Indie Books and POGs

Last night, I found my old POG collection.  If you grew up in the 90s, chances are you also collected the little round pieces of cardboard that were apparently meant to be a game but really ended up just being shiny little circles we accumulated and hoarded like Smaug’s treasure in The Hobbit.

As I was looking through my old POGs, I noticed one had a ghost on it.  I thought, “Oh, that’s cute.  I should take a picture of it with Cemetery Tours.”

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So I did.

But I didn’t stop there.

Slowly but surely, my little idea to take a picture with the ghost POG became a full fledged POG and indie book photo shoot.

This isn’t the first time I’ve taken pictures of several (not all) of the indie books I own.  I have a whole photo album that I’ve dedicated to the #IndieBooksBeSeen movement on my Facebook page.

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There is a rhyme and reason to my madness.  Despite the fact that we call ourselves “Independent” authors, the truth is we are very much a community.  No one works alone.  We have editors and graphic designers and reviewers and marketing experts.  And we have each other.  As independent authors, we support each other 100%.  That’s one of the first things I learned about the community and one of my very favorite parts of being an independent author.  I never expected the warm reception or astounding support system when I first published Cemetery Tours, but it’s there.  And it’s so, so, so amazing.

There are several ways that authors support each other.  I have friends who Tweet and Retweet.  I have friends who share dozens of Facebook posts.  I have friends who review every book they read.  Me?  I definitely try to review at least every indie book I read.  But I like to take pictures.  It’s my favorite method of communication.  Funny, for a writer, I know.  But there’s a certain love to a beautiful image that words really can’t express.

I take pictures because these books need more exposure.  I want each and every one of these authors to know the same kind of love and praise and success that their traditionally published counterparts experience.  I want them to be interviewed and reviewed by Entertainment Weekly and fly to the top of the New York Times Bestsellers List.  I want independent books to become mainstream.  And I think they are well on their way.

 

 

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Why Buy Books?

Like many of you out there, I have a certain predisposition to read.  A lot.  On the one hand, I probably spend way too much time reading.  On the other hand, I probably don’t read enough.  Life’s just kind of weird that way.  Now, whenever I find a book that I really want to read, I take a trip up to my local bookstore and grab it.  My bookshelves currently look something like this…

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That doesn’t even include the large stack of books I have sitting next to my bed, waiting to be read.  A friend of mine asked me today, however, “Why do you keep buying books?  Why don’t you just go to the library?  That way you don’t spend money and you don’t have a book that you’ve already read lying around the house.”

I suppose that does make sense.  And I do have a library card and I, of course, love to support libraries.  They’re amazing, wonderful, and very important establishments and resources.  I often go to the library to check out nonfiction books, especially when I’m doing research for a new book.  But when it comes to guilty pleasure reading, I’m personally better off buying books.  And I can tell you why.

  1. I like to reread books.  As I told my friend, there isn’t one book on my shelf that I love that I haven’t read at least three or four times.  It’s like having a favorite movie.  You like to watch it over and over again.  I like to read books over and over again.  Can you imagine not owning the Harry Potter series?
  2. For some reason, when I check books out from the library, I feel like I have a time limit, which I kind of do.  Owning books, I can read them whenever I want, and take as long as I want, without having to worry about returning them.  They’re mine.  All mine, Precious…
  3. You can take books with you wherever you go!  Granted, you can take library books around too as long as you don’t have to return them, but you’ll probably feel a lot worse if you lose them.
  4. They’re just so pretty.  I mean, come on.  Books!
  5. If you happen to meet your favorite author, you can have them sign your book!  Can’t do that with a library book!  I have Rainbow Rowell’s and Anne Rice’s autographs in two incredible books and I certainly don’t plan on getting rid of them!
  6. Speaking of being an author… That’s how I make my living!  For authors, especially those of us who are independent, book sales are vital.  I do donate books to every library I visit and I am happy to do so.  But if people don’t buy our books, that’s kind of it for us. I have a growing collection of books by independent authors.  I love them!  I love supporting those authors who work so hard and so passionately for a dream that has no guarantees.  And there are some amazing independent books out there.
  7. Books are a work of art in every sense of the word.  We decorate our homes with paintings and sculptures, true works of love and genius.  Books are no different.

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So you see, it makes perfect sense to buy books.  It also makes perfect sense to support your local library.  Either way, keep reading!  And don’t forget your independent author friends.

