Award Winning Best Selling Florida Author Yvonne Mason

My Books, writing tips and reviews

Even Though They Said It Couldn’t Be Done

Even though this article is a few years old it bears repeating. As an indie author I have faced rejections, put downs and other roadblocks. The reason is the “Big Six” as we indie’s like to call them do not want us out there. They have told us what we can read for years. They have rejected good authors because they could. When indie’s began to explode in the literary world, the Big Six tried to fight back. We stood our ground. We found ways to get our work and passion to the masses. Granted as with traditional authors where are some questionable books out there. However, that being said, we have endured and now we are making an impact on the reading public. The Big Six has become greedy and their authors suffer. For every book that is sold by the Big Six the author receives only .08 cents a book. Remember that book sells for at least 25.00 in hardback. That does not inlude downloads and paperback and audio. The publishing house is the one who makes the money. Not the author. As indies we have control. We control the pricing, the upcharge and all the aspects of the book. Granted it is more time consuming but the bottom line is much better.
So Remember this when you purchase a book. As indie’s we have to work three times as hard to get out there to make a third of the money. When you buy a book from an indie author you are not paying the house, you are paying the author.
So bottom line take a chance read an indie author. You will love them.

“In our (Bookgorilla.com) January 2013 analysis, 58% of the Top 50 bestsellers were published by the big traditional publishers, and that figure has since declined to 38%. Conversely, 42% of the Top 50 bestsellers were published by indie authors or by Amazon’s own publishing imprints in January 2013, compared with 62% this past weekend.”

“In other words, what the big publishers have won in their latest round of contract “victories” over Amazon is the right to price themselves right off the bestseller list.” – Bookgorilla.com, Kindle Store eBook Prices Are Rising … Or Are They?, October 5, 2015 by Steve Windwalker

October 8, 2015 Posted by | Books | , , , , | Leave a comment

Lack of the Feeling of Urgency

mardi gras (2) for Nook book for post card

When Fates Collide 3

Satan's Holiday and Welcome to Your Nightmare

Brilliant insanity by DEBI for Kindle

Dream Catcher new Cover for Kindle

The Pink Canary

The Pink Canary

A Voice From the Grave Audio Book

A Voice From the Grave Audio Book

the last rites front by debi

Tangled Minds

Tangled Minds

Pennies From Heavan

Pennies From Heavan

I know the title may have you scratching your head. However, all will become crystal clear as you read this blog.
For over seven years I published by books through a certain publisher. I decided it was time for a change so I embarked on a new journey with a new publisher- Dressing Your Book. It afforded new opportunities and more exposure.
Now comes the not so fun part. Several of my books we pulled from the original publisher after publishing them through Dressing Your Book, the reason at the time appeared logical. Why confuse the reader.
If appears that maybe that might not have been a good idea and it had nothing to do with the new publisher. It had to do with the fact that once the books were sent to the printer that is Lightening Source and they in turn uploaded them to Amazon there was a breakdown. Out of all of the books that Dressing Your Book republished, only four have been uploaded by Amazon to their site. Out of those four one still does not have the cover showing. Now this is a problem. The books have been pulled from the other publisher so the only paperback books that are available are through third parties and I do not get paid for those. Second the books that Amazon did have in stock are not gone and are not available so if a reader wants a paperback vs kindle they have to order through a third party. The bottom line is I am now losing sales which does not make me happy.

I am not saying that I am any more important than any other author- however, what I am saying is that in this day and age of technology there is no reason for it to take two months for my books to be uploaded on Amazon’s site complete with cover. The break down is this- there is no sense of urgency by the employees and there is no sense of pride in their work. If they are doing this to me imagine how many others are falling between the cracks – This is wrong on so many levels- As an Indie Author I have to fight twice as hard to make half the money that authors who are traditionally published make. That is because I am not published by one of the big six. I refuse to be considered less of an artist because I choose to be an indie author. I deserve- no I demand and command the same respect. I have fought for over forty years to be published. I have been rejected, laughed at and scorned because I dared to buck the system. I refuse to be treated as less than a respected author because Amazon employees are to lazy to make things urgent.

