Monday, November 3, 2014

A Lesson on Indie Pub from a Woman Who Knows Nothing---you're welcome

First of all, PHEW, we survived the birthday bash!

I said I was going to talk about Indie Pub today.

All I’m sayin’ is…it took me a minute to figure out what Indie Pub even stood for.

A bar crawl through British Bars?

“First I’m heading to the Pig and Finch Pub, then I go on to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Tavern, and I’ll end at the Black Friar.”

Since I’m alone this is an indy pub crawl right?

Indie Pub….someone who publishes novels about car races? No, that’s Indie 500 Pub.

Anyway, what this amounts to is, I’m wandering in the wilderness (yes, I’m going from a British Pub reference to Moses, stay with me, there is a prize at the end)

So Indie Pub….Independent Publishing? Individual Publishing, India Publishing?

What it boils down to is I KNOW NOTHING about publishing my own books.

I like to think I know how to WRITE them, but then at that point, it’s someone else’s job.

And by ‘someone else’ I mean RUTHY.

Yep, Ruthy is who found me in the desert and drew me back into a place where people cope and talk to each other and use fancy electronic stuff like a computer and Amazon and such.

So we had to WRITE THE BOOK. (honestly, sometimes that gets lost in the shuffle!)

Then we had to get it to Ruthy….a huge GAP HERE in that no one edits it.

Mary, the queen of the simple misssspelllld words has no EDITOR??? No one to notice all the words Spell Check missed?

I type ‘THE” “hte” about 90% of the time and with spell check….well, I had to go back and retype ‘hte’ because my computer fixes it. They have spell check in Blogger comment boxes now, on my email. Once in a blue moon I’m forced to go type something without spell check and it is SHOCKING how sloppy I’ve gotten when someone else fixes my mistakes for me.


So I hired an editor. I was almost giddy to get Aaron McCarver to do it for me because he was my editor at Barbour for years and I loved working with him.

Then I fixed everything exactly as Aaron told me to do. (he works well with comma addicted people) and sent it to Ruthy who kept sending us stuff from The Killion Group like…book covers. They also formatted it, which is a word that means something about not using the tab button I guess??? Anyway, they know this stuff and formatted it so it was all ready to upload.

They were terrific to work with and I understand they would have uploaded it for us, too, but of course we had Ruthy to do that. And also that might not be true.

What really struck me about this whole process was…do you remember the old Vanity Publishing days? I know so many people who paid THOUSANDS of dollars to own an overpriced book they couldn’t get in bookstores. That was what self-publishing looked like not THAT many years back.


Do not let some company tell you that for only $4000 they will do it all for you. They will edit, they will create a cover, they will print and ship books to you. Which you will then either have to go out on a speaking tour to sell, or you can trip over them in your garage for all eternity, leaving the disposal of them to your grieving children after your death. (Upside, by the time they’re done they won’t be nearly as sad that you’re dead)

And now the book is coming THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!

To celebrate I am doing FOUR giveaways today.

I’ve got a novella just out called The Advent Bride. NOT indy pubbed but it’s ebook only and costs $0.99. It’s part of The 12 Brides of Christmas.

The Advent Bride...which costs $0.99 so if you don't win, seriously consider buying it. It's ebook only and it's book #1 of a twelve book series of Christmas novellas called The Twelve Brides of Christmas.

New--The 12 Brides of Christmas! You're invited to a Christmas wedding...that is twelve of them! Discover the joy of an old-fashioned Christmas romance with these twelve heart-warming stories. Brand-new stories from renowned inspirational fiction authors will take you into the heartland of historical America. Releasing each week starting October 6, you'll want to read all of them.

#1: The Advent Bride Melanie Douglas is alone on the Nebraska plains, teaching school to get by. She finds a unique box with hidden drawers to use over the advent season to engage a young boy in his schooling. When Henry O’Keeffe sees a positive change in his son, he has to see for himself what this new teacher is doing.

