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Publishing - Kim Petersen

Is Giving Up An option?

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Some days I just want to pack it all in. I could do that. I could choose to walk away from the world of writing and publishing and grab a “normal” job with a dependable source of income. It is a real option; a path diverting from a journey begun a few years ago exists, and one that I’ve discussed with author friends who have toyed with similar thoughts. But is it really an option? And when do you know when it’s time to call it a day?

From the start, I made many mistakes that have accumulated into thousands of lost dollars. I wrote my first book, Millie’s Angel, without adhering to any one firm genre, resulting in “a little bit of this and a little bit of that” kind of novel. Which might work if you’re someone like Norah Jones, but I wasn’t someone like that. I’m still not someone like that.

It didn’t matter that that title attracted an award or a whole bunch of five-star reviews from reputable review services (that I’d paid for). It didn’t matter that I went ahead and invested a whole bunch of my savings into promoting the book because at the end of the day, I’d screwed up my target audience – and this was before I could get them to actually buy the book. I had totally failed on the original cover too.

It was a beautiful, award-winning cover created by a talented artist. I shelled out a good chunk of coin for the creation and I loved it. Turned out, I could love it till the end of rainbows and back, but that fact didn’t move the book into the right hands and generate sales.

The universe has a way of throwing the right people on your path when you need them. Think about it; there are billions of people in the world doing their thing – how is it not orchestrated by some stroke of higher intelligence when you encounter the important ones? The ones meant to touch your life in some way … for a particular reason.

He might blush when working on these words before you see them, but my editor Paul Vander Loos is a part of an intimate body of people to have influenced my creative world. I learned a ton early on during his work on Millie. He went above and beyond to clean up that first manuscript when most editors would have thrown it back at me in disgust.

Not Paul. He rolled up his sleeves and got down and dirty with my words, and probably wanted to throw me off a cliff on more than one occasion. When it was all done and delivered, I could barely believe how much patience this man must have possessed to have persevered through my manuscript. The lessons were invaluable, the appreciation more than he could ever realize.    

I’m probably going to regret telling you this, but I was so wet-behind-the-ears and excited when releasing Millie, that I went ahead and made the DUMBEST decision ever and hired a publicist. Yes. As I write these words, I can still feel the sting of that one.

I invested about a thousand dollars without much of a result in return. She snagged me one radio appearance and an article in a magazine about balancing writing with a big family. She had wanted to use my background in domestic abuse as a publicity angle; a fact that didn’t sit well with me (but I went with it anyway). When a few of the bigger magazines sniffed around for my story, they had to bolt when they discovered I’d never chosen to press charges against my ex-husband.

It wasn’t long before I realized that brand new, unknown fiction authors do not need publicists. Unless they have a surplus budget and money to burn. I didn’t.

Not all was lost, though, because it was through that publicist that I was introduced to a lovely woman who would become one of my most solid author friends to date, Beth Prentice.

Beth knew more than me. I found myself engaged in weekly phone conversations, picking her brain about the industry and spending hours talking shop. It was through Beth that I’d learned the ropes that had eluded me, and, in the process, I discovered a true friend. She gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going, keep writing and keep believing in myself. As dumb as it was, I’d pay that publicist again in a heartbeat for Beth.

I then started to wrap my head around the industry a little more. It was enough to write my follow-up title to genre, deciding to hinge the series on the most prominent genre to flavor my first book: paranormal romance. Despite falling short on the original cover, the book fared well and attracted great reviews from readers, making an even deeper niche when I revamped the cover art some months later.

That’s another thing that had stumped me in the beginning – who were my readers, how do I find them, and most importantly, how do I keep them engaged between releases?

It started out pretty cheesy. I did what I saw most other authors were doing with their newsletters, delivering the generic style email every other week or so. I organized dozens of swaps, signed up for author cross-promotions, newsletter builders, author giveaways.

I thought that if I didn’t have something like the above-mentioned options to offer my readers, then I didn’t have an email to send. The problem with that is that your emails become ordinary pretty fast.

