Traditional Publishing is rapidly becoming not so traditional. A new world develops, along with a new set of rules. There are certainly mixed feelings about this new world, but now more than ever agents are skeptical and pristinely selective. The inveterate publishing houses look to foster their recurrent, reliable authors, for they represent what is guaranteed.
I am a subscriber to Publisher’s Lunch (For those of you who don’t know, this is the less costly version of Publisher’s Weekly). From what I can tell, the percentage of fresh meat being tossed around the butcher’s shop is paltry. There is a niche; a very small, tightly molded niche, and if you’re lucky enough to fill it then you’ve beaten the odds.
As the mainstream doorway for budding authors continues to inch shut, writers — facing rejection and presented with other options — are taking their labor and their rights into their own hands. This yields incredible hope and promise for many, but there are those that would say this “progress” hinders the advancement of Great Fiction being read. And to that I would say, “Are you kidding me?”
The masses will decide what they do and don’t like.
The reason I support Indie Authors and Self-Publishing is not because of my own failure to attain representation; it is because I have always and will always believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to prove themselves. Of course it is up to the author to make the most of their arrival. We hope they have spent years and years reading books, developing their craft, entering contests, participating in writing prompts and critique groups. We hope they have failed and we hope this failure is not a reflection of the writing itself, but of a market tending to generate what it knows and perpetuate its own comfort level.
Risk is scary, and when it’s the agent’s head on the chopping block, when their livelihood depends on your success, well gosh, I don’t blame them one bit for being cautious. (Occasionally they will be unnecessarily rude and snarky, and that I don’t condone because it’s just not classy. Put a dollar in the jar.) But if it were me and my head, I would respond no differently.
And this is what I have come to love about self-publishing: the risk is entirely at the discretion of the author. It is the author — not the agent, not the publisher — walking themselves into the fire; and either they will be refined or burnt to a crisp, but either way it’s their business, so why the fuss? Why the arched brows and pursed lips? Why the need to criticize the whole tree because of its assortment of rotten apples? It’s not the trees fault. It was planted there to grow and bring something good to the people. It cannot be held responsible for every wayward fruit. So, if the apple turns to mush in your mouth, for cryin’ out loud reach up and pick another! Poor editing, lousy characters, a drooping plotline, less than convincing dialog — all these I have found in self-published titles, and all these I have found among imprints.
Just the chance; everyone deserves that.
In this post I am introducing six Indie Authors. Their genres and interests span from one end of the spectrum to the other. Below you will find their bios, photos, blurbs, and media-kits. Get to know them; perhaps one will be your next favorite author.
Before you meet them, though, read the article I have copied and pasted from KDP (Kindle Publishing Direct) about one stalwart author’s persistence and her well-earned success in the self-publishing market. This success is very rare, and entirely the result of a tenacious attitude hard work, and let’s not forget the most important part — great writing. Had agent rejection punctuated her career, a great series might never have been discovered. This author saw her chance and she took it. Good for her.
So, in closing, we need not have our hands groping for the throat of the publishing industry. We need not choke or strangle it into submission. The pulse remains tried and true. And it will beat of its own accord, the way it always has, whether or not there are people who wish to dictate it.
Let the masses decide. We the people don’t exist under an oligarchy; and neither should our books.
“Like a lot of authors, I slipped into self-publishing through the back door. I’d written three novels in two years, and intended to go the traditional route. Get an agent. Get a book deal. Become published. Honestly, self-publishing wasn’t even on my radar. But three-plus rounds of queries to agents turned up a lot of requests that resulted in rejections that said things like: Great writing, great story, great characters, great voice—not for me, or I don’t think I can sell it.
“In the late spring of 2011, the idea of self-publishing my mystery sprang to life. There was still a stigma attached to the self-published path, and I got a lot of disapproval from some of my serious writer friends. But I pushed forward, grateful and thrilled that I was finally in control of my career. I wasn’t sitting around waiting for other people to decide if I was good enough. My career was in my hands
“I published Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes in July 2011. My goal was to sell 1,000 books by December 31st. I sold my one thousandth book in early September and cried like a baby. That was my pie-in-the-sky mark of success. Encouraged, I published three more books before the end of November, and sold a total of 26,000 books in 2011, with well over 90% of my books sold through Amazon and KDP. I’ve since published ten books as well as multiple short stories. I’ve sold over 300,000 copies.