Bear in mind that a whole slew of books are being released by the big six the first of October. This is when they go all in for the silly season aka Christmas. I can guarantee that those books will be up and ready to rock and roll on that day. I too have product to offer for the silly season and I too deserve that same respect.

Amazon you wanted indie authors you begged for indie authors and now you want to treat us like we don’t belong. I think not!

animatedhook

September 1, 2014 Posted by | Rants | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Never Judge a Book by it’s Cover

I don’t know how many times I have to write a blog about this subject. It appears that some people just don’t get it. There is an old adage “Better to look like a fool than to open your mouth and prove it.” Once again this has happened. A person by the name of Tim Lieder has once again proven that fools are among us.

For those of you who know me you also know that I count the one and only Nicholas Grabowsky among my close and personal friends. He is the one who immortalized Michael Myers in his horror book Halloween IV. He also has his own indie horror publishing house. Nick is one of the best if not the best in defining horror. Just ask these guys:

“Keep ’em coming, Nicholas!” –Stephen King. And I am!!!!!!! “I salute you: your ambition, your dedication, your achievements, your blissfully complex imagination….” –Clive Barker. Thanks, Clive!!!! “Impressive storytelling!” —Wes Craven. “Soon we’ll all be hearing about this Grabowsky guy…” —Joe Dante. “Grabowsky succeeds in making the whole world creepy!!” —E! Entertainment Television. I’m so grateful for the support of my iconic gods!!!!

That being said Mr. Lieder dared to make a statement that he could not back up because he obviously is not in the business of publishing nor writing. This is what Nick posted:

PRESS RELEASE: 12/07/2013

BLACK BED SHEET BOOKS IS GOING UNDER

Dear friends, associates, authors, partners, and everyone that has anything to do with Black Bed Sheet Books,

It comes to me with a heavy heart that the business I’ve given 100% of my life to since its conception in 2008 and with all its accomplishments, endeavors, innovations, exploits, influence and mayhem, with all the authors we’ve inspired and given a leg up or shoved into the spotlight or at the very least tried to bring to a larger readership and greater hopes to their writing careers, that I hereby declare that at least one Black Bed Sheet Book will go under. Your Christmas tree. This year.

WHY???? Firstly, if you don’t buy your loved ones any books at all, shame on you. People need to read! Literacy expands our ability to cope in this world, and reading anything, especially a book, is as much a mental workout as a jog is for the body. Second, people need to read more horror. Horror is already saturated in all of your personal lives to various degrees, and to read about somebody else going through it with exraordinary fictional circumstances is a healthy and satisfying release and lets you escape or relate just as your favorite movies do. I’m not asking you to stand in line forever to buy an iPod or a Playstation 4 for a chunk of cash here. Those kinds of things don’t do the same for you as reading does anyway. Reading enriches the lives of everyone. And these days, ain’t it just a tiresome shame that as soon as you go online everyone wants you to buy and read their books??? And all you can do is spend enormous prices on yourselves and your loved ones on books the book stores and big release movies tell you to buy, and you have a general inclination to keep buying what’s in popular culture and think anything less from smaller publishers aren’t worth your time or the ones you wish to give presents to this year. But buying a Stephen King book every year for yourself or your favorite horror reader just gets old after three decades.

We publish extraordinary talent and extraordinary books in our genre. What’s more, each one costs you no more than a bagful of chocolate mini Santas, and you can stuff them in a sock just the same, and it won’t take just a couple minutes to devour them but long enough to make a lasting impression far more into their lives than a can of Tootsie Rolls would and they can be on their shelves long enough for their grandkids to enjoy them.

I represent a number of authors that I handpicked because I am convinced they are worthy of your attention. This holiday season, put one of our incredible books under your tree, in your stocking, or download an ebook in any format for under four bucks and suprise someone with a new ebook to upload to their Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc. I guarantee you they’ll be saying “Wow! where did you find THAT! Thank you thank you thank you! I’ve read it TWICE so far!”

