Have you ever wondered how you can find balance and achieve success in different aspects of your life? In this episode, Camille welcomes C.R. Jane, a five-time best-selling international author as well as a successful attorney.
C.R. Jane shares her journey in how she became an author after dealing with postpartum depression while also working as an attorney to now having published 50 books. She shares her best practices of how she’s able to find balance between her two jobs as well as being a mother and how you too can achieve success in your particular field.
If you’re interested in becoming an author or pursuing a new interest, tune into this episode to hear C.R. Jane’s advice on how you can schedule and prioritize your tasks to find balance for your work and home life.
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C.R. JANE [0:00]
Because I think that most of the issues that come with women and the mistakes that they make in their life come from this place of not having inner self-confidence.
CAMILLE WALKER [0:11]
So, you want to make an impact. You’re thinking about starting a business sharing your voice. How do women do it that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We’ll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.
It can be easy to look around us and think, gosh, how does she do it all? I know that there have been many times I’ve looked at women around me and truly wondered what is behind the curtain with how they’re getting their things done and how they’re actually making life work.
Today, we are speaking with C.R. Jane, who is a five-time best-selling international author as well as a very successful attorney. Now, for the purposes of this show, she will not be sharing where it is that she works or exactly what the details are of the cases that she works with, but she is going to tell us the details of how she gets all the things done. And trust me, it is just as fascinating. Let’s dive in.
Welcome back everyone to Call Me CEO. This is your host, Camille Walker. And you are all in for a big treat. If you heard the episode last week, I referenced what this week’s episode is going to be about. And it’s a really unique one because our guest is really unique.
She is actually the author, C.R. Jane. That is her pen name. And we’re not going to give you her real name, which is very mysterious and pretty fun because she’s also an attorney and her law that she practices is employment law and commercial litigation and she wants to keep that separate and secret.
And I think that’s so fun already off the get, I’m like, how cool is this? She is the author of 50 books, but including audiobooks, 85, a USA Today best-selling author and an international best-selling author. Boom! C.R. Jane, thank you for being with us today. I’m nerding out of you and all the people who are listening who want to hear all about you. Thank you so much for being here today.
C.R. JANE [2:20]
Thank you so much for having me here. Again, I’m all over the place and it’s nice to be able to settle and talk about something that I’m obsessed with.
This is so fun. First off, we have to say that you're a mom as well. That is a part of the show. We talk about being a mom. So, tell us about your kids and what their ages are.
C.R. JANE [2:43]
Okay. I have two kids, two little girls. One just turned 6 and one is 3. We’re very, very busy with them. I like to note that I did IVF with both of them. So, they were not easy pregnancies. We also had medical scares after the birth of my first one. So, I’m very busy with just them. They are amazing and definitely my top priority.
I love that. And I love that you brought up the fact that it was difficult and that it was something that didn’t come easy. That could probably be its own episode. I know so many of us moms have been through that struggle of becoming a mom and gaining that title. So, thank you for that vulnerability. I think that that makes us feel even more relatable in that way.
So, let’s start out by saying one of your top books in this last year or two is Ruining Dahlia, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg of so many books that you've written throughout the years. What inspired you to become an author?
C.R. JANE [3:50]
So, it actually came from postpartum depression. So, after my first baby, we went through the process of IVF and that was super difficult. And then, when she was born, they literally told us she was the sickest baby at the NICU. It was just absolutely devastating, a miracle that she lived.
I’m going to cry and we’re two minutes in. Just that experience of having all your hopes and dreams tied to this baby that you’ve wished for for so many years and then having this horrifically traumatic experience just put me in a really dark place.
Yes, I was very grateful that I had my baby, but I was balancing the emotions from that. I was balancing still being an associate and trying to know how to handle being a woman in the workplace and balancing that case load. And then, experiencing this very, very deep postpartum depression and I started to read a lot during that time.
