Going Indie: Choice or Surrender?

I don’t like drama or controversy, but there are topics about which I am passionate.  Motherhood. Homeschooling.  Religion. History. Publishing. Strike up a conversation on any of those subjects, and we’ll be talking a long while.

But don’t worry, today I’m only tackling one aspect of publishing.

I make no secret of the fact that when I began my career as an author, I fully intended to go the route of traditional publishing.  I anguished over query letters, fretted through rejections and did abundant research on agents. For two years, I pursued this path.

Over the course of time, though, I began to realize what I didn’t like about traditional publishing. The condescending attitude of some agents and editors rubbed me the wrong way. Don’t misunderstand me; I know that these people are bombarded almost around the clock by writers submitting manuscripts, asking questions, wanting information and any kind of connection.  And some of the agents are actually quite gracious and kind. But others whom I met were jaded by the game.  I didn’t learn anything from them, except that I really wasn’t sure I would want this kind of person repping my books and working closely with me.

There were other things that turned me off to traditional publishing, and there’s no need to list them.  Suffice it to say that over time, it dawned on me that I had a unique opportunity to take my destiny–or at least that of my work–into my own hands.

Once I embraced that choice, I was pleasantly amazed by the kindness of the indie publishing community.  Other authors who were further along the path were willing to give me tips and advice.  Professionals helped me with PR, book covers and all the other aspects of publishing that I hadn’t considered.

In the indie community, we promote each other.  We review each other’s books; we retweet; we give shout outs.  We support each other, because we know that together, as a whole, we are stronger.

Are there some bad apples in the bunch?  I’m sure, but I haven’t run across them yet. Are there bad writers who use indie publishing because they wouldn’t make it in mainline publishing? Sure. But there are also some really poor books that make it to the shelves even in traditional world. Believe me, I’ve read some of them!

I don’t think traditional publishing is going to die any time soon, and I hope it doesn’t.  Some of my favorite authors live in that world, and I think it serves an important purpose. You won’t find me bad-mouthing it. But in return, I expect a little respect from those authors who went that route. Don’t assume that simply because I decided to go indie, I gave up. I didn’t.  I made a choice that works for me, for my work and for my life.

Choice is almost always a good thing, and I am tremendously grateful that in the publishing world, we have lots of that now.  Let’s support each other, whether we’re traditional, indie, e-book or trade.  Build up, don’t tear down.

Real People vs. Read People

I love my characters, and for the time that I am writing their stories, I am so immersed in their world that these people are more than real.  I have to remind myself not to mention them in non-book conversations, as that kind of talk garners me odd looks.

So after schooling myself to avoid piping up about Tasmyn learning to drive stick shift or Michael getting into his first choice college, it’s quite jarring that once the book is published, others speak to me as though my characters are living, breathing people. It has taken me a little time to adjust and enjoy it. But I absolutely love it when, in the middle of conversation, someone begins talking about Michael as though he’s a mutual acquaintance or asks me questions about Nell, as if I had just come from visiting her.

I’m not sure if all of this is merely gratifying to me as a writer or enabling my own insanity. Either way, it works for me.  Hearing how each character has impacted readers helps me to develop nuances in their personalities and their stories. And. . yes, it does give me a little writers’ high!


FEARLESS is Available in Print!

This is really exciting!  FEARLESS went live on Amazon yesterday as a paperback book.  Yes, an honest-to-goodness, you can hold it in your hand book.

You can go to Amazon to order the book, and if you’d like a signed copy, please post on my Facebook page.

Thanks as always for all of your support and encouragement.

Just a little Breathless. . .

Here it is. . .the beautiful cover* for BREATHLESS, the second book in the King series.  I am so excited for you all to read this book. . .it was fun to write, and early reviews have been fabulous!

This is just a little teaser. . .it’s coming soon to Amazon and to independent book sellers.

Tasmyn Vaughn is not having the senior year she expected. Her boyfriend Michael leaves for college, she’s being stalked by a suspicious preacher, pursued by the hot new boy at school and blackmailed by her chemistry teacher–who just might be a witch. Tas needs all of her many talents–and a little help from unexpected sources–just to keep her head above water. . .literally.


*Cover design by Elizabeth Sharp (http://sharpcovers.blogspot.com/ )

We need YOU. . .




. . .to help with book promotion!

It is so cool to see friends and family posting about Fearless.  I am grateful for every positive bit of publicity, and word of mouth is a terrific way to promote a book.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I’ve had some people ask me what they can do to help with PR. There are a few very simple things that would help publicize the series and get more people reading!

  • Go to the book’s page on Amazon. (Just click that word!) If you’ve read Fearless, leave a review there.  It’s easy to do, and it doesn’t have to be anything long and involved. Just a few quick sentences about how you loved the book.
  • While you’re there on the book’s page (see link above), you’ll see a little button that says “Like”.  Click that button! It means you like the book, and believe it or not, that helps.
  • If you are not already doing this, become a follower of THIS website. How do you do that?  See that sidebar on the right? Right under the Facebook button, you’ll see a little link “Subscribe Via Email”.  Click that link, and whenever I update this page, you’ll get an email letting you know.
  • And speaking of Facebook. . if you’re a Facebook user, and you haven’t “liked” my author page. . please click on the Facebook button on the sidebar and do it!
  • Do you tweet, tweetheart?  Well, then click the link and follow me there.
  • If you are not at all computer-friendly and you prefer your word of mouth support to be REALLY word of mouth, stay tuned.  The print version of Fearless will be out in two weeks, and I will have lots of ideas for you then. Meanwhile, if you know of a terrific independent book store in your area, please let me know! Leave a comment below or email me.

It really DOES take a village to launch a book, and I have a wonderful village.  Thanks for everything you do and are going to do. You all rock!