For BBS authors: you all get these books for author’s prices, so there’s no excuse to buy each other’s books for, like, five bucks and surpise each other. You guys get your ebooks for free too, so for your friends who have notepads and digital readers, you have cost-free gifts!

Have a very exemplary holiday season everyone! And keep watching our page for extraordinary happenings in the ever-expanding world of Black Bed Sheet!

–Nicholas Grabowsky
http://www.downwarden.com/blackbedsheetstore
http://www.downwarden.com/blackbedsheetdigital
Follow us on FB, Twitter, Buzznet, Linkedin, MySpace, Tumblr, Pintrest, and just about every social network out there. And you can find us anywhere books are sold.

This was a comment that Mr. Lieder wrote on the posting:

Tim Lieder “Cheesy advertising made me check out the Web site. Unfortunately, those are some ugly ass books you’re trying to sell and the fact that you say that you don’t charge the authors for publishing their books gives me some serious misgivings about your professionalism (seriously, no legitimate publishing company charges the writers. Saying that you don’t is like telling your date that you aren’t planning on putting a roofie in her drink)”

This type of comment tells me a couple of things 1. He is a frustrated writer who does not have the balls to put his words to paper and face the rejections that we as indies have all faced at one time or the other. 2. He is probably so judgmental that when he meets someone if they are not packaged just right he assumes they are not perfect.

Mr. Lieder you are the loser in this. You are missing out on some great reads and some wonderful indie authors. Book Covers are meant to intrigue and to grabs the eye. You obviously have no eye for talent or craft. You are to be pitied – you are missing out on so much in life. Your scope is narrow and your mind is closed.

Again this proves my point that one should never judge a book by its cover!!!!!

December 8, 2013 Posted by | Books | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts to Ponder

I was just talking to my husband who is an avid reader. When I say I avid I really mean rabid. So his opinion and thoughts are worth listening to. One of the things he makes a point to read is the acknowledgements in each book. He said he noticed something – the authors of the traditional houses thank at least thirteen people in the “creative” department.

This department includes the editor which we all should use, the proofreader we may or may not need to use who winds up rearranging the book their way and the author’s imprint is lost and other assortment of “creative” people maybe even the janitor who get paid off of that author’s book once it is sold.

Now this is money out of the royalty which that author should be getting. My husband said something that stuck with me, obviously these are the experts in what people want to read. My response was “No it is what the public has been taught to read.” When that is all that is out there because that is all the publishing houses will print then that is what people will read. It is conditioning. Sort of like being abused. If you are told you are worthless long enough then you believe it. If you are told that this is really what you want to read because it is this or nothing then you read it.

He also had observed that most traditional authors books are getting thinner in other words the story is not fleshed out, the characters are one dimensional- the place is not described, etc. Sort of a wham! bam! thank you maam! without being kissed.

He stated that he noticed that those authors who only put out one book a year have a better book, their research is better, the story line is better and the characters are fleshed out. He named several authors whose books are getting thinner and thinner. James Patterson, was one of them. We all know he gives the storyline to unknown authors who fill in the blanks which is great for them- however there is no meat on that bone. They crank out four to five books a year – can one say boring.

For us indie authors we do not have those restrictions, we are not under a contract that requires us to crank out four sub standard books in a year. We can take our time to do our homework, flesh out our characters – fine tune our plot and deliver a wonderful piece of work.

The bottom line is sadly traditional authors have become like professional athletes they are a commodity to be bought and sold at will. To be hampered in their creative state to conform to the whims and wishes of the talking heads just to make a buck. Forget quality work, forget creative talent- crank out garbage for the dollar to go in the pockets of the houses, not the author.

Yes, there might have been 1,000,000 books printed but how many are sitting in warehouses that have been returned because they were not sold in the store? How many chargebacks were placed against that author’s royalties because the books were returned. These are things that most people never consider when they are on their quest to write. They only see the smoke and mirrors of the houses touting how wonderful the author is doing.