On that note… Cemetery Tours is only $2.99 on Kindle for the rest of October!  Download your copy now!

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Being Independent

Last night, I got to see two of my good friends whom I haven’t seen in ages.  They also happen to be independent artists.  We had a good long talk and several laughs about the self-employed life.  I realized that all the weird things I experience in my day-to-day life aren’t exclusive to authors.  All independent artists go through ups and downs on their way to establishing a career.

That conversation got me thinking, “Hey… I could write a blog post about this.”  So without further ado, here are the ten best and worst things about being an independent author/artist.

The Ten Best Things About Being An Independent Author/Artist

  1. You work for yourself! You get to work from home or wherever you want! You are your own boss! You make your own schedule! This is pretty much the best gig ever.
  2. You keep all creative and legal rights to your work.  Forever.  Done.
  3. No deadlines!  Okay, well, you need to make your own deadlines and it is VERY important that you keep them.  But still!  I’d rather set my own deadline than abide by someone else’s!
  4. You’re able to give every project the love and attention that it deserves.  This isn’t about the money for you.  You’re not looking at your manuscript and thinking, “Will this make me a lot of money?” You’re looking at it and thinking, “This is worth it no matter what, because it’s a great story.”
  5. You get the opportunity to learn a LOT.  I never, in my wildest dreams, thought I’d be essentially running a business for myself.  I certainly never thought I’d be publishing books.  But I’ve learned and grown so much in the past two years and you know what?  I’m really proud of myself.  It’s a great feeling.
  6. Have I mentioned the royalties that you will be getting for the rest of your life?  Unlike in the traditional world, you don’t just get paid once for one book.  One book can make you money every month of every year.
  7. You get to write what you love.  You don’t have to wait for an agent’s or publisher’s approval.  If you know that you want to write a book, and you know that you can write it well, go for it.
  8. The independent community is WONDERFUL.  I’ve met so many amazing and supportive people through my career as an independent author.  You want to know these people.  And not just fellow authors.  I’ve made so many amazing friends all around the world who are book reviewers and they’re just the best.  Again, you would not believe the overwhelming love and support.
  9. You learn that nothing is impossible, that you are capable of so much more than you think you are.  Those barriers and obstacles that you think exist?  All in your mind.  Nothing is insurmountable if you set your mind to it.  Believe me.  I’ve been there.
  10. You are making your dreams come true.  And that’s incredible.

Now that I’ve made the life of an independent author seem like the bee’s knees, here are…

The Ten Worst Things About Being An Independent Author/Artist

  1. You work for yourself.  I know, that was a good thing too, but hear me out.  You have to have a LOT of self-discipline to make this work.  That’s something I’ve really struggled with.  I get distracted so easily.  I’m a procrastinator.  I can be incredibly lazy.  I get addicted to Netflix.  I’m the world’s easiest-going boss, because let’s face it, I’m not going to fire myself.  I can do whatever I want.  And that’s a really dangerous mindset to have when you’re in business for yourself, especially when you’re just starting out.
  2. The age old, “Oh, you didn’t want to go with a real publisher?” To which my response is this.
  3. Self-marketing.  I hate it.  It’s the worst.  Do I think everyone should read my books?  Of course I do.  Do I like telling people to do so?  No.  I really don’t.
  4. You wouldn’t believe how many people will come up to you and say, “I have this great idea for a book.  You should write it!”  That might not be an indie thing though.  That might just be a writer in general thing.
  5. Because you’re self-employed, you will meet people who think that you’re free all the time because “you don’t actually work.”  This is a hard one because yes, technically, you can take time off whenever you want, but you’re going to have to make the lost time up later.  Just because you work for yourself and work from home it doesn’t mean you’re not working.  In fact, you can be working all the time and you still probably wouldn’t get everything done that you wanted to.  Working for yourself is crazy hard because it’s just you.
  6. People will ask if they can buy your book at Barnes and Noble, to which the answer is, “No, but you can buy it on BarnesAndNoble.com.”  Hopefully, sometime in the near future, Barnes and Noble will stock independent books.  In fact, I think if you go through Lightning Source, they will.  But most indies are not in bookstores.  And that’s a bummer.
  7. Money.  I know I said that you’re not doing this for money, but the truth is going into business for yourself is an investment.  You need money.  I worked for two years in a dental office all the while trying to write and get my little company up and going.  And money will be tight.  For a LONG time.  I’m about to publish my fourth book and money is still tight.  But I’m hanging in there.  I’m saving and I’m investing.  Hopefully, in the long run, it will be worth it.  I think it will be.
  8. Self-Marketing gets another mention because I just really hate it.
  9. You know, I actually can’t think of anything else.
  10. Being an independent author/artist is awesome.

