Rocky Horror Beginnings
Let’s do the Time Warp Again!
After 14 months of Indie Publishing, though I cannot brag of making thousands of dollars, I am so happy I chose this path.
I got off on the wrong spike heel in 2012. I had been pursuing traditional publishing. In 2011, I sent out lots of short stories and was amazed at how quickly they were snapped up by editors, some more than once.
I had had a very successful witchcraft blog Winterspells.com and didn’t know it. It had won an award and I had tons of people on my email list and thought I was a failure. This was because the only success stories I ever heard were about people making mega tons of money with blogging and zero about people like me who were just starting out.
I wasn’t even on the web properly until 2009! But something about this world breeds impatience.
I had the blog but really wanted to work on my fiction. Figured Winterspells would be platform to explore my interests, and the themes in my stories.
I was getting Roses of the Moon ready to send out to find an agent when a friend told me about Amanda Hocking and the success she was having with self publishing.
I haven’t had a TV for 30 years, so I am a little behind the curve I guess.
So, being impatient and not getting any younger—-I had seen how long it took my traditionally friends’ books to come out—-I decided to try and see what would happen.
So, I made my own covers and put these short stories on Kindle and then these two novellas, The Lady in Yellow and Memento Mori. I still wasn’t about to put a big serious novel online yet. This was an experiment.
I was shocked at how many people downloaded my books! This did not result in a lot of money—everyone talks money—but it was encouraging. So in late December 2012, I published Roses of the Moon. In January I had a launch so I could learn how to do that, and over 6000 of the book wwere dowloaded from Kindle.
Now I realize I should have waited to have published more books in the series before I did that. Then it would have had more effect. But I also think that if Roses of the Moon is sitting unread in 6000 Kindle readers, it may be resurrected when the rest of the series comes out. I also saw indications that The Lady in Yellow and Memento Mori warrented development, so I spent that year going over this old/ new ground and I’m happy I did.
The Lady in Yellow has been in the top 20 in Werewolves and Shifters for several weeks.
Learning How Publishers Think.
The time comes to decide what to focus on next. I have learned so much in this process that I am actually glad I have put certain books on the back burner, like Rosewolf and Daemon Lover (An overused title now, but it wasn’t 7 years ago when I first outlined this very dark paranormal romance) Now I know how to slant the storylines and also how much research I will have to do, especially for the latter book.
I learned, mainly from Romance writers, how there are way more readers than books they want to read. Romance readers can read a book in a day and are always hungry for more. That means that we as authors, do not have to be as backbiting and competitive as in other art forms I have been involved in, like the performing arts, where scarcity rules the day. We can all be friends and help each other by banding together.
Hey Gothic Authors! Here’s a shout out to you!
How It’s Fun
I grew up in the 1960s when movements were moving and there was always a sense of excitment in the air as well as danger. I suppose I like that sense of risk and being on the cutting edge because I feel very privileged to be part of this Indie Revolution.
In the 1990’s, when I was singer a Celtic band, Castlerigg, Canadian artist, Loreena McKennitt was an inspiration to me, not just because of her travels and her material, but because she did it herself on her kitchen table and made it to the top. She does things in her own terms still, I believe.
That is exciting! I admire the independent spirit of Indie film makers and authors. Its very hard work and a real struggle for me with my limited resources, but every time I think of getting, say, my Thriller, The Shadows, ready to send to a traditional publisher because itsYA, I think, no! I can get this book into print. Besides, things are moving so fast, that who knows if bookstores won’t start carrying Indie authored books?
If you want to write and wonder about this Indie path, I hope I have enlightened you. I am not a Hugh Howie, or an Amanda Hocking, but my experience at this stage may be a little more normal. I have a feeling my books will reach critical mass at some point and find their audience all of a sudden.
At this point, I have done some promotions so I can keep learning, but I have stayed relatively under the radar until I have certain books in place. Meanwhile my readership grows.
Our books will be available as long we have the web.
I hope that’s forever.