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Friday, December 31, 2010

some things...

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.

63 comments:

  1. Amanda, I have to say a few something: You amaze me. I'm truly in awe of you, your writing, and your abilities. The fact that you've released as many books as you have in such a short period is beyond superhuman. Keep up the good work and don't be afraid to disappoint people. It is a creator's right to disappoint, to surprise, to frustrate, and to hold their audience in suspense. We're all out here supporting you, and you're inspiring many!

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  2. I never respond to these things, but I wanted to at least say I completely agree with the person's comment above. Whatever choices u make with your life or your books, you'll always have dedicated fans. We'll support you, no matter what, good or bad. :)

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  3. OK, first, whoever is upsetting you, tell me, I know some people...well, I don't, but it sounds tough. Seriously, no matter who you are or what you do, someone is ALWAYS a critic.

    Second, I am so happy you are being approached by publishers!!! I don't care if I had to wait a year for Ascend, good golly girl, you have some best sellers on your hands, do it! I hope you find a great match for you soon. I see amazing things in your work and whatever is best for YOU, will bleed into your work, and that's what's best for your readers.

    Thirdly, no kidding you are overwhelmed! If I lived closer, I'd volunteer to be an assistant.Heck, you need some online assistance, etc. I'll do that too. I have been nominated to be president of your fan club. :D *smile, you need to smile* Writers have to do A LOT on their own, unless with a huge publisher with "people." Cut yourself some slack. I hope there are other authors out there in the same boat giving advice on how they cope, organize, etc. If not, I'll find some for you! '

    Finally, take some time to breathe. You are truly in a unique position and a great time in your life. Relish it. I hate that someone or something is taking joy out of this for you. Whatever makes your stomach tie in a knot, give it the boot. Don't sweat the small stuff and if anyone or anything upsets you and it's irrational, it's small stuff. Someone THAT upset about Ascend not coming out now is...I wont say. *astupidhead*

    I like your blog. Write whatever, I'll still read it. My rant is over for now. When you need a pep talk or some verbal muscle, give me a holla. :D

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  4. Hi Amanda, I love reading your blog, I probably check it more than i should but thats beside the point. It doesn't matter to me if your writing about publishing, upcoming books or just something random, its always fun. Also, please take time for yourself and do whats best for you, that way we can all enjoy your books for a long time to come :)

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  5. Ps its almost 2011 here so, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! Fingers crossed 2011 brings amazing things for you.

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  6. Amanda, I will admit, I was disappointed when you said that Ascend would be coming out later. However, I figured it was for some pretty amazing reason, and a book deal is definitely pretty amazing. Would I have been bummed? Sure. Would it have made me say "Screw it, I'm done with her?" Absolutely not.

    The sheer number of books that you have put out in just a few short months is crazy, and although it is one of the things that I like, I don't want to see it burn you out. I would rather you take a little extra time so that you can see you family, your friends, and have time to breath and relax then one day see a blog that you can't do it any more. I think a lot of your fans feel that way.

    Like you said, you can't please everyone, and if you try you will go crazy. Anyone that expects you to please every one is ridiculous. Also, they are your books, if you were to decide that you wanted to write another MBA book and have Alice realize she is a lesbian and have her run off with Olivia that's YOUR right. Although I have to admit that would be pretty weird.

    Anyway, I'm just asking you not to burn yourself out. You need time for you to stay sane. I think most of us understand that.

    One last thing, I always did wonder how you managed to put out so many books so quickly.

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  7. Happy New Year!

    I agree, don't burn yourself out. If you have to tune out for a while, do it. What matters in the end is that you write the books you want. Readers might be greedy for more (and that's not a bad thing unless it hurts you), but they can wait, even if they feel like they can't. As I think Neil Gaiman put it when people were bugging George RR Martin about him being late with a book, "(Martin) is not your bitch".

    It's your blog and your books. You didn't get fans by giving everyone everything they want, so I wouldn't worry too much about losing them that way either. Best wishes for the new year :)

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  8. Amanda, what you've done this year on your own is beyond amazing. Your books are great, and the work you've put into promoting and marketing them must be immense.

    But, this is your life, your work, your decision. Don't let others pressure you. Do what's best for you in the long run.

    Of course, I'll vote for you to keep writing books (because I'm very selfish and want to keep reading them!).

    Have a wonderful new year!

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  9. Amanda, you rock!! Please please don't let a few bad eggs bring you down. You are beyond awesome, always remember that! Those bad eggs can kiss your ass! love ya!!!!!!