It was my way to escape. And as I was reading, I was just like, I’m pretty sure I could do this. And I had written a lot in high school. In middle school, elementary school, that was always my thing. English, perfect scores. Writing, perfect scores. On the SAT, ACT, all of that. I had won this competition in Texas where I got 3rd place in the whole state in 7th grade for writing. But then, once I knew that I was going to law school, I stopped creative writing in college. I didn’t do any of it.
So, here I am fast forward to 2018 and I’ve been reading a lot of books. And I’m like, I just have this story idea. I’ll just start writing it. And I started to get involved in the book talk world back then and still is very active on Facebook. So, there might be a different crowd on Facebook and other realms, but for readers, they’re very active on Facebook and in writer groups.
And I started to do my research. What did people like? What were they looking for in books? And started to get a group of people together to read what I’ve been writing and see what they thought. And there was some excitement building. And so, I was like, okay, don’t tell anyone. My husband’s the only person that knows that I’ve done this. I don’t tell my best friends. I don’t tell anyone. And so, I go ahead and I publish it.
And my first book obviously was not this amazing work of art. I just was publishing it. And it went viral. And it hit Top 100 on Amazon and it was there for a very long time and just people were rabid about it. And then, the second book of that series came out and it hit number 43 in Amazon. And it was like people were just so invested and passionate and it made me really happy.
A lot of times, we have this postpartum depression, and then law is a lot of times very serious, very stressful. People are yelling at you constantly. And all of a sudden, I had this thing where every day, I’m getting emails and messages of people just saying they love me and loved my writing and people who wanted to be friends with me, which also it’s hard with how busy we get to have these friendships.
And so, to have this new group of people that it’s easier to communicate with, just to write people online, didn't necessarily go out to have time to meet someone somewhere. And so, it just opened this whole world and it's growing and growing and growing. And then last year, when Ruining Dahlia came out, it just went to all new heights.
It's been completely life changing. And it’s also helped my mental state so incredibly much. I’m sure that was more than what you were looking for, but it’s one of the biggest blessings of my entire life. But I got into it because of reading books, falling postpartum depression, short answer.
Wow. I have so many questions that are a part of this because how many of us have tried to dive into something? I think it’s a form of escapism where we’re listening to a book or reading a book. I relate to that, but the fact that you could be like, I think I’m going to do this. And you just come out and write this best-seller. First of all, what is the name of that book? So, people who are listening can check this out.
C.R. JANE [8:53]
So, that was First Impressions. The series is called The Fated Wing series. Again, that one didn't have the whole team around it that is C.R. Jane. But it’s still very popular, a very easy read, if you want to have some escapism.
Okay. I want to talk about this a little bit more. So, for someone who’s listening to this and saying, I would love to start writing a book, did you self-publish this book or how did you get it out, so it did hit Amazon in a way that it had traction?
C.R. JANE [9:27]
So, I published it exclusively with Amazon. They have a program called Kindle Unlimited, so your e-books can only be with Amazon. You could publish your paperbacks wide so that they show up in Target, Barnes & Noble, etc., but you publish them through Amazon.
And I didn’t do any advertising. I didn’t pay for anything. It was just the pure readers of Facebook spreading the word and Amazon getting it in its algorithms. But just a side note, for independent authors, Colleen Hoover was an independent author until she hit book top. And Sarah J. Maas, who is also probably the third biggest author in the world, she’s an indie. She’s an independent author. Raven Kennedy, who published the Gilded Cage series, it just got picked up. It’s probably going to be on HBO or something, independent author.
That’s basically the biggest market. The books that you see on the top 100 on Amazon and across are no longer traditional publishers. And the romance industry because I write love stories, actually the market for every other book has fallen to base levels and the only thing keeping the book industry in right now are romance titles. They actually have grown by I believe the number was 80% or something. It’s the only reason the big publishers have their doors open basically are because of these types of books. So, I’m very passionate about that. But yes, I got my start in Amazon.