Next time you pick up a well known author do your home work and see how many books he put out in a year, then go back and read the synopsis of those books I think you will find that the story line is the same just a different city.

Garbage in Garbage out! And sadly it is not that author’s fault they are no longer allowed to be creative, they are at the mercy of the house. Their contract demands it.

September 24, 2013 Posted by | Books | , , , | Leave a comment

What Has Happened to Mainstream Publishing?

Even though I am an author my husband and I are both avid readers. Avid as in almost insane readers. However, what we have found here lately is that we are running out of books to read by our favorite “traditional” authors. They are not producing books like they used to. My question is why? This is the time of year that books should be being released like mad ahead of the silly season also known as Christmas.

But they are not out there. It is like they have gone underground. I don’t know what is happening. I do know that more and more indies are blooming and I am loving it.

Traditional houses and all that goes with it including agents, etc for so many years has dictated what we as readers can read and what authors can write and how much of it they can write that the market is flooded with the same story line, the same characters and the same dialogue all under a different title. Are we getting smarter as readers or are we just getting bored. Frankly I am the later. Which is a shame because I at one time looked forward to the latest release by many of my favorite traditional authors. Now not so much. They are in a box and must write what they are told. That is sad. Now they are running out of ideas, characters and plots. They are not allowed to use their natural talent to explode with new ideas. They have to crank out books like they are machines and then they are ripped by the houses to nothing. Greed comes into play here. Not on the author’s part but on the part of the houses – Such a shame. We are losing authors to death every day and we are losing their talent along with it.

I have taken a step back and have stopped reading those authors that I once enjoyed- they have become boring. I would rather spend my time watching paint dry as to read some of their books. I know they are better than what they are putting out there- but alas they are not allowed to step out of the box –

I am turning more and more to those authors who are not so well known- you know those hated indie authors- yea those who make the traditional houses cringe. The reason is simple they don’t have to work inside a box, in fact they don’t know what a box is. They write from the heart not the pocket book.

So if you are as tired as I am of reading the same old thing- of knowing the end before you get through the first chapter- then look up some indie authors you might find that you have discovered diamonds that you didn’t know were out there.

Yes, we do exist and we are not going anywhere except up. We might not get rich and from the looks of it neither are the mainstream authors, but we do know how to pack a punch in our books. We know how to keep the reader turning that page wondering if they have the correct ending in their head and then finding out no they didn’t. So if you like me are sick of the same old thing and want to titillate your mind then check out indie authors. You won’t be sorry.

September 20, 2013 Posted by | Indie Authors | , , , | Leave a comment

J.K. Rowling Found Out Something We Indies Have Always Known

The other day when the news came out J. K. Rowling had written a book under another name and had only sold around 1500 copies until surprise – surprise it leaked out that it was indeed written by the one and only Ms Rowlings. After that the sales went through the roof.

As Indie Authors we fight this stigma every day. Because we are not published by the big houses and because most of us do not have “Agents” and because most of us are not in box stores we are considered less than authors. People in general have very closed minds when it comes to reading books by anyone other than those who are “Known”. What a shame it is. We Indie Authors produce some fantastic work. We choose to go where others dare not. We are not inhibited by publishing houses that tell us what to write or when to write it. We are not under deadlines to mass produce at least three books a year. We have the advantage of taking our time and to write things that have depth.

What I found interesting with the Rowlings thing was as soon as the sales didn’t happen out came the fact that is was indeed Ms. Rowlings. Like sheep lead to the slaughter there was a mad dash to purchase the book. Readers are like the general public- afraid to try something new. Afraid to step out of that box. That is really sad- they are cheating themselves of a much broader scope of reading.

We work just as hard if not harder at our craft because we have to. We have been maligned by the traditional Publishing houses, laughed out of box stores and told we are not good enough until we have it tattooed on our hands. But we continue to knock down those walls. We continue to build a reader base. We continue to show the world that we have arrived and we are not going anywhere except up.

