More than twenty years ago, I tried to publish a book under my real name. I was even represented by the famous Hollywood agency, H.N. Swanson. It was one of the most exciting years of my life.
The book made the rounds of all the romance publishers, and finally, after a year of rejections, the agent returned it to me with his best wishes.
Undeterred I found a vanity press and for a sum of money, was able to fulfill my dream and publish the book. It’s still available on Amazon, and occasionally I visit to check it’s multi-million placed rank. Still, it felt like an achievement. I have two hundred copies of the book for friends and family, and I ticked one more thing off my bucket list.
Then came, CreateSpace and the indie revolution. All of a sudden, I found myself the author of over fifty books in all different genres and two pen names.
Fiction or nonfiction, I have put my heart and soul into the four series I created. I marketed my son’s books because I believed in them and Amazon made the eye of the needle increasing harder to squeeze through.
So, the question is, do we do it for love or for money? Why do we continue to produce books that barely sell enough to pay for a day on Bargain Booksy or other online book clubs? Do we throw in the towel and give up the dreams or continue producing books?
I am on the phone or internet daily with disappointed writers saddened by the lack of sales or that breakthrough moment. They rage, then cry bittersweet tears that ‘this will be the last book I write.’ Yet, an idea comes, and they are tapping away on their laptops giving it another go.
Maybe we should take the focus off the monetary aspect of it and think of it as an investment in us?
Finding time to write is the same as finding time to exercise, or go shopping, or even sit on the phone for the night with a friend. I see it as a luxury; something intensely personal, perhaps even selfish because as the lynchpin of the family, when I write I become unavailable.
Writing is solitary, and sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself to that real‘me’ time. Sometimes, being alone with your own words is the best therapy in the world.
Writing leaves an imprint of who you are. It’s a gift to your children, or friends, or even a stranger, saying you were here and this is what you were thinking at the time. It’s a diary of your life, your thought process, and perhaps an example of your brilliance.
It’s a thumbprint frozen in a moment, a snapshot of you for all posterity. Who knows, when aliens come to visit this planet, it might just be your book they download to understand humanity.
Your words may be the gateway for an ‘ah ha’ moment, or they might become the lifeline to someone in need of one.
Taking money out of the equation changes self-publishing. It makes it a lifetime achievement, rather than a measure of financial success. If you are going to write, do it because you love it, do it to leave a piece of yourself, do it for fun, joy, or even a personal release.
If you write it, someone will read it, and that alone, my fellow author is a triumph.
I joined a book club. I always wanted to go to one, especially after I saw how much fun Candace Bergen was having at hers.
They weren’t reading Fifty Shades at this group. They picked Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday.
I dutifully read the book a week before our meeting and seriously thought about not showing up. It was a hard read, and while I loved the writing style at the beginning of the book, I didn’t understand the connection between the three parts and found myself puzzled, as well as bored by it.
I couldn’t deny Halliday’s talent, but to me, the book seemed pointless. I didn’t leave a review on Amazon simply because I found I had nothing nice to say.
So, it was with great trepidation I went to my first meeting. I sat in a corner thinking I had easy access to the door in case I embarrassed myself.
I pictured a room of intellectuals, sipping tea, stating obvious insights I missed. It felt like Honor’s English, and even though I passed that course about a hundred years ago, I became the same ball of insecurities once again.
Someone might ask what I thought, and I’d look like a blithering idiot. They’d smirk, or even worse, I’d say something, and it would be followed by condemning silence. I sunk into the seat, hunched over, afraid to admit that not only did I not understand the book, but I also didn’t like it either.
I had expected us to sit around and they would ‘gab’ about the chosen book. It seems that this book club hires a person to actually discuss it with the readers.
She came in with articles, research, and read the book with laser intensity, dissecting in an arresting way. I perked up. She asked questions that I could answer, not only that, she made me dust off my flabby brain and make it work.
At first, my brain chugged, it backfired silently in my head. Then, all of a sudden, my mind opened up like Dorothy seeing color for the first time in Oz. The story and plot of the book clarified the author’s intent crystallized.
I felt intelligent, erudite, thoughtful. I opened my mouth, and so much stuff came out, it felt like a great purge! I bet I lost fifteen pounds from all the knowledge that was stuck in me.
You think I’m joking?I’m NOT! It felt good to really talk to people about something I’ve read.
