Monday, March 18, 2019

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Those who have the ability to be grateful are the ones who have the ability to achieve greatness.
-Steve Maraboli

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Friday, February 22, 2019

My Experience with Publishing - Self vs Traditional

I spent most of 2010 send query letter after query letter and received rejection after rejection. Unlike a lot of Author, I didn't keep track of how many rejections I got. I knew it only took one acceptance letter to become a published author. Well I got two offers from small independent publishing houses. These were both legit publishers. Legit, what does that mean. Well I mean a publisher that pays me, I don't pay them (Vanity Press). They covered editing, cover, some marketing expenses and more, a traditional publisher. One was in Europe, one in Florida. I decided to go with World Castle Publishing (WCP) in Florida.

Some friends and family we skeptical, after all WCP just opened and I was one of their first authors, along with my writing buddy, Kathi S Barton. WCP owner Karen Fuller was amazing to us authors that trusted her. She did everything right! She listened to us and worked with us, ensuring we were pleased with the books we were releasing. As a new author, I couldn't have asked for a better publisher. She planned and organized a book signing tour of Texas, we had I think eight authors. It was so amazing to sir in Barnes and Noble and have readers come engage with us, but our books, take photos.

I released four books with WCP between 2011 and 2012. I traveled and did fundraisers, book signings, book events and more. It was everything I imagined and more. I was also pretty proud of the sales and royalties I was receiving. As a new author with a new publisher to have steady sale was amazing. I became a best selling author with WCP, and had realized my dreams. Then I hit a brick wall, I couldn't write. I have a near finished novel, already in first round edits and I couldn't do it.

From 2013 to 2017 I went through lots of changes as a person, wife, mother and author. I won't go into it all, but in 2017 after a chronic illness diagnosis I got my drive back. I was ready to finish the story, work on the Embrace series. Many friends were self publishing and I thought wow, this sounds so amazing, not sharing my royalties, full control over my career, Independence and the title of Indie Author. I needed to do this. So I emailed Karen and asked to have my rights back. My contract was long over, but she continued with my books as a back list. They still brought in residual income for both of us.

I re-wrote all four books in the Embrace series. Had a good friend/artist design new covers for me and re-released The Embrace Series as an Indie Author. As I worked on the long anticipated fifth book.     

I finished my contemporary romance novel The Climb, and was so proud of this book. I knew it was amazing. November 1, 2018 I release the book that took nearly 7 years to finish. It got amazing reviews, and readers loved it as much as I did.

Fast forward a few months, to 2019. I feel lost again, no drive to write, I find doing this all on my own is way more than I bargained for. Self publishing is fucking HARD. You can't understand until you do it. If you want a nice cover, you have to out source to someone that knows what they are doing. A cheep cover can be spotted from a mile away. And yes people judge a book by it's cover. You need to hire and editor or two. You can not edit your own book, spell check does not edit your book. You need a professional. You have to hire someone to help with marketing or you need to spend the time to do it yourself. Connecting with readers, selling your book but not being spammy. I admire every self published author, successful or not, because it's a lot of work.

I know this is what I'm meant to do, I have so many stories in my head I can't sleep at night. Writing is my destiny, my calling, my  job, and I love it. With that said, I love the help, the support, the encouragement and yes the deadlines I get with a publisher. So I emailed Karen at WCP again and asked to come back. She said YES. I was so excited that she would take me back after I abandoned her. Yes after 8 years, WCP is going strong, they work with agents, and film production companies and are truly making their mark in the publishing world. I searched up publishers and WCP came up on several lists as a top ten small publisher. I'm proud that I was with her in the beginning and even prouder that she is taking me back. 

This week we signed contracts and discussed the direction for my books. We couldn't use the original covers, because after a computer crash, the original photos were lost. Plus I hated book 2 cover, she hated book 4 cover. I loved my new self publishing covers, but for various reasons we decided not to use them. We talked about doing a combo of the two covers and they are amazing.

The Climb, my passion project, a contemporary romance of loss and love. Love isn't always pretty and sometimes you have to climb a few mountains to get there. I absolutely love this story, I loved the original cover. It was exactly what I wanted. Even though other romance authors told me no, it looks like a travel book, not a romance.  I still went with it. Any reviews I got were amazing, but it just wasn't getting noticed like I had hoped. So we decided to make the cover look a little more romance and also change the name. So The Climb is now Beating the Odds - Loss and Love series novel. I'm so happy with how this turned out. It still has the elements I wanted (Kilimanjaro in the back ground) and has a beautiful romantic couple. This is it, I love it. 

So there you have it my experience with traditional and self publishing. I am a writer that likes the support of a team behind me, I like to write rather than search for covers, editors, and what not. Since my chronic illness became a major player in my life, my brain just cant focus on doing it all. I applaud an author that takes the Indie route, and I think that everyone should at least try it. you can't really understand until you've been there.

Thank you to the readers and fellow authors that have supported me through my journey, but most of all thank you to World Castle Publishing for always being there to help me realize my dream. All my books should be back up for sale world wide through most book sellers in the next week or two.

Now to finish book 5 of the Embrace Series and book 2 of Love and Loss.


New Blog

Those who have the ability to be grateful are the ones who have the ability to achieve greatness. -Steve Maraboli Come join my new blog on...