Going Hybrid: Rethinking the road to publishing

I’m proud of my indie roots. It took guts for me to go out on my own and self-publish and by god I made a go of it. I found readers by beating my own drum. I’ve sold books and yes – I’ve made a little scratch to line my pockets (actually buy a couple of Coach handbags, one very beautiful pair of boots, and fund my Roth IRA – I’m not totally irresponsible!)

There was a long period of time in my writing career during which I couldn’t get arrested if I’d shown up at an agents door with a gun and a copy of manuscript. I think I’ve been rejected by every agent in the Writer’s Market. Some more than once. Some more than twice.

I accepted a long time ago that this constant rejection was part of the business. I didn’t have to like it, but I accepted it. So I kept on writing and writing and writing some more. I joined critique groups and listened. I attended workshops and conferences and listened some more. I worked to improve my writing.

Then I wrote Poor Man’s Pantheon.

It’s good. Really good. I’m very proud of this book.

If you’re a reader of mine and wondering why you can’t find it online it’s because it’s never been published.

I sent query letters to every agent in the book.

I received rejections from each of them or was just ignored.

In most of the rejection letters there was a line about personal preferences and market demands and blah blah blah. Fine – Poor Man’s Pantheon wasn’t what they were looking for. It doesn’t mean it was bad or unreadable. It just meant it wasn’t what they were looking for.

So I wrote another book.

Claire Takes a Lover.

Again – not available anywhere other than in a file on my computer.

I wrote Grand Duchess, Mail Order Bride, The Phoenix (this is a trilogy), All At Once, Three Wishes, Fifty Ways to Meet a Man, The O’Hara Sisters, The Highway Man, A Marriage of Convenience… There are actually more but I’m starting to get a bit embarrassed writing out this list. I can’t believe that I have this many manuscripts gathering digital dust. In my defense this proves that I’m not someone that just sat down one day, pounded out a story, self-published, and voila decided to call myself a writer. I actually work at this.

I hit all of the agents again and again and again and again… Round after round of rejections. I couldn’t understand why I was still routinely getting rejected. I knew my work was good. But yet I was still getting rejected.

I’m not the best at writing a query letter, but I figured there had to be something more. So I started to think around corners. I asked myself questions. Then I got mad. Then I just made the decision to get off my ass and be proactive.

I self-published.

I’d been playing around with the idea for Memoirs for sometime. I didn’t want to put out any of the novel sized manuscripts I’d written. That just seemed a bridge too far.

But Memoirs on the other hand was a different animal. Something I could put out into the world so I could at last have the satisfaction of being published under my own name. I work I could play around with as I saw fit.

It was also my way to test the waters.

I’d received so many rejections I was starting to think I might really not have talent or ability. I needed readers that weren’t part of my critique circles or friends to tell me what they thought.

Out of the gate Memoirs took off like a shot.

l think a few factors contributed to the early success of Memoirs.

The serialized format has appeal. There was a reason why it was so popular for as long as it was. The rise of the paperback brought about the downfall of the serialized novel. Maybe serialization needs to make a comeback.

It’s written from the heart. I wrote what I wanted to write for me. My own toy to play with written for me without the needs or demands of the marketplace in mind. I haven’t written a word of Memoirs for anyone other than me. In this I am blatantly selfish. I’ve written everything else with the reader in mind. This one was for me.

I found the right way to bang my drum. I see a lot of writers trying to bang their drum on the internet. I see the mistakes they make and how their methods are not sustainable over the long run. I’m gathering readers with content not book marks and ball point pens. This is another blog post.

What happened next after those first few weeks of self-publishing success was unexpected. I learned backwards what Kevin Costner tried to teach us all in Field of Dreams:

If you build it they will come.

I built it (it being a base readership) with Memoirs and they came to me. The agents that had rejected me, suddenly wanted to make sweet love to me. Funny how these things work. Not all of the agents that rejected me – certainly none of the top shelf agents I secretly longed for in my heart – but enough of them to massage my slightly bruised ego.

