why is my break over

Because some asked why I needed Truthwitch to break out...

Some people have asked me what I meant by a statement in my postmortem – about WHY I needed Truthwitch to break out (because if it didn’t, my career was over). I’m not sure how in-depth I’ve been in my newsletter, so here’s an answer for you:

Basically, my first series tanked. I mean…tanked. We’re talking, Truthwitch sold more copies in its first two weeks than the entire SS&D series COMBINED.

Bad sales hurt an author – you’re way better off as an untested debut than an author with shitty sales. So I was at a crossroads in my career, where the plan was to change my name. That way, I could be a “debut” again. (Sadly, this happens a LOT in the industry. Which is why please do not pirate our books!)

But then Tor decided to take a chance on me. Because they’re a small (and amazing) house, they have more room to take on projects that they’re passionate about (instead of just commercially successful). HOWEVER, if Truthwitch didn’t sell well…. Then yeah. That was it. “Susan Dennard” would be dead, and I’d have to reinvent/start over my career.

There’s no shame in that. I was totally willing to reinvent! The problem was that I had this great audience for my writing advice – thousands upon thousands of people who were coming back for my blog and newsletter. Yet none of them were buying my books. Which is fine – I don’t give free writing help to sell copies. I do it because I love doing it.

BUT…if I reinvented myself, I would lose what little crossover I had between writing-advice-fans and book-readers – not to mention the handful of amazing fans who did like the SS&D trilogy (I will never ever forget my wonderful Misfits!).

So…I needed + desperately wanted Truthwitch to sell well. I wanted Tor to be happy. I wanted to keep my name. That led to me going “all in” on self-promo.

Full disclosure: I allocated $15,000 of my advance to promote Truthwitch. (Which, in case you’re wondering, was most of the advance.) I ended up going over that amount…by a lot. Costs ranged from travel to important events (this was really where the bulk got eaten up!) to running/maintaining my street team (swag, postage, hiring an assistant to help me keep it going) to learning how to + making my own book trailer.***

And like…I honestly don’t even know what kind of TIME I spent promoting. It was a lot more than I thought it would be. Literally most of 2015.

But…it paid off, right? At least in terms of “success.” I’m a New York Times Bestseller now!!

That said, I haven’t earned back the money I spent yet (“bestseller” doesn’t automatically mean “rich”), and I will never get back the time I spent. Plus, the nightmare that was 2016 as I tried to rush-create Windwitch

It begs the question: were the costs worth the rewards? I don’t know. I think so since, hopefully, the rewards will continue to pay forward for a long time – and my career is definitely growing!

Best of all, though, I CAN KEEP MY NAME. Susan Dennard. C’est moi pour toujours. ❤️

Edit:

I want to add two more things – because this post has opened up a lot of conversations I wasn’t expecting to have (but welcome!!).

First: I cannot emphasize enough just how important LUCK is in this equation. On top of the time, money, publisher-partnership, and salty desperation that I poured into Truthwitch, I ALSO GOT LUCKY. I had the Right Book at the Right Moment with the Right Cover in the Right Genre coming out in the Right Month.

A publisher can pour all the money in the world into a book, but nothing will make readers buy it. There is no predicting trends.

So a lot of the success of Truthwitch (which is still pretty small, relatively speaking. I’m not a Big Author by any means!!) boils down to that intangible, finicky sprite known as Lady Luck.

Second: This is just ROUND ONE of “reinvention.” I have no illusions or expectations that my success will remain. The Witchlands series has already exceeded my wildest hopes, but no author stays “on top” forever. It’s a constant up and down, and frankly, we’re all just really lucky to even be able to share our words in the first place.

Sure, I’d love to be successful forever, but it’s not my primary dream – and definitely not my expectation. Realism is key to longevity in this industry, and more than that: gratitude.

So on that note: thanks for reading, thanks for sharing, and thanks for being the reason I keep writing.


***Note: I need to also mention that, once it was clear my own self-promotion was starting to pick up momentum, Tor really stepped in and helped me. This was not a solo journey, and it NEVER is. I had/have an amazing team, and we’ve forged a real partnership while getting the Witchlands into readers’ hands.

The only call you are going to get from me is a couple months from now. I’ll be sitting on the floor in a bar bathroom at 2 am, drunk, and someone will have just got done butchering a Fall Out Boy song. In that second I’ll miss being in love with you but that will be it.
—  I’m sorry you hurt me so much

Someone please take me to the alternate universe where the character of Anakin Skywalker is actually valued and not just viewed as ‘that part people fast-forward through to get to Darth Vader’. 

Post Break-Up Sentence Starters

For all your angsty “I still love you” needs 

 
(send a sentence and a name x) 

