Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Story, My Way

Hi All! Audra here. No doubt you've heard the buzz over Indie publishing. Heavens, where can you go on the 'net and NOT run into it? Today's Indie Publishing is not your ancestors' answer to being published anymore. Despite Sue Grafton's disparaging comments over those who chose this route, many respected authors and hard-working, anticipating authors are now diving into the waters of the unknown and electronically publishing their work with success that varies from mild to astounding.
Really, the epub market is taking the publishing world by storm. I've invited LA Sartor (also know as Leslie Ann and my friend through thick and thin) to share her journey today. LA is no overnight glory hound. She's written for years, honed her craft, attended conferences and workshops, written many books and won essence, she's paid her dues and wants to share her love of writing with the world.

LA is giving away 2 downloads of her debut book, Dare To Believe. Please be aware this is not an Inspy romance and contains mild adult content. When you leave a comment indicate if you'd like to be placed in the drawing.
My Story, My Way.

Does that sound egocentric and arrogant or perhaps, as some have suggested, desperate?

None of the above apply in my decision, my choice, to go Indie.  What did factor in was I own my work, I'm completely taking all the risk…and all the reward, and I really can create my story, my way.

I'm not going into how traditional publishing works, you all know that information.  What I am going to try and convey is the thrill and the difficulty in choosing this route.

A little backstory. I've been telling stories since I was old enough to talk, really.  Mom wrote them down, and I have a bunch of them.  Then in Jr. High, a teacher told me and my parents in a parent/teacher conference that I would never be a writer because I wanted to tell stories, not learn the fundamentals of grammar.  I  stopped writing immediately and didn't begin again until I was in my 30's.  I've been writing a long time.

I joined RWA and my local chapter, and realized I knew nothing about the industry.  My first manuscript was even single spaced…but enough, you get the picture.  Then I found screenwriting, and novel writing took a back seat for many years as my screenwriting career took off, but I was making almost zero money.

Then my husband found article after article about indie publishing in the Wall Street Journal, of all places.  I read the articles, found the links and studied the pros and cons.  There were plenty of both and I know you've read or heard many of them.

So what made me take the jump? Make this choice?

Things change.

We had reel-to-reel tapes, then eight-track and at the moment we have mp3's to download.  We've gone from VHS/beta to streaming.

My blood burned.  Change is inevitable.  I wanted to be in the forefront. I could do this, couldn’t I?

Yes I could.  I was excited with my decision. And then people started questioning that decision.  Wasn't I caving?  Aren't most of "those" books  badly written?  Why would I want to risk my career by being branded as an indie writer?

My answer is this: I'm embracing a new technology, I'm not caving and waiting to be published by a traditional publisher.  I'm creating my own business and I'm making money. It's my choice, it's my way.

I knew from the get-go that I needed a  group of talented people surrounding me because I would be putting out into the universe, in perpetuity, the best product I could, at that moment.   I paid for a great editor, and actually took her advice.  I had a formatter do the digital formatting  and have decided to continue that way.  

My strength, despite what my Jr. High English teacher said, is to tell a story.  I can hire a great team to fix what needs to be fixed, and I did.

However, this you have to remember;  in the end it's you and your story, alone in the room.  You make the final choices. And that is scary.

When I got my edits back, I was terrified.  I was paying hard earned money  to this talented woman, and mind you, I was a newbie at this editing thing and I didn't know a good edit from a lousy edit.  What if I didn't agree, what if she wasn't right, what if… the doubts went on.  But her report was good  and made sense to me.  After I read it, I had a glass of wine and simply thought.  Sometimes you have to jump and know the net is there.  This was one of those times.  So I went through the story and made the edits and re-read it. 

The story was stronger and flowed better.  I felt so invincible, so strong.  She didn't change ME, she made me stronger.  She didn't make me a reflection of her voice, she strengthened MY voice.

My cover designer had some great thoughts, and I know what I like, and I can be bullheaded about it. She melded her knowledge of digital artwork and space design with what I wanted.  (I'm actually going to do a blog with her about cover design.)  And while a watercolor  with shadow silhouettes may not be your cup of tea, it's my brand from now on.  MY BRAND, made by better by Neringa.

It's a brave new world out there, and frankly it's not all that easy to make sure you're doing all the right things.  But with help, I know I'm doing my story, my way,  and that is the best of all…for me.

The Pulitzer prize winning writer …
Catherine Hemstead Malloy had it all – riches, glamour and happiness – or so it seemed. When her husband dies in an accident, she discovers she never really had anything at all. Now with nothing but a dismal bank account and her precious daughter, Cate fights to rebuild her life—until her daughter is kidnapped. Cate has no money, no resources – why would someone target her child?

And the knight in shining armor …
Jason St. Pierre doesn't think of himself as a knight, just a man who does what must be done, lives by his rules and damn the consequences. He'll move heaven and earth to protect the innocent, and his heart—he loved once and lost and won't risk it again, especially to Cate Hemstead.

Their reunion pits them against a kidnapper who is always one step ahead and takes them on a hunt from the majestic mountains of Colorado to the idyllic beaches of Hawaii. Can they solve the who-dunnit turned why-dunnit kidnapping in time to save Cate's daughter?

Let's talk Indie Publishing over cheese danish and croissants. My characters do their best thinking over food. Audra mentioned a Seekerville buffet??? Remember, leave a comment and you'll be in the drawing for a download of my debut book!

L.A. Sartor's website:
Barnes and Noble:                            
And your favorite e-reader store.
Paperback copy available now.


  1. Of course there's a buffet in Seekerville!!!!

    And calorie free too [right Ruthy?! Right?! I have pants to fit into in two weeks!!!].

    I think going indie can be a great choice as long as it's a choice and not a con [which is definitely what you did!] - I know a few people who got conned by 'publishers' whose names I need not mention here as I'm sure they're well known to the intelligent Seekervillagers. One of the best books I read late last year or early this year was a self-pub book. I never would have agreed to influence/review for it if I'd known and I'm glad I didn't.

    Yours sounds intriguing! I'm in :).

  2. Hi L.A.

    It seems writing is treated differently from everything else. If you invented a little gadget and were trying to sell it yourself by using classified ads in a magazine, no one would think twice about it. They’d think: why not start small and see how it works? No one is likely to say you were a vanity inventor. If you sold produce from your garden from a stand in front of your house, people would just think you were being industrious.

    It seems everyone can be an indie except writers. That does not make sense.

    If Indie publishing makes sense for you, then do it. If the first product fails, learn why. Fix it. Learn more about your craft and then try another book with a different pen name. You’re taking all the risk. It’s your venture.

    I’m with the independents.

    I do have a suggestion on your cover art. It does not look like a book. It looks like a wall poster. Usually in marketing, it is best to look like what you are. Also, the type is almost invisible. I’d at least make the type bright red so it is easy to read.

    As a marketer, I’d like to test two covers. The “A” cover, let’s say yours and a “B” cover with a scene from Hawaii. If you have a great location like Hawaii, I’d want to show it on the cover. Location sells books. I’d also try to make it look like a suspense story, if that is what it is. It usually is best to design the cover to attract the attention of the prospects who are most likely to buy the book if only they knew that it was a book they’d like.