“Self-publishing is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I can write what I want. I can change my own prices and develop my own marketing strategy. I can change covers or blurbs or categories my books are listed in. Self-publishing took away the helplessness of querying and handed me the reins to my career. With self-publishing, there is no limit to my success. There’s never been a more exciting time to be an author!”
– Denise Grover Swank
The Author: Amy Queau
Progress & Interrupted, books one and two of The Progress Series.
Amy was born, raised, and currently resides in Minnesota. In the winters, she loves the snow but hates the cold. In the summers, she loves the sun but hates the heat. Some of her favorite things to do involve a cool evening, an excellent cup of coffee and she’s always up for good conversation.
After the emotional turmoil that was ‘Jesse’ subsides, Charlie manages to find peace with her decision to leave him, despite her conscience telling her otherwise. Saying goodbye to the drama proves to be an easier task than she anticipated.
And although Charlie’s life continues to test her strength, her will, and her motivation to pick herself up and dust herself off, she carves a new path. Making positive changes in her life, she gets a new job, a new apartment, and a new guy; everything is nearly perfect. Nearly.
Hundreds of miles away, Jesse isn’t faring too well in their aftermath. But within his darkness, he finds a purpose and reconstructs himself with one goal in mind:
He needs to find his Charlie.
Amy can be found through these media outlets:
Facebook – www.facebook.com/pages/Amy-Queau-author-of-The-Progress-Series/340436506070934
Twitter – @amyqueau
Website – www.amyjq.com
Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/author/show/6983260.Amy_Queau
Tumblr – amyqueau.tumblr.com/
The Author: Desmond Webb
A Day In November
I was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1957. I left school at fifteen (education would come later in life). As a young boy I didn’t have much interest in reading, except for Marvel and DC comics. I only started to read books when I was eighteen. It was the start of a lifelong love affair with the written word.
I often wondered what it would be like to write; to be able to sit down and express thoughts onto paper. But I lacked confidence and I was unsure of what I wanted to write about. Ten years ago, I completed a creative writing course but still had no idea what it was I wanted to write about. I had written a couple of short stories but had no idea whether they were good or bad. I never asked anybody to read them and give me feedback. Three years ago I decided to attempt to write a novel. An idea had been swirling around in my head and I had written some chapters. Eventually, it became A Day in November, though it did have several other titles. The most difficult part of writing the book was the opening chapter. I rewrote it at least a dozen times before finally settling on an idea I had at first rejected. In fact, the book was all but completed with the exception of the opening chapter. This time, I asked people to read it through for me and I am grateful to them for taking the time to do so. I accepted their criticisms and suggestions and I think it is a better novel for that.
I have been working on a new novel for the past couple of months which will be called A Killing too Far. I like this title and don’t think I will agonise over it in the way I did with my first novel. As a precursor to the book I updated a short story I had written (one of those I thought would never see the light of day) and called it Two of a Kind. It was published as an e-reader earlier in 2013. I wanted to use it as an introduction to a new character, Detective Chief Inspector Reid. The next novel in the Chief Inspector Reid series will be called Defenceless.
Apart from writing, I love family life, travelling, music (still stuck in the 70’s) and reading. My favourite authors are Philip Roth, Sebastian Faulks, Henning Mankell and Lee Child, although I will read just about anything I can lay my hands on.
I am married to Phil (since 1976) and we are the proud parents of Graham and Lauren and the grand parents of Evan, Dan and Lily Mae.
How far would you go to put a terrible wrong to right? Ian, a journalist, has lost his passion for writing and makes a decision to go to Germany in early September 1989, in an attempt to resurrect his flagging career. The balance of power in eastern Europe is changing, the citizens of East Germany are rising up against their government and during a Summer of extraordinary discontent are voting with their feet as they leave in their thousands through Hungary and Austria and head for West Germany where they are welcomed with open arms.
On a flight from Heathrow airport to Hanover Ian meets Patrick, who tells him he is going to Germany to work in a bar in a town called Wolfenbüttel. Despite their very different backgrounds, Ian is drawn to Patrick and after visiting him a week after first meeting him, he accepts Patrick’s invitation to move in with him. Ian is writing again and has come up with the idea of writing a book about the possible reunification of Germany. He wants to write about how ordinary citizens of West Germany feel about the likelihood of East and West Germany becoming one nation again. This quest takes him eventually into the maelstrom of East Berlin during the 40th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the East German state.