It was my turn to do some rejecting. I followed standard procedure and just ignored the emails. After all – if they don’t hear back from me in six weeks they should just assume I’m not interested.

I liked the power self-publishing gave me over my work. For certain I wasn’t going to give up Memoirs.

Then came the offer I really couldn’t refuse. Publishing with a new company headed by industry leaders that have been in the business for years. Riverdale Avenue Books. These people know books. For certain they know a whole lot more about publishing than I do.

It would be a lie to say I don’t have big dreams for my career as a writer. This is how I want to make a living and the truth is it’s been a long time coming.  If I want to sell a lot of copies of Memoirs then I need to team up with the right people. These are those people.

So I’ve traveled the long way around to get to where I wanted to be in the first place: I’m a published writer on the road to making a living off of my books. I want to publish those manuscripts I have sitting on my hard drive. I’ve learned the benefit of pushing a book out into the world.

Will I sign with an agent or am I done beating myself about the neck and shoulders with that exercise in futility? I’m actually looking for an agent for my middle grade work. That’s a totally different market than contemporary romance and literotica. To get into middle grade I actually do need an agent. But will I sign with an agent for my adult focused writing? I don’t know. I’m sort of like the woman that’s been burned too many times going on blind dates. Maybe I’ll get lucky and meet a nice person that I sort of hit it off with then we can talk about getting into bed together. Otherwise, I’m sort of enjoying being single.

Going Hybrid: Rethinking the road to publishing

I’m proud of my indie roots. It took guts for me to go out on my own and self-publish and by god I made a go of it. I found readers by beating my own drum. I’ve sold books and yes – I’ve made a little scratch to line my pockets (actually buy a couple of Coach handbags, one very beautiful pair of boots, and fund my Roth IRA – I’m not totally irresponsible!)

There was a long period of time in my writing career during which I couldn’t get arrested if I’d shown up at an agents door with a gun and a copy of manuscript. I think I’ve been rejected by every agent in the Writer’s Market. Some more than once. Some more than twice.

I accepted a long time ago that this constant rejection was part of the business. I didn’t have to like it, but I accepted it. So I kept on writing and writing and writing some more. I joined critique groups and listened. I attended workshops and conferences and listened some more. I worked to improve my writing.

Then I wrote Poor Man’s Pantheon.

It’s good. Really good. I’m very proud of this book.

If you’re a reader of mine and wondering why you can’t find it online it’s because it’s never been published.

I sent query letters to every agent in the book.

I received rejections from each of them or was just ignored.

In most of the rejection letters there was a line about personal preferences and market demands and blah blah blah. Fine – Poor Man’s Pantheon wasn’t what they were looking for. It doesn’t mean it was bad or unreadable. It just meant it wasn’t what they were looking for.

So I wrote another book.

Claire Takes a Lover.

Again – not available anywhere other than in a file on my computer.

I wrote Grand Duchess, Mail Order Bride, The Phoenix (this is a trilogy), All At Once, Three Wishes, Fifty Ways to Meet a Man, The O’Hara Sisters, The Highway Man, A Marriage of Convenience… There are actually more but I’m starting to get a bit embarrassed writing out this list. I can’t believe that I have this many manuscripts gathering digital dust. In my defense this proves that I’m not someone that just sat down one day, pounded out a story, self-published, and voila decided to call myself a writer. I actually work at this.

I hit all of the agents again and again and again and again… Round after round of rejections. I couldn’t understand why I was still routinely getting rejected. I knew my work was good. But yet I was still getting rejected.

I’m not the best at writing a query letter, but I figured there had to be something more. So I started to think around corners. I asked myself questions. Then I got mad. Then I just made the decision to get off my ass and be proactive.

I self-published.

I’d been playing around with the idea for Memoirs for sometime. I didn’t want to put out any of the novel sized manuscripts I’d written. That just seemed a bridge too far.

