Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Self-Publishing: The New Paradigm--Part One

Living My Dream

Every author has a dream. Whether it's getting published by a big NY publisher, landing an agent, seeing your book in Barnes and Noble, holding your book in your hot little hands, writing a NY Times Bestseller or just writing that Great American Novel, all authors have high hopes for their literary masterpieces.

For me, it's basically always boiled down to this:  Write books, publish them, share them with readers and make a little dab of money.

Let me give you a little backstory about my Author's Journey:

My dreams have changed over the years. At first, I wanted my books to look like the Regency novels of the time (which was like 20 years ago or more) and I wanted to see them on bookstore shelves. Then I started targeting Silhouette Desire/Special Edition and in my mind, my books would look like those books. I dreamed of seeing them in Walmart and Kroger and of course, Barnes and Noble.

But after receiving rejection after rejection, I nearly gave up hope and almost quit writing altogether.

Then I noticed some of my HBA chapter mates publishing with small ePresses and they were having SO much fun. When I heard of a gentler, kinder publisher, I decided to send one of my rejected books to The Wild Rose Press. The editor loved the book and bought it. I was finally published and soon became accustomed to being an ebook author. Yes, I had print copies of my books, but they looked kind of funny and didn't sell very well. I'll always be grateful to The Wild Rose Press for giving me the experience of receiving THE CALL or THE EMAIL in my case. They were very good to me and really are a first-rate company.

But when I submitted my little Regency novella to a different editor over there, she wanted to make all kinds of changes. She had a different vision for the book than I had envisioned.

Now, I'm not opposed to changing what doesn't work in a story. And the novella did have a couple of fatal flaws that needed correcting.

It was about this time that I wished I could just write and publish ebooks in PDF format and sell them on my website. It was also about this time an online friend told me how she was self-publishing an anthology with Lulu so she would have another book to sell at book signings. I thought that was a great idea and began looking into that possibility. It was also about this time that I discovered the blogs of JA Konrath and Dean Wesley Smith. I found out about Karen McQuestion and how she was publishing rejected manuscripts on Kindle and making a little money.

Hmm, I thought. I had six manuscripts languishing on my hard drive plus my new Regency novella. I believed they were cute little stories and it would be fun to release them into the wild, share them with readers, and maybe make a little bit of money on the side.

When I started this venture over a year ago, I was half-ashamed to tell anyone what I was planning to do. I thought maybe I'd make some egg and butter money; you know, like farmer's wives used to do. I thought maybe I'd make enough to eat out at a nice restaurant every once in a while. And if I had good luck, I thought maybe I could make 300-400 dollars a month. But secretly in my heart of hearts, I didn't really believe I would do that well.

BOY WAS I WRONG!!! I'm making a little dab of money plus some. With the advent of the Kindle and Direct Publishing, I am living my dream. And now I love being a Kindle author. Independently published. I hope the day comes when I'll be selling 1000 books a day. Will that happen? I don't know, but I can certainly dream.

Happy Writing and Happy Reading!!!

Anne Marie   :)


Rebecca J. Clark said...

Wow, what a great, inspiring story. I just checked out those bloggers you mentioned--can't wait to read about those authors.

I'm glad you're having success as a self-pubbed author. Someday, I may join you.


AnneMarie Novark said...

Thanks, Becky.

Come on in. The water's fine!!!

Cheryl Bolen said...

I am so glad you're sharing this beautifully written, inspiring message that we members of Bay Area RWA had a preview of. Way to go, Anne Marie!

Skhye said...

HELL, GIRL! A little dab o' money... Where's your second post? Throw up those amazing numbers!!! ;)

So, thrilled for you. I know how it is to almost quit writing and then suddenly find self-validation through publishing. Even better that you're pocketing more of the profit now! I swear I'm going to self-pub a book soon. Really. *snort* I just have to make the time for it.

Btw, Jimmy Thomas has his pics half off at through midnight Friday. Bought a couple (7). Couldn't help myself. He has kilts!!! I wanted to make certain you know since you used one of his pics on a cover...

Ok, where's post #2??? ~your e-nag

AnneMarie Novark said...

Thanks, Cheryl.

I did want to share the workshop I presented HBA RWA. Some members wanted a transcript, and I thought this is the next best thing.

AnneMarie Novark said...

LOL Skhye!!!

I'm suffering a BIG summer slump in sales. Trying not to let it get me down.

I'm focusing on writing my new Regency novella.

And thanks for the heads up on Jimmy's sale. I love his picture on my cover. It's my sexiest one.

Post number 2 will be up next week.

E-nag: Self-publish your backlist, girl!!!

Susan Parker said...
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Robin Sullivan said...

Congratulations on the path you've chosen. There are more than just a few authors making very good money from self-publishing. Each month on Kindle boards I do a TBOM (thousand books a month) post where dozens of authors show that they are selling well. I also recently did an article on the topic of authors making a living wage from self-publishing for Publishing Perspectives that you might want to check out.

Robin Sullivan | Write2Publish | Ridan Publishing

Susan Parker said...
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Sky Purington said...

Great post! I'm in the process of self-publishing some of my older titles. Fingers crossed! :-)

AnneMarie Novark said...

Hey, Robin.

I remember reading your article and it's very informative. I also posted on your TBOM thread last month. Didn't do it for June though. May not be able to for July, with the direction sales are plunging.


Thanks for stopping by.

AnneMarie Novark said...

Hey Sky!!!

Good luck with your indie publishing adventure!!!