  • “Just give me a reason to come back.”
  • “You’re not good for me.”
  • “How come I can’t let go of you?”
  • “I never forgot.”
  • “I had to get new bedding because I couldn’t lay in it without you there.”
  • “It was never your fault.”
  • “I never wanted things to end.”
  • “Our song came on and I needed to talk to you after hearing it.”
  • “You’re still in my dreams.”
  • “Did you move on?”
  • “I’ve tried to move on, but no one is you.” 
  • “The song was about you.”
  • “Do I look like I’ve moved on?”
  • “I shouldn’t want the elevator to stall, but at least it would keep you here.”
  • “I’ll wait at our restaurant ‘til closing time.  If you don’t go then I’ll stop trying.”
  • “No one will suit you like I did.”
  • “He/She didn’t answer any of the calls or texts.”
  • “Did he/she say anything about me?”
  • “If this is the last time I see you, know I love you more than anything.”
  • “My parents asked about you.”
  • “How am I supposed to let go?”
  • “He/She posted a picture with another guy/girl on Instagram.”
  • “I need to go fix what I had with him/her.”
  • “It’s been months, but it’s still you.”
  • “Give me another chance.”
  • “All the memories replay in my head so often.”
  • “Do you ever think of me?”
  • “I was lying… I knew you’d be at this party, that’s why I came.”
  • “So you’re seeing someone new?”
  • “I’d give up so much to have another chance.”
  • “What happened to us?”
  • “I don’t remember a fight, or a reason, so what happened?  Why did we break up?”
  • “My friends keep telling me to get over you.”
  • “My friends kept telling me to fix things with you.”
  • “I didn’t know you’d be here… He must’ve set this up.  Us meeting again.”
  • “You’re still as beautiful as I remember.”
  • “Can I buy you a coffee?  For old time’s sake.”
  • “You always were a bit clumsy… How about I help you get home?”
  • “I’m just trying to find reasons to keep us talking, honestly.”
  • “I miss you.”
  • “I didn’t want it to end, but I thought you’d be better off.”
  • “I haven’t gone to that diner since we broke up.”
  • “I found way too many break up playlists since it all ended…”
  • “Hey… I can’t believe you actually answered.”
  • “H-How have you been?”
  • “You sent so many drunk texts… I had to come over and make sure you were okay.”
  • “It was all my fault.  Every piece of it.  Why do you blame yourself?”
  • “Apparently you left this sweater at my place all that time ago… I could’ve got a friend to give it to you, I guess, but… I don’t know.  I just came without thinking.”
  • “We were so good.”
  • “No! I-… I’m… I’m not dating him/her.  I can’t.  It wouldn’t be fair.”
Dork

Request: Yes, 32, 34, and 35 by @epickimmie

Pairing: Tim Drake X Reader

Warning: One bad word: Crappy.

Prompt:  32: “We’ll get through this. I promise.” 34: “How did you find me?” 35: “Who did this to you?” 

A/N: Sorry @epickimmie I changed it to Tim since I only wrote one fanfic with Tim. [S/H/N]= Superhero name. Enjoy!!

Tags: @rebecca-x4 , @solis200213, @ti0261, @colormemeow, @overunderjustwhelmed , @epickimmie , @gokusanfan , @yj-tt-batfam-forlife , @gracesnowstorm , @blxkestnight , @batarangtotheheart , @angstytodd , @abiitheawkward , @batfamily-imagines , @dc-imagine-central , @pinkwitch21 , @mintymacaronrain , @starshipofgotham , @tim-help , @avengerdragoness , @senpai-gabby , @just-a-girl-maybe , @schninner-writes-some-stuff , @books-netflix-and-pizza , @memento-scribet , @speedypan


You were trying to hide from the Batfamily because of how angry you were and didn’t want anyone to find you, especially Tim. You kinda went on patrol alone last night without anyone's whereabouts and got in big trouble. Bruce made you time out on being [S/H/N]. 

“He is not the boss of me.” You tell yourself as you stood on top of a tall building, looking down seeing small flashing lights. Gotham is one heck of a chaotic city. You continued to look down until someone jumped behind you.You looked back finding out it was Red Robin.

“Tim? How did you find me?” You ask.

“Detective skills, very useful.” He answers.

“Go.”

“What.”

“Tim go. I want to be alone now.”

“What happened?”

“I have been put in time out from crime fighting.”

Who did this to you?”

“Bruce.” You answer as he removes his cowl.

“If you are in time out then I am also. We will go through this. I promise…” He trails of “ Besides, it won’t be that bad [F/N].”

“Not that bad? Gotham needs all the heroes it can get. Especially for a crappy city like this.” You say brooding down at the city. Tim put his hand on your shoulder as you turned towards him. 

“And since you will be taking a break why don’t you stay over at my place?” He suggests

“In a place where both Bruce and Damian live? Never in my life!” You say as Tim chuckles and you begin to giggle. He always had a way to make you smile even when you were extremely pissed.

“You’re such a dork, babe.” He says laughing a little as your foreheads touched and wrapping his arms around your waist.

“Who’s the one talking?”

How you kissed me when I was in the middle of saying something
There’s not a day I don’t miss those rude interruptions
—  Last Kiss-Taylor Swift
EXPANDING

After watching 13 Reasons Why over my spring break, I’ve decided to include all those characters to my list of fandoms I write for! Of course I will write any of them submitted as long as they aren’t inappropriate or inconsiderate :) Just figured I’d tell you all!

Yakov!!! on Xanax Part 4
  • Georgi: Here's my theme for this year *hands paper*
  • Yakov: .......... Why don't you just get over her?
  • Georgi: My heart is breaking ok?! Let me have this! She needs to suffer like I am!
  • Yakov: I'm starting to see why she dumped your sorry ass.
2

Guys, my heart has been breaking over this scene for a good 30 minutes now. The way he looks taking off his glasses and when Lestrade grabs him. This sweet nerd knows he’s probably about to get punched in the face and looks so scared. I just want to wrap him up in a blanket with a nice cup of cocoa, then slap the shit out of Lestrade.

Taking An Important Test
  • me: ok brain so this is worth 50% of my grade can you please not start singing a random song during it
  • brain: ok
  • brain:
  • brain:
  • brain:
  • brain:
  • brain:
  • brain: BAbY SEASONS CHANGE BUT peoPLE don't and I'll alwAYS be wAITIng in the baCK rOOm
  • me: what the fu-
  • brain: I'm borInG but overcompensate with headlines and
  • me: please stop
  • brain: FLASH FLASH FLASH photographY

I want those tights