    I mention this because you are an indie and I hope you are open to suggestions. In one sense marketing is simple. Determine who is the very best prospect for your product and then design your ad and packaging in such a way that your best prospects cannot miss noticing it as something they would want to buy.

    Good luck with your marketing efforts.


    vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

  3. Leslie/LA, welcome to Seekerville! And yes, Carol, calorie free...carb free... and yellow jacket free, LOL!

    No wasps in Seekerville, ever!

    I love the options that are arising for authors. I believe this allows the creative spirit within to expand while the need-for-money spirit does whatever proves necessary (within moral reason, of course)

    What an intriguing post and glimpse, Leslie... Vince, your statement about trying different things and selling them makes perfect sense. But I think that's because the idea of being "branded" is useful in some ways... recognition being a key factor in marketing... but it's stifling in others.

    Doing e-books or indie publishing might be the perfect blend of coffee and cream, right?

    Testing uncharted waters.

    Very interesting! And Leslie, what an idea, to test covers!

    Love it, Vince.

    I wonder if the cover is sharper in relief in person... Computer images don't always give the best impression. What do you think, LA? (Not to insult your cover... because the elements of it seem to reflect the story... but could it be sharper?)

    If Vince gets into trouble for asking this, then BLAME HIM.

    I am, as always, mostly blameless. ;)

    Food... Oh, I'll drop by with more as the day goes on, once they've applied radical poison to the yellow jacket nest positioned above and behind my laptop.


  4. If Gutenberg, Tim-Berners Lee and Steve Jobs had all been alive at the same time, we would have never had the printing press at all. Everything would have gone online. That assumes the computer would have been invented much earlier, though...

    Indie-publishing, e-books -- I think we're riding a wave. More and more of my students buy e-books. More textbook writers are publishing their own work. So in my world, this is becoming expected.

    I'll take a place in the drawing!

    Susan Codone

  5. Welcome L.A.,

    I'm so glad you shared with us today. I'd love to hear more as your journey continues.

    Your story sounds great, just the kind I like to read. Please enter me in the contest.

    I think your cover in intriguing enough that I'd stop and look at the back to read what it was about-or click the online button to read about the story. (I'm really into covers.)

    I hope you have much success.

    Jackie L.

  6. Welcome to Seekerville, L.A.! Publishing is certainly becoming a new world of opportunity, isn't it?!

    One thing I've never heard any self-pubbed authors discuss is the behind-the-scenes business end of it. Like taxes! Could you please tell us a bit about that? Many on-line sales sources like Amazon don't collect state sales taxes. So would that be for the author to pay those to the state they reside in or is that the purchaser's responsibility? Do you get a state vendor's license to sell on-line? What about paying income tax, social security, etc. -- is that estimated and paid quarterly? Do you get a CPA who is savvy to those types of things? There's so much to learn with this new method of reaching readers! Thanks!

  7. Welcome to Seekerville, LA! Love how smart you were in pursuing indie publishing by getting editorial and cover help. Glad you're making money. Any tips on promoting your book?

    Thanks for the cheese danish. Love them!


  8. I think the Indie route is both awesome and scary. I appreciate your sharing your path to publication. I like your pioneering spirit as well.

    The cover branding idea is cool. It is a nice book cover but doesn't say "romance!" to me at first glimpse. I do sort of agree with Vince a bit - but I also know you've probably spent more than a few sleepless nights over that cover and the branding idea. Just because it's something we're not used to seeing doesn't mean it can't work, eh?

    thank you so much for sharing. I'd love to be in the running for a copy of your debut book.

    You are a brave woman, forging a new path for us less brave folks to someday follow. Thanks.

  9. Good morning, all! Cheese danish is the appetizer! How about an omelette buffet with an amazing assortment of fillings and cheeses! Don't forget the waffles and pancakes and heavens! try the spicy sausage--link and patties, LOL!

    Can you tell I'm hungry this morning?

    Leslie promised to play in Seekerville all day, so give her time to wake up and she'll be here.

    Me, on the other hand, I'll have to zig and zag around work today and steal a few moments to play here, too.

    I had an indie book in my judging packet for the Ritas. I thought the storyline and plot were wonderful, the only downfall to the book as a whole was the copyediting. Missing words and wrong usage. Funny thing, the punctuation seemed right on, LOL!

    Oh how editing can make or break a book!

  10. Ooooooo, Leslie Ann ... you had me at cheese danish!!

    WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE -- any friend of Auds is a friend of mine!!

    Soooo excited about the whole Indie phenomenon and your foray into it, and it certainly sounds like you are going about it in the right way.

    I am actually dipping my toe in the water as well with a Christmas e-book my agent and I are collaborating on called A Light in the Window: An Irish Christmas Love Story, and I'm anxious to see what happens. My artist hubby designed the cover and my daughter modeled for it and I have to admit -- it's drop-dead gorgeous!! The only thing is, I set out to write this story "my way" as you say, without the restrictions my editors usually give me in my contracted books, but actually ended up making it tamer than my edgy romance in the CBA PLUS following some of their requirements as well. So much for doing it "my way" ... which has become "their way" in the end!! :)

    Good luck to you, L.A. and GREAT cover on that book!!


  11. Good for you having the intestional fortitude to see through a new frontier. I like your cover and love your plot. Your journey will be a testament to your courage and seeing things through.
    Remember E. F. Hutton, General Foods, RCA, they didn't stand the test of time. Move over traditional publishers and meet the Indies.

  12. WElcome to Seekerville LA and Audra the buffet is yummy. I wasn't hungry yet, but now am. smile

    LA you are so on the cutting edge of a new venture.

    I love the idea of indie publishing. As Vince says, the biggest challenge is the marketing. Best wishes on that.

    I have friends that have not done well and I have friends that have done amazingly well. It is so much like the rest of the entertainment business. What is going to hit? But you'll never know if you don't try. It certainly is the new wave in the business.

    Good question Glynna. The tax angle would be interesting.

    Good for you and congrats on your release.

  13. Good morning, LA!

    Thanks for the look into the world of Indie publishing. Going that route really is starting your own business, isn't it? It has all the risks and rewards of any other entrepreneurial venture.

    But it's yours. How cool is that?

    And Indie publishing is a far, far cry from the vanity presses of 30 years ago, isn't it?

    I'm glad there still seems to be room for both Indie and traditional publishing.

    Please include my name in the drawing!

  14. Good morning! You guys are early risers! My husband is getting me coffee as I type, love him to death.

    And with Audra's breakfast I'm waking up. So, give me a few minutes to read through the comments (or maybe more :) and I'm all yours all day.


  15. Hi LA. Thanks for sharing your path. The cover is really great, and I like that you surrounded yourself with a team to accomplish your goal - especially important for writers because we live a solitary life when it comes to creating our craft. Pulling in a team that works is something I have a hard time doing. Great wisdom. Congrats on the book.

  16. Good Morning Carol!
    Carol, did you say if you'd known it was self-pub, you wouldn't have reviewed it? May I ask why?

    One question I get a lot is how I deal with the "stigma" about self-pubbing.