It didn’t matter if I enjoyed it. Everybody in that room hated the book, too, I realized. However, it didn’t prevent them from allowing the book to step into their lives and make an impact. They read and shared what they thought. They nodded and smiled at me. I felt included, if only for that hour and a half, and more importantly, I didn’t think about what happened to me in February. That I joined because I was suddenly lonely, and my status had changed from married, to widowed. It didn’t matter. This was a meeting of the minds, rather than the hearts and it felt good to give that organ a rest.
If you are stuck in life or feeling a bit outside your body or mind, join a book club and meet people in a new way. It allows you to leave your body for a bit and meet people on a level playing field.
Aidan Pierce has nothing to prove, and everything
He’s a success in everything he does. A prodigy
disguised in a stunning male form. Intense. Passionate. Wealthy, almost beyond
measure. He’s back in his birthplace to right long ago wrongs, to bring a plan
years in the making to fruition... Until he meets Alexis Greene.
Tipping her world off its axis, he unexpectedly
upends his own.
Alexis Greene has everything to prove, and nothing
left to lose.
She graduated at the top of her law school class.
She’s beautiful. Ethical. Conservative, but not shy with four letter words.
She’s set to make her mark in a prominent firm in Lake County when her husband
unexpectedly dies. She’s left conflicted and wanting more from life, without
knowing what more there could ever be... Until she meets Aidan Pierce.
His past would never allow him to be something
more - not for anyone.
That doesn’t stop him from wanting her.
If she fell into his world it would take everything
she had to maintain her Balance.
(The Amped Series Book 2) by
Aidan Pierce remains committed to one thing –
making his childhood home a better place no matter the cost.
Yet nothing can prepare him for the complications
he faces now that he wants Alexis Greene in his life.
To move forward with his charitable ambitions, he
must fend off enemies while navigating the uncharted waters of falling hard and
fast for the kind of woman he once believed did not exist.
As Alexis learns more about Aidan’s past and comes
face to face with his demons, she must decide if she can jump headfirst into
the most intense risk she’s ever taken – loving a man that ignites an insatiable
craving, even as he throws her world completely off balance.
Book Two of The Amped Series takes you on one hell
of a ride and will leave you amped indeed – and begging to learn the conclusion
of Alexis and Aidan’s story.
(The Amped Series Book 3) Kindle Edition
As Independence Day approaches in Lake County, so
does the social event of the summer - The Pierce Philanthropy Group’s
With pressure hurled at him from all directions,
Aidan Pierce is frantic to protect his charitable endeavor and the woman he’s
fallen for, beautiful and strong-minded lawyer Alexis Greene.
As efforts for the gala ramp up, Alexis and Aidan
face their fears that the past may rise to the surface… and destroy everything
they’ve worked for.
With enemies motivated by greed and malice closing
in, will Alexis and Aidan’s intense love be strong enough to guarantee a future
Book Three of The Amped Series takes you on a
journey to the conclusion of Alexis and Aidan’s story at break-neck speed, with
everything readers crave from The Amped Series: a dare to jump, and the
exhilaration of the Fall.
Three years ago, during a movie marathon with his son, bestselling self-published author Michael Okon asked himself why there wasn’t a theme park with zombies. His brother, in turn, asked why the theme park couldn't have werewolves, vampires, and zombies. Okon started writing Monsterland that very night. He initially released the thriller about two young boys lost in just such a park on his own, but the idea generated enough buzz to help Okon sign with indie press WordFire and with a Hollywood agent hoping to turn Monsterland into one of the classic popcorn movies that inspired it. He might still be waiting on Hollywood’s final answer, but Okon has kept busy turning Monsterland into a long-running book series.
What do you think sets Monsterland apart from other typical horror stories?
Monsterland has many layers. I tried to avoid the typical clichéd horror story and dive deep into very raw issues such as bullying, broken family relationships, being comfortable in your own skin, political upheaval, corruption. Monsterland covers a wide gamut of topics. And yes, there are monsters, but it’s so much more than a typical slasher gorefest. The deeper meaning of Monsterland is simple: How do you capture the world? You build a theme park.
Have you always wanted to write something in the supernatural/horror genre for YA readers?
I’ve learned there literally are a million ways of telling a “monster in the house” story. The genre never gets old, and as long as you come up with a fresh take on the horror/paranormal theme, you will always have a great story to tell. I would never box myself into just being a horror writer or paranormal writer, for that matter. My stories can appeal to the young (my 9-year-old son is one of my beta readers) to teens, to new adult and beyond after that. Nine to 90 is my target audience.
