My Books, Publish, Writing

Thoughts on NOT self-publishing

A funny thing happened when I received notification that Kindle Press had selected me for a publishing contract: I had little obvious reaction. My husband was joyous. I felt like I’d suffered a kind of shock, and it took nearly a week for that feeling to completely dissipate. That happened when I woke in the middle of the night and thought, I’m going to be published by someone else!

17zv8Except for a vignette published in an online literary journal, I’ve only been self-published. Oh, I tried for a “traditional” publishing contract with my first novel, but at that time indie-publishing was really taking off, and my impatient and impulsive self jumped in. By the time my second novel was ready for publication, I’d decided I didn’t have the personality type to have a successful traditional career. Or a writing career at all.

I saw myself as a hobbyist, writing what I wanted, the way I wanted to write it, accountable only to myself and readers in that I would write the best books I knew how. I didn’t set out to brand myself as a women’s fiction writer or a romance writer or any other single genre writer. My author friends, volunteered as beta readers and editors and, for one book, a cover designer. I did everything else on my own. And I’ve made mistakes.*

The biggest mistake was in failing to understand the necessity of abundant platform and marketing resources to succeed financially as an indie author. Realizing, finally, how much I lacked in that area, I didn’t expect to—and didn’t—make much money. And for a while, I convinced myself I was okay with that. Oh, how we lie to ourselves!

I work hard at writing. For the last seven years, I’ve sat at this computer nearly every day—for several hours on each of those days. Writing is my full-time job. The thing is, my only job before this was raising children—four of my own and then providing day care for four of my grandchildren for various periods over the next several years. Though childcare was absolutely the most rewarding thing I’ve even done, I didn’t receive a paycheck for that job.

Now, things have changed. For the first time in my life, someone has paid me for my work.

As I write this, I’m waiting to hear from my first professional editor. I’m accountable to someone else. I’m no longer just a self-published author. Someone has seen value in my work and was willing to invest in it.

Yes, I know authors say validation comes from satisfied readers. And definitely, it does. I don’t discount that a bit. Readers complete the equation. And I don’t discount the readers who’ve invested their money by purchasing my books.

Still, the money Kindle Press deposited to my bank account was a different kind of validation. It was a much needed boost of confidence. Finally, I feel like a professional. I feel like a grown-up. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m a bit apprehensive about this new kind of publishing too. Then again, I suppose the unknown is always a little scary.

We shall see.

Linda

*I’ve been wondering if, once again, I acted impulsively by submitting High Tea & Flip Flops to Kindle Press … but that’s a topic for my next post.

My Books, Publish, Writing

Big News! I have a new publishing contract!

I’m thrilled to announce that Amazon’s Kindle Press will be publishing my romantic comedy High Tea & Flip Flops! A huge thank you to those who supported me during my Kindle Scout campaign.  So what comes next?

High Tea & Flip FlopsI have a 30-day period to make changes and resubmit my manuscript, cover, and book details to their editorial department. They may or may not request further changes. If they do, I have the option to accept or reject those requests. Then the ebook will be formatted, scheduled for publication, and a pre-order product page will be created on Amazon.

If you nominated the book, you’ll receive an advance digital copy to read and (we hope) honestly review on Amazon, Goodreads, your blog, or wherever you talk about books. Kindle Press options only the digital, audio, and foreign translation rights, so I’m free to self-publish a print version, which I will.

So why didn’t I self-publish the ebook? Discoverablilty. Some self-publishers have a built-in target audience or a substantial marketing budget. I have neither. I’m just a little fish in a big—and ever-growing—pond. I need someone with clout behind me to help get my books discovered. Amazon has that clout. I’m not sure how many Amazon customers will see a promotion for High Tea & Flip Flops, but I assure you that number will eclipse astronomically the number of people I have the means to get the word out to.

If you’d like to know more about the Kindle Scout program go to https://kindlescout.amazon.com/.

Stay tuned here for the latest news on High Tea & Flip Flops and my next book.

Linda

My Books, Publish, Writing

The Hot List

tea_nomYes, I’m talking about Kindle Scout again! If you’ve missed my previous appeals for help in winning a publishing contract through this program and would like to know what the heck I’m talking about, read this.

My campaign for High Tea & Flip Flops is nearing the end—only four more days to go. So far, my book has been on the Hot List more days than not, but I need your help to keep it on the list for the big finish.