    And that stigma is still out there. But romance has/had a stimga for eons as well and we romance writers have weathered the storm, brilliantly.

    I think with more well edited books coming out, it will become the alpha choice for readers.

    BTW, I peeked into Seekerville last night late and you'd already posted. Wow.

    Hugs and thank you for commenting. It sounds like you're going to Dallas, have fun.


  17. Vince, I believe the cover is sharper with a bigger image.

    It's always interesting to get people's perspective. And it's always interesting to read yours. So not in defense so much as an explanation...I was going for something completely different than what is normally seen.

    Since this is all an experiment, the cover is too.

    And it might be fun to do a couple of covers and let people choose which appeals to them most.
    In fact, I might just do this. I have a spanking brand new blog about My Story My Way, An Indie Adventure at and that might be the spot to do a test.

    I love your analogy of small biz owners/inventors. So true.
    Hugs, and thanks for the idea!

  18. Ruthie,
    Good morning. No Vince didn't get in trouble. As a creative soul, I'm always looking at what people offer as new perspectives :)

    And I am choosing watercolors as a brand, so we'll see.

    And while the hope is there for sales and income, it also is the adventure of moving forward my way.

    New image; me holding a machete, coffe cup in one hand with cream of course;), hacking through the vines of the crazy world of publishing, seeing a glimpse of the treasure ahead. I need more coffee.

    LA good luck with the wasps.

  19. Susan,
    I like that you think wave of e-books be they text, fiction etc, is becoming expected.

    That would change a lot wouldn't it? Becoming more the norm?

    I think we all as writers have to rise to expectations. Of the readers, the genre, ourselves.

    The bar rises...and I think it's a good thing. Thanks for your comment.

    Oh, I do have a paperback version, and I'm surprised at how many it's sold. Kinda cool.


  20. Jackie,
    Stop back by once you've seen a bigger pix and tell us what you think. I'd really love to know.

    To me the background screams Hawaii, and the separation b/t Cate and Haley on one side and Jason on the other says trouble.

    It's a reunion story at heart.

    I didn't want faces, b/c as a reader, I want my imagination to use what the writer has written and let me figure out what they look like.

    So, please, report back.

  21. Glynna,
    Interesting question and it's not an easy one to answer.

    But I'll do my best.

    No, you do not need, currently, a tax license to sell on the net. That may change if new laws regarding internet commerce are enacted. But currently No tax is charged, thus doesn't need to be collected.

    Income taxes. The debate rages at the IRI Network. I'll find the link to that group and post it in a bit, but here is what we (my husband and I) are planning on doing.

    And alot depends on the tax forms the online retailers send at the end of the year and we believe as they all talk about Royaltys that it will be a 1099 form. us this will be Royalty income. Not SS taxable income.

    While I'm not yet collection social security, I have a ways to go yet, I don't need to add to my credits there, which younger writers will need to do.

    So we won't use it as income on Schedule C, but as royalty income on Schedule E. Expenses will still go on C.

    Clear as mud? Me too.

    And I guess we'll find out more at the end of the year.

    I would advise the use of either a PA or CPA. My hubby is not either, but is a retired attorney, BUT still, we're not certain!

    As he is the master of digging deep into all issues, he'll find the answer at least for us.

    Hugs, and when I find out more, I'll post it somewhere. May be at my new blog! Again, it's only what we figure we'll be doing.

    Hugs, LA and if I can answer other questions, fire away.

  22. Not the stigma per se but my overall experience with self/indie pubbed books has been the stereotypical one and I didn't really know this person. I generally only volunteer to influence/review books I'm pretty sure I'm going to like [not that Steven King needs my influence, but I wouldn't volunteer for him... Mary Connealy? Sign me up!*] and so if I'd realized it was self-pub I probably would have said no for that reason.

    Having read hers, I would certainly read another one [still tapping my foot waiting for the sequel]. Or yours or someone else I have reason to believe would do their due diligence and not just slap something up there. You know? It's not something I get asked to do very often [mostly I request from the review places], but I'm a bit more open than I would have been then.

    I look at what I posted and realize this sentence:

    I never would have agreed to influence/review for it if I'd known and I'm glad I didn't.

    could be misconstrued - I'm glad I didn't know it was self-pubbed because I would have missed out on a great book.

    Hope that makes sense!!!!

    *Julie - I do have a NetGalley copy of ALS sitting on my Kindle right now!!!!

  23. OMG!

    L.A. I didn’t know that was you: Leslie Ann!

    I’d just loved your cover! : )

    I just downloaded it for my Kindle. I didn’t know it was a romance and it didn’t have any idea who L.A. Sartor was. Is this some kind of new stealth branding?

    Ruth is right. Blame me for anything. I think I get into more trouble than anyone here.

    But for a test: could you put one cover on Amazon and the other on the Nook? It won’t help asking people what they like, I mean, they like you. In fact, the important question is ‘what do prospects like and notice’.

    The real test is how the cover works on real customers. Does it attract prospects or does it miss most of the hot prospects while attracting non-prospects who are intrigued with the unique cover art?

    If someone is in the store looking for a romance novel, be sure to let them known you have a romance novel for sale.


    P.S. Ruth: I’m not a fan of branding or using book cover art to do it. I’ve compared new authors wanting to get branded with teenage girls wanting to get a tattoo. Don’t brand until you have the brand you are sure you want to live with. A look is not a brand just as a title is not a brand. “One for the Money”, “Two for the Dough” Janet makes more money than any author I know. But it’s not all Stephanie – there’s NASCAR, too. And then there are all those Plum Crazy Stories. It’s not the look: it’s the attitude.

  24. Janet,
    Glad you're enjoying the cheese danish. I love 'em.

    Promotion. The other big question (taxes being the big confusing one)

    There is a huge amount of debate on what do to. Blog tours? They take up a lot of time and the results are iffy.

    Postcards, bookmarks? Those are more traditional and I did have postcards printed and sent about 150. BUT there is another reason for them, I can hand them out to everyone I meet after they've expressed interest that I'm a writer. So I consider that a good investment. Bookmarks, no.

    Social networking? Yes, to a point. It can take over your life and as it's been said, it's a social network, so don't hammer people with Buy My Book. I have some tweets for today that ask questions and if you want the answer, visit Seekerville-type of thing.

    I've started that new blog and I'm part of Five Scribes and I have a website. All important b/c people want to know YOU.

    Mostly, and I'm sure you've all heard this, it's about getting your next book out. The bigger presence you have, usually reults in greater sales. Really.

    So my next book will come out in Dec. I'm trying for 2 a year, along with at least 1 script. We'll see if I can do it.

    Hugs and thanks for the question.

  25. Hi Deb,
    Pioneer Woman, I think I like that.

    You're right, the cover doesn't scream romance, and I didn't want it to. Maybe I should have? Those are the sleepless night questions that come up.

    It's part of the adventure, which as most are, is exhilarating and scary. Filled with sandpits and treaure. Sounds like an Indiana Jones movie, and feels a bit like it too :)

    Thanks for being here and the support.

  26. Audra,
    Thank you so much for having me here today, it's really fun being with the Seekers again.

    You guys rock!