We do not allow traditional houses to tell us what to write or what to read. They have been doing that far to long. It is time the general public was allowed to make that decision as well. Oh and while on that subject Agents have the same mentality – if they do not like a particular genre they will not promote it to publishing houses, they will let it sit until it dies a natural or unnatural death.

We as indie’s are saying no more. We are taking our destiny and  making it happen. We will not be controlled by what others think. So if you have not read an indie author remember this it is your loss. And we are here to stay.

July 23, 2013 Posted by | Rants | , , , | Leave a comment

Time to Address Sites that Pirate Authors Works

This blog has been a long time coming. As with any artist there are those who think that stealing that artist’s work is considered free enterprise. Some of them even change things within the work to make it their own. It is like anything else in the business world. There will always be thieves. While we as artists cannot completely eradicate this thievery we can appeal to our readers to help us keep it to a minimum. Any site that you find on the net that offers free or low cost books, unless it is Amazon please do not download our works.

While some out there either have no clue how hard it is to be a writer much less a published author there are many more who appreciate our craft. Those few who take pleasure in stealing our work and reaping all the royalties for themselves are indeed stealing. Those sites that offer free or discounted books do not send us any royalties for either the hard copies or the downloads. Some of those sites have downloaded paid versions of our books and then set up a download site in PDF for for their own profit.

This is a slap in the face to those of us who have spent years honing our craft to bring enjoyment to our reading public. The question is how would you feel if you worked a 100 hour week only to see someone else get your paycheck? It is the same principle. While it may seem like such a small thing it isn’t. We spend hours researching, writing, rewriting, editing, marketing and trying to sell that which we love. Our work. To have someone else steal it is an insult to us professionally and personally.

While the internet is our friend it is also a double edged sword it can become our enemy as well. However, without the net our reach would be limited especially those of us who are indie authors and depend on the net to market our craft. So please help us to keep the pirating down. It not only hurts us as artists it hurts  you as the reader in the  end. It causes us to have to charge more for our works in order to pay attorneys to keep our works out of the hands of those who would steal it. You as our readers can be our watchdogs. You can refuse to use those sites, in my case if you want a book all you have to do is ask me. I have the latitude of offering it at a reduced rate. That is just one of  the beauties of being an indie author.

On Amazon there are many kindle books that are offered at a reduced rate or free if you are a prime member mine are listed there as well. So the next time you see as site that offers books free or at a obscene rate ask yourself this “How would I feel if I worked hard to make that money and then it was given to someone else.”  If you are really honest with yourself I think you would agree you would not like it and you would do everything in your power to make it stop.

June 2, 2013 Posted by | Pirating books | , , , , | Leave a comment

If You Believe that Indie Authors Are Not Making a Difference Think Again

The article below was released a few days ago. It appears that Penguin Books has seen the light when it comes to independent authors who are out publishing and out selling traditional authors.  They are seeing that we are not going away and will only grow bigger as more and more writers continue to self publish.

At one time we were maligned and thought to be just a flash in the pan. They didn’t think we would ever make a difference in the industry. They were fooled. We made the internet our friend way before they did. We embraced it as our tool to reach a reading audience. My only concern is once they take over they will eventually change the self published imprint to yet another brand of traditional publishing. This will cause those indie authors who are with that company to look elsewhere for their publishing venues. We will no longer be denied the ability to publish and to be read by the public.

So if this is their plan all I will say is not going to happen – they will find other places to publish their work.

Penguin Buys Self-Publishing Platform Author Solutions for $116 Million

Categories: Industry News | Tags: author solutionspenguinself-publishing
July 19, 2012 |  | 38
 

By Jeremy Greenfield, Editorial Director, Digital Book World, @JDGsaid

In a bid to take a leading position in the growing self-publishing market, Penguin has acquired self-publishing platform Author Solutions from Bertram Capital, a San Mateo, Calif.-based venture-capital and private-equity firm, for $116 million.

The acquisition comes less than a year after Penguin launched its own self-publishing platform, Book Country, and at a time when self-publishing firms are jockeying for favor with authors by offering new features and lower prices. A company statement about the acquisition did not mention Book Country.