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  10. Maybe you should not publish Acsend until you find the right publishing company for you. Until then you should take some time off to visit your family and friends. I have no doubt in my mind that your going to very famous very soon and then you really won't have time to do the things you want. I admire you so much, not only for your amazing writing but for connecting with your fans on such a personal level. Most authors do not take the time to do everything that you do- and most of them can't hold a candle compared to you. Good Luck Amanda!

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  11. Hi Amanda....as another over achieving type A female to an other.....you are one hell of a writer....just so you know I have devoured 8 of your books in one week....they are Great! And having read tons and tons of books.....I agree you do have some best sellers on your hands... and ultimately you have to do what is best for you....if that means signing wita publisher than do it.... Ascend is on my list of "to read" and whether it comes out in January or december...I will still buy it..... good luck...and put yourself first...because no one else will.....thankyou for making some great worlds for me to escapt to :o)

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  12. Amanda, I think all the TRUE fans here have said it all! You are amazing, please remember that. Kinda Superhuman considering all you have accomplished ON YOUR OWN. No real fan would ever, ever leave you or criticize you for not publshiing a book fast enough. PLEASE listen to all the positive feedback you are getting and not let a moron here or there get to you. You have to do whats best for YOU! I would say this to any friend, not just my favorite author (wink!). Your fans will be here...we ain't going anywhere! Take care of yourself!

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  13. Found your books when I got my new Kindle for Christmas this year. Have been happily waiting for Ascend. And, as much as I'd like to read it sooner than later, honey, if a publishing company wants to publish your work...GO FOR IT! Opportunities like this don't come knocking every day and for a writer I have to believe this is a pretty damn good one. Take it, run with it and enjoy it! Good luck and I will look forward to reading Ascend whenever it comes out!

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  14. I have read most of your books, and I have enjoyed all of them. I read some other series, for example, the Strain books by Guillermo del Toro, and I have to wait a full year or more in between. It is what it is, and there is nothing I or anyone else can do about that. So for the people bitching about having to wait: I say Amanda is doing a pretty awesome job creating, writing, marketing, and the rest of it, all on her own; and still releasing books in an awesome time frame. Keep doing what you're doing, because you're doing great! I'll wait two years if I have to to read one of your books.

    You can't please everyone no matter how much you try; remember that....

    Thanks for being awesome! You give me inspiration.

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  15. Maybe you could plan a vacation for yourself. Like a real vacation, somewhere hot and sunny and islandy or somewhere you always wanted to go. Don't bring a computer. Things aren't going to fall apart if you take a couple weeks off.

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  16. I never respond to these things. To be honest, I usually never bother to find out any personal information on an author. However, for the last month or so I have been addicted to your stories and your blogs.I think you're writing is amazing. Until I came across your books, I never actually laughed out loud while reading or stayed up for hours on end because I desperately needed to know what happens next. Without going into the gory details, I will say that your books are actually helping me to get through one the most difficult times in my life. That may sound strange, but I have something to look forward to when I read your stories. This has helped me a tremendous amount. So, thank you. What you do is phenomenal. I wish you the best of luck with your writing and look forward to hearing of your future success.

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  17. Amanda,

    I think you need to take a step back and look at what you have accomplished in this past year. You are ALWAYS going to have people against you no matter how hard you try to impress because that's just the way people are. Readers tend to get greedy and wanting more. My husband laughs at me because he's like, "You live in the world of your books when you're reading," and he definitely hit the nail on the head. It's so easy for a reader to relate, become familiar with, and even fantasize about characters and when that relationship is put on hold abruptly it makes them react. Almost like an addicting drug to say the least. I actually just started reading your books this past week. I started with the Trylle trilogy and then went straight to My Blood Approves and I couldn't be happier right now.

    I saw a couple of the posts you were probably referring to when you mentioned that Ascend was going to be on hold and I can imagaine you how feel trying to keep everyone happy. Unlike your wonderful characters, you are not superhuman. You are a 26 year old woman that needs to realize that you are one person and one person alone. You're going to be huge given what you've already accomplished so don't let jerks with nothing better to do than pout and moan about your schedule, stop you from living life as YOU. Writing is very much about your emotional state, and it's hard not to let your current feelings reflect in your writing. So take your time and quit spoiling us by releasing the books so quickly. We can wait no matter how hard it may seem at the time; living in the times of the almighty instant gratification makes it hard to accept sometimes.