What do y’all think?  Did I leave anything out?

PS – Go read my books. Self-Marketing.  Blegh.

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For Independent Authors

As a human being, I have several shortcomings.  I’m not a very good listener.  I hate taking other people’s advice.  I’m stubborn.  I hold grudges.  I have a hard time taking anything seriously.  And that’s just to name a few.  If there’s one character trait I take pride in, however, it’s that I am very protective of the people that I love.

I’m not going to name names, but yesterday, one of my indie writer friends experienced cruelty concerning her books for the first time.  Now, we’ve all had naysayers and bad reviews and the snobbish “Oh… You didn’t want a REAL publisher?” comments.  But when it’s directed at me, I can handle it.  Yeah, it hurts.  Yes, I’ve cried.  But whatever.  It’s no big deal.

When it’s one of my friends, however, I get angry.  Not so much with bad reviews, because honestly, we all get them.  It’s part of the whole writer thing.  But personally attacking someone, not only for writing what they love and what’s in their hearts, but for doing so independently?  That’s not okay with me.  This person accused my friend of forcing people to buy her books, attacked the content without even having read it, and then went on to belittle those of us who publish independently, all the while singing her own praises in the tech writing industry.  And hey, I think that’s a great career.  We need technical writers and they do excellent work.  But we also need independent authors.

I’ll never understand why independent movie makers and independent songwriters are seen as “cool and edgy and dedicated and so, so, so talented” (which they are) while independent writers continue to fight the stigma of “lousy writers who can’t get signed to a real agent or publisher and are so desperate to get their book out that they do it all by themselves.”  Isn’t that a little… I don’t know… stupid?  True, not every independently published book is a masterpiece, but neither are several traditionally published books (I won’t name any here, but you probably know which ones I’m thinking about).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  The independent authors I know do not publish out of vanity.  We don’t do what we do to get rich or famous.  If that’s all we wanted, trust me, we wouldn’t be writing books.  Independent authors write because it’s what we love.  We love telling stories.  We publish because we feel like those stories deserve to be shared.  Publishing a book by yourself is a LOT of work.  Don’t ever think for one minute that what independent authors do is easy.  It’s not.  But we commit to that work because we truly believe we have something worth sharing.  Trust me, we wouldn’t go through all the trouble otherwise.  It’s not an act of selfishness or pity or desperation.  It’s simply an act of love.

That’s why I have so much respect for my fellow independent authors.  Although this is an incredibly supportive community, we’re the ones who take on these tasks and set out to publish on our own.  We don’t have the advantage of multimillion dollar companies or first rate marketing teams.  We have ourselves and the people we love supporting us.  And you know what?  I’d take that over a fancy corporation any day.

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Author Interview: Paula Walker Baker

Happy Monday, friends!  It’s the beginning of a new week and I have a special guest on my blog with me this morning!  My dear friend and fellow author, Paula Walker Baker, has a new book coming out next week so I invited her here to talk about it this afternoon!

Paula and I met last year at Camp All Saints, the same camp where I worked for three years and met several of my closest and dearest friends.  It’s a place that has changed my life over and over again and brought the most amazing, wonderful people into my life.  I will forever be grateful for all of my experiences there.  I’m sure there will be many more to come.  Paula is a dear, sweet, wonderful lady and I am so honored to call her my friend.  Please give her a warm welcome!

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Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

I was born in Dallas and raised in Richardson, Texas.I went to Arapaho Elementary, West Jr. High and Richardson High School. I lived there until I was 47, then my husband and I moved to Royse City, where we have a little farm. I have three kids- two boys and a girl and four grandsons and one granddaughter.

Your new book, The Conservative Congregant, will be available on August 30.  Can you tell me a little bit about the book?

The Conservative Congregant is about doing something for others. It’s about leaving our comfort zones in order to do something for someone we may not know, we may not love, we may not even like. I believe each time we do that, God blesses us and those around us. Eloise Dowager is a conservative member of the Episcopalian church who likes everything just so. She likes the liturgy the same, the services the same. She abhors change, and is mortified when she hears herself offer to make the Sunday lunch for the City of Hope- the church for the homeless in Downtown Dallas. Doing things for others is not her style, yet, she finds herself being led to do so,

How did you come up with the idea?  

