I love e-books. I’ve loved my Kindle since the moment we met. Yet, although I’ve been writing my entire life and owned a business for decades, indie publishing seemed foolhardy. Too many mountains to climb, too much resistance, too hard, too much investment, too little reward, I thought.
Once again, too soon old, too late smart!
Late to the indie party, but better late than never, right?
So I stuck my toe in the water this summer. Quietly, we published my out-of-print backlist and one unsold manuscript, learning the indie business along the way. Recently, we were able to offer two of the books to readers free for a limited time, which pushed them up onto several Amazon bestseller lists. Reader reaction has been so positive. It’s impossible to tell you how wonderful that feels. Thank you all.
Now, my biggest indie book is about to launch in two weeks. A project we’ve worked on for more than three years. Yikes! Have I made the right decision? Will readers love it? I’m holding my breath.
How did we get here?
My story is the same as so many other traditionally published writers. We write, we sell, we lose control of our work. In tough economic times, publishers make perfectly valid business decisions that too often leave us shivering outside in the cold. Publishers are sold, go into bankruptcy, close imprints, reduce print runs, whatever they need to do to stay profitable. And that’s how businesses should be.
Life goes on, windows close, doors open, opportunity knocks — and, well, Indie-is-Me.
Until the e-book revolution, we writers had no choice but to stand there with our bowls empty begging for more thin gruel. That was a problem begging for a solution, and Amazon created the solution with it’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program. A solution brick and mortar bookstores, as much as we all love them, could not create. Others followed Amazon’s lead and now indie publishing is more than viable. As an author, I am very grateful. As a reader, I’m even more grateful. How about you?
Books have always been my life.
As if James Patterson stood there telling me, “Read, Kiddo, Read!” I grew up in a rural community where playmates were scarce. Reading filled that void. The library became my playground and books became my best friends. Best friends they have remained, through thick and thin, in sickness and in health. By now, one thing I know for sure is that only death will part us.
Everyone knows reading can literally save our lives, such as when we read the directions on a medicine bottle or signs along the highway. Truly, Reading is Fundamental. But it can be so much more.
We book lovers know reading broadens our horizons, leads us to adventures we would never have, people we’d never meet, places we’d never go. That’s how it was for me.
My love affair with reading.
Love of reading and stories propelled me through life and into law school where we read thousands of case reports contained in textbooks thick as dictionaries. Required to read the facts, figure out what the law is and how to apply it to the facts, we were tested with fact patterns to analyze over and over until we learned to “think like a lawyer.” It’s a form of hazing, probably. But it changes the way we see the world and the way we navigate in it. Mostly, what we learn is that the situation is never what we think it is and all problems can be solved if we simply figure out how to make it so. Lessons that have served me well.
I excelled in law school because I loved to read. I loved the stories contained in the cases. These story people were real, their problems serious, and always solved. I remember many of their names and situations even now, all these years later. I loved figuring out what went wrong and how to make it right. I loved writing the essays that garnered good grades and later, a good job. I loved learning. And I still do.
As a lawyer, most of my work days were filled with writing. Letters, briefs, opinions, articles and more. Lawyering, it turns out, is the writing life. Again, I thrived there because I loved it. And I still do.
Reading rewarded me in so many ways that I did my best to pass along to clients and colleagues, with significant success. Moving from non-fiction to fiction seemed inevitable before I knew how hard it would be.
From non-fiction to now?
It took a good long time to write my first novel. Like most published writers, there were several false starts, unfinished manuscripts, classes, workshops, critiques, rejections, and of course, craft books to help me through.
Eventually, I completed the novel that sold. After that first one, the addiction to publish to reach readers captured me. I’ve been writing to publish almost constantly since. Through the long and winding road, we’ve arrived at indie publishing.
Going boldly into the future.
Like many of my colleagues, I am still traditionally published and proud to be so. When the right situation presents itself, I’ll choose a traditional publisher again.
But now, I’m an indie, too. You know what? So far, I love it. Connecting to readers directly has always been one of my favorite things, and now the internet makes it possible to connect on a much, much broader scale. I hope you’ll be one of those readers. Click here if you’d like to be added to our mailing list so we can let you know when Don’t Know Jack is available.
How cool would that be?