    Editing is probably the MOST important team member you have/hire.

    If you have a tight budget, put most of it in a great editor.

    And remember, you're hiring them, so interview, ask for samples, see if they are the RIGHT fit.

    Huge hugs for bringing me back to Seekerville.


  27. Julie,
    Audra is pretty cool!

    Interesting comment. Is your e-book Indie or through your publisher?

    I had to lose, yes lose, some of what I'd been taught over the years to find my voice again. I had to regain my confidence in telling the story the way I wanted to, not the way a "line" or "genre" wanted me to.

    That being said, I still had expectations of the genre to fulfill. Fine line to walk.

    I can't wait to see your cover!

    And thank you for the kind words on mine. It's mostly been well received and I really do love it, but I'm willing to see the outcome of experimenting with it on my blog.

    Huge Hugs,

  28. Elizabeth,
    Thanks for the kind encouraging words.

    The future is now and I'm embracing it!

    Hugs and thanks for commenting.

  29. Oooohhhhh! I just love a good Indie publishing discussion!!! Have to admit though that I'm not a fan -- at least haven't been up until now. Here's why. (Excuse me while I rant!)

    I'm a school library technician in Canada and we are always inundated with self-published authors. And in twenty years I haven't bought a single book from any of them. Why? NO EDITING! So bless you a thousand times over for emphasizing the need to find an editor. The lack of editing -- and listening to those recommendations -- are what have turned me off Indie published books -- at least in the Canadian kit lit genre.

    I've read books that started out in third person and morphed into first for no reason at all expect the author thought it would be fun to try out a different angle.

    How about a 400 page mystery for middle graders where the crime doesn't happen until half way through the book? Honestly, it takes to page 200 when a teacher gets killed. What preceded that scene? 200 pages of episodic writing about the day in the life of the new kid in after day after day!

    Oh -- and I'll never forget the book where three girls were having a heated discussion in the stables that morphed into a bedroom in mid-discussion. When I pointed this out to the author he just shrugged and said he couldn't decide on the setting and meant to go in a choose one before printing but he forgot! He also thought it wasn't a big deal because the book was just for kids anyway. Talk about insulting your target audience!!!

    That same gentleman wrote his kid's stories over using adult characters and then published them again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously -- he literally made the characters adults and tried to sell them to a different market.

    And oh -- let's not forget the historical fiction that changed Canadian history. Not on purpose, mind you. The author wasn't certain of a few key facts but decided it wasn't necessary to research them because he wanted the book out in time for the new school year so teachers could use it as a novel study to go with their history classes!!!!!! Besides, says he, it's just a book for kids and they won't notice! Yes!!!! he really told me that. To my face!!!!! (I sent him scurrying out of the school post haste and I didn't get to say half of what I wanted to!)

    Can you tell my blood pressure is rising????? I'm over punctuating and I can't stop!!!!!!!

    So -- I'm all for being cutting edge with technology and going Indie as long as an author respects his/her readers enough to polish that story with the assistance of an editor. Like you did. :-)

  30. Hi Sandra,
    Yup, it's a subjective world, darn it all. I'm trying this and that, and we'll see.

    One interesting thought that just occured to me, is that I don't have a safety net of a publisher with all its strength behind me, telling me they thought the book was good enough by their standards to invest in it and put it out there.

    My safety net is my belief in myself. I need to remind myself to stop a moment every day, take a deep breath and let that belief flood me with new strength.

    Hugs, and thank for taking the time to comment.

  31. Hi, Leslie! Any friend of Audra's is a friend of mine! :-) I hope your book sells a million copies!
    I see things changing. A friend of mine, who is published by a traditional publisher, just told me that she has sold twice as many e-books as hardbacks of her book! That is amazing and would have been unheard of a year or two ago. I think it's wonderful. And those people who Indie publish and sell hundreds of thousands? I think it's great. Like Vince said, they're being industrious and proactive.
    And I think it's really smart that you spent the money to hire the professional editors and cover artists.
    There is really nothing like getting positive feedback from readers. I got the most amazing email from a 16-yr-old yesterday. She said, "Please keep writing because your books give me hope." She couldn't have possibly given me a better gift than that. I love being a writer. Thank you, God, for making me a writer!!!
    And hey, Audra!!! I have one thing to say to you ... Less than two weeks, chica!!!!!!!!!

  32. Jan,
    Yes, it's a totally different world from vanity presses!

    I'd run a custom jewelry business for 17 years and this is much like that. You take risks with the stock you buy, the designs you create. Then the finished product.

    And while those risks were costly as far as $$ go, this risk is costly as well.

    To my ego, to my soul, to my belief in myself.

    Sounds a bit dramatic, but as writers we put so much into our work. And then its out in the world.

    Having support is crucial to success. Again, not just the monetary success, but the personal.

    It's people like you all here, who want to know about my journey, who offer ideas and encouragement.

    Thank you all.


  33. Hi Ms. Sartor!! Long time no see!!!

    Congratulations on your venture!!!

  34. Lyndee,
    Thank you!

    A good team is important, and you're right, writing is solitary.

    And as I said to Jan, support is crucial.

    Hugs and thanks for being here today.

  35. Carol,
    I was thinking that's what you meant.

    Yes, there are a lot of books slapped out there. It's going to be a fight to convince people that the books are just as good or better than Trad published books.

    I'm girding my loins (I've never been sure what that meant, but I like the saying) for the battle.

    Hugs and thanks for clairfying.

  36. Vince,
    I about rolled on the floor! No, not stealth branding, but Leslie Ann Sartor is a lot to get on a cover, and I like the name L.A.

    I'm still chuckling.

    I've sold far more on Kindle than Nook, so I'm not sure that would give me much of an idea if I changed the covers, but then again, it might be the perfect time to do, just to see.

    We should talk more, then when I do this, I'll report back!

    Hugs, and still chuckling.

  37. Kay,
    I loved your rant.

    It's true, more books in Indie Publishing are, gulp, poorly written, than in Trad publishing, but I'm out to change that!

    Me and a million other writers who care about the product we put out.

    As I said to Carol, it's a battle, and while I'd rather not have to fight it, I KNEW it came with the territory of taking on the challenge of publishing Indie.

    I've been talking up my team and it's important. One to show that I care enough to hire a team, and second that I cared enough to USE the team.

    Someday, I'm hoping my work will speak for itself. Time, and more books by LA Sartor, will tell.

    I think I'll win this battle, but still I must fight it, and it's worth the effort.

    Hugs and thanks for ranting, it's a huge issue.


  38. Tina,
    Thanks! It's exciting and challenging. It's good to be here with you guys.


  39. Melanie,
    Thanks for the Million wish. I'd love that. Since I'm in it for the long haul, maybe it'll happen.

    Feedback is important, it keeps us going! I love your story about the 16-yr-old and you giving her hope. That's wonderful.

    Have fun in Dallas! And here's to a million sales.


  40. Wow, great discussions going on here! Really makes me want to take the day off work : )

    Sorry Vince for not making it clearer that LA is Leslie Ann from the 5 Scribes blog. I know you lurk around there, too.

    I'm just ducking in at say hi for right now. Hope I can add more to the conversations later.