    All in all, put yourself and your basic humann needs of friendships and relationships and family (amongst others) first and then the demands of everyone else second. Because no matter what, as readers I'm sure we can all agree that a happy YOU is the most we can ever ask for given what you've given us so far with your books.

    -Jessica

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  18. I think you can judge by the comments here that there are plenty of people who like for being the one person you can be - Amanda. You're right, you can never be everything to everyone. You're also realizing that this is just the beginning of a lifelong struggle to balance every aspect of your life, and it's a struggle that you'll always lose. Something always has to give, just make sure that you have enough balls in the air that when one has to drop, it's not an important one.

    Hug your Gramma. It's a big deal. I was a couple years younger than you are now when my Grandma went into a nursing home with Alzheimer's. One of the biggest regrets I have is that for the last six or eight years of her life, I never darkened her door. She didn't know it, she stopped recognizing most of her 30+ grandkids several years before, but I know it. And now she's been gone for a couple of years now and I have to carry the knowledge that I didn't EVER go see her with me forever. And worse, I now get to see the same disease taking my mother's mind day by day. So no, you can't spend enough time with her, but make sure you do what YOU can do, so you don't have to deal with regret.

    You're a good person, to be even thinking about obligations to others. Trust your heart and you'll be just fine. These moments of confusion and self-doubt are what proves to us that we're living right. After all, "the unexamined life is not worth living." Or something like that.

    Oh yeah, I like your books, too. :). I wrote in Hollowland as the best horror book of 2010 on Goodreads. Gotta love a lion in a zombie novel!

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  19. Amanda I have to say that reading your blog makes the fact that I enjoy your work even more comforting. The fact that you are 'real' and you can express yourself to your fans is phenomenal. I have said it about 1.5 million times (okay so I fluffed the number a little), but you are inspiring. Like you said, you have to do what is good for you. Your talent is blatantly obvious and for those that follow you it is not a surprise that you are getting the offers that you are. While I understand that your writing is geared to appeal to a large number of readers (i.e. affordable yet amazing), I think that it is not realistic for anyone to assume that you would not use it as a launching pad for your professional career as a writer. I am a fan now and I will be a fan if I have to buy your e-books for $10. You really give us a gift with those lower prices, but girl you have talent to be competing with the 'big dogs'.

    In summary my advice is: Take a step back and bask in the blessing. Do not let others compound your frustrations and overwhelm you. If you let others darken your world your writing will no longer be out of love, but truly feel like a job.

    FF (Forever Fan)
    Mandy D.

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  20. Her writing sucks more than Stephenie Meyer (off course, being a rip-off of the Twilight series, that's to be expected!), so how the hell did this fat hicking or whatever her name is get an actual publishing offer?
    The publishing industry must really be in trouble when they approach no talent hacks like this for deals.
    I'm happy for you really. And Batman.

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  21. I love that I'm not only inspired by the characters in your books but also by you as a person and author.
    How ironic eh, that you're sort of having a, "Wendy" moment? What's best for you, what's best for your readers and what's best for the greater good? I have to admit that I'm incredibly anxious to read Ascend, like many others but I also would love to see you get a publishing deal. I'm just such an adult. Boring I know but knowing that a publishing deal could make your life easier and make it easier for you to keep writing and keep inspiring as well as pay your bills and help you be more financially stable...heck that's awesome!
    It's hard to wait for books when we're invested in the characters and storyline. If I knew how to track him down I'd probably be stalking George R.R. Martin and pestering him mercilessly until he gets that next damn Game Of Thrones book published. How many years has it been now? But I don't love the characters any less. As pissed off as I am that it's taking so long I will devour that book as soon as it's published. And I have emailed Sarah Micklem several times begging and pleading for any word on when the third book in the Firethorn/Wildfire series will be out. As a human living in 2010 I'm having to remember that there is nothing wrong with having to wait for something. It won't kill me. And I need to get over myself.
    So I just maybe want to say that it's okay to make decisions for yourself, (And I'm hoping Wendy will do that too.) You don't have to be completely selfless. You've earned the right to success and blessings and to fans who are eager to read what you give to us next. I won't think any less of you for making me wait and I won't love your characters any less. Thank you for books that entertain and inspire. You rock Amanda Hocking!