But Memoirs on the other hand was a different animal. Something I could put out into the world so I could at last have the satisfaction of being published under my own name. I work I could play around with as I saw fit.

It was also my way to test the waters.

I’d received so many rejections I was starting to think I might really not have talent or ability. I needed readers that weren’t part of my critique circles or friends to tell me what they thought.

Out of the gate Memoirs took off like a shot.

l think a few factors contributed to the early success of Memoirs.

The serialized format has appeal. There was a reason why it was so popular for as long as it was. The rise of the paperback brought about the downfall of the serialized novel. Maybe serialization needs to make a comeback.

It’s written from the heart. I wrote what I wanted to write for me. My own toy to play with written for me without the needs or demands of the marketplace in mind. I haven’t written a word of Memoirs for anyone other than me. In this I am blatantly selfish. I’ve written everything else with the reader in mind. This one was for me.

I found the right way to bang my drum. I see a lot of writers trying to bang their drum on the internet. I see the mistakes they make and how their methods are not sustainable over the long run. I’m gathering readers with content not book marks and ball point pens. This is another blog post.

What happened next after those first few weeks of self-publishing success was unexpected. I learned backwards what Kevin Costner tried to teach us all in Field of Dreams:

If you build it they will come.

I built it (it being a base readership) with Memoirs and they came to me. The agents that had rejected me, suddenly wanted to make sweet love to me. Funny how these things work. Not all of the agents that rejected me – certainly none of the top shelf agents I secretly longed for in my heart – but enough of them to massage my slightly bruised ego.

It was my turn to do some rejecting. I followed standard procedure and just ignored the emails. After all – if they don’t hear back from me in six weeks they should just assume I’m not interested.

I liked the power self-publishing gave me over my work. For certain I wasn’t going to give up Memoirs.

Then came the offer I really couldn’t refuse. Publishing with a new company headed by industry leaders that have been in the business for years. Riverdale Avenue Books. These people know books. For certain they know a whole lot more about publishing than I do.

It would be a lie to say I don’t have big dreams for my career as a writer. This is how I want to make a living and the truth is it’s been a long time coming.  If I want to sell a lot of copies of Memoirs then I need to team up with the right people. These are those people.

So I’ve traveled the long way around to get to where I wanted to be in the first place: I’m a published writer on the road to making a living off of my books. I want to publish those manuscripts I have sitting on my hard drive. I’ve learned the benefit of pushing a book out into the world.

Will I sign with an agent or am I done beating myself about the neck and shoulders with that exercise in futility? I’m actually looking for an agent for my middle grade work. That’s a totally different market than contemporary romance and literotica. To get into middle grade I actually do need an agent. But will I sign with an agent for my adult focused writing? I don’t know. I’m sort of like the woman that’s been burned too many times going on blind dates. Maybe I’ll get lucky and meet a nice person that I sort of hit it off with then we can talk about getting into bed together. Otherwise, I’m sort of enjoying being single.

What’s Up?

ImageI decided I needed to take a moment, show my blog some attention, and catch up after what was a hectic start of the year.

First off – Sport of Kings was released by Liquid Silver on January 1st.

Second – Volume Four of Memoirs of a Gigolo will be out on February 1st.

A few readers have asked me if there is something else on the horizon. First – thank you. I’d probably be doing this if you weren’t buying my books, but that you keep coming back for more tells me I’m doing something right.

A very very brief glimpse inside of what’s coming up. I have a romance coming out sometime later this spring through TWRP. I have a couple mainstream romances (which are pretty spicy but not erotica) I’m trying to get agented. I have something completely different which I’m working on that will appeal to readers who like mainstream contemporary fantasy. A YA dystopian in which I indulge my love of ancient cultures, mythologies and religions. Finally, after Memoirs I’ll be launching a new serial.

That’s it for the moment. Now I’m back to work for the next couple of days in advance of the launch of Volume Four of Memoirs of a Gigolo.

