Tag Archive | writing

The Stigma of Self-Publishing

I’ve been self-publishing my novels for just over a year now. My anniversary was July 29th. Book three, Demons of Bourbon Street, comes out in a week or so and Influential Magic (the first of a new series) will be coming out late November or early December. My journey has been filled with challenges, triumphs, and a lot of support. Over the last year, I’ve only had one person give me the obvious pitying look when I say I’m self-published. Everyone else thinks it’s awesome I’m following my dreams. If not, they’ve been kind enough to keep their opinions to themselves.

I’ve seen the negative tone of self-publishing online, but mostly it comes from people entrenched in traditional publishing.  I get it. Change is here. And that makes people uncomfortable. Since I don’t know a lot of people in traditional publishing (those I do know have embraced self-publishing), I’ve been shielded from the negativity.

When I read that my fellow authors are experiencing such negativity from friends and family, I’m shocked. Really? Really!? These are people who love you. They should be supporting you. I can’t tell you how mad that makes me. Writer friends, I’m here for you always. I’ll be your biggest cheerleader. Promise.

I know I live in a creative bubble. Being a glass artist, most of my friends are also glass artists. Many of them are entrepreneurs themselves.  And my family? I suppose my life is already kooky enough they are no longer surprised by the paths I walk. When I was twenty-nine, hubby and I  quit our corporate jobs, sold our house, and moved into an RV to work our way across the country at RV parks. Two years later, I became a full-time artist after having never shown much interest or talent in any art form before. Self-publishing must be tame by comparison.  Maybe I’ve conditioned them. 😀

But the point is, not one of them has told me I’m wasting my time or stupid for writing and self-publishing. Not one. Even when my friends read my first drafts that were filled with plot holes, passive writing, and atrocious typos and grammar, did they ever do anything other than encourage and support me.

I’ve got a confession to make. Even with all that love and support, I still feel the stigma of self-publishing. Maybe it’s because when I started my writing journey I was told over and over by the industry, “Do not self-publish.” It was the fastest way to harpoon any sort of writing career. Maybe it’s because I’ve read a number of traditionally published authors bash the self-publishing movement. Maybe I don’t want anyone popping my happy bubble. So when I went to my first local writers’ group this last weekend, I was scared to tell anyone I’m a self-publisher. I sat quietly, listened to the meeting, chatted with my neighbor, gave my opinion about the importance of using Twitter and Facebook, and then quietly slipped out when the meeting was over. They were a good group. I liked them. Still, I wasn’t ready to confess my sin.

I’m a self-published author.

And to date, I’ve sold over 30,000 copies of my two books, Haunted on Bourbon Street and Witches of Bourbon Street.

It’s funny. In my daily life, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. I’ve learned a lot. I never hesitate to give anyone who asks my opinion of the industry. I answer emails and threads about business questions as honestly as possible, often giving real numbers. Yet, put me in a room full of authors I don’t know, many of them traditionally published, and I become a wallflower.

I hope to remedy that at the next meeting. I’ve accomplished something  pretty amazing, I think. Am I a NYT bestseller? No, not yet. But my books are regularly on the top 100 genre  lists on Amazon, and that’s nothing to sneeze at. Next meeting, insecure self-publisher girl is staying home and proud author is going in her place.

Busy, busy!

Ah, the sweet relief of finished taxes! When I hit submit last week, I  actually had a small moment of contentment. You know the one, when you completed something and you start to breathe easier. One major thing crossed off the to-do list. Nice!

Then I got out the calendar and started planning the next few months and the rest of the year. Whoa! Holdup. I just stopped breathing again. The good news is everything on the list is all good stuff. Great stuff even.

Here is a glimpse of my schedule through the end of the year:

End of this month:

A bead class with the amazing Holly Cooper in TN.

June

Deliver Demons of Bourbon Street to my editor

Bead and Button show in Milwaukee

Witches of Bourbon Street comes out in audio book

July

Deliver my new Urban Fantasy to my other editor (hopefully).

Attend The Gathering for the International Society of Glass Bead Makers. I’ll be selling murrine in the vendor area.