As you should be, oh my gosh. I haven't chased after writing a book really, but I know a lot of people who have and to be able to pick that up and say, I’m going to give this a try. And I think what’s really interesting and I hope you don’t mind me sharing this is that when we first talked about you being an attorney and being a lawyer, you had mentioned that it gave you confidence in being a better attorney and being a better author. Can you speak to that? Because I think that this is such a profound thought of how we can have more than one talent and how it can help us blossom in both areas.
C.R. JANE [11:56]
Yeah. I would say that’s been a huge plus to entering the author world is that when you have this one thing that you’re struggling to be good at, I do consider myself a great attorney, but there’s a lot of negativity. There’s a lot of other attorneys barking at you, etc.
Proving yourself all the time, yeah.
C.R. JANE [12:26]
It’s a very tough industry, working extremely long hours. Everyone’s so busy. There’s not necessarily that person you may have had growing up in school, etc., that’s like, “You’re doing great or this is great.” It’s like, okay, thank you. Not to say that there's anything wrong with that, it’s just the nature of the business.
And so, there’s a lot of struggle that comes with that, showing up at the conference room as the only woman in a deposition in a room full of men, it’s just a lot of, okay, you got this. Let’s get your confidence and courage going. And so, we’ve talked about the struggle that came with postpartum, balancing cases, etc.
And so, then I have this thing. I have this special jewel that no one knows about yet that I am just kicking butt in, that I paid off all my law school loans. It’s just life changing. And it’s like, okay, if this person yells at you in a deposition or whatever and you’re like, do I actually care what you have to say? I am so good at this. I don’t care.
And then, a lot of times, there is a culture in the book world that you get bad reviews or readers, maybe more negative just in your messaging than you would like or other authors aren’t necessarily being that girl power supportive that they should. And you’re like, I’m a partner at a law firm. I’m good. Your opinion doesn’t define me.
And there’s a lot of people that have intrinsic confidence where they don’t need the outside compliments coming in to build them up. That’s something I don’t have. I have always struggled. It’s something I’m constantly working on because I was the kid in school, it was like a teacher's like, “You’re doing so great.” And that would just make me blossom or my parents telling me I’m doing great.
And so, this has helped instill that where it’s like it doesn’t matter what I’m getting over here or what I’m getting over here, I am building up that inner confidence. I am kicking butt in two distinct areas and it’s okay if this person doesn’t think I’m the greatest because it doesn’t matter.
I’m not sure if I’m explaining it as well as I should, but just having these two things that I’ve excelled at has helped me to get better at both of them because I’ve been able to take a step back and think more logically instead of emotionally and to really approach things where it’s like I do have confidence that I’m great at this and I’m great at this. And it doesn’t matter what you say because no one else I know is doing both of those things and doing a great job at it.
Yeah. Me either. It’s not that you're doing them both, it’s that you are extremely successful at both. And I think for many of us maybe listening to this or maybe where you've mentioned this before that there are many women who say, how do you do it all? How are you able to find the time and the resources and the ability to do both and both very well? How do you manage it all?
C.R. JANE [16:08]
We talked about this before and I started to get a rant going because I’m so passionate about this. I’m so passionate that every time someone says, “How do you do this?” I’m like, “You can do it too.” Maybe it’s not books for you. And maybe it’s not law for you. And I like to focus on women, but it’s broadly applicable, but everyone can do what I’m doing.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. It’s where we choose to put our time, what we choose to do with it, and what we prioritize. So, something that I’ve given up in order to have this and I give myself seasons during the year where I am relaxing more because you can’t just be high stress every second. But I’m not watching all the TV shows that everyone is so passionate about. I would not know Euphoria or I don’t know Love on a Boat or whatever is trending because I have this schedule I have. It’s very important.
I would think my kids would say I’m very present. I see them a lot. I work from home a couple days a week. So, I see them then. I make sure to be either taking my daughter to school or picking her up, but I have, okay, you get up in the morning. You get ready. You get your kids off to school. You have your schedule during the day that you’ve looked at the week before or a couple days before. You have your workout scheduled. And then, the kids go to bed at this time. And this is when I write and this is how I answer all these emails.