Fifty Shades of Telling it Like it Is – Meet the Reviewers Part Deux

I’m back with the reviewers for Part Deux of the interview. What do they have to say about self-publishing and the problem of sockpuppetry? Read on to find out.

  • Question #7 – The ease at which writers can self-publish has created a flood of books available for either free or for next to nothing. The filter through which manuscripts passed (i.e. publishers and agents) is no long there. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Cat Alley

  • From a writers stand point it is a good thing… from a readers it means more is available and a lot at much cheaper price. But what I am also finding is a lot of editing errors. If we continue this way then the writer has to find good editors. I understand that no one can be a perfect editor, but that is why you have readers before you publish your book. It is a reflecting of you as a writer, take more pride in your work.

DelSheree Gladden

  • I think the good outweighs the bad. Yes, you get the occasional book that is atrocious, but for the most part, you get such a wide variety of stories and voices. I enjoy being able to read good stories and not being told what constitutes a good story by publishers. Sometimes they get it wrong.

PW

  • From a writer’s point of view, the ease of self publishing is good, however, the author needs to take extra care about typos and editing because it can make or bread their book if a reader has to constantly deal with typos. A few don’t matter, but a lot can jar the story. Editing becomes critical, because you want to make sure character names don’t become mixed up, or situations in the storylines get confused.
  • Livia Ellis
  • Question #8 – It seems as if reviews are one of the only ways to separate the unreadable detritus from the true gems. Do you think because of this too much emphasis has been placed on the importance of reviews?

Cat Alley

  • Not at all. I think they are very important, but not as important as your beta readers and your editors. Reviewers only help sell it after.

DelSheree Gladden

  • I think reviews are a great tool in deciding whether or not to take a chance on a new book, but most readers still go with their gut on a book regardless of reviews. Maybe if they see all ones and twos they’ll pass it by, but for the most part, either the book will pique a readers interest enough to buy, or it won’t. Reviews give a reader confidence to purchase a book they’re interested in more than tell them which book to buy in my opinion.

PW

  • I agree with Cat that a beta readers and editors are critical. The only thing a reviewer is going to do is give an opinion of the book, which can help some people decide to read a book or not.
  • Livia Ellis
  • Question #9 – Can you judge a book by it’s cover?

Cat Alley

  • The cover is what always attracts people at the beginning. For me that is the first attraction, then i read the back and if it sounds interesting I get it. It is a lot like meeting a new person. You instantly judge if you want to meet them by there looks, then you introduce and make small talk, if a spark is there you learn more about them.

DelSheree Gladden

  • A great cover definitely helps, but it is by no means a guarantee of quality. Two of the most eye catching covers I’ve seen this year turned out to be the two books I gave the lowest ratings to.

PW

  • Ususally the cover is the first thing to catch a reader’s eye, then the blurb about the book. The blurb will actually be the selling point once the reader picks up/looks at the book after seeing the cover.
  • Livia Ellis
  • Question #10 – There have been a lot of reports in the media recently about bogus “sockpuppet” reviews. Does this activity diminish your status as reviewers or make what you do that much more important?

Cat Alley

  • umm.. I don’t watch the news or really listen to it so I have no clue what a “sockpuppet” reviewer is, but it doesn’t sound good.

DelSheree Gladden

  • I think the quality of the sock puppet reviews show through and don’t convince readers as much as the person posting them hopes they will. When someone is posting dozens and dozens of reviews because they’re being paid for them, not because they actually read the books … well, it’s hard to be that creative and write quality, meaningful reviews. They all start to look the same and readers pick up on that.

PW

  • I think that bogus ‘sockpuppet’ reviews hurt legit reviewers as a reader may not trust them in the future. I also feel that this ultimely hurts the authors, as it may give readers the impression that this is the only way they can get someone to read their book.

Livia Ellis

  • Final Question – Have you ever started to read a book with the intention of reviewing it, and it was so bad you just abandoned it before you wrote it up?

