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Johne

When A Good Christian Author Quits

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Mike Dellosso is standing down. He gives a pretty candid explanation over on Facebook.

 

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Not familiar with him, but sorry to hear about his decision.

 

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It became more about trying to resurrect my dwindling sales and less about creating a great story. 

 

 

He's not alone. I think this is one of the (if not the) biggest challenges to Indie authors these days. Balancing creative output with the business end of writing brings most of us down. I'm facing the same dilemma. It can really sap your creative output.

 

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Two, my sales have steadily declined. I honestly don’t know why but can only blame myself. Maybe a product of being burned out? Maybe a product of that fire within me slowly dimming? I don’t know.

  

Again, this is a widespread issue - particularly over the past couple of years. While I don't personally know this author and can't speak for his marketing strategies, I very much doubt that all the blame is on him.

 

My theory is that the marketplace is over-saturated with new books. This coupled with a relatively stagnate (or decreasing) growth in readers makes it much harder to launch and build a reader base. Prior successful marketing strategies have become largely ineffective, and new approaches seem to have a short life span as droves of hungry Indie authors pounce on them.

 

It's rough out there these days. Many are feeling the pinch. I hope Mike can hold onto a part of writing without walking away from it all together. Or maybe just take a leave of absence? 

 

   

Edited by Accord64

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5 hours ago, lynnmosher said:

Something is wrong with the link, Phy.

If you hit the read more button, it shows more.  Don't ask me how he managed that.  

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It's linked from Facebook, so maybe that displays differently in various browsers?

 

Here's the post I see:

 

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The time has come for me to write this message and I don’t want to beat around any bush: I’m done writing. I wasn’t going to say anything. I was just going to go quietly into the night, but I thought I owed it to my readers and everyone who has ever supported me in my writing or worked with me to produce a book to let you all know. I’m done.

I started writing in 2005 and over the past thirteen years I’ve produced fifteen books. Twelve through traditional publishers (Charisma, Tyndale, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) and three self-published. Not bad for a guy who thought he’d never see a single story in print. I’ve poured myself into my writing, stretched myself, sacrificed much, and lived vicariously through the lives of my characters. And I enjoyed it. Immensely. It was my passion, at times, my obsession. I loved the creative aspect of storytelling. Weaving plots and themes and using symbolism to tell a tale that would not only entertain, but inspire and provoke thought and maybe make some uncomfortable. I did it all while working a full-time job and balancing family and church at the same time. Sometimes that balance was off. Sometimes, my writing overwhelmed me and I neglected those other responsibilities.

I’ve enjoyed reading the responses of readers to my books. Some negative, but most positive. Surprisingly positive. I’ve been amazed and awed at how God can use a novel, a tale of fiction, to change lives, to stir conviction, to refocus, to inspire. I’ve been humbled to be used by Him in such a way. When I began writing I purposed in my heart that while my books may be gritty, suspenseful, and at time fear-inducing, I would always include a message of faith and hope. I imagined myself standing before my Lord one day to give an account of what I did and he says, “Michael, I gave you a gift and a platform; what did you do with it?” I couldn’t live with just, “Well, I told a good story.” No, my stories had to mean more, had to say more.

What will I miss the most? Not the early 4:30 am starts on writing to get some in before going to my day job. Not the marketing, social media, interviews, etc. Not the editing (not ever the editing). What I will miss the most are the writers conferences. I was blessed to be able to attend and teach at various conferences around the country and I loved each and every one. I loved the people, the passion, the comraderie. I loved talking writing. I loved exploring new places. I made many friendships through conferences and I will miss that the most. The very most.

So why am I hanging up my . . . typewriter? Computer? Fingers? Various reasons. One, I’m just tired. I’m burned out. Writing became more of a task and less of a joy. It became a burden. It became more about trying to resurrect my dwindling sales and less about creating a great story. Two, my sales have steadily declined. I honestly don’t know why but can only blame myself. Maybe a product of being burned out? Maybe a product of that fire within me slowly dimming? I don’t know. I just know that I once looked at writing as a means to supplement my income and we relied on it. Monetarily it just isn’t paying off anymore. Three, I want to devote more time to my local church and need the time to do so. Now that I’m not writing, that extra time in the mornings is spent doing ministry stuff like preparing for Sunday school, small group, or sermons.

I don’t regret my decision. Yes, there is a part of me that feels it is suffering the loss of a good friend. I used to always be working on something related to writing. I used to attend two to three conferences a year and look forward to each. I used to be in almost constant contact with other writers and readers, discussing the joy and craft of writing. And now all that is gone and yes, there is a void. I still have story ideas swimming around in my head; I would still love to teach writing; I would still love to “talk shop” with other writers. I’m not sure if a clean break is the answer or not. Part of me wants to hang on a little longer, part of me wants to turn the page and be done with that chapter in my life. I’m not sure how it will all play out.

Thank you to all my readers who have stuck with me and read my books. Some of you have been with me from the very beginning and you mean so much to me. Thank you to all my publishers, editors, agents, fellow writers who helped me along the way. You have been part of my journey and I will not forget you. Thank you to my family who stuck with me and supported me throughout this adventure.

Thank you, Jesus, for giving me the opportunity to touch lives through the written word.

Signing off (for now) . . . Mike Dellosso.