And this is what I've put the emphasis on. This is important to me. This is what I put my time in. And so, I’m able to do it all. I am working out every day. I do cook dinner for my family four to five days a week. I’m doing these two jobs. And I think we, a lot of times, make excuses and maybe that’s our self-doubt hitting us. It’s saying, it’s better to have these excuses that we’re too busy or we’re too tired so that we don’t end up disappointing ourselves or disappointing others.
But really, we have so much more potential than we give in a day. Being a mom is really hard. I would say that out of everything, the thing that exhausts me the most is when I’m potty training my 3-year-old, she would not potty train. My other one was like bam, early one. This one just took forever. And then, the other one decided to randomly cut her hair for the first time in her entire life.
And so, it’s constant and they like for mom to do most of the things. But it’s like this is important to me. And so, I’m going to do it all and I’m not going to sacrifice my health or my family in order to succeed because I know it’s possible.
Yeah, okay. Let's break this down into real-time hours. What time are you waking up, first off? And when are you working out and how are you preparing the meals? I ask this because I know I have women listening that are like, okay, let’s break it down. What does this look like for you?
C.R. JANE [19:38]
Okay. I go grocery shopping on Wednesdays. I leave work early on Wednesday. I pick up my daughter from school. We usually stop at one grocery store, and then she has dance. And so, then, I know I have this 50-minute period to get all the groceries done in the car, her back in.
And I’ve made a list. I know you like lists and you’re pretty organized, all of that, about what meals we’re having and what we need. I do work with a nutritionist on my end. So, I make two different meals. Theirs will be more complicated or have more macros or whatever on it. Not that I have my little kids on macros, but you know what I mean. And so, I do pick easier meals. I pick a lot from Clean Simple Eats, those kinds of things that can be done within 30 minutes. That’s as much time.
On Sundays, I'll do longer dinners. If I can put something in a crock pot or they’ll just be prettier meals. But during the week, my emphasis is I want there to be protein. I want it to be healthy and I want it to be good. And you got 30 minutes for that. Okay. So, that’s meals.
In the mornings, usually I wake up around 6:30 and just start thinking of everything that has to be done that day and plotting out, okay, I’ve got this Zoom call at 10. I’ve got this. I’ve got this. And then, we’ll get up and we really don’t get my daughter until 7:40 for school. And then, we make her lunch, feed her. And my husband takes her to school on days when I’m not going into the office. On days when I’m going into the office, then I just drop her off on the way to work.
So, on the days that I’m in the office, obviously I’m working all day. I come home. I make dinner. Usually, I’ll work out right before dinner. The kids will just be in the room with me and they like to pretend to work out while I’m working out, usually on the peloton. And then, I’ll go make dinner right after. And then, we’ll do homework. We will hang out, get them to bed. We aim for 8, but they usually like me to sit there while they fall asleep.
And then, the second that they’re done, it’s on. Book talk is huge, so I have to do all my TikToks. And then, I have to write. We usually do that, I write until 11, 11:30. And then, I try to be in bed by midnight every night.
Wow. So, you’re getting about 6-6.5 hours sleep on average, yes?
C.R. JANE [22:29]
Probably, I try. 7 is my goal to address that, but I do naturally wake up no matter what time I go to bed. And I’ve tried. It's just that’s when I wake up and that's when my brain turns on.
Yeah. That is so interesting. Okay, I appreciate that. That’s so clear of what it is that you’re doing and also TikToks at night. Man, I feel like I have a lot of excuses to make right now because I’m like even just doing TikTok, sometimes my brain goes into freeze mode. And I’ll be like, I don’t even know what to talk about. My brain’s dead.