Next Pammy Hillman, my Seekerville Buddy and I are in this same collection!
I'm giving away her book, too. The Evergreen Bride!

The 12 Brides of Christmas book #3

Mississippian Annabelle Denson dreams of visiting cousins in Illinois and seeing a white Christmas. In the face of her excitement, Samuel Frazier hides his growing affection for her behind a quiet smile and a carpenter’s lathe. Samuel starts to worry that if she goes, Annabelle won’t return. Can he convince her to stay?



THEN (yes hang in there, more giveaways) Hope for the Holidays-Historical Bundle

Four award-winning and best-selling inspirational authors take you back to times gone by with this heart-warming collection of old-fashioned romance at its best! From 20th century Boston to the forested hills of 19th century Idaho, these talented romance writers offer a taste of faith, hope and love in this delightful collection.

Including my contribution to the collection..."Sophie’s Other Daughter" by Mary Connealy ...this is Sophie McClellen from Petticoat Ranch, she had four daughters and this is the story of the fourth one....Laura McClellen is just answering a call for her big sister, Doctor Beth, at the Reeve's home. (I told Beth's story in my Rita nominated book Doctor in Petticoats) Ike Reeves shows up for a surprise Christmas visit, exhausted and filthy. Ike claims the right to escort Laura home and outlaws after Ike turn a simple ride into a fight for their lives.

And Hope for the Holidays-Contemporary Bundle ...

yes you're reading that right CONTEMPORARY. I wrote a contemporary.

If it helps ease your fears that I've abandoned the's a contemporary it should be okay.

Six heart-warming romances from award-winning, best-selling and multi-published authors will make you smile your way through the holiday season... and beyond! In today's busy, commercial world these sweet stories remind us of the true spirit of Christmas: faith, hope and love... and the greatest of these is love! Six happy reads at one low price! Merry Christmas!

Including my contribution to the collection...."Hope for Christmas" by Mary Connealy the hero of this book is Tanner Harden IV...great-great-great (oh who knows how many greats???) grandson of Belle Tanner and Silas Harden....Kelsey is alone, lost, pregnant, stuck in a blizzard and surrounded by wolves. And then things get worse.

The last two are our INDIE PUBBED SEEKERVILLE NOVELLA BUNDLES!! We teamed up and wrote a bundle of Christmas stories...and they are both ebook only and cost $2.99-each.

I'm giving away one each of all four of these books four separate winners. Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing.


  1. Mary, I am so excited about the entire collection (I actually pre-ordered The Advent Bride a while back. Just love diving into Christmas early!
    I am glad that indy publishing has changed so much. I am also thrilled that an author I admire, can delightfully share the process. Love you! Wishing you all the best, and I must say, although I'd love to win...I am confident that I will be snapping up those novellas!


  2. Line up at the coffee pot. There's plenty.

    I'm considering indie publishing at some point, but I'm not ready yet.

    Thanks for all your "insights" on the subject, Mary.

  3. Some of us are independently or indie publishing and some of us are entering the Indy 500. I am not telling you which is which. But I feel you can probably guess.

  4. Only Indie Pubs by Seekervilleigers are worth buying. I've tried some others, and sorry, they just don't cut it. You rock, Mary. Thanks for th Erin and informative post. I thought as I read it that if Ruthy had written it, there would be words in bold. Love you guys!

  5. Hi Kelly!
    I bought my first Christmas gifts this week.
    All online.

    I'm a pathetic loner. Amazon and other places, were invented just for me.

    I do promise to knock the dust off myself at some point and go to a store.

    Unless I can't get out of it.

  6. Helen, always remember, when MARY CONNEALY GIVES YOU ADVICE...BEWARE!

    I very likely don't know what I'm talking about.

    Rule of thumb

  7. But the real point of Indie Pub is, you do what you CAN do and hire someone to do what you CAN'T do and it isn't painfully expensive.

