well. If the right deal comes along, you should take it. If it doesn’t, you won’t. The pressure’s off now.

    You already did the hard part.

  • Anonymous says:

    btw, thanks!!!!!!((((::::: im the one right above.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hey, im a big fan of my blood approves and i was just wondering ( no pressure ) if there was going to be a fifth book of the series. i dont reall care when it comes out, but i just wanna know if there is gonna be one. i dont wanna get my hopes up just to be disapointed. sooo… i just wanna know.

  • bowerbird says:

    amanda, congratulations on your great success.

    as you’ve seen, it can introduce some obstacles.

    nothing you cannot overcome, however… :+)

    let me give you my advice, much of which has
    already been given to you by various others…

    1. hire some help. you can afford it now, so
    if there are things that someone else could do,
    you should pay them to do it. and let me echo
    that you need to get an accountant. yesterday.

    2. do not sell any of your rights to publishers.
    you are doing just fine without any of their help.
    especially do not trade off a percentage of your
    earnings, because you don’t know what it will be.
    if/when you hire things out, do it at a _flat_rate._

    3. take a deep breath; take your time; be careful.
    things are coming at you very fast right now, and
    you might feel like you need to react just as fast…
    not so. take your time. make sure you do it right.

    4. get an editor for the entries which you post here.
    many of your posts here have embarrassing glitches,
    such as missing words. that can happen with a draft,
    but that’s why most writers don’t show readers drafts.
    you might think “oh heck, this is just a blog, so what?”,
    but you are a writer now, and people will _judge_ you
    on your writing, so you don’t want to disappoint them.
    you voice comes through loud and clear, but glitches
    can (and will) prove to be a noisy distraction. fix ’em.

    5. attend to your grandma. no, she won’t know, but
    _you_ will, and you’ll have to live with yourself forever.
    i know it hurts to see her that way. but you’re a writer,
    and the pain (and all the rest) will be instructive to you.

    love and kisses, little one.

    you are more important than you know.

    -bowerbird