So, the fact that you do that every night, that is is so impressive. And I have heard that the book talk side of TikTok is intense. Very, very invested fans, which I find that if you have people that are asking questions in those TikToks, it can be a lot easier to pick them up, take a few because they’re giving you the content to talk about.
So, I want to honor the people that are listening that come from that side of your world. What are some things that you get asked about a lot from your fans? What are some things? What’s the dish of things that they ask you that they would like to know?
C.R. JANE [23:41]
Release dates, constantly. Can I have arches? No, they’ll ask who my favorite character is that I've written. A lot of it is asking about things that would come out, who my favorite male character is, where did I get inspiration. Yeah, nothing too crazy.
Is your husband ever jealous of the male characters that you write about?
C,R, JANE [24:08]
He’s like, “I just want you to remember that you are writing a perfect male from a woman’s perspective. So, obviously, he’s going to be just the perfect male who does everything.”
Yeah, which is fair. But that’s what sells, sorry. Because that’s what we want.
C.R. JANE [24:27]
He reminds me that that's not real life and I’m like, “That’s what we want to be in real life, honey. So, I’m just going to keep writing it.”
That is so funny. Okay, so I want to backtrack a little bit to how the writing process works. And you briefly mentioned that you have a team that works with you so that you can pump out a high volume of books. Eighty-five including audiobooks from when you started, what was it? 6 years ago? How many years ago?
C.R. JANE [24:51]
What is that?
C.R. JANE [24:55]
That’s like 5.
5 years ago?
C.R. JANE [24:57]
My book birthday, I missed it.
You missed it?
C.R. JANE [25:03]
My book birthday’s March. I didn’t even think about it. That’s how this month has gone.
Oh my word. Okay. So, 5 years and you’re pumping out. That’s a lot of books a month. And how did it go from, okay, I wrote this one book, it was a smash to another, and now to a team where you’re pumping out many? What was that process like and how did that work?
C.R. JANE [25:22]
Obviously as the business scales, books, it isn’t just your hours worked. It’s nice because you’ve put a product out there just like any other business and it’s working for you, even after you’ve stepped away.
Even when you’re sleeping, yeah.
C.R. JANE [25:39]
Right. So, to scale the business, I have an ads team. That’s their job to monitor all the ads, monitor how sales are going, adjust things as necessary. I have an amazing PA who actually is one of my best friends. Her name’s Katelynn. She’ll want this call-out in the podcast.
Okay. We see you, Katelynn.
C.R. JANE [26:03]
But Katelynn was a reader who was just so nice to me and so supportive from the very beginning. She started out as a beta reader, which is someone who will just read your work and tell you, “I don’t like where this is going,” that sort of thing. And then, it just evolved from there because I depend on her so much. She, even the other day, needed to schedule a nail appointment for me. She is doing all the book stuff so that I only have to do TikToks and writing because she is in control of that.
I have a social media team. So, I have someone who runs one particular TikTok account. And then, I have another that makes content that I’ll use on Instagram or on TikTok for that as well. And then, we’ve hired my mother-in-law and she works for us full-time. And she helps with food prep and she also helps take care of Kate. And then, when I go out of town on book signings, then she watches the kids during that time as well because my husband, we're going to London for this huge book signing in July and my husband will be there with me.
So, we really have a team. And then, I have a nutritionist that helps with what I’m supposed to be eating, but that’s stuff that I’ve scaled as the business has gotten bigger. And that’s a whole other topic about why I’ve done that and why I believe strongly in that, but yes.
Yeah. And I actually love that you went into that field of peeling back the curtain too of the people that are helping you run the business, plus is there a point of this where you could look at this and say, this book thing is all I want? Could you see that being the case? Where maybe the attorney thing, even though you’re so good at it, would it ever be where you choose one over the other or do you really like the duality of it?
C.R. JANE [28:13]
I do, I would say, love the duality of it. We are financially already at the point where the books, it would be easy to step away from law. But there’s also the fact that I’ve worked so stinking hard for that job. You have your undergrad. You have three years of law school. You take the bar. And then, you work so hard as an associate to become a partner. My second year, I think I built 2300 hours, just like an astronomical amount.
