Over the next week or so there will be some big changes here on my blog. Backgrounds will change, pages will disappear (and reappear somewhere else), a cool new header will grace the top. . . .
Why . . . ?
Because my novel, The Ninth Chosen: The Shadow Prison, is going to take it's first baby steps into the world!
For the last year or so, I've been querying my little heart out only to have it stomped on time and time again, I was continually asking myself, should I persevere? Should I continue down this rocky road to publication? Or should I give up on this silly dream and be content with my already awesome job of stay-at-home mom?
I made my decision. I would quit and I would be okay with it.
I wasn't okay. I couldn't seem to get over it. It was a good decision. Why couldn't I let it go?
Because writing is a part of me. The greatest joy for me in writing comes when someone reads something I've written and tells me it had a positive effect on them. I have always loved working with and inspiring youth. I've known, despite my periods of self-doubt, that it is somehting I'm meant to do. I want to write and I want to inspire others. I can't stop writing any more than I can cut off my arm or stop breathing.
So what to do? I decided not to give up writing, but I was so sick of the publishing game. I asked the advice of my writing mentor Mary Rosenblum. She said two words that sent me into a panic. Self-Publish. . . .
Gasp! Self-publish? But . . . isn't that like saying, "I am a crappy writer and that's the only way I'll ever see my book in print"?
Boy was I wrong.
LOT'S of homework and tons of advice later, I've discovered that this is the best way for me personally to go, and probably always has been. I just had to get over the idea that no self-published authors write well. In fact, I've learned that many New York published authors are finishing out their contracts and turning to the freedoms of the Indie route as well.
It is a HUGE undertaking if you want to succeed. It's not just taking your manuscript, slapping a cover on it, and putting it on Amazon. It requires much, MUCH, more work than that. I have put in hundreds of hours already and I'm not done yet. But here's just a short list of why I decided to do it (after a lot of praying, crying, and sweating, I might add).
An Indie author sets their own deadlines. An Indie puts out as many (or as few) books as they want, AND in whatever genres they choose. They control the content--no one can tell them there's too much religion, not enough profanity, gore or risque elements. An Indie answers to no one but themselves. An Indie sets their own prices beyond the required amount of the printer/carrier. An Indie earns upwards of 70% of their royalties versus the average 15% with a big publisher. The Indie retains control of EVERYTHING. I can keep my focus on my main priority, my family, and still fulfill my dream of writing books for teens that are clean, moral, and entertaining.
An Indie answers to no one but themselves. . . . I have to do all my own promotion. ALL of it. That means paying for, setting up, and maintaining an active website; utilizing social media platforms like Goodreads, Wattpad, Pintrist, and even (if I can handle it) Facebook. I have to self-motivate. Set realistic deadlines and goals. Divide my time between writing and promotion. Whether or not the book succeeds resides mostly on my shoulders.
A little scary. (Sarcasm on little:)
The website is giving me migraines, but hopefully it will be ready to share with you soon.
I've hired the artistic genius of Lisa Anderson to do my book cover design (check out her work on her faacebook page--she is AMAZING!!). She has some incredible character sketches of Tolen that are so eerily close to the way I see him in my head it gives me chills. It's like she looked right into my brain!
I have some BIG surprises in store for the website with the help of Lisa. Just a hint of what's to come: Character interviews featuring some of Lisa's sketches and fun little-known facts and backstory on the world of the Hidden. . . . There will also be exciting giveaways to celebrate the book's release (hopefully early summer--it will be available on Nook, Kindle, Kobo, as well as many other ereader devices via Smashwords, and in paperback on Amazon. com). I will also be offering special gifts to those who subscribe by email for the website newsletter.
I hope you are as excited as I am for the website and release of The Ninth Chosen. Come over for a visit as soon as it's up and running and bring your friends!
If you want to be alerted when the website is up as well as any other news of what's to come, sign up for the email subscription here--if you haven't done so already. Once the wesbite is up you can subscribe there for the newsletter and cancel your subscription to the blog if you choose.
Stay tuned!!! :)