A plea to readers everywhere

This is going to be a very personal post, so I apologize for the interruption.

First and foremost, please assume positive intent while reading this post. I am beyond grateful for the readers I currently have and the people who have connected with my characters. I appreciate them all. I interact with them regularly. I am fairly certain they know how much they mean to me. This is not about me being unhappy with the readers I have.  

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As most of you know, I have held a full-time job all of my adult life. All throughout the concept building, outlining, writing, editing and publishing stages of all eight of my novels and two novellas, I’ve worked 40-hour work-weeks. I’ve been holding down what are essentially two full-time jobs for the past six and a half years since I started all of this writing business back in the winter of 2008. Some months and years were more productive than others, as I’ve switched jobs a couple of times and had to get used to new routines.

This year, for reasons I’m not permitted to disclose yet, I’m facing the realization that I’m going to have to start over again with a new job… and I’ve already started thinking about my options. While I’m good at a lot, I still feel so limited in what I can do professionally.

Much of that has to do with what I already know: I know that my passion is writing fiction. I know that I’m good at doing that. I know I’m one of the best at bringing out emotions in readers, and at character development, and dialogue.

What I’ve never been good at is marketing my books. And I’ve always believed the books just need to get in that one reader’s hands… that one reader who has significant influence over others. If she likes my books, and puts out a good review, then maybe more people will notice them.

Yes, I’ve had decent successes in the past with some big-name book bloggers. In fact, any time they mention my books, there’s a bump in my sales. It’s never been enough to push me to a best-seller list, though, or to sustain sales over a couple of days, or a week. And it’s not that I’m not grateful, I absolutely am! Every time I see a post, I make sure I thank them and share their posts and pages.

When I started this in 2008, I figured it would just be me and my friends reading my books. I never expected people from Brazil and Panama and South Africa and Ireland and the Philippines to read my stories! It has been so vastly fulfilling that they have. And if this is all the success I ever have, I can’t complain, and I wouldn’t. It’s phenomenal, and I’ve met so many wonderful people on this journey that I am so much richer for it.

But once I started making a little money, I aimed for a lofty goal. I want to write full-time. To do that, I have to have an income that allows for it, and I don’t right now. Faced with finding another job that I may not be very passionate about, I want to try everything I can to live my dream.

I’m a writer, but what I do is also a business. Just like your favorite independent bookstore needs a steady flow of customers to stay in business, so, too, do I. There isn’t a whole lot of repeat business authors can get from current readers. They need new ones to take a chance on their books every day.

So here is my plea: please consider reading one of my series and reviewing it. If you haven’t read Emi Lost & Found, you can certainly start there. It’s the series I’m most known for– but it’s also the first series I wrote.

Emi Lost & Found is one woman’s story of love, loss and sacrifice. The three-book series takes the reader through the emotional highs and lows in one epic story told by three different narrators. Emi is a twenty-something New Yorker looking for a fairytale romance. Nate is Emi’s best friend, who has been in love with her for twelve years. Jack is an acquaintance from college that left an indelible impression on Emi.

This is not a love story without consequences. Emi faces devastating losses over the course of the series, but with love, support, trust, and a little self-discovery, she finally finds her happily ever after.

My writing has come a long way, so I would really love for people to check out my spin-off Choisie series. Many of my Emi readers have still not branched out to read my second series, even though they loved the first one. In my humble (and biased) opinion, I think the Choisie series is better. (Emi Lost & Found is not required reading to start the Choisie series.)

The Choisie series is a Young Adult-to-New Adult story following a teenage girl as she struggles to find her footing under the scrutiny of local media and the cautious eye of her overprotective father.

Livvy was adopted by a generous and wealthy couple as a child. Now sixteen, she is a burgeoning artist, encouraged by her mother and inspired by a man she was never able to meet. Feeling estranged from a loving father whose mind works much differently than her own, she questions whether or not she was paired with the right guardians. In her plight for independence, she reconnects with a fellow art student who grew up alongside Livvy.

Jon has led anything but a privileged life. After his father passes away, he is left to care for his two half-brothers while his mother’s alcoholism threatens to tear his family apart. All he wants for himself and his brothers is a better life. His dreams for an Ivy League education are coming to fruition, thanks to a lifetime of hard work and ambition. This is not only important to Jon himself; he also knows that the man who will win Livvy’s heart has to be someone exceptional. Her father would accept nothing less–and Jon believes that Livvy deserves the best of everything, too.

That may be the only thing Jon and Livvy’s father agree upon.

Over the course of their courtship, these two teens will experience the bliss of true love, but their immaturity and differing lifestyles will also threaten to tear them apart. They both begin to question the other’s devotion and commitment; only time will tell if their first love is meant to last a lifetime.

This series, comprised in totality of four books, allows the reader to experience first love for a second time. All four books– Contessa, Olivia, and Dear Jon and Livvy– are available now! And Contessa is on sale for 99¢ through April 5th!

Thank you for taking the time to read my plea. For those of you who are willing to now read my stories, here are some purchase links:

Emi Lost & Found series

Emi Lost & Found books (sold separately)

Choisie series

4 thoughts on “A plea to readers everywhere

  1. I’ve never been much of a reader. Emi Lost & Found series was recommended to me. It was my first Lori L. Otto book. I loved it so much I continued on to the Choisie series, Number Seven and Crossroads. I follow you on Facebook, Goodreads, and here. And I own all the above books either on my Kindle, paperback or both. You can say I’m a little obsessed with the characters. I am looking forward to reading more Lori L. Otto books! You are an amazing writer.

  2. I stumbled upon you books a few months ago on Amazon and absolutely loved them! I have read every single one and can’t wait for you to wright another. Because of my age I identified more with emi lost and found series, but was pleasantly surprised to find myself completely enthralled in the choisie series. I absolutely loved it! I’m going to pin your books on Pinterest and tell all my friends about the amazing author that you are. Wright on, don’t give up your dreams, I’m rooting for you. 🎉🎊📝

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