My husband and I attend a church for the “housed” and “unhoused” at Thanksgiving Square in downtown Dallas. Thanksgiving Square is at Ervay and Pacific Streets. The service is called The Gathering and it meets at one o’clock in the afternoon. Once my husband and I began going, I began to feel change within me and in us as a couple. It seemed the more we loved the people there (who might be deemed “loveless” by some ), the more we were blessed.

How did your own work with the homeless community of Dallas inspire you to write The Conservative Congregant

I felt that the general population should know and understand that “unhoused” folks are not always the stereotypical “lazy,no account” people.They are God’s people . Some are veterans,who fought for our country, some are mentally ill, some have been in jail and are not able to get housing because of that. Jackie, there are a myriad of reasons people are homeless. God didn’t love only the lovely. Jesus loved the unloved as well. He loved the ones no one else would love and that is what we, as Christians are called to do. But, we have to leave our comfort zones most of the time to do this. In writing TCC, I wanted to show people it can be done. One might be stuck in their comfort zone because of something they’ve done in thier lives or they may be scared. I’m writing to say “Don’t be scared.”

What was it like going on this journey with Eloise Dowager?

Eloise is a combination of my mother and myself. Like my mother, she was a staunch believer, She had her particular ways and thoughts about worshipping and that’s the way she thought it should be. Like me, she has unresolved issues of the past that will resolve by attending the City of Hope.

You’ve mentioned that this novella will be the first in a series.  Can you tell us anything about your upcoming stories?

The next book will focus on the Dowager family and the third on Danielle and David Miller. We will learn how they met and the struggles they’ve encountered in their relationship.

Let’s talk about writing.  When did you begin writing?  How did you get into it?

I had a teacher in high school, Mrs. Howard, who sadly passed away a while ago, who made us write in a joural the first twenty minutes of class. We could write anything we wanted to and I talked about loads of different things.  She often commented in my journal and she really inspired me to keep writing. Over the years, I  kept ongoing journals. Sadly, during a manic phase of bipolar, I cleaned out the house and threw everything away. In my thirties, I freelanced for The Williamson County Sun down in Georgetown, Texas. I was not yet medicated for the Bipolar disorder, so my words flowed freely and the articles were pretty good. Once I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and medicated for it, I lost my words and my imaginaton. Since going to theThe Gathering, my words have returned and so has my imagination!

What is your writing routine like?

I have to admit, I don’t really have a routine set. I write for twenty minutes, then get up and do something else, then write for twentyy minutes , do something else. That way, I can get up and walk around, do some chores and think about how I want the story to go.I do not get blocked  that way. I know it sounds weird, but it works for me!

What else inspires you in your writing?

My husband and family are a great source of inspiration. They are like my own cheering squad. Also, I feel like I express myself better in writing than I do orally.

Tell me a little about your children’s book, Jack Learns to Grill

Jack Learns to Grill is a story about a little dingo who loves to learn new things. He is adopted and knows that he was chosen especially by his parents. He is a little bit feisty and tries to keep the peace. He feels if he is not learning and growing, then something is wrong. In this , the first series , Jack learns to grill a healthy dinner with his daddy. He has a great time and has learned quite a bit.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

My advice for aspiring authors is exactly what Jack would say- never stop learning, never stop growing. Write often, even if you feel like you don’t have anything to say. Practice really pays off.

The Conservative Congregant is available for preorder TODAY!  Order your Kindle copy now and have it delivered to your device on August 30th!  

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Preorder The Conservative Congregant!

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Indie Author Pride Day

Happy July 1, everyone!  In just a few short days, America will be celebrating its independence.  Today, however, those of us in the book industry are celebrating our own independence.

It’s Indie Author Pride Day!

Once upon a time, you had to have a contract and a big publishing house in order to write books for everyone to read.  But now, the dream of becoming a published author is coming true for writers everywhere, and not just those select few.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love those select few and the books that they write.  They’re the ones who inspired me to begin writing in the first place.  Meg Cabot, JK Rowling, Rainbow Rowell, Suzanne Collins… All heroes in my eyes.  But my fellow independent authors, those who go to work for themselves every day, those who make their own dreams come true, they’re my heroes also.