And also, there are still lots of women leaving the legal field just constantly. If there’s no women, it’s never going to evolve. And so, a part of me feels like now that I’ve learned to handle both in a healthy way that it’s like I owe that to not drop out. And I don’t mind saying this on the platform, I could see changing hours, etc. for different seasons of life. But I haven’t reached that point yet where I’ve thought super seriously about it.
Yeah. That makes sense when you’re at a place where it feels like a healthy balance to you. And I think that that’s something we talk about that every single week on this episode. That’s what I coach people on too is your version of success, your version of balance, what feels settled and peaceful to you is different from the next person to the next person to the next person.
So, I love that you were able to find people that you could trust and that you’ve found this sense of equilibrium that you personally can operate at a much higher level than I think the average person could. So, I think for someone to come and say, how can you do this? I really sincerely think that you have a mind for success. You really are so successful and that's incredible.
I just applaud you and my jaw is to the ground when you’re like, “Yeah, I’m an international best-seller.” That means five books have had to be on the bestseller list for however long and that you still are like, no, I’ve worked really hard for this. I want to keep being an attorney. I just think that that's so cool.
C.R. JANE [30:38]
With the current cases on my docket, maybe that’ll change my mind.
Which we can’t talk about. You’ll just have to wonder what they are.
C.R. JANE [30:47]
Yes. But I’ve always had a drive to want to be the best possible at whatever I was doing. I don’t really have the personality that just trying is enough for me. It’s like if I’m going to try something, I want to be the best at it and that takes a lot of work. There are tons of people who just get lucky. Maybe they have a viral video or just something like that that helps their career.
And in a way, I did have that help with that first book. But I also set myself up, okay, this is what my goal is. So, how do I do this? If I could show you the first cover that I got made, if that had been in my book, we never would have been here. Nothing would have happened. So, I had to do the market research. I had to know the market really well and set myself up for success.
I have had people who are like, “You wrote a book? I can write a book and be successful too.” And it hasn’t happened for them. There is a certain magic involved with where you get in life, but it’s the hard work plus the magic that gets you there. And a lot of people just do not want to do the first part.
Yeah. I think that is very true where obviously it’s one thing to have one book. And even that, I’m like that’s amazing. But it’s one thing to have one successful book, and then to have 50. Obviously, there’s a repeat of a successful formula. One thing I am curious about and I think that this can be very relatable is when women have a sense of wanting to be the best or that performance level of really putting a lot of pressure on yourself.
How were you able to find people that you could release responsibility to? Because that piece can be really difficult sometimes knowing that I could do this better. And this could translate to so many different things. This could be giving up the way you wash a toilet or load a dishwasher.
But beyond that, how were you able to trust your social media teams and your book writing teams and all the different people that are now playing part of your team? How did you find them? And how did you allow yourself to release that? Or was that not hard for you?
C.R. JANE [33:16]
That was really hard for me. Especially with TikToks and social media because the ideas have to come from my head about the book hooks, etc. And so, to trust that this person can read my book and really know what’s going to hit online was a lot. Also my very first personal assistant ended up being really disappointing and it was someone that I couldn’t trust. And it was hurtful because I had become good friends with them.
And so, that burned me for a while, but my husband, he does the finance part of C.R. Jane. And we really collectively have come over the years to the conclusion that you should only do what you’re best at. That should be what our time is. And everything else, if you can get to the point where you can push off everything else, then you're going to be more successful.
I am very good at writing books and I’m very good at hopefully being a mom and at my law job. And so, that needs to be what my effort is going to. So, we are constantly working and I would say this has evolved more over the past year and a half that it’s been, okay, this is how successful you are right now. And this is how successful you could be, but you have to have time to do that.