“It’s early days. We haven’t thought in detail about Book Country,” said Penguin CEO John Makinson on a press conference call.

According to the company statement, Author Solutions generated $100 million in revenue in 2011 and has been growing at about 12% per year for the past three years. The company derives its revenues from self-publishing authors paying for publishing, marketing and distribution services — roughly one third of its revenue from each business. Author Solutions has 150,000 authors who have published 190,000 books. By comparison, competitor Smashwords claims to have published approximately 140,000 titles by about 40,000 authors.

Neither company will be laying off employees or executives. “We are looking at up-sizing, not downsizing. There are no plans to alter the strategy, to lay off anyone. This is an opportunity for growth in our view,” Makinson said.

Author Solutions CEO Kevin Weiss will report to Makinson and will have a seat on the Penguin Group board. One reason for this organizational structure is that an early focus of the companies will be developing the Author Solutions international strategy, which Makinson will oversee.

Self-publishing platforms have been in a price and services arms race to attract more authors. Recently, Author Solutions had a promotion where it offered authors 100% royalties on books published and distributed through the site, making its primary service free for many of its customers. The strategy was to sell authors marketing, editorial and other premium services. Weiss, the Author Solutions CEO, told Digital Book World in June before the promotion ended on July 4 that it had seen some success. The company also recently launched BookStub, a service where authors can sell their e-books in person using a credit-card sized voucher with a picture of the book cover on one side and a product code on the other.

A new company called Your Ebook Team just launched and says that it offers authors “360 degree” service, from editorial to distribution. Self-publishing site Lulu.com recently launched an “author advice” tool.

Author Solutions will be integrated into Penguin’s corporate structure but will continue to be run as a separate company. The company has about 1,600 employees, mostly in Bloomington, Ind. and Cebu City, the Philippines.

“As part of Penguin, we will be on the front-end of that change and have the broadest set of offerings of any publisher today. That means more opportunity for authors and more choice for readers,” said Weiss in the statement.

For now, the brands will be kept separate, but that could change in the future as the companies integrate, according to Weiss.

When asked about the possibility that Penguin’s reputation could be damaged, Makinson said that Penguin will take steps to make sure that buyers of Author Solutions books don’t think they are getting Penguin books.

Penguin, however, will take a look at the Author Solutions database of writers and titles to see if any are worthy of acquiring for the traditional publishing process. The company might go one step further and investigate new models for publishing somewhere in between self-publishing and traditional publishing.

“It will be interesting to explore opportunities that lie somewhere between self-publishing and traditional publishing as presently defined by Penguin,” said Makinson.

Author Solutions was founded in April 1996 by Tim Jacobs and David Hilliard as 1stBooks and was initially meant to be an e-book company.  The company was acquired in 2002 by Gazelle Tech Ventures, an Indiana-based venture capital firm. Bertram Capital purchased the company from Gazelle Tech Ventures in 2007.

With this acquisition, self-publishing may have turned a corner, according to Weiss. “When IBM gave its stamp of approval to the PC industry, what happened next was nothing short of remarkable. This feels like what happened with the PC industry back in the early eighties,” he said.

“The industry is changing rapidly and we don’t know where it’s going, but I think we have a much better opportunity working together creating change in the industry rather than having change thrust upon us,” said Weiss.

Write to Jeremy Greenfield

July 20, 2012 Posted by | Indie Authors | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Rewards of Never Giving Up in this Industry

As I sat and pondered the events of the last week after winning the first place award at the CIPA EVVY Awards presentation for my audio book A Voice From the Grave, I began reflecting the road I have been walking.

I have been at this for over 30 years. I wrote my first book in the early 1970’s when my children were small. It started out just as a journal for those who would come after us to have so someone would remember Stan and the impact he has had on his family and those who have crossed his path of life. My children were small and I worked on it when I had the time. I wrote the entire book with pen and paper and then transferred it to the typewriter.  I had no computer no internet and no resources. I went to the library and pulled publishers from a borrowed book and sent off query letters and manuscripts. The only replies I received back were rejections. They didn’t have time, weren’t interested and didn’t care.