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  22. I wrote a long post, and now it's gone :(

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  23. Amanda, you are the best! Take some time for yourself and don't worry about trying to please everyone. As women we wear many different hats, and it can be overwhelming. Stay true to yourself, learn to say "no", and take time out of every day for yourself..... To the ahole Anonymous poster above, you must be a sad person with no life. You don't even have the balls to post your name and stand behind your ignorant and rude comments. Nothing that you said about Amanda was constructive or based on any sort of truth. I know I shouldn't be feeding trolls like you but your an idiot.
    Hang in there Amanda!

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  24. These rude ass people are unbelievable! First of all, how old are you? Do you have to trash people to have fun? That says a lot about your character. Amanda, you're fans love you! Just remember that. If you need to take time to de-stress, do it! We'll be here when you get back. The wait will be painful but do what YOU need to do. You rock!

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  25. Amanda u need time plus u do what u can to better ur self u have potential do do grait so u do what u have to do and a true fan will wait even years ur amazing dont stop what ur doing and to those who dont like ur ideas and plans well the hell with them ther selfish and uncap-able of being human love u Amanda and cant wait for u to make ur dreams come true!!!

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  27. Amanda, You and your books are beyond amazing. I have to admit that I love that your books come out so much quicker than other authors, but it honestly does not matter. I wouldn't care if you released a book every couple of years or charged $20 per book. I will be here to buy your books every time you release one. I think that is how the majority of your fans feel. Do what is best for you and quit worrying about everybody else. You are just as talented if not more than some of the published authors, so you will always have a fan base. Have a great New Year and I can't wait to see what you will do with it. Thanks for the wonderful reads!

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  28. You are a wonderful writer and as an aspiring writer I am in awe of you. I look forward to reading Ascend whether it comes out now or a year from now you should do whats best for you.

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  29. May you have the best of everything in the up coming New Year. Take time for yourself and remember to breathe. Your true fans will always be with you through your journeys. Take care and Happy 2011!

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  30. Found your books two days ago and looked you up. I have read four of them since then. You are very talented and I agree with just about everybody else that I would wait longer (much longer) if I had to.

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  31. Amanda like everyone of your fans have already said, you need to do what is good for you. Your fans aren't going anywhere, as much as we want you to release the books yesterday, we will still wait and wait and a soon as its released we will buy them...

    Love your work, doing my best to get your name out in Sydney, Australia and Scotland (home town) you deserve to be read, your books are fantastic!!

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  32. Amanda,
    Speaking from one writer to another, I don't know how you've done it, well enough done it well. Editing and more editing and more editing is exhausting. And I truly say this from experience. I have been inspired by your publishing journey. In fact, I wasn't even considering e-publishing until I read your blog. Words of wisdom, pace yourself. Best of luck to you in this next year.

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  33. Personal. Assistant. As in, hire one.
    You are the world's first Indie Pub Superstar. If you were a band, you'd be Arcade Fire. Everyone wants a piece of you. It's never going away. I know you didn't ask for it. You probably don't even want it most days. You're not going to lose your fans- you don't have to work to get there- you're there. "There is no magic hand" that's going to take away your success.
    Arcade Fire, incidentally, is still Indie. They have a label, but it's a good strong Indie one. Merge. And to hell with what other people think, although most of it is quite loving.
    Happy New Year to you and yours.

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  34. Well it sounds like you know exactly what you have to deal with and you are... dealing with it. All of it is tough; especially having family members that aren't doing as well. I don't have a grandma that is going through what yours is. But I can identify with the "too much work" thing and the "not enough family time" thing. Sometimes I feel totally selfish. And it bugs me. I want to write my butt off but I don't want to neglect my family. sometimes I have to pull myself away from the computer... other times I have to say, "Hey. I really have to work on this project... it's for all of us. I could actually make $$$ for all of us." My family understands... sometimes.

    Keep focusing on your work and balancing with your family. Your fans will understand. And those that don't are... not cool in my book.

    On another note, I've added more work to my life... NO! NO! NO! But I had to do it. I started a new site, http://www.bookbarista.com
    As if I didn't have enough work to go around already. What am I doing to myself. But what I just might be is a workaholic. But it is stuff that I enjoy... so I'm okay with it. Sometimes I just have to vent like any other normal human, like you. So don't sweat it. You only live once (supposedly) and you are leaving your imprint upon this world!