Reasons why you should nominate High Tea & Flip Flops:

  1. You love romantic comedy.
  2. You love getting a free book, which you will if Kindle Scout publishes it.
  3. You know I try always to support my fellow authors.
  4. You’ve learned something from my blog.
  5. You admire my perseverance in trying to get my writing out to the public.

Reasons why you should not nominate High Tea & Flip Flops:

  1. You think I’m a terrible writer.

But wait, you say, what if I don’t like reading romantic comedy? So what? Even if it’s not a book you’d like to read, but you think it’s worthy of being published, nominate it. If it shows up on your Kindle, give it to a friend or family member who will enjoy reading it.

So,  if you haven’t nominated High Tea & Flip Flops, may I ask why?

If you have already nominated my book, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And may I suggest you tell a friend to nominate it too? Here’s the link to my campaign page: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3QR8C2LJAU1XU

Linda

My Books, Writing

A Crazy, Crazy, Crazy Start to the Month of May

You all know fiction writers are a little crazy, right? I mean, we make stuff up and call it work! It is work, of course. Making make believe believable is danged hard work. Well, just so I can drive myself a little crazier, I decided to put my first two novels on sale. This rock-bottom price sale on The Brevity of Roses and An Illusion of Trust will run for one week on Amazon US and UK. Rock bottom means 99-cents or 99-pence! That’s right—less than a dollar or a pound, so get ‘em now. Just click on the book covers below.

The Brevity of Roses: A man discovers himself through the two women he loves. An Illusion of Trust: A woman learns to trust love by facing her abusive childhood.

tea_front_widgetI may bite my fingernails to the quick this month. My romantic comedy, High Tea & Flip Flops, is still vying for a Kindle Scout publishing contract. Have you nominated it yet? If each person who’s subscribed to this blog clicked the book cover –> and then hit that pretty turquoise Nominate Me button, Amazon would really be impressed! And I’d be ever so grateful. Over the moon grateful. Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow grateful. No joke. (And don’t forget: if you help my book win, Amazon will give you a free copy!)

Promoting three books while I’m working on a fourth is … you know … crazy. So, of course, that’s what I’m doing. I’ve just about finished another edit of my romantic supernatural thriller. (Say what?) I’ve wrangled a new beta reader for this one. She’s a voracious reader, but not a writer, so her feedback will give me a different perspective than usual at this stage. Then, after another revision/edit, I’ll have to find another beta or two willing to read this dark tale.

So … that’s how my month has started. I hope you have good things in store for you this May.

Linda

My Books, Promotion, Writing

Exciting news about my next book!

I’ve posted about writing a romantic comedy for over a year now. I tracked its progress in word count in my sidebar under the working title Tea. Now it’s time to share the real title and the cover with you. As you can see, it’s titled High Tea & Flip Flops. The title refers to the snarky nicknames the two main characters secretly give each other.

tea_front_postRomantic comedy is a new genre for me, so I decided to try something new in publishing. I submitted High Tea & Flip Flops to the Kindle Scout program, and it was accepted. Kindle Scout is a new “reader-powered” publishing venture by Amazon, which means readers help decide if a book gets published. How? By nomination. And the great thing is that if you nominate my book and Amazon publishes it, you’ll get a free Kindle copy!

At the Kindle Scout site, I’ll have a campaign page for 30 days. Displayed on that page is the cover image, a short description of the story, an excerpt, my bio, and a brief Q&A. Also you’ll see that all-important Nominate Me button.

I hope you’ll support my campaign—it costs you nothing! Don’t wait to nominate High Tea & Flip Flops. Please help it hit the Hot & Trending list and stay there! Here’s how you can help:

  • Step One: please go to my campaign page and click the blue “nominate me” button.
  • Step Two: please spread the word to all your friends who might like to see High Tea & Flip Flops published.
  • Step Three: please watch for my announcement and reminders on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus and share them with your followers and friends. The campaign lasts for 30 days, so periodically I’ll post reminders to nominate High Tea & Flip Flops.

As you may know, I have a minuscule budget for marketing. This is my best chance to not only receive a small advance ($1500) but to get a promotional boost from Amazon. Amazon! This Kindle Scout campaign means a lot to me, so I’m sure you can imagine I’m very excited about it.

Here’s the link to my campaign page: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3QR8C2LJAU1XU

Thank you!!!

Linda