Since releasing those first two books, I’ve gone on to work with some wonderful people, collaborate and learn from some of the best in the Indie publishing industry, make a couple of strong connections and publish more titles. Yet, it wasn’t until recently that I really began to grow into myself as an author, and as a woman. I’ve discovered a part of myself I never knew was missing.

There is something about creating stories that strengthens your inner world. It’s like a journey of self-discovery and self-realization. Our deepest truths seem to spill onto the page through our stories, creating more than just a fictional tale, but a personal learning experience that fosters insight and growth.  

I currently have two completed manuscripts in a series banked on the hard drive and ready to go; the third underway (well, somewhat). I find myself caught in the “undecided” zone with this series, unsure about which way is best to let it fly. That’s the thing about this game; sometimes it’s hard to know which way to roll the dice – the place where we circle back to the question: do I keep going and invest more into the books or do I call it quits?

My readers, the ones that have stuck around, still receive my fortnightly emails. Only, these days I rarely offer them other book deals or giveaway opportunities. I’m offering them something different; something they can’t get in a builder-giveaway or another book sale lighting up their screen. I’m offering more of me.

As a result, I’ve weeded out the “easily offended” and stuffy variety of readers as well as the ones hanging around for the freebie or 99 cent deals, managing to forge an authentic relationship with others. This is despite offering them little in the way of new release fiction for the duration of 2019. I figure these readers are the ones I want around for the long haul, the ones that like who I am behind the shiny book covers and deals.

I had no idea if consistently creating newsletters without the offers would work, but I’ve found that approaching my readers in this way continues to pay off. I can feel their loyalty, their interest in the content I’m delivering to their inbox and their support through their responses.

Hopefully, when I’ve reached a place where I can breathe long enough to make a solid decision about what to do with my new series, these folks will be just as interested in the fiction I have to offer them. And all being well, I’ll arrive at a place where I no longer question if I’m on the right path, because writing has become a large part of who I am and I can’t imagine a life without creating books.

I guess I just answered the question most of us writers periodically ask themselves: is giving up really an option?

It’s not if you stay true to yourself, do what you are passionate about and honor your soul.   

Dreamtime Stories: The Sacred World of Creative Energy

seven sisters reggie sulton
Seven Sisters – A Dreaming Story

Since the beginning of time storytelling has played a vital role in the evolution of humanity. It is no secret that storytelling originated through visual drawings, such as cave depictions and paintings, before shifting into oral traditions that passed down through the generations. It is through stories that we seek to learn about the world and the universe, and it also helps us understand relationships.

Dreamtime Stories

The Australian Aboriginal culture is one of the world’s oldest cultures. Throughout the ages, this magnificent race of indigenous people has used Dreamtime to help them better understand the natural and mystical elements of our world, their people and their culture, as well as their history. Aboriginal children are told early in life about the structured and detailed stories embellished with valuable lessons about their elders’ journeys and accomplishments. In turn, as their children grow into adults, passing the Dreamtime stories to the younger generations becomes their responsibility.

The Aborigines believed that Dreamtime was the very beginning, and that the land and the people were created by the spirits. They believe the spirits were responsible for creating all that exists, including their totems and their Dreaming.

Dreamtime stories are more than myths, legends or fables. These fascinating spiels are far from fairytales. They are the Aborigines’ accumulated knowledge, spirituality and wisdom. The storyteller’s role is really that of cultural educator, channeling their spiritual Dreaming, which is demonstrated through visual art, oral storytelling, dance and music, as well as totems and lore. Together they form an all-encompassing mystical whole – The Dreaming.

Spirituality and Story

Aboriginal spirituality is deeply linked to the land. This ancient race of earthly worshippers believe that all objects are living and share the same soul or spirit as the people. A feeling of oneness, interconnectedness and belonging rests at the core of their beliefs. They learn to see with their “inner-eye” and view the world through the lens of their souls – which means there is no sense of separateness between the material world and the sacred world of creative energy. These relationships and the knowledge of how they are interconnected are expressed through their sacred stories.

While stories have been used to articulate the experiences and tribulations of our earliest ancestors to guide, teach and inform, and have existed to provide cautionary warnings to their predecessors, it also through storytelling that we have searched for the sacred dimension of life. We need to be ceaselessly reminded of the authentic nature of our lives, and we need our artistic inspiration to propel and transform those energies within and between us into messages that will continue to uplift and influence the generations.