    You're in good hands in Seekerville, Leslie!!

  41. Another thought on Promotion

    Pricing your work. There is a huge amount of discussion on pricing, free, discounted etc.

    I used the following chart for my digital. Then I figured what was the least I could earn on the print copy and still be happy, yes happy, not rich from print:) (Createspace has a calculator for your use.

    And I've decided not to go free. Ever....

    Although I will price each prior book lower for a day or two when I release/promote my next book, just to bring in new readers.

    My new book will follow the chart pricing below at least for now.

    Questions? Fire away.

    $0.99 Books less 10,000 words
    $1.99 Books 10,001 to 20,000 words
    $2.99 Books 20,001 to 50,000 words
    $3.99 Books 50,001 to 75,000 words
    $4.99 Books 75,001 to 100,000 words
    $5.99 Books 100,001 words to ???


  42. I'm not a person of extremes. My world is definitely shades of gray--maybe reds?--rather than black and white. So indie publishing is one choice on a continuum. Not better or worse, not right or wrong, just different.

    I've read some really good indie stuff.

    Kudos to you for going the indie route because you clearly thought about why it makes sense for you.

  43. Hi Leslie!
    I'm so excited and proud of you! I can't wait to read your story, it sounds wonderful. And it's my observation that publishing is in a constant state of flux, and things are more subjective than ever.
    I'm excited at the opportunities that are cropping up and it's terrific that you're brave enough to plunge in.
    I think any author's success--regardless of the publishing avenue the author chooses--is if that story and the author's voice resonate with mass numbers of readers, it'll be a bestseller--obviously.

    Predicting and trying to write that book has proved to be nearly impossible, so ya gotta enjoy the journey--and it sounds like you are.

    It's so good to hear you happy and having fun. That's what it needs to be about! Best of luck sharing your talent with the rest of the world!

  44. OHHHHHH, YES!!!!!

    This has realy been weighing on my mind. Not just because of the technology (who couldn't see this coming a mile away??)but because of the whole creative process.

    Some people strengthen your voice, and some smother it.

    The very best of those say, 'hey, what about this? Or this? Or even that??'

    The worst say, 'pshaw, this is so dumb, will never work, what were you thinking...'

    But it's FICTION people. What's charming to some is ridiculous to others. And that's where I keep looking at e-pubbing. To not have to pass my ideas through a sieve...

    Oh, MAMA...

    And my publishing experiences so far have been WONDERFUL. Just as a caveat there...

    But there are stories in my head that I know will never 'fly' in a traditional world.

    Crazy stories full of crazy happenings.

    And no one would be mad except myself if it sunk to the bottom to lie forever in the murky mud of the e-pub world. :D

  45. P.S. Covers... *shrug*

    I have some books on my shelf, inches away, that are traditionally pubbed and are bum-ugly.

    Sorry. It's true.

    I buy on story line. Cover is secondary. And I would buy this.

  46. P.S.

    Okay, reading your comments on the cover and 'went with something different'... YAY!!!!

    You know how many covers I've seen lately of 'girl in a floor length cape and hood, standing in an archway' and 'girl's face in B&W with blue eyes' and 'hot guy glaring at the reader' ??

    It's like when the chick lit craze hit and verything was 'edge of a skirt, lower legs, high heels' or 'martini glass and shoes'.

    Ugh, original is always better. It speaks to me that the author has a vision for his/her story.

  47. Thanks Patricia,
    I did give this adventure a lot of thought. Audra, poor ear, lent an ear, and I talked it off, over and over.

    But I did go over the pros and the cons and I figured this was the time to do this. It makes sense for ME.

    Hugs and thanks for being here.

  48. Theresa,
    I'm so happy to see you here. T is one of the Scribes from Five Scribes.

    You lent an ear as well, and I yaked it off, thankfully, they grow back.

    It's not all fun, as you know bc I told you :) but the great moments outshine the petty, upsetting moments, and since that is a reflection of life, I'll take them.

    Hugs, and again, great to see you here.

  49. Hi L.A.

    I’d be happy to work with you on marketing ideas. But first:

    Have you thought about the ramifications of using initials?

    In SF, initials often mean the writer is a woman (hiding that fact) and in Romance initials often mean the writer is a man (hiding that fact). In mystery I think initials also indicate a woman in many cases. (P.D. James, J.A. Jance, M.C. Beaton – three big sellers).

    I asked P.C. Cast why she used initials since she wrote romances and she said, “I started writing SF/Fantasy and back then most writers were men.”

    Since about 90% to 94% of your readers will probably be women wanting to read other women authors, I’d think about using initials – especially before you brand yourself (which I hope you don’t do any time soon).

    A split run test on book covers will be hard. It’s best to keep the variables to a minimum. Even if B&N has one cover and Amazon the other cover, and even if you know the ratio of sales is 4 to 9 in favor of Amazon with both using the same cover, you would still need to know how customers heard about your book and when they did hear about it, which cover they saw at that time.

    A great test would be to sell your book from your website itself giving the buyers a choice to download either cover. Sending out postcards with every other post card having a different cover might work if you offered a $1.00 discount if the reader emailed you with the discount code in order to get the $1.00 off. This way you could tell which cover was pulling the best.

    In any event, coming up with a good split run ad test is one of the hardest things to do in marketing.


    P.S. Special Notice: The deadline for the “Gateway to the Best” contest is tomorrow at 11:59 p.m. CDT. (If you snooze, you lose.) Since this is from the “Show Me” state, you better show and not tell on this contest.

    P.P.S. “A Love Surrendered” in now available for the Kindle! You used to have to wait a lot longer for the Kindle version! I got mine. This is the last in the series.

    P.P.P.S. "The Five Scribes" really rocks!

  50. Good for you for doing your way. Each of us has to remember that at the end of the day, no matter what road we take to publication, it's our book.

    Include me in the drawing. I love good books and yours sounds great. ; )

  51. Virgina,
    I think I struck a good chord with you?

    Being able to write my way, with good help guiding me where I need it, has been eye-opening.

    There is a WHOLE WORLD out there that wants material to read. I just found out I sold a paperback in Great Britain. And a few days ago I sold to India.


    I find that irresistible.

    And I'm very pleased you like the story line.

    Thanks for being here.

  52. Hi Zan Marie,
    You're right, at the end of the day, are we happy with what we've done, can we look at it with a critical eye, and still be happy.

    Does writing make one happy? All questions that need an answer, even a simple yes or no. Because tomorrow I'll get up and do it again. And I have a lot of other choices of things to devote my time to :)

    And quality not quantity is my credo.

    I'm sticking to it.

    Hugs and thanks for taking the time to comment.

  53. Hi Virginia:

    I just loved your comment:

    “I have some books on my shelf, inches away, that are traditionally pubbed and are bum-ugly.”

    Yes, yes, and yes!

    Those bum-ugly (sorry if you’re a Brit) covers attracted your attention and you bought the books. How many original, totally unique, book covers are up there just a few inches away?

    Marketing is not about original. It’s about getting the favorable attention of the best prospects for that product. I see original highly creative, ads on TV all the time and I can’t tell you for the life of me tell you five minutes later what they were selling!

