GRL Blog Tour with J.C. Owens

Today I am pleased to be hosting J.C. Owens for our first stop on the GRL Blog Tour! Welcome J.C.!

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Last year destroyed my confidence with the varying difficulties regarding publishers folding, and then a very large third party seller (how’s that for diplomatic?). By the end of it, I was burned so badly that I seriously considered giving up entirely. I could not see what the purpose was, of letting others profit by my creations, and receiving such negative experiences in return.

My first ebook was published back in 2009, and it seems like eons ago. Things were bright then, the industry relatively new and full of promise. 2016 wore me down with the absolute idiocy and greed that characterized the year. For the first time, my dream of being a published author was seeming more like a nightmare. There were many, many others in the same boat, some having been robbed far worse than I. Listening to other people’s stories saddened me, made me question why I was continuing.

If my creations are simply being used to pad other people’s pockets, then it seemed foolish to give them my work.

And yet, I have had so many good people over the years that have encouraged me and told me how much they enjoyed my stories. That is the silver lining in this whole thing, but, for a while, the feeling of disbelief and betrayal was overwhelming everything else. We, as authors, along with the honest publishers, trusted these people. Put our creations in their hands with the belief of basic decency and morals.

And this is what we got back…

As I have noted on my site, this time has been both a blessing and a curse. Watching events unfold, and hearing so many horror stories from readers, authors and publishers over what could be termed a moral and financial collapse, it made me sit back and take stock of things. Of what had happened, how I felt about continuing in this ebook industry, where it is all too easy for sales numbers to be fudged. I think there needs to be more accountability, in my humble opinion.

But beyond that, it brought me in a circle, back to where I started writing and why. I wrote because I always had, even as a child. It is as natural to me as breathing and as important to my well being. It has empowered me, in shedding harmful emotions through the magic of words, to create worlds and characters who went through terrible things, and yet, came out the other side triumphant, battered, bruised but with hope.

Like me.

If that is me, then I cannot let these recent events destroy what I do, how I express myself. Writing is not a job to me, it IS me. Therefore, to let others take that away is pure foolishness. I am stronger than that.

The blessing is that I have heard so many comments from readers, who have taken the time to let me know they support me, that they enjoy the stories and it gives them pleasure. If this had not happened, would I have realized that to this extent?

So a silver lining brings me back to why I write. I love reading about characters who go through terrible things and come out the other side, and it was hard to find stories that went deep enough in emotional darkness to suit me. So I wrote stories involving such things, and found others who loved what I did. I could share and it was wonderful in a way I had never encountered before. I love to see people truly “get” what I am writing about.

And it is those people who have sent such kind and total support.

In light of that, how can I quit? I have to go back to my roots and remember why I am writing at all.

Strange, that today, after realizing all this, I have written non-stop, my muse up and running in full force.

Perhaps that was what this mess was meant for.

Thank you to all those lovely souls who wrote to me, both privately and on my blog. Your comments were taken to heart. Any future works are dedicated to all of you.

In line with this new, determined me, this year, I am going to attend GayRomLit in Denver to meet other authors in the genre. Scared to death, but eager to be at a venue that understands what we do!!!

It sounds awesome, and I hope to meet some of my readers there!


GayRomLit is an annual retreat that brings together the people who create and celebrate LGBT romance for a one-of-a-kind, must-attend gathering of dynamic, informal, and diverse fun.

Each year, the retreat rotates to a new city and hosts tons of events from raucous parties to mellow tête á têtes while still maintaining a spirit of familiarity. GRL is the place to connect with old friends, find family you didn’t know you had, and meet with both newly published and established authors in the gay romance genre.

This year’s retreat will be held in Denver, Colorado on October 19-22, 2017 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center.

For more information or to register, please visit our website: http://gayromlit.com/

Comments

  1. I love your work and can’t wait to meet you. <3

  2. Hi J.C.,
    so good to hear that you are writing full speed (and hopefully full of joy) again!
    And as always: is there a chance for another book in the Gaven universe in the near future? Pretty please =;))
    All the best,
    Eve

  3. Welcome, J.C.! Here’s wishing for a brighter future as regards the publishing world. I’m happy to hear that you’ve weathered the storm and come out stronger. Happy writing!

  4. Hi J.C. I had to stop in to say hi and to tell you my sister and I LOVE your stories (I got her hooked). We literally check regularly for any new books from you even though we know you don’t you don’t release as often as other authors (please don’t take this as an insult or discouragement. everyone do things at their own paces and we totally understand). I’m sorry to hear you’ve had such negative experience but am glad to hear you haven’t given up. I hope you have a ton of fun at GRL and I wish I could attend and fanby.

  5. Moondrawn says:

    I’m glad you got your mojo back. I am not going to lie; I’m still bitter about the whole thing. Who keeps their receipts for all the ebooks they bought for seven years? Not me apparently. I didn’t lose all my books, but I lost enough. I didn’t understand the difference between open with or import with and HTML is a whole other ball of wax. Also, as far as library management is concerned, switching ereader apps is not a good idea. I am still not up to the amount of ebook buying I was at pre-evil-big third-party-seller leaving us all high and dry, but I am getting there. I am not convinced KU is very good for authors either; also, buying from them keeps you captive to them. I mostly buy directly from Riptide, Dreamspinner, Carina, Nine Star, and sometimes Smashwords (yes, I know this is not an easy platform authors like.)  Keep focusing on your writing and when it’s good, we will follow you anywhere. 

    • You are right about KU, I don’t buy ebooks from the great A also. Never will.
      I may be paranoid, but I always think that when enough authors sell their books with the big A only, and enough reader buy their ebooks only with them, because it’s so nice and cheap, and most of the “normal” publishers are gone, then Amazon can dictate what to publish and what to sell. Thanks, but no thanks, I rather pay a little bit more and buy with Dreamspinner, Riptide and so on….

      • Moondrawn says:

        Did you see Sadie Sins rant about KU? It really made me think about how easy it is for them to not pay the authors at all. If I do read books on a Kindle I try to bookmark the last page I read and hope it helps prove I read it so someone can get paid. I am starting to wonder if they only pay authors if you click past the last page and leave a review. I totally agree with you that if they are the last place standing they can charge what they want and pay authors what they want and this would not be a good thing. Also, they can take books away whenever they want and then you no longer have access to them. Anyway, this has nothing to do with JC Owen and I don’t mean to hijack his post–I just share his frustration from the customer side of things.

  6. Hope GRL gives you lots of positive vibes!

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