How has it been to go from self-publishing Monsterland to having a film agent?
Everything that is happening in my life now, I planned out. I know that may sound far-fetched, but I believe in asking the universe for the life you want. I actually wrote the book on creating a life blueprint, Just Ask the Universe, which is still a bestseller on Amazon. Going from self-publishing to being a commercially published author has been incredible. It truly is the dream. But…getting a literary agent, a powerful entertainment attorney, and a film agent at a major agency has been the best part.
On that note, any news on a film adaptation?
Yes. My film agent got Monsterland into the hands of a mega-producer, who I’ve spoken to on a few occasions. He is convinced this is his next movie. And now…like right now…they are pitching the movie to every studio in Hollywood. Is this a dream? Heck, yeah! Is it a slow process? Absolutely. Believe me, when it happens I will be the first to shout it to the world.
How have you found the experience of working with a small press?
Wonderful. The team at WordFire have been mentors to me. They have guided me to create this incredibly tight story called Monsterland. Kevin J. Anderson has been a Jedi Master to me.
Any exciting new monsters readers can look forward to in the upcoming sequel?
Monsterland Reanimated was released to the world on Friday, April 13. In Book 2, the readers will meet The Glob (think a modern-day version of The Blob), Mummies (this was fun to write), and a reanimated monster (think Frankenstein’s monster), and every reader will figure out who it is in the first chapter. I’m almost done with Monsterland Beneath. Books 4, 5, and 6 have all been named and the stories have been beaten out. I already know the finale.
Rhett Morgan is a writer and translator based in Paris.
Join your favorite authors for a day full of fun and prizes
Follow @IndieAuthorsMonthly on FaceBook on Thursday, May 10th from 12PM-8:30PM for #AuthorTakeover Day!
Indie Author's Monthly would like to invite you to our #AuthorTakeover happening Thursday, May 10th from 12PM - 8:30PM only on FaceBook @IndieAuthorsMonthly featuring the following authors! Come for the prizes, stay for the fun!
Thursday, May 10th 12 PM @IndieAuthorsMonthly ONLY ON FaceBook
Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling in his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.
Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.
CAROLE P. ROMAN
Thursday, May 10th 12:30 PM @IndieAuthorsMonthly ONLY ON FaceBook
Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of over fifty children's books. Whether it's pirates, princesses, or discovering the world around us, her books have enchanted educators, parents, and her diverse audience of children. She hosts two blog radio programs and is one of the founders of a new magazine, Indie Author's Monthly. She's been interviewed twice by Forbes Magazine. Carole has co-authored a self-help book, Navigating Indieworld: A Beginners Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing. Oh Susannah is her first Early Reader Chapter book series. She lives on Long Island near her children and grandchildren.
DALE E. LEHMAN
Thursday, May 10th 1 PM @IndieAuthorsMonthly ONLY ON FaceBook
Dale E. Lehman writes mystery, science fiction, and occasional nonfiction. His Howard County Mystery series, set in Howard County, Maryland, includes The Fibonacci Murders, True Death, and the forthcoming Ice on the Bay. His fourth Howard County Mystery is in the works, along with a science fiction humor novel about a hapless opera company trying to make it in the outer reaches of the solar system.
A veteran software developer, amateur astronomer, bonsai artist in training, and member of the Baha'i Faith, his writing has appeared in Sky & Telescope magazine, a couple of technical journals, and on his own website Planet Baha'i (which went into retirement, lost its memory, and has now been resurrected as a not very active blog). With his Catholic wife, he owns and operates One Voice Press, a small religious press, and its fiction imprint Serpent Cliff. In his "spare time" (ha ha) he facilitates a small creative writing workshop for local authors.
Thursday, May 10th 1:30 PM @IndieAuthorsMonthly ONLY ON FaceBook
With a degree in English, a second degree in Finance and a Masters in Business Administration, Michael Samuels has attracted everything into his life because he followed successful people and their thought processes. He has read and thoroughly tested hundreds of books on spirituality, self-improvement, and the metaphysical. The Universe has helped Michael run a highly successful family-owned business with offices all over the country. He currently lives in New York with his wife, son, and daughter.