    I just love marketing blogs.


    P.S. Now if you can be highly creative and original and also make the ad attract the favorable attention of the best prospects, that is Hall of Fame advertising! Of course do it. And let me see it, please.

  54. Vince,
    Didn't you just say you loved my cover? You weren't pulling my leg were you?

    LA, yes, I have thought of the ramifications. I was thinking along the lines of CJ Lyons, JD Robb.

    And no, no branding the way you mean, I think!

    However, now that you've brought it up, I may leave my website header as Written by Leslie Sartor and drop in a few other Leslies along the way.

    ALSO, in screenwriting, LA works quite well, and I have this plan...
    some of my books will be adapted from my screenplays and if they do know the rest.

    Hugs, Leslie Ann ;)

  55. VINCE...

    Actually the ugly books are by people I know and writers I enjoy. Unfortunately their publishers don't have the best idea of how to make a cover attractive. I just make sure I don't swell on the cover.

    And not to cotnradict the marketing guru, but I'm easily bored. I'm all about finding something original. Genre romance is a tough place for me to read because it takes a great writer to make these story lines new enough for me to enjoy.

  56. Here's another thought...yes another one...that I used as I was writing.

    Genre. I don't really write Genre Romance, though that what I always aimed for when I was seeking the Trad Pub route.

    I write love stories that end happily, may or may not have intimacy in them, but always have that sizzle b/t the characters. I love the sizzle, not too keen on the intimacy b/c we all know how it's done. I usually skim those parts, now.

    And sometimes my stories just can't have the physical imtimacy b/c it not possible for the story or would feel forced. But the sizzle, you bet, that kiss, that touch, that look. That electric spark of attraction, YES.

    So yes, I write stories that have romance, I love romance, but I don't write genre romance.

    I think the lines may become blurred b/t the two, and I don't think that's all bad, do you?

    Anyway, it's just another bit of MY WAY.

    Will it work? I'm hoping so.

    Will it make a diffrence to readers of genre romance? I hoping they find the romance satisfying and will stick with me.


  57. Hi, Leslie, and welcome to Seekerville! I really enjoyed reading your perspective on indie publishing. It really is a brave new world in book publishing--and a rather scary world at times!

    The statement you made that most resonated with me is, "She didn't make me a reflection of her voice, she strengthened MY voice." That truly is the mark of a good editor, traditional, indie, or otherwise.

    The flip side of this coin is a critique group who edits out individual voices and everyone's manuscripts start sounding alike.

    Anyway, congratulations on taking this bold step, and I wish you much success!

  58. Myra,
    Thank you. You're right, it's scary at times. And it's not all roses. You do it all, the good, the bad and the ugly.

    For instance I was uploading to Smashwords yesterday, a new copy, with a slight fix (yes, you can do this) but all of a sudden, they didn't like my cover size. They liked it two weeks before...So I had to go back to my cover designer and have her make a new one to the new dimensions. She was awesome and got it back to me in hours. Voila, I uploaded it (it did take me 3 tries for some reason) and now it's all fine.

    But for every thorn, I hope to pick the rose.

    Thanks for the good wishes.

  59. Hi kids! I'm dropping in real quick to change out the breakfast buffet to a troopical buffet complete with Hawaiian luau fare and fruity drinks.

    BTW, Leslie has a great coconut cake to add. Maybe even give us the recipe???


    Okay, break over. Gotta get back to work.


  60. I'm starving! Ready for lunch. Thanks Audra.

    Ah, Coconut Cake...part of the book takes place in the famed Halekulani Hotel and they have a coconut to die for.

    This fabulous cake came from the majestic Halekulani Hotel on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, where it's been the hotel’s signature cake for years.

    It’s cut into three layers, then pasted together with pastry cream. Don’t worry if your layers aren’t perfect; once it’s put together, you’ll never know. The taste is all you’ll care about.

    • Sponge Cake:
    • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
    • 2/3 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup, divided
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 eggs
    • 2/3 cup water
    • 8 egg whites
    • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

    • Pastry Cream:
    • 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
    • 1/2 cup amaretto

    • Whipped Cream:
    • 3 cups heavy cream
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

    • Prep Time - 25
    • Cook Time - 10

    1. To prepare the cake, preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan.

    2. Sift together cake flour, 2/3 cup sugar, salt and baking powder in a small bowl. In separate bowl, combine oil, egg and water; add to flour mixture. Mix until smooth.

    3. Whip egg whites and cream of tartar. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter until just combined.

    4. Pour into pan and bake about 30 minutes or until center is set. Remove from pan set aside to cool. Store in the refrigerator several hours before cutting.

    5. To prepare the pastry cream, combine 1 3/4 cups milk, sugar, salt and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until tiny bubbles form. Combine remaining milk with cornstarch; add eggs and beat several times.

    6. Add ½ cup hot milk mixture to egg mixture; mix well. Pour egg mixture back into milk mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Scrape custard into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator.

    7. To prepare the whipped cream, combine heavy cream and sugar in a nonreactive mixing bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.

    8. Add 1 cup of whipped cream, amaretto and 1 1/4 cups coconut to pastry cream; stir well. Set remaining whipped cream and coconut aside.

    9. When cake is completely cooled, cut into three layers using a serrated knife. Place one layer on a 9-inch cake board or a serving plate. Place half the pastry cream on top and spread to edge evenly. Place second layer of cake on top of pastry cream and spread remaining pastry cream on top. Place third layer of cake on top.

    Frost top and sides of cake with remaining whipped cream and sprinkle with 1/2 cup coconut.

    Recipe by permission from the Halekulani Hotel, Honolulu.

    Invite me over when you make,eh?
    Hugs and Aloha

  61. Hi Virginia:

    You wrote:

    ”I'm easily bored. I'm all about finding something original.”

    I think this removes any contradiction there might hava been and makes a very important point. When marketing it is dangerous to think only from our own POV.

    You are actually the ideal prospect for the type of creative cover that “Dare to Believe” has. So that cover will work to get your attention. After that what is important is if that story is one you’d want to read.

    You can’t be sure what the book is about from the cover. It could be a genre romance. I think the title suggests that it is a religious theme book or perhaps a positive thinking self-help book. It could well be a book of poetry. So while the creative cover might get your attention in the first place it may not pan out to be the kind of book you’d actually want to read.

    Whereas a dull cover that gets your attention for a book that you’d actually love to read, should sell many more books.

    Now I’m very different from you with regard to genre romances. I read genre romances for the same reason I eat chocolate. I like the way it makes me feel. Just as I can get a craving for chocolate, I can also get a craving for a ‘hidden child’ genre romance. I’m not looking for the most creative approach to the story. However, I am looking for an author who can deliver the basket of feelings I expect from the purchase.

    Let’s say you are hungry for a chocolate bar, would you like it if the wrapper was different in every store in town? If the colors were different, the type face different, and even where the chocolate bars were located in the store was different?