If I am trying to do every little facet in life, then I’m never going to be able to concentrate my efforts and what I’m truly good at to push me to the next level. And so, it obviously costs money to have a team around you, but we decided to go all in on the concept that my efforts are best focused on these areas and it has worked a thousand times over.
And it wasn’t just for me, okay, I have to trust that this person is going to put all the books together and ship them out on time and that they’re going to do my newsletters right and that the social media’s going to happen. And obviously, I get referrals for the people that I work with with the exception of my Katelynn. It was her first time being a PA, but I had years of getting to know her and trust her.
And my mother-in-law, if she listens to this, she’s absolutely wonderful. She loves my babies just as much as I love them I think. She’s very, very good at that and childcare, she’s involved with preschool for 20 years and she just steps in to help me and make things easier. She’ll chop up vegetables for me to be able to cook dinner or my meal plan is five small meals a day, so it just feels like I’m eating all the time. And she will cook my ground turkey so that I can have that.
And the peace of mind that I can go to my book signings and know that my babies are in the best hands possible, that just is something we have not been able to trust is a stranger with our kid. That’s why it was really important that we bring my mother-in-law and have her not working elsewhere so that we can have this really safe place for our kids.
And I realized that that’s not possible for everyone, but we made this list. We made the priorities of what was most important in life and we set about to accomplish it and I’m still in the process of offloading things so that I can continue to expand my business and everything else.
Yeah. I would love to ask you for someone who's listening and is an aspiring author or even an attorney, I guess those could be two different questions, but what would your advice be for each of them that are listening and curious about those fields?
C.R. JANE [37:32]
I would say for attorneys, expect it to be hard work. So, writing ot me is fun. I would say that the lawyer world satisfies a different part of me. I was really involved in sports growing up and obviously law is very competitive and there's winners and there’s losers. And so, that’s been fun to have that extension of something. I don’t get to play college softball anymore. But it’s like you need a support system. You need someone who’s telling you, “Hey, it’s not that deep. What this person said to you, it’s just not that deep.”
And maybe we can all have the second thing that we’re doing to help offset that, but you’re going to need a support system. You’re going to need someone telling you you’ve got this. And it's going to be someone that you find and you just need to carry them through the whole thing and it will make it so much better.
For books, the first thing is going for it. You have to write. We have so many writers in this world who have been working on their great American novel for 30 years and it’s inspiring to hear their stories, but it’s like you missed out on 30 years. Let’s get this out. I have Dahlia right here. She’s a thick baby. I think this hardback is like 500 something. But you need to do the research before. You can’t just write your book and release it into the wild and hope that everything’s going to work out.
It requires strategy. There are some of the most amazing books that have probably never been discovered. When you look at their ranking on Amazon, it’s like you look at them and you’re like, this was an incredible book. But it hasn’t sold. You might be the only person who's read that book. And there’s just an element of strategy that comes with that to make sure that your great book actually sees people’s eyes. It’s not just Goodreads.
Is that like an ad? Yeah, Goodreads. Is that an ad strategy for that piece of it, would you say? Or just so when you put it out into the world, how is it being consumed? What’s the best process for that?
C.R. JANE [40:04]
It’s also studying trends. I have this one book that’s my absolute favorite. It’s called Forget Me. And it barely sold. It came after the success of Fated Wings. The writing is so much better than Fated Wings was. It’s a beautiful story, but it didn’t hit any trends. It was not what readers were looking for.
And even if you go with a publisher, if you go with a huge publishing house and maybe they’re like, “We love your writing style,” your book is not going to sell if you don’t have the specific thing that the market is looking for. And that’s what happens with a lot of the books that come out of big publishing houses is they barely ever sell and it’s not that they're not amazing books. It’s that they just aren’t the proper strategy for those markets and what you're going to do for your ad campaigns and how you’re going to get people to see it. It just wasn’t there.