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  35. Wow!! You go girl. I too have that same response to life. Go with your gut feeling and everything else will be worth it:D

    If it doesn't feel right..well it doesn't feel right. Awesome , honest response you gave. Well done. I am not a yes person and I think if you are sometimes you live to regret . I go with my gut, my vibes and hope to be a nice good person in life . Everything else will then feel like it should.

    p.s. I have just read Switched and Torn in 2 days total. Loved them!!!!! You write very well:D I have My Blood Approves series. Looking forward to reading them and just bought Hollowland. I'm not a zombie reader, but, I feel good about this one so I am reading it based on really liking your writing. Busting for Ascend quite literally. Love Finn..beautiful guy, Tove ...great guy, Rhys.. fun guy.


    Michelle

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  36. P.s. Loki..not sure yet...but is tempting...lol!!

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  37. I have no words eloquent enough to show my support. This is why we have glorious authors like you! So many people here have supplied perfect responses & put words to blog that were spinning in my own head. To say I love your work is an understatement, as I own all your books in both Kindle & paperback. This new year will be so filled with joy for you! You have worked so hard that I think even you find words hard to describe your efforts. Please make time for those quiet still moments where you can find peace & re-charge. It is in those moments that you will find the deep rewards for your hard work - if you spin too fast you will miss the good & lose focus on what makes it all worthwhile. You are well loved as an author & a person. I have no right to tell you not to pay attention to the discontented... but don't.

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  38. As a mom, a woman, and as a fellow creative individual I totally understand the overwhelming feeling of being pulled in a thousand different directions all at once. It's exhausting and can drive you to play Angry Birds for hours on end. Honestly, I love your books and the frequency at which they've been released....but you're going to find yourself creatively wiped if you keep up your amazing break-neck pace. You've built up quite a following of loyal fans and we definitely can exercise some patience in waiting for your novels. And congratulations on being approached by a publisher! That's so exciting and you would have done yourself a disservice by not considering their offer. This is your livelihood and you do need to consider what's best for YOU. Happy New Year and I can't wait to read what 2011 has in store! :)

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  39. First of all, the best comment here is clearly when Vicki said "if you were a band, you'd be Arcade Fire."

    You are a fantastic writer and your sensitivity and devotion to your readers makes me believe you are a fantastic person as well. Please don't get lost in the negativity of a minority of people who don't support you or realize the decisions you're forced to grapple with or are just too insensitive to realize that you're just trying to make a living doing what you want.

    Also, I would like to thank you for not considering a Peter/Alice/Jack threesome as a possible solution, because really...gross.

    "It's been a long December and there's reason to believe, maybe this year will be better than the last." - The Counting Crows

    Happy New Year!

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  40. Hey, your an awesome author. Don't let anyone bring you down just because something happened that they didn't like. Just remember you have fans that are supportive of you!
    Your awesome!

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  41. I agree with all of the positive comments! You are a great author..I loved reading the start of the Trylle Trilogy. I am waiting on edge for Ascend to come out. I am happy with your decision to release it because I would have gone crazy waiting. LOL. However, You always have to do what is best for you and those who are close to you. Keep enjoying what you do, So I can keep enjoying what you do.

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  42. Hello,My name is Lexie and I just wanted to say I LOVE YOUR BOOKS!!!! I have been checking everyday for Ascend to come out. I can`t wait to find out what happens next. I understand that you are not just an amazing writter but a person as well and I think you should do whatever is best for you. Don`t listen to the few that can discourage you but listen to those of us that would love to see your name on Bestsellers lists everywhere. Thank you so much for the time you have spent for our enjoyment. Reading about Wendy has made me and my little sister feel like Princesses...

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  43. I am just getting into the self-pubbing through Kindle and such. I discovered your blog through Joe Konrath's blog. I have never read any of your stories, but I return to your blog often because the sheer number of books you've published astounds me. As a writer, I can only hope to be as prolific as you are. Whatever problems some people may have with your decisions as a writer and a business woman, all I have to say about that is, sounds like a personal problem to me. They should get a life and I wonder if they've achieved a third of what you have in such a short period of time.

    Please, please, please, take time out for yourself to rest, regroup, and replenish. May 2011 bring more of the same success for you.

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  44. Amanda, You are talented and creative. I hope that you never lose sight of that and always remember that this is your passion. When writing starts to feel like a burden and that you have to write another book grudgingly its time to take a step back to remember why you are doing this.

    I love your character development and how your plot lines flow getting more and more interesting hooking me with every word I read and every page I turn I need to know more I have to know more. I feel like I'm there witnessing the story first hand because the details are incredible!

    I know that as an aspiring elementary teacher I would be tickled pink to know that my student remembered the lesson on details about writing.

    Good job and I wish you many successes in the years to come.