    So with a genre romance, I want identifiable art work on the cover which almost ‘screams’ hidden child theme or 'runaway bride' theme. I also want to see the age of the child. I don’t like punky teenagers or unpotty-trained tykes. I’d also like the cover to feature the location. I like locations by the sea or in the southwest. A very uncreative cover of the kid and the seaside location, a lighthouse would be very nice, will grab my attention at once and I will probably buy the book. I actually critique the cover by how honest it represents the story and not how artsy it looks.

    As you can see, we are very different prospects when it comes to genre romance. You are a much harder sell and my approach probably would not capture you as a buyer. But then, you never were a good prospect for a genre romance which makes the need to attract the attention of readers who are great prospects even more imperative.

    What you have suggested is true for you. Marketing is very, very difficult and that is why marketers spend so much money on research.

    I know authors work so hard to finish a polished book, sometimes years and years, and that is why I like to help them be successful. And why I often provide TMI. : )


    P.S. L.A. I'd like that coconut cake with boiled frosting. Can that be done with your recipe?

  62. Audra -

    What's troopical? Can you bring some to Dallas?


  63. Sounds like you really listed the pros and cons in your decision to go Indie. I think every writer has to choose their path.

  64. Hi Jill,
    You're absolutely correct, each writer should choose their path, the cool thing is now there is more than one way to go. Even Trad authors are publishing Indie on their back list.

    It's about opportunities unfolding and increasing.

    Hugs and thanks for stopping by,

  65. Vince, I suppose all that is true. If I loved chick lit, I would grab every cover with high heels and martinia glasses. If I loved YA sweet romance (maybe set in med times) I would grab every book that had the 'torso with flowers/book in hand'. If I loved paranormal YA I would grab every book with vampire male glaring from the cover.

    Maybe I hate the cover issue so much because it can turn OFF the discerning reader as much as turn on the genre reader. I've seen great books change covers through different printings and (a lot of successful YA does this) morph into a cover that will appeal to the niche audience it might have missed.

    DARK EDEN changed from the title, to girl face in a tank top. Ugh. Shannon Hale's incredibly well-written YA books went from original art to chick faces. Holly Black's urban fantasy books went from original art of crowns and swords to chick faces.

    I wouldn't pick up those books at first glance because if the cover is so generic, I know the book might be, too. I don't have enough moments in my day to read generic.

    Chocolate, now, I'm all about the familiar. Hershey's bar all the way.

    A friend sent me a huge box (wooden, tied with a ribbon and sealed with a wax stamp) of specialty chocolates from LA Burdick. Chili powder, pistachio crumb, rolled in sawdust, I don't know what. Every peice was different. I never knew what I was eating. Ugh. My kids loved them.

  66. So much information. I write indie in two different genres. Love the creative freedom, yet the marketing side is a mental drain at times. Something I'm having to deal with now, and I'm not complaining at all, both genres are starting to grow readership wise at the same time. Having a writing time schedule is critical to producing the best work I can and stay on top of the business end.
    Cora Blu

  67. Welcome to Seekerville, Leslie!

    Congratulations on taking the plunge into indie. Everyone I know is interested in how it's done, how the authors are faring etc.

    I love your cover.

  68. Carol,
    You know, troopical...we'll have to find some in Dallas : )

    Are you baking those cookies??

  69. Wait, Carol! YOu have Julie's book? I'm jealous! I can't wait for A Light in the Window!

    A tame Julie Lessman novel? This I've got to see : )

  70. I know nothing about Indie Publishing (except what you taught us today)but it sounds like it would be a good idea if they categorized the Professionally Edited books from the non P. E. books. That way the customer would always know what they were getting.
    Your book sounds great! Please put me in the drawing.

  71. Melanie -- LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!! I can't wait! I'm packing now : )

    And anyone going to Dallas, make sure you check out the Silent Auction. . .that's all I'm saying : )

    Melanie, back to your sweet books. I love fairy tales and you definitely breathe new life into them. Keep writing them and give us all hope!!!

  72. Hi Cora Blu,
    This has been fun and if the information and the discussion helps anyone I'm thrilled.

    Best of luck with your two genres, what are they?

    And yes, treating this just like a job, however much time you can put into like you're on the job, it key.

    Hugs, and thanks for the comment, it means a lot.


  73. Oooops, Carol. You got me all excited about a Julie Lessman book, I jumped on the wrong title.


    Yes, I'm jealous you have a copy.


    I can't wait for that either : )

  74. Cara Lynn,
    It's great to be here.

    As for authors faring? I think, honestly think, if the author writes a good solid book, in time they will do well. Even if they have a slower start out the gate.

    The whole world is out there. The book is out there in perpetutity. And when you have more, it will grow.

    That is what I'm banking on. Ha, literally :)

    Thanks for commenting.

  75. Hi Donna,
    It's interesting you said that. There are rumblings for that to be would have to be by the booksellers I think and it may come to that.

    I'm not against that idea, although I can see lots of trouble trying to make it work.

    I truly think that cream rises.

    And while the freebies might have tons of downloads (I'm against freebies for numbers. I'm for reducing the price a limited time to introduce new readers to you last book when a new one comes out) it's been noted by readers, not so much authors that there is a preceived value and free isn't always good.

    So that will change too, we'll see.

    James Scott Bell has a great book out on Indie Publishing and I don't have my iPad at hand. Audra, do you have the title?

    Thanks for the observation. It's been fun today.

  76. I want to be in on the Silent Auction...I'm just saying :)

  77. The James Scott Bell book Leslie mentioned is:

    Self-Publishing Attack! The 5 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws for Creating Steady Income Publishing Your Own Books

    Thanks for joining us today, Les! If anyone cares for more information on the Indie Journey, visit LA's brand new blog

    And remember, check in this weekend for the winners of Dare To Believe.

  78. Congratulations to you, Leslie Ann, for having the guts to self-publish. In the end, it’s not what the industry thinks of your route to publication, it’s what your readers think about your story! And when your hard work at marketing & promotion materializes into a vast audience for “Dare to Believe,” the industry will come looking for you to show them how it’s done.

    I wish you great success in building your business—YOUR WAY!

    P.S. I'd be honored to be included in your drawing!

    P.S.S. I’m featuring CBW authors this week on my Facebook Author Page—you’re up tomorrow!

  79. This is one of the most exciting conversations I have had the privilege to be a part of for a long time.

    Yes, we are entering new territory. There are new rules, some we haven't even thought of yet. Wow!

    Yes, it is important to have a professional editor read and make your story stronger. Yes, we need a great cover, one that is distinctly yours. Yes, we need to market, but it all comes down to one thing... a great story-- your story, written by you.

    The comments by the Seekerville folks are incredible-- they are enpowering and supportive. Lucky L. A.

    A year ago, a friend of mine had a wonderful story. She wrote a trilogy and she tried to sell them, but for three years she was told they were too sweet, not enough sex. She turned to indie publishing. She picked out simple, yet incredible covers of beautiful landscapes, she had a professional editor go through them. She decided to indie publish... she sold beyond her expectations.

    I have done research and found that women love to purchase books online, it saves time and gives us a break-- a commercial in our reality. We all need a break and what better than reading a story we can escape to for a few hours.

    Because of the internet, we can sell to the world, in any country, in any language... wow.

    In the forties, television was introduced. Some said it would never catch on... sigh...