Cat Alley

  • I have always finished it if I have been asked to review it published, might not have been a great review but I have a very hard time just abandoning a book… I always hope that it will get better. The few books I have come across so far that has been very hard to finish have been beta books where I could sit down with the author and discuss reasons why it was hard to read, see if it is something that can be fixed or not. But I have had one beta book I could not finish. I am sure it had nothing to do about the book itself, just was not my cup of tea and I could not relate at all to the characters.

DelSheree Gladden

  • I have a weird compulsion to finish a book no matter how bad it is. There is only one book I started reading in my entire life and did not finish. That was back in high school and it still bugs me. However, I have really wanted to quit reading books. With books I review, I try very hard to find at least a few positive comments, but I do say as nicely as possible what the book’s failings were.

Samantha Truesdale

  • I always finish a book and review it if I have told the author I would do so. In the couple of cases that I didn’t particularly care for the book, I try to leave a constructive review. There is only one book I can think of that I absolutely could not bring myself to finish, and that was the second I’m the Shades of Grey series. Thank you so much for doing this! It has been fun!

PW

  • I always finish a book I get for review. I may not like the book, but try to give some positive remark if possible. If I end up reading an author with two books I don’t like, I just don’t get their books to read. It’s not fair to the author. I have actually not finished a couple of print books because I just could not deal with errors or storyline, but they were not something I was going to be reviewing.

Livia Ellis

  • Final Final Question… anything you’d like to add?

PW

  • This has been fun and I look forward to the blog. Thanks for the questions and getting to meet other reviewers.

Samantha Truesdale

  • Thank you so much for doing this! It has been fun!

DelSheree Gladden

  • Thanks for the fun questions! Can’t wait to see the blog next week!

Cat Alley

  • I want to thank you for taking the time to ask me what I think in general of my process. I can’t wait to see your blog!!

Leap of Faith: I’ve Self-Published

I never thought I’d self-publish. But I did. This week I stretched beyond my perceived technical limit, and figured it all out. My pet project has been rejected for the last time. I don’t know how many publishers I’ve submitted it to. They all love it. But they want it as a complete work and not in the twelve volumes I’ve divided it into. I don’t want it divided.I want it distributed in twelve different parts. Possibly more. Who knows? I love this story. I love the characters, how they develop, and the world they inhabit. By serializing it I have the ability to add as many volumes as I want. Especially now.

Each of my friends that has self-published promised me I wouldn’t regret it. Despite their encouragement, I did have a moments panic and a bit of hesitation as I worked at it this week. What am I most afraid of? That I’m too much of a perfectionist and there would be mistakes that I could only blame on myself. That no one would buy my book. That I’m really a rotten writer and there are a dozen people out there ready to give me one-star reviews. That I’ll have to put myself out there to market my book. It’s paralyzing the fear.

I own my lovely story. The only one that has any say is me. Talk about liberating.

So what do I do now? Please buy my book. It’s called Memoirs of a Gigolo. The story is about a young man that has come to the end of the party, he is on the edge of growing up, figuring out who he really is, and what truly matters to him.

Why I Love Jude Deveraux

I write romance for a few reasons. Mostly because I like watching two people fall in love before my eyes. I’m a bit of a voyeur in that way. I read my first romance back when I was about ten maybe eleven. It was discovered at the library where I spent a lot of my time. When I was too young to work, I went library after school for refuge. My love for books already existed. What I gained was an appreciation for quiet and the love of solitary pursuits. I read sci-fi, fantasy and romance.

During an on-line writing workshop I took a few years back, one of the participants jumped upon her ass-cheek-chaffing high horse when another participant asked her if her novel counted as romance. The shock! The outrage! The sycophantic falling over herself when I called her out, let her know I was (and quite proudly) a romance writer and that in fact it was a billion dollar business. Unbelievable. Coward was willing to trash the genre writer and her craft when she thought she was immune from criticism, but the second she’s asked to add a little of the proverbial shack to her yack, she’s got nuttin’.

