I know you are, but what am I?

My friend Kayla Olson brought something to my attention this morning. She pointed me to a rant, posted anonymously by someone at a book review site, screaming at DIY authors like me using the term “Indie,” as in Indie author or Indie publisher. Their contention was that Indie was a term coined by vanity presses to scam would-be clients into believing they were legitimate independent presses.

So, what’s the definition of independent press? Traditionally, it applied to a small trade press. Now, that definition has been muddied because vanity publishers have adopted the use of the term and self-published authors refer to themselves as “Indie published.”  Am I self-published, then? Well … not if the definition of self-published means you only sell your books directly, which is how some define the term.

I don’t want to insult anyone by usurping a term I’m not entitled to use. I also don’t want to slap an unwarranted negative label on my work. I am the author, publisher, book designer, and cover artist for The Brevity of Roses. It’s a first-class job on all levels. Label it how you will. I don’t think readers care. So, for clarification—I’m an AUTHOR.

Update:  You’ll notice in my sidebar over there —> that my book is now available in digital formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. The print version will be available at Amazon within a week, I hope.

Support your local indie, self-published, DIY author!


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Just when I thought it would never happen!

If you have a WordPress blog, you’re probably aware that they choose several blog posts a day to appear on the WordPress front page as Freshly Pressed. Months ago, I lamented that I had given up hope  my blog would ever be so honored. Then Wednesday morning arrived.

As I usually do, when I awake, I made a cup of tea and sat down to check my email. I had scheduled a new blog post to publish at a few minutes before I usually wake, so I hoped to see one or two comments arrive in my inbox. As I watched dozens—DOZENS—of comments flood in, my first thought was that my blog had somehow been hacked. I had visions of all those cheap prescription drugs and porn messages bypassing the spam catcher and sullying my beautiful blog.

But when I pulled up my blog, I was puzzled because there were only three comments on my new post. I rechecked my inbox and saw those other comments were on a post I’d published over a week earlier. That’s when it hit me. I flew to the WordPress front page and there it was—my post, Freshly Pressed. Oh, the excitement!

For thirty-six hours, I was almost famous. My blog received 8,929 hits! Over 200 new comments were posted—and, because it’s what I do, I replied to every one of them. I also gained 143 new blog subscribers and some new Twitter and Facebook Page followers. I was agog—AGOG, I tell ya.

So, thank you WordPress. And welcome new friends. You’re just in time for the announcement that my novel The Brevity of Roses is available now on Amazon (also on Amazon UK.) This is the Kindle version. The Nook version could be up on Barnes & Noble by the end of the day. Smashwords will have other versions in a day or two. And the beautiful print version will be available, I hope, within a week at Amazon and B&N.

My goodness! What a week this turned out to be. I’m a little bit happy.


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Drum roll, please!

A big thank you to all who entered my first ever contest on this blog. I’m happy to announce the winner of a free Kindle copy of Cathryn Grant’s debut novel The Demise of the Soccer Moms is—Brown Eyed Mystic.

Congratulations! I’ll be contacting you by email to let you know how to claim your prize. Happy reading.

For those of you who didn’t win, you can find Cathryn’s novel at Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble. You can also read the first three chapters free here.

What did I decide?

In the last half of 2010, I started researching indie-publishing. In November, I finally started voicing my questions about the subject. I emailed friends. I discussed it with my critique partners. I blogged about it, posting polls and asked you to share your views.

Which way shall I go?

Some of you assumed I had already made a decision to indie-publish, but that was not the case.

I had several conversations with my husband. I told him what I’d learned from my friend Cathryn Grant—a newly published Indie Author. I pointed him to a few articles on the internet. We discussed the pros and cons of publishing my novel.

After a few days of talking, I felt more confused than in the beginning. I believed I was far from making a decision. But my husband said, “You’ve already made up your mind. It will just take you awhile to realize it.”

Finally, my subconscious spoke in a dream. I had made a decision. Then I reversed my decision. Then I reversed my reversal. A few days later, I reversed the reversal of the reversal. Are you sensing a pattern?

My indecision was no longer fueled by a desire to continue seeking traditional publishing. This quote from veteran literary agent Richard Curtis summed up the reality of that for me [emphasis mine]:

“I’m blessed to represent a core group of successful authors whose advances have held steady or even increased. We also handle many genre books that traditionally are more resistant to downward pressure than ‘softer’ kinds of literature, such as general fiction. Where we definitely feel the ‘shrink’ is in the resistance to new authors. The wall is far higher than we’ve ever seen it, and sadly that means we must turn more newcomers away than we want to.”

This way.

I sat myself down for a serious chat. What did I fear from publishing my own novel? Many things, as it turned out. After more deliberation and soul-searching, I made another decision.

A couple days ago, I read this 2011 prediction by Smashwords founder Mark Coker:

“Self Publishing goes from option of last resort to option of first resort among unpublished authors – Most unpublished authors today still aspire to achieve the perceived credibility and blessing that comes with a professional book deal. Yet the cachet of traditional publishing is fading fast. Authors with finished manuscripts will grow impatient and resentful as they wait to be discovered by big publishers otherwise preoccupied with publishing celebrity drivel from Snooki, Justin Bieber and the Kardashians. Meanwhile, the break-out success of multiple indie author stars will grab headlines in 2011, forcing many unpublished authors off the sidelines. As unpublished authors bypass the slush pile, publishers lose first dibs on tomorrow’s future stars.”

Sounds good to me! Today, I officially announce that 2011 is the year my novel, The Brevity of Roses, will be published! My fears have not disappeared, but neither will they will reverse my decision. I will face them one by one. The journey begins …


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