Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “indie authors”

You Don’t Belong Here

Today’s Brew: Water. I’m setting my alarm for 4 AM and calling it a night

by Kristen

Yes, I am using Running Home’s catch phrase.

You may have noticed I’ve been pretty quiet for the last few months.  Or maybe not.  That’s cool, too.  I could tell you I’ve been busy, and that’s definitely true. I’ve been on two movies back to back, which is something I’ve never done before.  Movie days start well before the sun comes up, and last 12 to 14 hours.  When I get home, if I still remember the English language, I’ll work on book stuff.

But the real reason is, I haven’t felt like I’ve belonged here.

Kristen, you might be thinking, it’s your blog! How can you not belong?  When Julie and I started Deadly Ever After, it was to be about our writing adventures.  For a long time, we travelled the same road, and met many of you along the way.

Then that road stopped working for me.  I forged a new path, took my rights to my books back, and started completely over. I don’t do anything differently than a writer with a publisher, I just cut out the middle man.  My books get the full treatment—editing, formatting, design, and marketing.  I’m the director of the ship. It’s a ton of work, and I love it.

It’s completely reinvigorated my passion for writing. I can write my stories on my terms. All the stories I was told would never find an audience by traditional publishing found readers that can’t wait to read the next installment of the series. It’s the most amazing feeling in the world.

My writing schedule became pretty demanding.  After all, we’re supposed to write every day, right? Or else we don’t get to call ourselves writers, and other rules that don’t matter if they don’t work for you.  You are a creative because rules give you hives, and you see the need for something that’s not there. Anyway, a lot of you just won Nano. Fuck yes. Now do it again.  I try to write every day, and it’s like exercise. The more you do it, the better you get at it. That means I can write a lot of words in a short amount of time. Today I’ve already written about 2000 words, and I’m going back for more. Once those words made sense, and they were edited and in a pretty package, there was no reason to wait to put them out.  So I did.

“My God, another one?” “Do you do anything but write?” “Do you sleep?”  Maybe some people were joking, but I got the message, loud and clear. It was too much. And it fucking hurt. I got to the point that I was embarrassed to talk about new releases on Twitter. I didn’t even blog about some of them on release day.  Why? Because I didn’t feel like the posts fit in. So I do what I do anytime I feel uncomfortable. I withdrew.

The marketing aspect of publishing fascinates me.  I can’t math to save my life, but I love stats. I could talk about it for hours.  I started to seek out like-minded writers. I knew what I was doing wasn’t all that unusual in indie publishing. Sure, having multiple releases a year in traditional publishing is rare. But there are many big name indie authors putting out four to six books a year. This year, I had some inventory I was sitting on (thanks, traditional publishing), but next year, it will be a challenge to keep up with new releases.  That doesn’t mean I’m going to slack off. It means I’m going to work harder. I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished since July, and I can’t wait to see where the journey takes me.

I want to share that with everyone, because I know that some of you have questions about being an indie author, and I wouldn’t have succeeded if people didn’t help me.  But I’m not always sure if this is the sort of thing that people want to read about here. It’s still all writing, it’s just a different road.  Even if it’s not your thing, I’d love to send you a post card.

 

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Books Are Love, Yo.

Today’s Brew:  Resisting the urge for more coffee until Julie and Sara arrive for writing shenanigans.

by Kristen

First, the good NEWS!!  The Night Songs Trilogy will be available on Audible!  Jessica Almasy, who has narrated several of Gena Showalter’s books, will be reading BECAUSE THE NIGHT, NIGHT MOVES, and WE OWN THE NIGHT. I can’t wait to hear my stories come to life!  Aaaah! Just writing that made it a little more real.

This was pretty happening, too:

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 5.15.35 PM

I never thought my self-published books would make it into Publishers Marketplace, but someone left the door unlocked. 🙂

NIGHT MOVES COVER

A week ago today, NIGHT MOVES made it’s debut in the world. As I mentioned in my pre-release day jitters post, sometimes I feel like I want to duck for cover after I make these things available. Once it’s out, it’s OUT. And that’s the scary part. I want people to read it, so that’s the first battle. Will they? And then once they do, what will they think? So far, the reviews on the book have been overwhelmingly positive. Overwhelmingly might be an understatement. More like I can’t believe how much people are enjoying it. I’m so humbled by the response and the reactions to the book. If you love it, I love you. It’s pretty simple. Thank you for reading, loving, and sharing. Consider this a big virtual bear hug that lasts just a hair too long and borders on awkward.

And that leads me to my thought for the day. If you’re a published author, why did you make the decision to put your books out in the world? What made you go from a hobby to a job, or even a career? Once you ask for money in return, you’re an author and it’s a job.

I like to dream big. Who doesn’t dream of waking up on release day to confetti cannons of fanfare and best seller lists?  I’m going extreme with my example, but come on, you’d love it and so wouldn’t I. If you say otherwise, I don’t believe you.

I’m a new, independent author. As Julie likes to put it, I have a cult following. There’s a small group of people right now who are in the know. So am I going to knock JR Ward off the top of the vampire heap? Highly unlikely. But she was new once, too.

But I want people to read my books.

I talked to another author yesterday who said she’s just thrilled any time anyone buys her book, that she didn’t expect to have one sale.  Some authors aren’t comfortable with promotion. And I totally understand why. Promotion can be like going into the locker room of a high school gym naked. People are looking. Some people aren’t going to say nice things. A lot of people are going to say no.

But I want people to read my books, so I put myself out there. Sometimes, I don’t get my desired results. Sometimes, putting myself out there makes me cry a lot and drink even more.

I like to make stuff: word babies, pretty pretty princesses and princes (I do tons of makeup for men), food, and stuff for the house. And some of the joy in it for me is sharing my creations with other people. Julie often gets dragged around my apartment so she can see the latest improvements, even if I’ve just hung a new frame or rearranged the pillows. I love seeing people’s faces light up when they see what I’ve done to their makeup, that they didn’t know they could look so good. Seeing them happy makes me happy.  I love cooking for other people. Food is love, yo.

“Food is love” lead me to my answer. I enjoy my house (as long as I’m in it…what’s up Whiskey Tango Boulevard), I enjoy my day job, I enjoy cooking. I want to share what makes me happy. My books make me happy, and I assume what makes me happy will make other people happy, too. Books are love, yo. You heard it here first. So it’s a natural next step for me to want to share them with the world.

And that’s why I do it.

 

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