August:

Bead Fest Philadelphia

September:

Whole Bead Show in Amherst, MA

October:

Bead Fest Texas

November:

Houston Bead Society Show

December:

Deliver another manuscript to an editor. I haven’t yet decided which one. December is long way off.

 

Yep, three books, six shows, and I’m traveling every month except May and December. Anyone have an oxygen mask?

A little bit longer

I am sad to say the launch of Witches of Bourbon Street is going to be delayed a week or so. It’s going through one more final round of proofreading before I send it off into the world.

I know y’all want a quality product, so bear with me. But I did want to share the proof copy with you. It just showed up today!

Here are both books side by side.

What do you think?

Also, I still haven’t drawn the winner from my email list for a signed copy of Witches of Bourbon Street. If you haven’t signed up yet, go here. If you’re already on the list, no need to do anything. I will draw the winner right after  I approve the final product with my printer. Then I will put up the link to pre-order. (That will likely be next week).

Witches of Bourbon Street is coming. I promise.

Due to a lovely New Years head and chest cold, I lost a good week and a half of production. But Witches of Bourbon Street is at the final proofreader as I type. I’m supposed to get it back any moment now . Then it gets one last comb through before I send it off to Lisa Liddy at The Printed Page to format it. I swear, it’s coming soon. The trumpets are on standby to make the formal announcement. 😀

Merry Christmas!

As I’ve already announced, Witches of Bourbon Street is off with the editor. But the cover is done, and I finally have the book description ready for you. Here you go. Have a fabulous holiday!

Coming January 2012!

Jade Calhoun was never fond of her empath abilities. Now she’s found out she has another gift she’d rather not unwrap—magic. But when her mentor, Bea, becomes gravely ill and insists Jade’s the only one who can help, she’s forced to embrace her witchy side.

It’s too bad she spent a decade shunning the magical community and never learned to harness her powers. Because time’s run out. A trapped spirit has revealed a clue to Jade’s long-lost mother. The resident angel has gone rogue and disappeared with Jade’s boyfriend, Kane. And if that wasn’t enough, her ex appears to be possessed.

To save any of them, Jade will need to find a way to control her inner white witch—without succumbing to black magic. Otherwise she’ll lose everything…including her soul.

Favorite Things Monday-Clawfoot Tub

For most of the country fall begins in September. But down here in southeast Louisiana summer lasted until about a week ago. I know this because I was wearing shorts right up until about October 18th. For those of you who don’t know me quite as well as others, let’s just say I’m always the one carrying  a sweater around. I get cold when it’s seventy degrees.

So when I say it’s still been summer, you can count on temperatures in the eighties. Okay, temperatures are still hitting in the seventies during the day, but the nights are cooling off into the thirties and forties.

Last night I stayed up late writing (4000 words for Witches of Bourbon Street thank you very much) and I was chilled enough I knew it would take forever to warm up once I went to bed.

So, instead of climbing in bed at 1am, I climbed into my tub with BLACK HEART LOA , by Adrian Phoenix.

Awe wonderful bliss. A hot tub, a good book, and a cold night. Bring on fall and winter. Mr. Clawfoot, I’ve missed you.

Favorite Things Monday-er Tuesday

Mondays are always super busy and for that reason alone, I usually find myself with the dreaded Monday blues. So, over the weekend I decided I’d have Mondays be Favorite Things day on the blog. You know. A place to talk about things that make me warm and fuzzy or squeal with glee.

Of course, I found myself swamped yesterday with stuff and I didn’t get the post written. (Please. I’m not organized enough to do my posts in advance and that would defeat the purpose of Favorite Things Monday anyway. The whole point is to take  a few moments to focus on something that makes me smile). Obviously I failed at my first cheerful Monday post.

That means I have two things for Tuesday. Or three really.

First up: My boys. Little balls of energy and kisses.

Someone should really gives these scrubs a haircut.

Next up. The finished manuscript. My editor sent the word file back while I was at Bead and Button. Last night I finished my edits and revisions. I’ll be doing one more read through, then it’s off for a final copy edit on the changes I made. Holy Crap. Almost there!

Impossible goals

Do you set yourself impossible goals? I do. Every damn day.

