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The Stigma of Self-Publishing

I’ve been self-publishing my novels for just over a year now. My anniversary was July 29th. Book three, Demons of Bourbon Street, comes out in a week or so and Influential Magic (the first of a new series) will be coming out late November or early December. My journey has been filled with challenges, triumphs, and a lot of support. Over the last year, I’ve only had one person give me the obvious pitying look when I say I’m self-published. Everyone else thinks it’s awesome I’m following my dreams. If not, they’ve been kind enough to keep their opinions to themselves.

I’ve seen the negative tone of self-publishing online, but mostly it comes from people entrenched in traditional publishing.  I get it. Change is here. And that makes people uncomfortable. Since I don’t know a lot of people in traditional publishing (those I do know have embraced self-publishing), I’ve been shielded from the negativity.

When I read that my fellow authors are experiencing such negativity from friends and family, I’m shocked. Really? Really!? These are people who love you. They should be supporting you. I can’t tell you how mad that makes me. Writer friends, I’m here for you always. I’ll be your biggest cheerleader. Promise.

I know I live in a creative bubble. Being a glass artist, most of my friends are also glass artists. Many of them are entrepreneurs themselves.  And my family? I suppose my life is already kooky enough they are no longer surprised by the paths I walk. When I was twenty-nine, hubby and I  quit our corporate jobs, sold our house, and moved into an RV to work our way across the country at RV parks. Two years later, I became a full-time artist after having never shown much interest or talent in any art form before. Self-publishing must be tame by comparison.  Maybe I’ve conditioned them. :D

But the point is, not one of them has told me I’m wasting my time or stupid for writing and self-publishing. Not one. Even when my friends read my first drafts that were filled with plot holes, passive writing, and atrocious typos and grammar, did they ever do anything other than encourage and support me.

I’ve got a confession to make. Even with all that love and support, I still feel the stigma of self-publishing. Maybe it’s because when I started my writing journey I was told over and over by the industry, “Do not self-publish.” It was the fastest way to harpoon any sort of writing career. Maybe it’s because I’ve read a number of traditionally published authors bash the self-publishing movement. Maybe I don’t want anyone popping my happy bubble. So when I went to my first local writers’ group this last weekend, I was scared to tell anyone I’m a self-publisher. I sat quietly, listened to the meeting, chatted with my neighbor, gave my opinion about the importance of using Twitter and Facebook, and then quietly slipped out when the meeting was over. They were a good group. I liked them. Still, I wasn’t ready to confess my sin.

I’m a self-published author.

And to date, I’ve sold over 30,000 copies of my two books, Haunted on Bourbon Street and Witches of Bourbon Street.

It’s funny. In my daily life, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. I’ve learned a lot. I never hesitate to give anyone who asks my opinion of the industry. I answer emails and threads about business questions as honestly as possible, often giving real numbers. Yet, put me in a room full of authors I don’t know, many of them traditionally published, and I become a wallflower.

I hope to remedy that at the next meeting. I’ve accomplished something  pretty amazing, I think. Am I a NYT bestseller? No, not yet. But my books are regularly on the top 100 genre  lists on Amazon, and that’s nothing to sneeze at. Next meeting, insecure self-publisher girl is staying home and proud author is going in her place.

Busy, busy!

Ah, the sweet relief of finished taxes! When I hit submit last week, I  actually had a small moment of contentment. You know the one, when you completed something and you start to breathe easier. One major thing crossed off the to-do list. Nice!

Then I got out the calendar and started planning the next few months and the rest of the year. Whoa! Holdup. I just stopped breathing again. The good news is everything on the list is all good stuff. Great stuff even.

Here is a glimpse of my schedule through the end of the year:

End of this month:

A bead class with the amazing Holly Cooper in TN.

June

Deliver Demons of Bourbon Street to my editor

Bead and Button show in Milwaukee

Witches of Bourbon Street comes out in audio book

July

Deliver my new Urban Fantasy to my other editor (hopefully).

Attend The Gathering for the International Society of Glass Bead Makers. I’ll be selling murrine in the vendor area.

August:

Bead Fest Philadelphia

September:

Whole Bead Show in Amherst, MA

October:

Bead Fest Texas

November:

Houston Bead Society Show

December:

Deliver another manuscript to an editor. I haven’t yet decided which one. December is long way off.

 

Yep, three books, six shows, and I’m traveling every month except May and December. Anyone have an oxygen mask?

A little bit longer

I am sad to say the launch of Witches of Bourbon Street is going to be delayed a week or so. It’s going through one more final round of proofreading before I send it off into the world.

I know y’all want a quality product, so bear with me. But I did want to share the proof copy with you. It just showed up today!

Here are both books side by side.

What do you think?

Also, I still haven’t drawn the winner from my email list for a signed copy of Witches of Bourbon Street. If you haven’t signed up yet, go here. If you’re already on the list, no need to do anything. I will draw the winner right after  I approve the final product with my printer. Then I will put up the link to pre-order. (That will likely be next week).

Witches of Bourbon Street is coming. I promise.

Due to a lovely New Years head and chest cold, I lost a good week and a half of production. But Witches of Bourbon Street is at the final proofreader as I type. I’m supposed to get it back any moment now . Then it gets one last comb through before I send it off to Lisa Liddy at The Printed Page to format it. I swear, it’s coming soon. The trumpets are on standby to make the formal announcement. :D

Blogging over at #Amwriting

I’ve got a blog post about my editing process at #amwriting.org today. Come on over and check it out.

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