Month: January 2013

CreateSpace or Lightning Source?

My first novel, Ava, will be coming out in print in a matter of days. While I’m excited to finally have this option for readers who do not use e-readers, it has taken more time than I had originally anticipated to make a paperback version of the book available. On this blog, I’ve been candid about the highs and lows of my journey from occasional writer to self-published author. Even as I write this post, a certain part of me still hopes that a literary agent, one skilled in navigating the release and promotion of print books, will discover my novel and insist on representing it, and me. There is real value in having an educated, experienced guide when traveling to new areas of business, and personal growth. I can’t help but wonder if making the choice to move forward on my own ...

Dear Barnes & Noble, Part Four

You’ve finally done it this time, Barnes & Noble. What I’d really like to know is who isn’t listening at your corporate headquarters? Who are the ones so rooted in the past that they would rather collapse your future than step aside and make room for innovation and re-branding. Who should be the recipient of our communications, the ones we self-published authors keep sending from the front lines of writing, publishing, and marketing books? The blog posts and tweets we’ve been so passionately writing to you for a year, Barnes & Noble, obviously aren’t getting through to a person who can effect change — big change — within your organization. Here is some advice. Right now, right this very second, call a meeting. Start a national conversation and hold it in your bookstores...

Mea Culpa (You Probably Saw This One Coming)

I said I wouldn’t do it. I even wrote two blog posts (To KDP Select Or Not To KDP Select and a Self-Publisher’s Dilemma) about why I wouldn’t do it. But here I go, anyway: Ava is free today on Kindle.   Am I turning my back on everything I’ve believed up until now? Have I cut a behind-the-scenes deal with Amazon? Have I been hypnotized, or brainwashed? Have I been replaced by a bot? Nope. I simply changed my mind. Evolution by way of experience is like that; one day things are running smoothly, and the next day that same world looks different. On its own, knowledge isn’t what’s important. Context is, and application. It takes time for new information to sink in, to take root. It also takes time to make enough mistakes that only one real option is left. I’m down to the one option. Sev...

A Few Comments about JA Konrath’s Resolutions for Writers

I always smile while reading J. A. Konrath’s blog posts. Whether he’s being sincere, sharp, or snarky, he has a way of using just the right amount of humor, in just the right places, to get his point across without detracting from the seriousness of the topics he addresses. I’ve just finished reading his newest post, Resolutions for Writers, and though I’m smiling, I find I have a point or two of disagreement with his advice. Perhaps, it would be more accurate to say that I am looking at the same view he is, but from a far different vantage point. His level of experience far eclipses mine, and I wonder if he would categorize where I am on this self-publishing journey as “a good start, with so very much more to go.” J. A. Konrath, by comparison, is orbiting earth. I am not glorifying him, o...

Book Marketing: The Genuine Article

I buy books all the time, both paid and free, both paper and electronic. It generally takes me months and months to start a novel once it has found a home on my Kindle or my bookshelf. Part of the reason it takes so long is the sheer volume of writers I’ve come to know through social media. The other part is my determination to read every one of their books while keeping up with my favorite traditionally published authors, too. Twitter is my darling. My Twitter community has 22,000 members. Six months ago it was half that number, and I anticipate it will be approaching 50,000 by mid-summer. Every day, I get to meet new writers – or, at least, writers who are new to me – and, nearly every day, I download a handful of their novels and short stories. My Facebook community has 983 members – th...

2013, The Year of Action

It is New Year’s Day, the year 2013, and I’m excited. Really excited. This morning, I went back and read my first January post from last year and, looking back, I am a bit startled to recognize how much we self-published authors have collectively accomplished, and how different the landscape looks to me a year later. For starters, self-publishing, as a business strategy, is no longer looked down upon by the biggest names in the publishing world. In fact, most have taken headliner steps to incorporate this method into their own product portfolios. Good, good, and more good. I hope the year ahead brings new and mutually profitable ways for the traditional publishing industry to partner with both established and emerging self-published authors. In February, it will be two years since I decide...

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