On one hand, I think it’s great I have goals and I set them usually just out of my reach, so I’ll keep pushing myself to get there. Then other days, like today, when I look around at all the things I was supposed to finish yesterday and didn’t and all the things on my mental list today, all I want to do is cry.

But that’s just silly. There isn’t anything to cry about, other than feeling overwhelmed. Instead, I surfed around the internet and decided it was time to change my banner to match my book cover and spent thirty minutes working on that, instead of opening the current file that needs to be edited. BTW, let me just say I have used up my lifetime allotment of “she looked” or “she felt” in this one manuscript. Thank you Word for  the “find” feature.

This month is especially bad because I have a deadline to get this ms done and off to my editor. Plus, I have Bead and Button coming up at the beginning of June and I need to really get moving on stocking that table and to top it off I ran a sale in the Etsy store. Which was a huge success and I wouldn’t dare dream of complaining about that. I’m thrilled. But it means, Bead and Button stock has taken a major back seat while I get the orders done.

So, my goals in addition to usual stuff- business emails, listings, shipping, working out, finding time to shower (especially important after work out), remember to eat, and pay attention to when the dogs need to go out- are:

Edit two chapters a day (until I open the first one and find out it is 5000 words and needs some serious revising and cutting).

Get at least three orders done and/or torch for at least four hours. And try to make something new to list…somewhere, Ebay Etsy, whatever (that hasn’t happened in a week, so I relist stock I have hanging around).

Bead and Button hasn’t gotten any attention for eight days.

So, how is this going? Well, I edited one chapter each on Saturday and Sunday and I haven’t managed to fill three orders a day, though I did torch for fours hours each day.

I guess I always think I am going to get stuff done faster than I can actually do it. Impossible goals.

Book Recommendation Thursday-Adrian Phoenix

Okay, so it’s Friday and I’m a day late. And my writing number over there to the right has been stagnate for over a week. You must be thinking, “What the heydo is she doing?” Well, the last few days were filled with book design stuff. I, along with my book designer Lisa Liddy at The Printed Page, have been brain storming and working on ideas and I am happy to announce I should have the book cover to show you sometime today or tomorrow. Woot!

As far as that writing number, I have spent the last week editing over 22,000 words. So I am getting it done, so to speak.

On to my weekly book of choice.

Adrain Phoenix

A Rush of Wings

Urban Fantasy

From the B&N Website:
“HIS NAME IS DANTE.

Dark. Talented. Beautiful. Star of the rock band Inferno. Rumored owner of the hot New Orleans nightspot Club Hell. Born of the Blood, then broken by an evil beyond imagination.

HIS PAST IS A MYSTERY.

F.B.I. Special Agent Heather Wallace has been tracking a sadistic serial murderer known as the Cross Country Killer, and the trail has led her to New Orleans, Club Hell, and Dante. But the dangerously attractive musician not only resists her investigation, he claims to be “nightkind”: in other words, a vampire. Digging into his past for answers reveals little. A juvenile record a mile long. No social security number. No known birth date. In and out of foster homes for most of his life before being taken in by a man named Lucien DeNoir, who appears to guard mysteries of his own.

HIS FUTURE IS CHAOS.

What Heather does know about Dante is that something links him to the killer — and she’s pretty sure that link makes him the CCK’s next target. Heather must unravel the truth about this sensual, complicated, vulnerable young man — who, she begins to believe, may indeed be a vampire — in order to finally bring a killer to justice. But Dante’s past holds a shocking, dangerous secret, and once it is revealed not even Heather will be able to protect him from his destiny….”

Rwar. Dante is a dark sexy vampire who speaks Cajun French and is a rock star. Nice right? He also has a dark past that when combined with his kindness, loyalty, and tender heart makes for a hero it’s easy to root for. FBI agent Heather is a different kind of heroine. She’s tough sure, but she is no nonsense and practical. It’s interesting to watch her go through the process of accepting Dante and falling for him.

Adrain’s tale is dark, twisted, and has plenty of plot, but the characters are what is most interesting. Plus it’s set in New Orleans (you know I love that). I couldn’t get enough. Not only that but Adrain has a beautiful writing style, I couldn’t help but admire. If you like urban Fantasy or vampire novels this one is a must have.