    Jump on the epub train, go for the ride-- Write your story, your way... break a few rules.

    L.A. travel where no one has travelled before... Your story, your way... A classy dame!

  80. Hey, Leslie Ann, my e-book is strictly indie, but my agent and I are collaborating on it, meaning she is handling the "publisher" part of it for me. My publisher did want to buy it, but they weren't planning on publishing it till 2014, so my agent and I pulled it off the table and decided to "experiment" with Indie.

    And, YES, it is a "fine line to walk," something I wasn't expecting. I thought I would just throw caution to the wind, but I ended up caring too much about how my indie book would affect my publisher, so I tamed it down and now it's actually "sweeter" than my seven books with my Christian publisher!! Go figure!!

    Oh, I'm so darn excited about my cover that I'm gonna post the link here, so THANKS for your interest. :)

    A Light in the Window: An Irish Christmas Love Story


  81. Lisa,
    Thank you so much for your belief in me. "Vast audience," Wow.

    You're right, at the end of the day, it's the story, the writing.

    I'm honored to be the featured author on your Face Book page, thank you.

    Thank you so much, your words mean the world to me.


  82. L.A.

    It's great that you took the plunge (and though I'm late to the buffet, I hope someone brought pumpkin muffins).

    I don't know if I could do what you did. However, given my topic (inspirationals set in medieval Japan), I wonder if I might need to in the future.

  83. Neringa,
    Goodness, you're bringing tears to my eyes. It's been an journey to get here and now the adventure moves on.

    Isn't it cool that the world can buy my book, any book and read it. Fall in love with my characters, dream the dreams my characters have? Cry their tears.

    Wow is right.

    Thanks for the "classy dame."
    From one to another.
    Hugs, always

  84. Julie, interesting observation,that you walked a fine line, one that you weren't expecting to walk.

    As Audra said, I've been writing for years, I think I've paid most my dues and I learned to write romance at RWA's knees, but once I realized this was now my journey, I wrote the book the way I wanted to. The recipe was mine and mine alone.

    This is not a slam on anything or anyone. It's just me writing my story, my way.

    Julie, you're to be commended that you took into account your history and the respect you hold for your publisher, so that your book works for them and for you.

    I'm going to look at your cover now.

    Hugs, always

  85. Walt,
    How did you know I saved a pumpkin muffin just for you. It was hard, but I did it.

    If you decide you really want to do this, there is a lot of support out there to tap into.

    I didn't do this on my own, though did it "my way" (isn't that a Sinatra song?) I'll be right there cheering you on and helping however I can.

    Hugs, and though late, I'm glad you're here.

  86. This has been an incredible day.

    My first guest blog about my journey and my book Dare to Believe. Maybe I named that because I too, dared to believe.

    My new blog (yes, I'm still on Five Scribes, love that group) will be about the adventure of Indie Publishing.

    If you have questions, please visit, comment, and I'll see what I can do to answer them or find the answers. I'll have guest bloggers as well.

    Thank you for your thoughts, your conversation and the genuine feeling of camaraderie you all offered with such enthusiasm.

    From the bottom of my heart, bless you. And Audra, bestest of friends, thank you for this treat.


  87. Hi LA,

    I joined you on the dark side last year and I love it!

    It's not for everyone, but after discussing it at length with my amazing editor/mentor and my family, we decided to take the plunge.

    I've gone a bit of a different route in that a) we formed a publishing company and b) we print hardcover books for "animal lovers 8 and up."

    However, we're going to dip our toe into the water on e-books soon. Thanks for blazing the trail!

    I'd like to be in the drawing too!

    (And sorry I'm late. Deadlines you know, even as an indie!)

  88. LA, this is a fabulous blog! I love all your points, esp. the comment about your editor making your voice, your book stronger. Absolutely! That's the editor's job!

    You educated yourself, weighed your options, and hired the right professionals in your choice to e-pub. You're proud of your product, and you deserve to be! Sure, anyone can throw about anything up for sale, but quality wins.

    I've read some WONderful e-pubbed books, I've been in a charity e-pub anthology that is excellent. And though I'm traditionally pubbed, I'll make the choice to e-pub when it's right for me.

    I don't need to be entered in the drawing. I already have my copy of DARE TO BELIEVE! :)

    Nancy Haddock

  89. Hi, LA and all.

    Popping in late, to offer a tax tidbit from our good buddies at the IRS (Pub 17):

    "In most cases you report royalties in Part I of Schedule E (Form 1040). However, if you hold an operating oil, gas, or mineral interest or are in business as a self-employed writer, inventor, artist, etc., report your income and expenses on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040)."

    I self-published my collection of faith songs as a Kindle book because it seemed unlikely to attract a traditional publisher. I formatted and uploaded the document myself, after seeing the poor results some other folks obtained from formatting services. I even created the cover from my own photograph.

    You can see my cover here, if interested.
    Feel free to critique it.

    Of course, by doing the technical work myself I paid dearly in precious time instead of cash.

    When my novel-in-progress finally progresses to its conclusion, I'll probably treat it differently. Still, I'm happy I took this route with my little niche ministry item.


  90. Thank you for an interesting post. I would like to try indie publishing and learning as much as I can to make a go of it.

  91. Very interesting post! Pros and cons on all sides!

    Please enter me in the drawing!

  92. A bit more on the tax question. Linda brought up the Pub 17 of the IRS code and it does sound like schedule C, but I know we'll need further clarification on the ramifications of self-employment tax. So like I said, asking CPA or PA is the best answer.

    Hugs LA

  93. Hi KC and May,
    I've heard of many people forming publishing companies, even for e-books, not strictly Indie Pubs.

    Good for you!

    And yes, deadlines even for Indie. There really isn't a difference, don't you think? If I don't create deadlines, I won't make them. And then where am I? Without a book, perhaps more income, and mad at myself.

    Thanks for joining us.

  94. Hi Linda,
    Thanks for bringing that IRS publication 17 up. I still don't know how we're going to handle the self-employment tax etc, but it looks like we can't use E. People are, though, so I still can't help but wonder....

    Yep, about the technical stuff. I am a tech junkie, but that stuff, no way, I pay someone to do it and I'm happy to do so. It's much better for me to be writing, than formatting :)

    Thanks for being here, and for bringing that pub to our attention. UGH, though :)

  95. Julie,
    Stunning cover, simply stunning. I'm a bit jealous actually.

  96. Hi Nancy,
    Good to see you here! And thank you for supporting the sales numbers of DTB :)

    I'm intrigued you might go Indie when the time is right. Let me know eh?

    Editors rock. Can you believe I'm saying that?

    Hugs and more hugs,

  97. Hi Jan,
    Write the book, find a good editor, join the Indie Romance Ink group on Yahoo.

    Spread those wings and soar.


  98. Edwina,
    Thanks for visiting. I'm glad you liked the post. Trying for a balanced view, not stepping on toes and then showing why My Story, My Way was for me.


  99. So glad you found your way to success! I agree, indie pubbing is not your father's Oldsmobile. I think it's important to keep in mind that there are pros and cons to every way of publishing. The trick is figuring out which ones will work best for you...and then go for that one with everything you've got.