 

Edited by Accord64

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1 minute ago, Accord64 said:

Here's the post I see:

That's what I had a first, and then only the first line.  Weird.  ¬¬  Thanks for reposting for us.  :)

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Thanks for sharing this. I understand being burned out. I quit teaching junior/senior high school after 30 years. Ended up in the GED program for another 18. (Don't add those up.)

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"When we love the Lord with all that is in us, we see each word we write, each opportunity presented to us as a gift from our loving heavenly Father, not to be held tightly, but nurtured, and then released to others. In doing so, we glorify God and prevent the living waters from becoming stagnant. Words have life when flowing from a humble heart—life that is dimmed from the pen of the pride and" arrogance. (She misspelled the last word)

Somehow I sense that Lynn's post on Writer's Humility and this one about retirement are related.  

Are writers not allowed to retire, take a break, pause for air?  Fifteen books in thirteen years sounds like a meat grinder to me!  I pray that this man rediscovers that every word is a gift from our loving heavenly Father, not to be held tightly ...

And I thank him for posting his experience for the edifying of the rest of us.  

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1 hour ago, Nicola said:

Somehow I sense that Lynn's post on Writer's Humility and this one about retirement are related.  

Are writers not allowed to retire, take a break, pause for air?  Fifteen books in thirteen years sounds like a meat grinder to me!  I pray that this man rediscovers that every word is a gift from our loving heavenly Father, not to be held tightly ...

And I thank him for posting his experience for the edifying of the rest of us.  

This person, whom I do not know, did a lot of writing in in 13 years. From time to time, we all need to take a break and enjoy our lives, our families, take a vacation. I blog, Several of my blogging friends take a break for part of the summer. I try to work mine in around the holidays. This allows me some time to plan some of my posts and allows me to breathe.  Fifteen books in thirteen years would be torture for me. The fun would go out of the process very quickly. Just my personal thoughts.

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Guest Steven Hutson

Most writers get into writing for the love of the craft, or the ministry. But most are just not prepared for the business side. And no matter what your motivations,yes, this is business. This is why many agent and eds will want to see your proposal before they read the first word of your ms.
 

When you pitch your book, you're asking them to go into business with you and (potentially) spend tens of thousands of dollars on your project. Hence, the quality of your writing or your story might be irrelevant. You need to be marketable, before they care about the  book.

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Guest Steven Hutson
On 8/20/2018 at 7:11 AM, Nicola said:

I pray that this man rediscovers that every word is a gift from our loving heavenly Father, not to be held tightly ...


I  met Mike at a conference, briefly, years ago. The sense I get from this post is that he was hoping to eventually make a living from his writing, and quit the day job. But it just never worked out that way. Something had to give, so he chose his family. and his sanity I won't fault him for that. Thirteen years is a decent effort.
.

Edited by Steven Hutson

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47 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

will want to see your proposal

Ok, the blonde would like to know what a proposal is.  I've not done much research into the traditions publishing side.  

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48 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

  met Mike at a conference, briefly, years ago.

Did he know Jesus?  

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44 minutes ago, Nicola said:

Did he know Jesus? 


Yeah, he's a Christian. He's over on the Realm Makers group on FB.

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Guest Steven Hutson
51 minutes ago, Nicola said:

Did he know Jesus?  


He's a professing Christian.

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1 hour ago, Phy said:

Yeah, he's a Christian. He's over on the Realm Makers group on FB

Then he is still connected, in all the right places!  I have every hope for him. 

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1 hour ago, suspensewriter said:

As Katherine said, he's made a brave choice.

And it's not a final choice. After some rest and relaxation, after some time spent with family and friends, after some good nights' sleep (hmmm. Is that plural nights or singular?), he may (or may not) discover that he has more to say to the world. And if he doesn't, that's fine too.

 

Even Elijah was allowed to quit.

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Guest Steven Hutson
On 8/19/2018 at 7:33 AM, Accord64 said:

I think this is one of the (if not the) biggest challenges to Indie authors these days. Balancing creative output with the business end of writing brings most of us down. I'm facing the same dilemma. It can really sap your creative output.


This is a challenge for every writer everywhere. Signing with a publisher, will not relieve you of tending to business matters. Of course, it will be nice to have an experienced partner and investor. But your publisher will have hundreds of other titles to manage, and your agent will have dozens of other authors to serve. 

Unlike anyone who might help you in the process, you have ONE book that's everything to you. You have the most skin in the game, so you should be working for it harder than anyone else.
.

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13 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

Signing with a publisher, will not relieve you of tending to business matters. Of course, it will be nice to have an experienced partner and investor. But your publisher will have hundreds of other titles to manage, and your agent will have dozens of other authors to serve. 

 

Don't forget the whole query process that precedes being published, assuming an author can even make it past the slush pile. From what I hear, it's harder than ever to land an agent (or even find one taking submissions). 

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Guest Steven Hutson

Indeed, Accord. A well-crafted query is essential. 

And yes, agents are slippery. But they can be a great help to the process.

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2 hours ago, Steven Hutson said:


This is a challenge for every writer everywhere. Signing with a publisher, will not relieve you of tending to business matters. Of course, it will be nice to have an experienced partner and investor. But your publisher will have hundreds of other titles to manage, and your agent will have dozens of other authors to serve. 

Unlike anyone who might help you in the process, you have ONE book that's everything to you. You have the most skin in the game, so you should be working for it harder than anyone else.
.

This is what I've been saying - if you don't promote yourself and your novels, it's likely nobody else will.

 

Even if my publisher and agent assured me they had a promotion scheme in mind, I'd still be planning something.

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