  8. Ah, Marianne, thank you. We really did try and write books that you'll read and enjoy BECAUSE!!!!!!!!!!!! We hope to do this again sometimes.

  9. Hi Tina.

    Maybe you should've written this blog.


  10. Just because I am entering the Indy 500 is no reason to be a smart dorkle.

    Who is this Kelly person who loves you, btw? Hi Kelly!

  11. Only Ruthy and Vince have the secret recipe for bold. They refuse to give it to us.

  12. Mary, I love how you described indie publishing. LOL I think Ruthy will get a real kick out of this when she reads it in the morning. :)

    I'm so excited about our boxed sets!! And I'm also excited about your and Pam's novellas!

  13. Mary, I'm becoming more of an online shopper too. It's just so easy. Now crowds. No lines. :)

    Of course, we usually also make one trip to the mall just for the Christmas hustle and bustle. To experience it for one evening. :)

  14. I love Christmas books and you Seeker gals, so I'm so excited about these novella collections.

    Now, tell me more about not liking to shop. We may need to get you into counseling. I love to shop. Of course this may explain the difference in our daily word counts.

    Tina, Indy 500. Does this mean you're going to do 500 books?

  15. Love the idea of an indy pub crawl (or as aussies say a pub crawl and yes we do them) We did a Church crawl once with youth group to learn about the other churches but I digress!
    Thanks for the warning on Vanity Press I feel for people who get lured by them even with warnings to avoid them.

    You said whine if we didn't win a prize for the birthday but cant do that I have read both your's and Pam's Christmas bride books and have added reviews at amazon, and have preordered both other book sets. (Besides I didn't comment as much partly due to pain, partly due to not being online much due to visits to drs in the city)
    Oh and besides cooking cookies which I hope this year I can do I think I have all my Christmas shopping done.

    I also don't like the crowds but its more now cos I can't handle noise due to my Occipital Neuralgia and shopping even at the supermarket can be extremely trying

  16. Mary,I ordered and read both your book and Pam's books. They were great. I have pre-ordered both collections and can't wait to read them. Seekerville authors rock.

    I am considering Indie publishing for way in the future.

  17. So the moral of the story is that if I want to go indie I just need to stalk/harass/beg Ruthy until she'll do it for me? ;-)

  18. When I moved to England, I noticed a lot of the pubs had signs outside saying "Free House". I might not be a beer drinker, but even I know the beer isn't free, so had to ask what that meant.

    Metaphore. You make your point well.

    "Do not let some company tell you that for only $4000 they will do it all for you."

    Thank you. This can't be said often enough, or loudly enough.

  19. The one thing that seems to stand out in Indie Publishing is there is a lot more work done by the authors themselves. Is that true? But then I guess the payoff at the end could be better in the long run?

    I am so looking forward to the Seeker bundles and would love to win any of the giveaways today.

    Here's to another great year in Seekerville!!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  20. Ruthy avows no knowledge of anything that might GET HER INTO TROUBLE!!!!



    Oh my stars, this was fun, fun, fun to the max, exponentially amazingly fun!

    And both volumes are coming out in SEVEN DAYS!!!!!!

    Win them, buy them, enjoy them, I think we're just beside ourselves excited!!!!

  21. Congrats Mary on the release of your lovely Christmas book and to all of the Seekers for the release for the upcoming books! Such an exciting time with more great reading to come. I look forward to all of it!

  22. Looks like a great collection. One Novella for each of the 12 days of Christmas. Perfect.

  23. Wait a minute!!!!

    I give the recipe for BOLD all the time.


    It's intrinsic to my nature!

    I'm happy dancing like a foolish person up here in WNY.... and Marianne, did you know there are over a million books on Kindle??? Isn't that amazing to contemplate?

    So I hope that folks love ours as we self-publish, and that they continue to love our traditional work!

    Mary is absolutely right, there is no reason to hire expensive packages to self-publish, but the FIRST REQUISITE: Write a great book!!!