I set the book aside thinking that I would just leave it for the future. Sure it hurt that no one considered a story of success by a retarded man worthy of their high and mighty publishing house. Sure it hurt that they didn’t think he was worthy of their time – especially when he had overcome things he was not supposed to.

Life continued and the book sat. Then the children were grown, with children of their own, relationships came and went but the book still sat. I watched as Stan became more accomplished more independent and left his mark on more who came into his life.

In 2006 I moved to Florida. It was a transformation for me on more than one level. I had finished getting my degree in Criminal Justice after not being in school since 1969 and had gone through a very nasty divorce. But the book still sat.

2007 there was an article in our local paper about a young man who had Downs who had just graduated from high school and was upset because he could not go to college. When I read the article I knew it was time to try again to get Stan’s life out there. This time I made the internet my friend. I found a publisher who would publish the book and that was all they would do. I didn’t care. So I went with them and the rest is history. Since 2007 I have self published eight books two are true crimes. I have published a short story and A Voice From the Grave my historical fiction which is now at first place award winner.

Was it easy? No it wasn’t. Were things handed to me? Absolutely not. Did I have to find my own way? You bet I did.

However, the things that could have made me quit only caused me to succeed more. The rejections from traditional publishers, the rejections from agents, the rejections from people who said I didn’t belong. I found a way to do it in spite of them. I found like minded people who encouraged me, walked with me and helped me succeed. I believe therfore I succeed.

Who would have ever thought that a self published author who has complete control of her books from printing, to marketing, to book cover design would ever in a million years win such a prestigious award?  Certainly not those who turned me down, certainly not those who write nasty reviews simply because they are either jealous or stupid and certainly not those who said I couldn’t do it.

You see I have a mentor and that mentor is Stan. His attitude of believing that he can do anything even though he is challenged made me step back and look at myself, really look at myself. He has never given up on anything he set out to do. He has never said he couldn’t. So of he who is challenged believes then who am I not to.

Yes, I am successful, yes, I am a best selling indie author and no I answer to no one except my readers and the voices in my head. Yes this industry is tough, it is dog eat dog for the most part. It one where you have to scratch and claw your way to your destination. It is one filled with rejections – but it is so worth it.

I don’t write to get rich I write simply for the love of putting words to paper. If I make some money at it that is just the icing on the cake   – Winning an award or two is the ice cream that goes with it.

Indie Authors are not going back in the closet- we are out and we are staying out. We have learned how to publish- market and get our work out there. It would behoove you as a reader to give us a try. You have no idea what wonderful stories you will find.

A Voice From the Grave First Place Winner for the CIPA EVVY Award May 17,2012

 

Dream Catcher Failure Was Never an Option to be released on Audio in 2012

May 23, 2012 Posted by | Books | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

From The Association of Independent Authors

This is straight from Jackie Collins an author who has been published by Traditional Publishers for years. This just goes to show why Traditional Publishers are running scared. As the Prosecutor Said in Court “I rest my case, your Honor”

Jackie Collins: On My Decision to Self-Publish

Posted By AiA Administrator, Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Source: Jackie Collins

If you pay attention to book publishing news and blogs, then you probably already know I’ve decided to try my hand at self-publishing by re-writing and releasing a NEW version of my book The Bitch.

Little did I know when I gave an interview to Galleycat in February that the press would pick up the story so quickly! To date, from that one interview, there have been over 120,000 stories and articles posted online about that one decision.

As you might imagine, the buzz has set off a bit of a firestorm of comments, gossip, conspiracy theories and the like about my publishers and me.

  • “Did she get in a fight with her publishers?”
  • “Did they drop her from their roster?”
  • “Is she dropping them fromherroster?”
  • “Does this mean publishing is dead?”

So I’d like to take a moment to set the record straight.

First, I have fantastic relationships with my two publishers, Simon & Schuster UK and St. Martin’s Press US. No juicy story about a tiff or spat between us—we’re good. I’m currently writing my 29thbook “The Power Trip,” and it will be published by both companies, respectively.