People like to escape. Naughty pirates with billowing shirts help that along tremendously. Chances that you’re going to time-travel to the Scottish Highlands are probably zip. Thank god for the romance writers with enough imagination to help you get there courtesy a four-hundred-page novel. Lot’s of people read for intellectual persuit and entertainment value. They read Booker/Pulitzer/Noble worthy books. I read these books. They’re usually very good and not a little depressing. There is no reason to justify wanting to read for pleasure as there is no reason to justify wanting ot watch reality TV for pure entertainment.

My first romance novel was a Jude Deveraux and I absolutely fell in love with the Montgomery men. I had to have been ten at the time and I was absolutely in love. Probably the reason I’ve always liked the tall, dark and handsome types can be traced back to Jude Deveraux. If I ever get a chance to meet her I will make an ass out of myself. It will be my “I’m not worthy” moment.

Possibly the reason I enjoy writing series with interwoven elements is because of my hero Jude Deveraux. Each of my manuscripts contains extensive family trees and characters which tend to pop up in other peoples stories. I love this about Jude Deveraux’s work. I just love it. I like weaving a braid when writing a story. I love the subtle thread that appears here and then there. That moment when reading and the passing stranger is really that other character from another book.

I am unapologetic about loving writing romance. I love what I do.

All About Me! ME! Fabulous ME! – Or, Tackling the Author Bio

I don’t do well writing about myself. How am I supposed to condense all that is me into a paragraph without coming across as a monstrously self-absorbed jackass? My new publisher sent me a fill in the blank page that includes a brief biography. It’s not that I believe myself to be either uninteresting or even boring, I just don’t know what to say. I don’t suffer from an excess of modesty. I have no problem talking about me. I’ve bored more than one man rigid across a restaurant table detailing the in’s and out’s of what makes Livia so gosh darn great! But writing about myself… what am I supposed to put in a paragraph that will sum up the wonder that is me? What could anyone learn about me in a paragraph that would be of any use? Do I mention that I like older men, dislike attention-seekers (probably why I loathe writing about myself), and prefer pistachio ice-cream over peach? Do I confess that I like to knit, Jude Deveraux was my first hero, and that I’m terrified of actually finding success? What am I supposed to include? What shouldn’t I include? I tried a few things. Every time I put something down, it read like a personal add. So I went with that. This is what I came up with…

Were I to write a personal add about myself it would read as follows:

Blond. Blue. 5’6”. A lady never discloses her weight, but I’ve never had any complaints. I only run if I’m being chased by a gun wielding maniac, but I do love yoga. Bit of a shoe hound. Have had issues passing up handbags. Trying to learn to play the Irish harp. Enjoy both theater and concerts. Love to read fantasy and science fiction. Am not ashamed to admit I adore Star Trek. Have a picture of myself (dressed as a nun) and the late Patrick Swayze (dressed as a medieval warrior) in a frame (Yes – I did cry when he died). Perpetual student with advanced degrees that are mostly useless when seeking job opportunities outside academia. Vivid imagination. Sexually adventurous only on paper. I never know what to say when people end a conversation with ‘god bless’. Occasionally play the lottery – but generally only when I’m feeling really poor. Love to travel. Fluent French speaker. Seeks readers whom enjoy what I write.

Honestly… does this snippet of info about me make you want to rush out and buy my next book? Does it make you want to stalk me? Do I sound like a snot? Do I sound boring? If I really had to I could probably put down ten pages about me. But do I want to reveal that much about myself?

Writing Really is a Hard Business, Isn’t It?

The problem with wanting to be a professional writer, is that the writer has to act like a professional. That the process becomes more than about the writing. Writing for pay, doesn’t take the pleasure out of the process, but it makes it a business. The writer becomes the self-employed business person. I’m not much of a business person. Not even a little. In fact, there are many many many people who know me well whom would gladly attest to the fact I am the most incapable business person they’ve ever met. Which is why I find the business of writing so incredibly hard.