  24. Kara Isaac, LOL! I'm passing on the wisdom of Mary Virginia Carmichael Munoz (AKA: PRINCESS OF MANY NAMES) and Cheryl St. John (God bless you, my friend!) who coached me.... so yes, my coaching services are free and I'm doing a December post on indie publishing, right after Christmas...

    #happy author!

  25. Iola: I agree, 100%. There are scammers out there, and that's just plain sad.

  26. Good morning Mary,
    This is a good post. I'm not brave enough to start out indie, but am planning to do mini-novels of minor characters, prequels and other shorties to give away once I sell. It is a wonderful and scary time to be any kind of writer, but I'm so glad we have this option.
    It is a far cry from vanity publishing, which makes me cringe.
    A whole new level of professionalism.
    Commas always get me.
    I don't own an e-reader and I won three things in October and early November (!!! This is the month of Kaybee! Should I try the lottery? NOPE.) So leave me out.
    May comment more later.
    Kathy Bailey

  27. I do love the Seekers, with or without giveaways. Before I came on here I thought GMC was a car company, and don't get me started on MRUs.

  28. Mary--Love your journal of your journey--I have to just discovered the horridity of using the tab key- (Slap hand!!) :) Anyway, congrats on your indie pubbed book--and bundles. They look great!! (I still smile when I picture my friends face as she was helping me upload my book and saw my file full of the arrows.)

  29. Great insights, Mary.

    I really think an editor is KEY to a successful story.

    Count me out on the 'em!

  30. HI MARY,
    FYI, the Michael and Caroline story, on which you encouraged me last year, got me a final in the Maggies and a combined score of 93 in Lone Star. We still have a LONG way to go, but I was pleased and you were right.
    Thanks for encouraging me,

  31. LOL -- I still don't understand how the whole indie thing works but I'm glad you guys figured it out and we readers get to reap the benefits of that knowledge (and all that talent.)

    And totally off topic -- is it too late to sign up for the November online class. I know it starts today but I didn't think I'd have the time for it, but turns out I do.

  32. Jenny, you have had such a struggle with your health. I keep praying it all just clears up and life gets much easier.

  33. Blogger is torturing me this morning. Or my internet is.

    I write a comment then that little circle spins and spins and spins. Then it all goes away to a This Page Cannot Be Displayed page.


  34. Teri I just told the most CHARMING story about how I got my funeral explain why I don't like to shop.

    But it's gone.

    Make up your own version, only just know I own this dress because I was in a HURRY.

  35. Wilani, you sweet thing. Thank you so much for buying my books and jumping at the Seekerville Bundle.
    We had so much fun writing and publishing these books. (well, maybe not Ruthy, cuz we made her do all the work) but the rest of us had a great time! :)

  36. Well, Kara, it can never be WRONG to stalk/harass Ruthy.

    She loves that kind of thing.

    Especially when she's got a book due.

  37. But WAIT IOLA!!! What does Free House mean????

  38. Definition of INDIE PUB: A bar in India frequented by the British Raj in the late 1800s.

  39. Cindy W in Indy pub there's only more work is you want it.
    You can hire all the cover/edit/formatting stuff done for pennies on the dollar of places that charge you.
    And as for marketing, well, it's a different world.
    A publishing house does huge deals that a author can never get, but authors do a LOT of marketing these days. So you'd have to do that anyway.

  40. Mary, love the opportunities of indie pubbing. Love that we can hire what we need. And that all these fabulous indie Seeker books are available or soon will be.

    I've got Pams and your Bride novellas. Looking forward to the boxed sets. Yay!!


  41. Jenny, just prayed for you this morning. Thanks for hanging here when you are able!


  42. Ah, Jenny! You have your Christmas shopping DONE? Yikes, I feel so behind and it's only Nov. 3.






  44. LOOK RIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE COMMENT BOX. It says You can use some HTML tags, such as ... then the're listed.