And so, there’s just so much to the business side. I have all these deals with publishers around the world for translations. I have an agent that goes out and gets all those deals for me. It’s going to picking an audiobook narrator. How many times do people put on a book and they’re like, “Ugh, hate this girl’s voice or this guy’s voice.” And the book is probably an amazing book, but you picked a terrible narrator. And so, no one’s going to buy it.
Yeah, I had one just recently.
C.R. JANE [41:38]
It’s about balancing the fact that it is a work of art with the fact that it is a business. And that can be difficult, but you have to treat it like that or you’re not going to be successful. This isn’t the time of Jane Eyre anymore.
Yeah. It's so fascinating. I think that’s a really important point to bring up. I don’t think about books being a trend of what everyone collectively is looking for and that’s so fascinating that it does work like that because I had never thought about it that way. So, I love that you brought that to our attention. What is one thing or maybe one of three that you hope your girls are learning as they watch you do all the things and be their mother? What is it that you hope that they are learning from you?
C.R. JANE [42:25]
I would say one that my husband and I talk about a lot is the self-confidence to go and be despite what others say. As someone who has struggled with that, that’s like my most fervent wish is that they have that. My husband does have that. That inner confidence, the wind comes at him and he is the oak tree and is like, “I’m good. I’m a great oak tree. And I’m awesome”.
And so, it’s so important to me that my girls can have that because I think most of the issues that come with women and the mistakes that they make in their life come from this place of not having inner self-confidence. You don’t get involved with the wrong guy. You don't make mistakes. You don’t do drugs. You don't do any of those things if you have confidence that it doesn't matter what outside forces are saying. You’re not looking for validation in other areas. So, it’s so important.
Another thing is just the value of hard work. We’re trying to do the balance where there are a lot of kids, if they grow up in a household where there’s lots of opportunities, maybe they don’t rise as high because they’re like we’re used to getting things. And it’s extremely important to us.
So, they have chores even at 6 and 3 that they do that they'll never get paid for because it’s just room and board for living in our house. Everything that they have in life is going to be because they worked for it because I want to instill that you worked hard and you don’t expect things from other people. There are people who get lucky and have connections and I’m not that person who’s ever had that. And I want my girls to have the same gutsy and grit that I feel like that has instilled in me. And that can’t come if you have everything easy in life.
Yeah. I believe that 100%. If you don’t have that resistance and you do get whatever you want all the time, that’s not giving our kids any favors. That’s not giving them resilience or the opportunity to really develop that character. So, I agree with that. And it can be easy to slip into saying yes and giving them the things because you can sometimes.
It’s a lot of times harder to say no and creating boundaries and chores and rules where they say, “Why? Why do I have to work for this?: I know I hear that in my house and I’m like, “Because you do because it’s all about learning that character and that grit.” This has been absolutely fascinating. I would love to have you back another time. Thank you so much for coming and sharing with us today.
C.R. JANE [45:13]
I’m sorry that I was so wordy. I tell my deposition people. I’m like, “If someone asks you a question, you answer yes or no. And let them ask more questions.” I’ve been rambling the whole time.
Yeah. On a podcast, it’s not just yes and no. We want to hear all the things. And you’ve been so forthcoming and so raw and honest. And I’m just so grateful. Please tell our audience where we can find you online and support and read your books.
CR JANE [45:38]
So, my website is www.crjanebooks.com. And then, you can find all my books on Amazon. You can find a lot of them on Barnes & Noble, occasionally Target sells them. And then, my audiobooks, they’re exclusive on Audible. Let’s see. And then, book signings this year, I will be in DC in April, London in July, and then I’ll be in Vegas in October. And I think there are still tickets for the October one if anyone is down there and wants to say hi.
All right. That’s so cool. Thank you again so much.
C.R. JANE [46:19]
Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you're listening to this and thinking, I need a team that I can trust around me, let me help you. I am now lining up my virtual assistant graduates with busy entrepreneurs like you who are needing more space and more time to create their vision with people that they can trust. You can reach out to me at www.camillewalker.co, schedule a discovery call that is free, and I will help you to free up some time and some space.
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