If I wanted to write, purely for my love of writing, then I would have all of the joy and none of the grief. But I want to make a career out of this love of mine. I’m not going to say that I’m unemployable, I just spend a little bit too much time in my own head to be of much use to anyone outside of the food service or retail industries. On the plus side, I’m academically gifted and have fallen into that great bastion of unrealized potential; academia.

To make a career out of something means treating it like a business. I suspect there are some writers out there that have tripped into success and the accompanying buckets of money, but I have yet to slip on that particular banana peel. I sort of hoped I would, but it hasn’t happened. At this point, if I do find success, it will be because I’ve worked like a stevedore and clung to my dream like a dragon guarding it’s hoard of gold.

I’ve worked hard to bring the quality of my writing up to a professional level. What I haven’t done is devote even a fraction of the time I’ve spent on my writing career to the business end of the equation. I’m coming to that late. In a sort of vague and disjointed way, I knew there was more to the business of writing than just the writing. But it all just seemed so complicated and boring. Why would I want to get out and tap-dance while singing my praises (two things I lack both the talent and proper clothing to do) when I could be at home with my friend the laptop living vicariously through my characters? I might not have ever come to it if I hadn’t been asked to give an opinion on my life as a writer still trying to make it.

During the course of doing a favor for a friend, an established writer that wanted to know what it was like out there in the trenches, I really had look at my writing career and what I’d done to get published. What was the most eyeopening thing of all, was that I’d done very little to get published. Beyond sending out submission packages and trying to get the attention of agents, I hadn’t done much. I suspect there are a lot of writers out there that could relate to this. I’d done as much as I thought I needed to, but had never really thought about what else I could be doing.

Writing is really only a part of what I need to do. In addition to writing well, I need to write what people want to read, create a brand, and market myself. The writing is the trickiest part. I could write the best story ever written about a dystopian future in which the female main character becomes the leader of a revolution fighting against the tyranny of a male dominated totalitarian regime, but that doesn’t mean anyone is going to want to read it, or, more importantly, that anyone is going to want to take the time to publish it (please do contact me if you’re interested in a story about a woman that takes up arms against the establishment – Everyone that’s read it thinks its brilliant). I should have gotten an MBA. Or, at the minimum, a degree in marketing.

To this end, I’m giving myself a crash course in marketing. I’m going to figure this business of writing out. I’m not certain if there is a secret knock, a whispered password, or I really do need to sleep with the right person (god help us both), but I will figure this out. I am neither a stupid nor an incompetent woman. Then maybe I’ll write a book about how to break into the publishing world.

Do I Want to Self-Publish?

Do I want to self-publish? When I first decided I wanted writing to be my career, I never thought I would consider self-publishing. But here I am a couple of years down the road and not nearly as established as I thought I would be. I one manuscript signed with a small e-publisher, but nothing else. I have about a dozen finished manuscripts. I have about a hundred rejection letters. I don’t think I’m getting rejected because of the quality of my work. I think I’m pretty good. Either my friends are trying to make me feel better, or I’m not what the publishers are looking for.

The publishers demand is significantly less than the pool of available work. There are a lot of writers out there trying to get noticed. Most of them are probably really good. I don’t know if I believe in luck, except for the lottery, but I do believe in hard work and working smart. This is how to generate results. I do understand the position of the publishers. Why take on someone that is unknown without an established following, when there are a lot of authors out there that already have a built in readership?

So I think I’m going to try to self-publish. I’m learning how to market myself. I have extracted promises from a couple of friends that know a thing or two about marketing. I truly do believe I have the ability to make a living out of my writing. I don’t expect to become the next Jude Deveraux or Danielle Steele, but it would be nice to pay the bills and afford my travel habit.

So, I’m going to self-publish. Please wish me luck.