On October 1st, I published my tenth novel (my eleventh publication if you include my short story The Memorial). My tenth. A little over five years ago, publishing a novel was only a dream to me. I'd written a couple stories, but never in a million years did I think I'd ever publish them. I wanted to, I just didn't see it as something tangible. Then someone told me about an online writing contest called Textnovel. I entered, and began to win some awards. WOW! I never even saw that coming. And through Textnovel, I met a few really cool people who had the same dream that I had—to publish their writing. It was through this group that I heard about Amazon's KDP—Kindle Direct Publishing, for those of you who don't know. Amazon KDP allows writers to forgo the middle men (the agents and the publishers) and get right to the business of publishing on your own. This sounded perfect for me. The thought of being traditionally published through one of the Big Five Publishers (at the time, it was the Big Six, but then Penguin and Random House decided to merge) was intimidating to me. I'd started the process, but writing query letters and researching literary agents was something I really wasn't into. All I wanted to do was WRITE. The querying process was taking up so much time that I had to give up my precious writing time—which was extremely limited, since I am a mother of four and work a full-time job (in 2011 I was working part-time, but I digress). So, when I found out that Amazon would allow me to self-publish and toss all that literary agent research and querying into the circular files, I was more than enthusiastic to jump on board. Of course, I needed to begin a different kind of research—there was a lot to learn about self-publishing (formatting alone was something completely new to me). But this kind of research was new, and it was exciting. I had a renewed vigor and, suddenly, a new career. I self-published my first book—Unplugged (A Portrait of a Rock Star)—in November of 2011.
I've been self-publishing ever since, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Since 2011, I've found a great group of people in the Indie World—what we folks call the self-published writers and the writers published by smaller independent publishing companies (Indie, short for Independent, in case you were wondering). It's a wonderful world too—filled with cover designers, editors, proofreaders, formatters (because formatting books for digital or print is not an easy job), and something that, at the time, was brandy new to me—bloggers. There are so many wonderful book bloggers out there that spread the word about us independent authors, and we are so eternally grateful.
And now, nearly five years and nine and a half books later, I'm feeling at home in my self-published Indie World. I love everything about it, from the freedom to write the story my way and the control over what I put on my book covers to the flexible deadlines (which for me is paramount) and the seventy percent royalty fees. I love the camaraderie I have with my fellow writers and I love the choice of books out there that would never be if it weren't for Amazon and their direct publishing program. I also love the readers that I have met through this wonderful indie process. I have made friends with the people who read my books and that is just a fantastic feeling. And without those readers, I guess we wouldn't have an Indie World at all. So THANK YOU.
And in celebration of my tenth (tenth and a half?) publication, I am having a giveaway—a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed paperback copy of When Glass Shatters. So, don't forget to scroll down to the blog post beneath this one to enter.
Smile, and have a great day!