I get asked a lot whether or not I considered traditional publishing.  The answer is, “Yes, of course.”  But ultimately, I decided to go the independent route because I wanted to be in charge of my own work, my own deadlines.  I also knew that if I didn’t love and believe in my books enough to give them 110%, then why should I expect anyone else to?

I love my life as an independent author.  I love that I get to write the books I want to read.  I also love that I get to help and encourage other aspiring authors to make their dreams come true.  I love this community.  Everyone is kind and accepting and supportive.  I can’t imagine a better workplace environment than the one I find amongst the independent authors.

Finally, and this might seem a little self-congratulatory, but I’m proud of myself and I’m so very proud of my books.  I’m proud of all the things I didn’t know that I would or could do.  I’m proud that I believed in myself enough to take the chance, and I’m eternally grateful to my loved ones who believed in me and supported me when they really had no reason to.  In fact, they probably shouldn’t have.  I hope everyday that I make them proud, especially my family.  I hope I make their love and support worth their while.  I hope I prove I’m worthy of that support.

I love you all.  I’m so proud of all you, writers, photographers, dreamers, readers… Your futures are so bright!

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Monday Musings

Hi, friends!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  Mine was very relaxing, yet still somehow kind of productive.  I say “kind of” because I never feel like I’m as productive as I want to be/need to be/could be.  But you know, for a couple of days where I’m housesitting two houses, taking care of two cats with medical needs, and writing two books, three different short stories, and designing book covers, it could have been a lot worse.  OF course, just because I feel like I kind of did stuff over the weekend doesn’t mean I can take a break or even slow down.  There is always something that can be done.

For example…

1) Reading and reviewing.  I have several books on my to-read list, and several of those I hope to review as they are written by fellow indie authors.  I finally got to review Heir to the Sun by Jennifer Allis Provost yesterday: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1290975139?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

2) Tidying up.  I am a slob, okay?  Total and complete slob.  I like to think that when I own my future beach house, I’ll keep it nice, but to be totally honest, I probably won’t.  Still, as much as I hate cleaning, I usually do feel a lot better afterward.  So who knows?  Maybe I’ll take the plunge.

3) Designing book covers.  I’m not sure if I’ve told y’all this, but I am redesigning the Cemetery Tours series’ book covers.  I plan on re-releasing the first two with the new covers at the same time as After Death on October 6.  I’ve been playing around with design ideas and having a lot of fun with it.  For those wondering why, I still absolutely love the covers as they are now.  They’re beautiful and captivating and people really like them.  But they aren’t my images.  The photographs on the covers of those books are stock photos.  I’d really like to make the books fully my own, and that means using my own images.  As the release date draws closer, I’ll be sharing the image designs and ideas to get your opinion.  The ones I’m leaning toward right now are actually really pretty, but they still need a bit of work.

4) Working on short stories, not only for submission into anthologies, but for Boy Band!  I feel bad for leaving the story on such a cliffhanger, and to apologize for making my readers wait until December to find out what happens, I’ll be publishing a few free short stories here on my blog until December rolls around!  No spoilers at all.  They’re most stories of what took place before the first book.  Just for fun.

5) Preparing for my sister’s and my trip to California NEXT WEEK!  What?! How did that sneak up on us so quickly?!  I’m not at all ready!  But at the same time… I am SO ready!

What does your Monday have in store?

One Week!

Hello, friends!  It’s Tuesday!  This time next week, Boy Band will be available on Amazon, Kindle, and Nook!  It will also be available on BarnesAndNoble.com eventually, but I’ve discovered that it usually takes a week or two before it shows up there.

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This is just your friendly reminder that I am hosting a Goodreads Giveaway.  I am giving away FIVE signed copies of Boy Band.  There are still seven days left to enter!  If you know someone who loves Young Adult fiction, Boy Bands, or both, this is the perfect read for them!  And yes, I am fully aware that I am 100% completely biased, but as I’ve said before, I would never publish a book that I did not feel 110% proud of.  I just wouldn’t.  Publishing doesn’t work that way.  Not to me, not to any independent author.  I love this book.  I want people to read it, and I really hope that they love it too. So please enter and help me to spread the word!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/129034-boy-band

Here they are!  These are the five books.  One of them could be yours!  Not signed yet because I like to personalize them.