But nothing is ever quite what it seems. Following a bad accident, everything changes when Patrick tells Ian about a terrible family tragedy. Ian finds himself drawn into what he believes is Patrick’s increasing mental deterioration and a dangerous situation he neither understands nor feels capable of stopping.
The story runs in tandem with the cataclysmic events in East Germany leading up to the opening of the Berlin Wall. As the day dawns, when the lives of millions of people will change forever so too will Ian’s life change, but for very different reasons.
Desmond can be found through these media outlets:
Twitter – https://twitter.com/desmondwebb1
The Author: Brandy Dorsch
Brandy lives in North Dakota and dreams of running away and being an extra on The Vampire Diaries. She is a diehard reader that can’t breathe without adding something to her TBR list. She loves anything romance but has a special place in her heart for all things vampire related. She works and goes to school but her favorite activity is spending time with her husband and two sons.
Temptation, thy name is Ian Lochlan.
That was the thought running through Ellie Dawson’s head when her boss offered to escort her to a local vampire bar. Who would suspect that it was owned by him and that he would be the one to introduce her to all the pleasures of a vampire’s kiss?
Passion is a different beast when vampires are involved and Ellie faces love from two very sensual creatures. Tragedy strikes and Ian relinquishes her into the arms of his best friend – Jasper. Ellie struggles with the feelings aroused in her by both men but she knows nothing can stop the Hunger.
Can she survive loving two men and the past that continues to haunt her?
Brandy can be found through these media outlets:
Nook – tinyurl.com/ls5kv2t
Kobo – tinyurl.com/n3h8qz9
All Romance – tinyurl.com/l29d5uo
The Author: Gillian O’Rourke
The Reluctant Prophet
Before settling down in Ireland with her husband and three dogs, Gillian O’Rourke lived in Melbourne, Australia. She received her first fantasy book from an English teacher at the age of fourteen and has loved the genre ever since. Although she writes fantasy, she occasionally dabbles in the paranormal. Gillian currently works in the healthcare sector, helping adults with disabilities live as independently as possible.
There’s none so blind as she who can see . . .
Esther is blessed, and cursed, with a rare gift: the ability to see the fates of those around her. But when she escapes her peasant upbringing to become a priestess of the Order, she begins to realise how valuable her ability is among the power-hungry nobility, and what they are willing to do to possess it.
Haunted by the dark man of her father’s warnings, and unable to see her own destiny, Esther is betrayed by those sworn to protect her. With eyes newly open to the harsh realities of her world, she embarks on a path that diverges from the plan the Gods have laid out. Now she must choose between sacrificing her own heart’s blood, and risking a future that will turn the lands against each other in bloody war.
The Reluctant Prophet is the story of one woman who holds the fate of the world in her hands, when all she wishes for is a glimpse of her own happiness.
Gillian came be found through these media outlets:
Blog – www.gillianorourke.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/gillyorourke
Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/gillyorourke
Twitter – @gillywrites
The Author: Brian Randleas
Harmony – Book One of The Reynolds Star Saga
Brian Randleas was born in 1963, in the state of California. The son of a church planting minister, and the third of six children he has moved around a lot. Having worked in many professions , he has also had an experience or two. A short list of some of the jobs he has done includes : ditch digger, electronics repairman, minister, gourmet chef, soldier, counselor, and professional floor cleaner.
Brian has always had not only a great passion for reading, but for writing as well. Brian began his writing career with short stories, and humor articles in newsletters, and guests spots in online blogs. Now with the release of his first novel Harmony in December of 2011, Brian is working towards his dream of being a full time author.
A planet where life revolves around a mysterious melody? A place where Mother Nature actually exists? After the Earth has been devastated, by the release of a mutating bio-toxin a ship carrying 4 thousand colonists leaves for a newly discovered world. There they name the planet Harmony and try to build a new life. Two teenagers Alex Chase, and Kiersten Dobbs find a link to a mysterious intelligence on Harmony and search to find its origin. After their shuttle is shot down by saboteurs they must hurry to not only find the answer to this mystery, and learn the identity of their attackers, but survive doing it. Can they make it in time?
Brian can be found through these media outlets:
Amazon Author’s page – www.amazon.com/Brian-Randleas/e/B0077JF19C/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Twitter – twitter.com/BRandleas
Personal Blog /Author Page – brianrandleas.blogspot.com/