It is well-established that when we raise our level of vibration, we attract influences from higher realms. While we don’t know for certain where artistic inspiration originates, this wonderous resource is available to us all and is the cornerstone of all creation. This is not a vague, mystical conundrum as many might think. In fact, just as the ancient race of Aborigines have practiced seeing with their “inner-eye”, thus, connecting with the source of all creative energy to produce their sacred Dreamtime stories, similarly the higher realms are available to every human being.

It is at this higher level of the creative process that we become a transparent agent for another intelligence to pass through us. From this perspective, we receive fragments of intuitive revelations and become hosts to energies much larger than we are, originating from mysterious and spiritual realms. Simply put, God speaks to us through art; and I’m not necessarily talking about God in the sense of any identity espoused by religion, but that deepest sense of God in the formless existence of the eternal perfect.

All people of the world are offered this unique gift to increase our perspective of the human condition, and these insightful nuggets are often left behind in the form of works of art, including stories. The connotations of this phenomenon are significant. It is when artists reach into those higher realms to express deeper levels of the human experience that art transcends art and has the potential to help awaken something within us.

So, how as modern-day storytellers can we raise our vibrations and establish a connection to the higher realms and use those mystical currents to inform our own version of Dreamtime stories?

The answer lies in a time before our lives became a fast-track series of fleeting experiences and modern innovations – the past.

Dreamtime Story Tools

Ground yourself and connect with the earth

The Australian Aborigines believe in their connection to the land. Humans have always been in close contact with the earth, but our contemporary lifestyles have served to disconnect us from the earth’s energy, making us more vulnerable to stress and illness. The Aborigines use the earth to recover wellbeing. By doing so, they pay attention to all four dimensions of our being – mind, body, spirit and land.

Aboriginal beliefs tied to the earth have been reinforced through modern research. Dr. James Oschman, biophysicist and pioneer Earthing researcher, states: “The moment your foot touches the earth, your physiology changes. An immediate normalization begins, and an anti-inflammatory switch is turned on.”

Aside from the physiological benefits to get barefoot and dig your feet into the earth, connecting with earth’s energy reminds us of our connection to the creative source energy. When we can quieten our thoughts, feel and connect with the earth, we can harness that energy to propel us through the invisible doors to higher realms.

Live from the Heart

Aboriginal spirituality is so incredibly diverse, but at the heart of their spirituality is an emphasis on caring and sharing. Being kind to others significantly improves our lives. I am not just talking about a polite exchange of courteous behaviour here; I am talking about the real stuff. Being authentic in every facet of your life, to yourself and those lives you touch along the way, creates a ripple effect from the inside out.

When we express love for ourselves and others, we are demonstrating love for all of creation. Practicing kindness and appreciation raises our vibration to a higher level, allowing the divine, eternal currents to flow through to us.

Release Your Dream to the World

The world needs its artists. Your Dreaming through story is a gift to the world that has the potential to change and uplift lives. By raising your own vibration and embracing the mystical currents and allowing them to flow through you and into your stories, you are helping to transcend the human condition into magical realms.

Like electricity flowing through wire. Only the zap is a remedy.


It’s time for You to your raise your vibration!

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Tips like this and so much more can be discovered in our upcoming release, Creative Writing Energy: Tools to Access Your Higher-Creative Mindwhere you find a wide range of alternative methods and ideas that you can use to access your higher-creative mind and get those words flowing. 

Creative Writing Energy: Tools to Access Your Higher-Creative Mind is the first in a series for authors from bestselling and award-winning authors, Kim Petersen and Catherine Evans.

Click here and be the first to get access to Creative Writing Energy: Tools to Access Your Higher-Creative Mind as soon as it’s released – plus, join our clan and you’ll get more than just a book – you’ll receive a weekly writing prompt in the form of a wonderful Oracle Card that we’re creating for authors as part of our series, and you’ll become part of a loving writing community interested in maximising your highest-creative potential!

Give us Break – it only took a zillion takes to get this far filming our first video… oh how we laughed!