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Also, huge thank you to The S.M.A.R.T. Book Club Blog, who featured Boy Band in their What-To-Read-Next post! I’m honored!

http://thesmartbookclub.blogspot.com/2015/04/what-to-read-next-12.html

Keep reading, everyone!  It’s going to be a good week.

Self-Published Authors are Real Authors

Over the weekend, I read an article. I’m not going to mention names or titles, but if you’re an independent author, you probably know which one I’m talking about.  In his article, the author lists many reasons why self-publishers should not be considered real authors.  Believe it or not, the article didn’t make me angry.  It did irk me enough to write this post (twice – I had just finished when I accidentally clicked a different tab – deleted everything), but to be honest, it really just made me roll my eyes.  It was written with such ignorance.  Clearly, this guy knows nothing about independent authors.

There’s a stereotype out there that independent authors are the ones who aren’t good enough to be published by a big traditional publishing house.  We’re the second-stringers who are so desperate for notoriety and publicity, and perhaps even fame and fortune, that we publish our own work ourselves because no one else will touch it.  Let me tell you right now, if writing books and going through all the work is just for fame and fortune, I can think of like, a hundred different ways to try to go about that, all of which would be significantly easier and less of a hassle than publishing your own book.

Don’t get me wrong.  Writing and publishing is a joy, one of the greatest joys in the world.  But it’s also a lot of work, work that I wouldn’t be willing to put into anything that I didn’t want to do with all my heart and soul.  Independent authors don’t have the luxury, the resources, the funds, or the man-power of a traditional publishing house.  True, I have editors and a cover designer whom I appreciate all the way to the moon and back, but everything else, I’ve done on my own.  But I don’t regret it for a moment.  By choosing the independent route, I retain all rights to my work.  I never have to worry about contracts or bottom lines.  There’s a great deal of freedom in the indie world.  There is also a great deal of love.  Independent publishing is a labor of love.  And it always will be.

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In related news, I spent yesterday reading Snow Globe by my friend and fellow author, Jeanne Skarsiaris yesterday.

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It’s a great book about a teenaged psychic, thrilling and the perfect read for a cold, dreary day.  Also, I’m quoted on the back!  How cool is that?

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You can read the rest of my review and the reviews of others here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24847594-snow-globe?ac=1

Finally, my dear friend and editor, Hannah Alvarez, is in the process of getting her new business up and going.  She’s designed a line of mix-and-match stuffed animals called Snapdragons and they are simply adorable.  Her campaign will be coming to Kickstarter in April.

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Everyone have a wonderful Monday.  And stay warm.  We’re iced in down here.  Perfect writing weather!

Limitless

I follow a lot of authors on Facebook.  One of those traditionally published authors just released her second book, a sequel to her debut young adult novel.  I really enjoyed her first book and I’m very much looking forward to reading the second.

Today, she posted an answer to the question: Will there be a third book in the series?

Her response surprised me.  She said that there would only be a third book if the second book did well and if her publishing company bought a third book.  She went on to explain that publishing is a business and a third book depended solely on how well the second book sells.

As proud as I am to be an independent author and to exclusively own the rights to my own books, of course, I’ve always harbored a bit of envy for those authors who’ve been traditionally published.  I want my books to have the same recognition, the same level of success, as books that have been released by big publishing houses.  It’s a long shot to be sure, but I believe that it can be done.  It has been done.

What really got me thinking, however, was the part about how a third book would only happen if the second book did well.  Even if the story, the characters, demand more, if there aren’t sales to back it up, the saga ends with book two.  Now, I’m fairly certain her second book will do just as well as the first and that a third one is all but guaranteed (at least I hope… I really liked her first book!), but her answer made me realize just how much freedom I have as an independent author as opposed to an author bound to the revenue and regulations of a big publishing company.

It doesn’t matter how well my books sell.  I’m free to write whatever I want.  Cemetery Tours 3 could not sell a single copy and I’d still be able to write and publish Cemetery Tours 4.  As an independent author, yes, I’d like to make money and yes, I’d like for this to be my career and my livelihood.  I want to spend the rest of my life writing books.  But I’m free to write for myself.  I am able to write the stories I want to write, not because of money or ratings or success, but because it’s a story that needs to be written.  As of right now, the story is incomplete, and until it’s finished, I’m going to keep writing.  And I realize now that I am so lucky to be able to keep writing.  As an author, I’m limitless.  We all are.  And isn’t that the way art, passion, life itself, are supposed to be?

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