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  45. Amanda,please don't listen to those who want to put you down. You are a gift to this world. :-)

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  46. Eventually, I decided the offer was not in the best interest of myself, my books, or the readers.

    Good for you. I believe you made the right choice. If you ever have any specific questions about traditional publishing, feel free to email or call.

    As for disappointing your fans, remember that you are now a public figure, like it or not. You're also a professional, not a hobbyist. That means some folks aren't going to like you. It stings at first, but you need to ignore both criticism and praise. Neither are healthy.

    Keep on doing what you're doing, because you're doing it right. But there are going to be detractors, and sycophants, and jerks, and stalkers, and weirdos. It goes with being a writer.

    Focus on the writing. If you're overwhelmed, take a break, or get an assistant, or both. Also, get an accountant.

    I'm thrilled for your success, and pleased you've managed to keep your head on straight.

    Non illegitimi carborundum.

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  47. Amanda,

    I can relate to dealing with a relative who has that kind of condition. My father has Alzheimer's/dementia and it's a progressive condition so with every month it gets a little bit worse.

    After my mom passed a couple years ago, my wife and I decided to have Dad come live with us, rather than putting him in a retirement home or anything like that. So for us, there's no break, no getting away from it. We have a 2-4 hour date night once a week and that's all the time we get to have time away from Dad in any given week.

    So, from experience, I know what that kind of stress is like. You're not alone, there are many others out there who have relatives going through this.

    Another point: One thing I've picked up from you is that success has come to you a bit sooner than maybe you were prepared for... you have tons of folks looking up to you because of your success, but, as you once wrote, "I still have questions myself."

    It's OK to have success and not have all the answers. Hopefully you can develop a circle of fellow pros who still recognize that need and can play a mentoring role for you. Folks like Joe, you agent Steve, maybe the Davids, whoever else you feel you can talk to.

    Also, now that you have a significant backlist of eight titles up... realize that it's OK to slow down and not push yourself so hard.

    Most writers pump out one book a year at most. You've done eight. I know next year/now this year (2011) you're planning to do six titles... but you know what? You could do four if it balances your life better and keeps you from burning out.

    Ultimately, you need to take care of you enough that you can be around for the long haul rather than burning out.

    And remember, your characters are yours; what you do with them is up to you. Charlaine Harris received a lot of grief a couple years ago when she decided to kill off one of Sookie's potential suitors... she received hate mail, death threats and all sorts of out-of-bounds reactions.

    Her response was that she's the author, it's her creation, and she has to do what she thinks is best for the story she's telling.

    She blogged about it. It might be that she could be a help/inspiration.

    http://charlaineharris.com/bb/bb_current.html

    Take care of yourself. :)

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  48. Amanda, as much as I would like ascend to come out, you need to do what's best for YOU. Writing comes with times where you have to dissapoint your fans, except if anyone is angry because you are so overwhelmed, and are working your butt off to do what everyone wants you to do, they are some of the most selfish people I know. You deserve to live a life too! Good luck, and I love your writing!

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  49. Just found your books a month ago and have been getting them when i have funds too, your books are awesome keep up the good work! My mom always says that things will work themselves out in the end just know when you get furstrated about anything fans, due dates, potential publishers what ever happens happens things will work themselves out. Keep up the good work and dont stress your fans love you and your doing awesome. Happy new year its gonna be wild!

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  50. Just finished Switched and Torn on my Nook. Loved them!! Can't wait for #3.

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  51. Just wanted to say that I agree with Craig Hansen and Joe Konrath above. You have done an incredible job over the past year and it may be time to take a little time for yourself and also hire an accountant.

    I was stunned to hear you were planning on six books in 2011. I would be more than happy with 3, which is more than other authors generally accomplish, if it gives you time for yourself so you aren't so overwhelmed. It would be great to see your stuff picked up by a publisher if it is best for you and your books, but always go with your gut - it doesn't seem to have steered you wrong yet.

    And I'm glad to see you have Alice and Jack as a solid couple now and have no thoughts of keeping Peter with them in a triangle. I absolutely adore Peter (especially after Letters for Elise) and he deserves someone all his own, which I hope happens in the next book.

    All in all, you have accomplished more than any fan should ever ask for and then some. I hope this new year is awesome for you!

    PS Hug your grandma as soon as you get a chance. It will hurt now, but it will comfort you so much later...

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  52. 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

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  53. 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.

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

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  55. 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.

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  56. 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!

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  57. 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. :)

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  58. 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!

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  59. 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."

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