Thursday, May 10th 2 PM @IndieAuthorsMonthly ONLY ON FaceBook
Erica Graham is an award winning children's author. Graham graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with her Master of Science Degree in Speech Language Pathology. She also holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence with the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. As a mother, Graham understands the difficulty parents have finding time to work on speech with their children. In her pursuit to create a fun easy way for therapists, children, and their parents to enhance speech development while promoting literacy, she has written a series of exciting children’s books. Each book focuses on a core sound used in the English language. Outside of writing and working as a Speech Language Pathologist, Graham enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and daughters, volunteering with the youth group at church, and a good cup of tea.
Thursday, May 10th 2:30 PM @IndieAuthorsMonthly ONLY ON FaceBook
Ceci Wolfe writes whatever her characters tell her to write, including YA, contemporary family drama and romance, and Christian historical romance.
Upcoming releases (2018): Starlight, The Competition, and Treasure of Hope.
Thursday, May 10th 3:30 PM @IndieAuthorsMonthly ONLY ON FaceBook
Aaron S Gallagher was born in Syracuse, New York and currently resides in Leander, Texas with his long-suffering wife, three rowdy teenagers, and a thoroughly indifferent cat.
His writing career began at a young age after he annexed an old mechanical typewriter from his mother. His work has appeared in Analog Science Fiction & Fact, Ares Magazine, and Escape Pod . He has received both a semi-finalist and honorable mention in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest. In between haranguing magazine editor he also wrote 17 books and refuses to stop.
His genres include crime fiction, science fiction, and drama. He prefers to read deep stories populated with characters that develop and breathe on their own, and endeavors to write the same. His goal is to create new worlds, compelling characters, and to bring something unique into the world experienced.
All of his work is available on Amazon.
Thursday, May 10th 4 PM @IndieAuthorsMonthly ONLY ON FaceBook
M.J. Woods lives in Central New York with her husband, two daughters and her beautiful but not-so-bright Bernese Mountain Dog. For over twenty years, her 9 to 5 days have been spent working in the legal field of a small town. She often draws from these experiences and re-imagines them to get her characters into trouble while they find love.
M.J. writes motivated by coffee and music, also drawing inspiration from the Central New York landscape or random stimulus, like her husband’s latest copy of “Motor Trend”.
She is a member of the Central New York Romance Writers and the Romance Writers of America.
Thursday, May 10th 4:30 PM @IndieAuthorsMonthly ONLY ON FaceBook
I’m the mother of five (yes, you read that correctly, FIVE), all of which are grown and gone except my youngest who has a few more years yet before she is let loose into society. I’ve recently become a grandmother, and I expect that will happen more often as the years go by. One of these days I’m going to write a book about my children, much to their impending regret, but that's what memoir writers do, they share their lives and their stories. And let’s face it, children are ripe fodder for the funny and the tragic, often all at the same time.
Thursday, May 10th 6:30 PM @IndieAuthorsMonthly ONLY ON FaceBook
R.L Jackson is an avid reader and writer, hailing from the Sunny state of Florida. She is also the Editor In Chief of Indie Authors Monthly a new magazine created for readers and authors. She enjoys binge-watching Netflix, uses her treadmill as an oversized coat hanger, and hopes to entertain you with awesome emotionally charged books for years to come!
Thursday, May 10th 7 PM @IndieAuthorsMonthly ONLY ON FaceBook
She is a proud member of the Visionary Fiction Alliance and was the founder of a national writers organization. She has conducted numerous writers conferences and workshops for adults and children. She is the founder of Ascension Cabin at Camp NaNoWriMo.
BEN JACKSON & SAM LAWRENCE
Thursday, May 10th 7:30 PM @IndieAuthorsMonthly ONLY ON FaceBook
Ben lives in Tasmania, Australia while working the Long Distance Relationship with his wife Sam who lives in Canada. He is a tradesman by day and a writer by night. He has numerous books in progress so stay tuned for information on those by following this page.
DEL HENDERSON III
Thursday, May 10th 8 PM @IndieAuthorsMonthly ONLY ON FaceBook
Del Henderson, born and raised in Illinois, enjoys writing, fueling his passion and love for the noble art of putting pen to paper, or more appropriate, keyboard to computer. Diving into pure imagination he has produced works that grip his reader's minds with mystery and suspense as they are brought into the fascinating world of fiction.
Celebrate Mother's Day with this Mother-Son book duo! Enter here for your chance to win signed paperback copies of Monsterland and Monsterland Reanimated by Michael Okon AND Oh Susannah: It's in the Bag, Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump, and Oh Susannah: Color With Me by Carole P. Roman. The perfect mix of horror and fun!