But times are changing, and technology is changing, so I wanted to experiment with this growing trend of self-publishing.

OF COURSE THE INDUSTRY IS CHANGING – IT ALWAYS IS

I’ve been a published author for many years, and I’ve had the good fortune to work with several great publishers, and I’ve seen MANY changes in the publishing industry.

From new printing techniques, to new advertising mediums, to direct-to-fan digital publishing, the industry hasalwaysbeen evolving. And it will continue to do so.

At the end of the day, it’s about finding the best way to get your content (Hollywood and relationship fiction in my case) into the hands of your fans who are clamoring for it.

MY THOUGHTS ON EBOOKS

Let me say up front that I will personally always love physical books. I love how a new bookfeelsin your hands. I love turning the pages one-by-one as you curl up in a chair and engross yourself in the story.

But I also know that to stay successful, you’ve always got to be thinking two steps ahead of the game. And by all counts, the book industry is going the way of the CD industry. Almost nobody buys CDs anymore; we get our music fix on iTunes.

And more and more people are opting for eBooks over paper. For example, with Goddess of Vengeance, I think we sold an equal amount of hard covers and eBooks.

And in England, they just bought the digital rights to all my books and Lethal Seduction immediately jumped to #2 on the bestseller’s list. That’s a book that’s 10-years-old! I was quite impressed with that.

ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NUMBERS

I’ve always been involved in the business side of my career. Even in the very beginning, I realized I had to double-check the things my publishers were doing. (After all, no one cares more about your career than you do.)

When it came to advertising, I remember hounding them about what they were going to do for me once the book finally came out. What promotions are they buying? How long is the ad campaign? Is there a co-ops and author tour involved?

Most first-time writers when they finally get their book published, throw a big party, and then scratch their head in bewilderment when they can’t find their book in the bookstore.

So they go to the clerk and say, “Oh, my book’s on the back shelf? Can you get it on the front table?”

They don’t realize that their publisher hasn’t paid for the front table display.

So, there’s a lot to learn, and I’ve learned much of it over the years, but I’mstilllearning. There arestillthings that I don’t know that I find out with each new book.

BE PREPARED TO FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU WANT

Publishers are in the publishing business to make money (and that’s a good thing). But remember that their goal is NOT to make your dreams of being an author come true. Their goal is to make money through the careful and thoughtful exploitation of your book.

So, you have to fight for what you want. (Even I do.)

If you want a full-page ad in People magazine, you have to get it in your contract; otherwise it’s not going to happen, and you’ll hear things like, “it costs too much.”

IF I WERE STARTING AGAIN…

If I were starting out in the business today, I don’t think I would change anything. But, I was extremely lucky because my first book, “The World is Full of Married Men,” was accepted by the first publisher I sent it to, and became an instant bestseller.

Today, if a publisher isn’t interested, you have options. You can sign up with Amazon KDP or Barnes & Noble Pubit or Lulu or SmashWords or CreateSpace or a host of other helpful sites. Google it.

THERE’S NO SUBSTITUTE FOR HUSTLE

I was thrown out of school for poor grades and playing truant, although I always came in top in writing class. Everybody told me I couldn’t be a writer unless I studied more and went to college.

I said, “No way, I’m following my dream. Writing is my passion.”

Turns out, people don’t buy books because you went to college. They buy books for the characters and thestory. (And dammit, I can tell a great story!)

Looking back, being stubborn and tenacious and constantly asking questions has worked out OK for me.

If you believe your stuff is great, then don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough. Pick yourself up and make some more calls. Network with as many people as you can in the industry. And sweat. Sweat a lot. And keep writing!

Also remember, when it’s time to publish, you’ve got options.

Follow your dream. I always say, “Girls can do anything.” (And so can boys, for that matter.) Put your mind to it; follow your dream, and keep learning and growing. Don’t stagnate. And most of all – love what you do! Writing is a joy – enjoy it!

May 12, 2012 Posted by | Indie Authors | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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