It’s been a while, my apologies!

I have discovered Pinterest. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had Pinterest for quite some time, but it’s for my everyday boring self. I have recipes boards, few of which I ever make, hair and make-up, fashion, and DIY projects I don’t have the bravery to attempt. I’m not crafty. I’d like to be, but the results are always disastrous. Anyway, I was on Twitter yesterday and another writer mentioned Pinterest boards for writers. It hadn’t occurred to me. I don’t know why, it just hadn’t. The last 3 days, I’ve been making character inspiration boards for the Through the Darkness characters! I had reference pics save in the gallery on my phone, I put them in the boards so if any of my readers want to see them, they can. It’s so fun. Also, there’s a sneak peek board *wink, wink* everything on it relates to a book I’m working on in some way or another. So, wander over to Pinterest and search for my name, if you’re so inclined.

Updates as far as marketing, there’s not much. I’m still playing around with things. I can say that, so far, after more than a month, the lock screen advertisements through amazon has not translated into even one sale. Not one. Poor timing or something else, I’m unsure, but as of today I am trying the route of having my book show up as sponsored to hopefully get it more exposure.

Thank you for listening and don’t forget to go check out those Pinterest boards. Seriously, even if they don’t do great as a marketing tool (which I’ve been told they can be) I love having a visual representation of these people and places that take up so much space in my head. Give it a try and see if you can find your characters, memes that remind you of them, heck even clothes! Go nuts!

Until next time,

J.D. Caren

7th day

Not resting. This is the 7th day since Through the Darkness went live on Amazon. And, believe it or not, I am not a successful author on my way to tell my boss I’m out. I have this whole Scarlett O’Hara, Gone with the Wind fabulous, hair-flip and twirl exit pictured in my head.

So, the masses did not rush right out to scoop up my wares with a look of wonderment and fascination on their faces. Realistically, I knew this was an uphill battle from the start, but that didn’t stop the vivid imagination I possess to paint an “oh what it would be like” picture of improbability. Which means there was also that moment of disappointment when it didn’t happen.

To say I’ve had some unrealistic expectations, would be an understatement. Partly, because I didn’t know I had them, not all of them. For example, I have a friend and a family member who both have been really supportive. They pre-ordered my book. They gushed about their excitement in getting to read my book and how cool it was to know an author. I began to get frustrated when they had my book for what felt like weeks and, yet, they hadn’t finished it. They tell me how much they enjoy it, love it, can’t put it down and yet, here we are. It wasn’t until I said it out loud that I realized although it felt like weeks to me, it had been 5 days. These are very busy ladies whose husbands work away and they are left to manage their lives and children. Reading is a luxury they get to indulge for a few minutes at a time and I am honored they’re using my book for this small escape.

Now, friends, I did not intend to have ill thoughts and it was not a reflection of my opinion of them, but of myself. “My book isn’t as good as I thought…” “If I’d written it better…” “I’m kidding myself.” “I wanted to write a book so good they devoured it in a day. I’ve failed.” “What if it’s horrible and no one will tell me and I’m out here looking like a fool?” On and on my brain spun these negative thoughts and, if I’m being honest, still does.

I didn’t make this post as a woe-is-me or to garner sympathy. I wrote it because so often we feel like we’re the only ones who feel a certain way when it’s not true. We all have self-doubt. We all allow ourselves to have expectations that are sky high and feel disappointed when we fail to reach them. But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying.

Keep working. Keep playing. Keep your head up. Keep going.

Thanks for listening,

J.D. Caren

It’s here. The day is finally here!

It’s just after midnight and I can’t stop staring at the Amazon page with my book on it. I’ve been worried about this day, excited, yes, but mostly worried. My writing, this is my life, my heart. It’s the one place I have that is all mine. Throughout my life I have had many, many things taken from me. Things that were important. Things it broke my heart to lose. But in the end, they were just things. Not this. Everything I write is a piece of me and for the longest time I felt that if I allowed it to go out into the world others could tear it down or make it something I didn’t want anymore. I worried nasty comments, bad reviews, or just disregard would turn my solace into a painful place I wouldn’t want to be in anymore and that terrified me because if I lost this, I lost the one constant peaceful place I could go when everywhere I turned in the real world I was cut open by sharp edges.

In truth, it can’t be taken only given away and I refuse.

So on this day, my book has been released into this world. Maybe people will hate it. Maybe they will love it. Maybe no one will even know it exists, but regardless of any of that I am proud of myself.

Be kind to yourselves and thanks for listening,

J.D. Caren


Hello everyone! So, first things first: a lesson learned. Your paperback, should you choose to publish one, is not subject to preorders. What this means is even if your ebook has a future release date but is up for pre-order and for folks to get a gander at your goodies, those settings do not follow your paperback. As soon as you hit publish, it’s there and available for purchase. Not my plan, but, meh. I’m not going to take it down or unpublish it to make it unavailable because the truth of it is, the odds of anyone buying a more expensive paperback from an author they’ve never heard of is slim to none.

Another lesson: imprint. Research this heavily. Do not just rely on the little drop down “what’s this” arrow on Amazon. I thought it wanted the company I purchased my ISBN numbers from so they could confirm I own the rights, so I put Bowker. That’s not what that meant. Whatever you put in that imprint box, shows up as your publisher. After further investigation (which I should have done before this) you can register to be your own publishing company. Keep in mind, I am still learning thus as well, but it seems thorough research to ensure the name you’ve chosen isn’t used by anyone else anywhere is a must or you could face copyright infringement. Just research, research, research. Imprint, not as in Twilight wolves, remember that term.

One week left and Through the Darkness will officially be released into the wild! I’m excited and scared to death all at the same time.

Thanks for listening,

J.D. Caren

24 hours and I’m not famous, what the heck?

Kidding, guys, kidding. It has been 24 hours since my book has been available for preorder. So far, I have 3. I know for a fact 2 of those are friends. I’m hoping to pick up a few more by the release day, but I’m not going to lie, with over 5,000 twitter followers, I’d hoped for a bit more buzz. However, I am not, will not, refuse to be discouraged. This is the part where my usual is to be hard on myself, but I want to keep writing what it has always been for me: a love. Not work. Not an obligation. Not a way to get rich. I resolved within myself in the beginning of this journey to self-publish that even if I don’t sell even one book, I’ll still write and I’ll put them on Amazon for as long as it makes me happy.

That’s not to say that parts of this haven’t been a little stressful or overwhelming. It has. But, each of the “difficult” things turned the corner to be a new skill or something I conquered that made me feel proud of myself. I learned of a site called AllAuthors today and set up an account. It’s similar to Goodreads, which I also tackled today. On AllAuthors, there is a section that encourages you to do author interviews, which is you choosing a question to answer from a list. One of the questions was what inspired you to become a writer. In the midst of feeling frustrated and overwhelmed by all the things I don’t know, which are plentiful, it was the reminder I needed for why I do this.

I guess todays post is just a reminder to take it easy on yourself. Find a positive. Don’t get discouraged and have fun.

Have a good night, friends!