    To use them you ALSO have to put the tag at the END of whatever you're typing that you want bold. and put a backslash before the letter...with the less than and greater than symbols in the same place as in ...... /b
    I'd type out more but then things were just go BOLD and the HTML symbols would VANISH.

  45. Good Morning, Piper.

    Can you believe we survived our seventh birthday party?


  46. Indie publishing still sounds like a foreign language to me. I once had my local high school print a few of my books so I could share them with friends and family in true book format. That's the closest I've ever come to the Indie world.
    Mary - I just finished Tried and True and it is my new Connealy favorite. Everybody read this book - you will love it. I pre-ordered The Advent Bride awhile back and I know I will be devouring all those novellas soon. Please draw my name from the Stetson!

  47. Jackie, isn't that a cool idea?
    The 12 Brides of Christmas?

    Barbour is innovating. And they call it Shiloh Run so it's an imprint of Barbour but still, we're working with the same folks.

  48. Lindi, I really don't know the horridity of the Tab Key. I've just heard of it.
    I hope I didn't cause anyone too much trouble.

  49. Wow, Mary, you're giving away a copy of The Evergreen Bride??? So sweet of you! Thanks!! :)

    And speaking of Christmas shopping... I do a LOT of my shopping online these days. One year I bought almost ALL of it online the day after Thanksgiving and on cyber Monday. It was a wonderful experience.

    Then I go "shopping" a couple of days, walk through the crowds for the ambiance and end up at my favorite restaurant.

  50. Kaybee, I love that you're thinking outside the box, innovating. It's an exciting (and scary) time to be an author.

    So many possibilities!


  52. KAV go try and sign up. I think you can still get in.

    It's a great class. Myra and Dora have done a lot of work on this and are real pros.

  53. Hi Cindy. You were an indy published author before it was even invented. Good for you. :)

    I suppose I should have been involved more in the process. I just let Ruthy handle it.

    Also, when I asked questions, she threatened me.

    We live five states apart (big states!) that helped us survive our venture.....

  54. You know, Pam, I do like going out amidst the hustle and bustle, looking at decorations, picking up a few things.

    Otherwise a shopping day for true Christmas shopping is a forced march. I do it ALL AT ONCE.

    I once had my credit card company phone me the day after such a shopping campaign and ask if my card had been stolen.

    Nice to know they're vigilant And please don't also call my husband.

  55. Mary C, you're a hoot!!

    After I quit laughing and dried my eyes—I took a deep, relived breath and thought, 'maybe there's hope for me after all.'

    I enjoyed your lively, informative and encouraging post—thank you! :-))

  56. I spend one Tuesday evening a month with a group of local writers who all indie publish and are working themselves to death.

    And they make NO MONEY. Okay, maybe $25 to $50 once in a while.

    I know it's because none of them follow that key piece of advice you gave: "But the real point of Indie Pub is, you do what you CAN do and hire someone to do what you CAN'T do and it isn't painfully expensive."

    THAT is what makes some indie pubbed books worth not just your $2.99, but the investment of your time to read it.

    I never buy an indy pubbed book from someone I don't have any other experience with (even freebies), and rarely if I know the author hasn't invested the time and money to put out a quality product.

    So the moral of my ramblings? Follow Ruthy's advice (or Tina's, or Mary's, or any of the Seekers) and do the indie pub thing right if you're going to do it :)

  57. I found a cute little Chinese restaurant that has KLOVE playing quietly all year long. I love that and try to always patronize them if possible.

    I also found a coffee shop in Omaha called 'Stories Coffee House'
    This place is so cute it's beyond descriptions. I only know, I want to move in and never leave.

    I have warned the waitresses.

    I seemed to make them nervous.

  58. I love your humor, Mary! This was a fun post. Until I read Jenny Blake's comment, I didn't realize there was really such a thing as a pub crawl! :) I guess I need to cross the pond more. :)

    I'm looking forward to reading your books. And those bundles look great. :) The bride idea? How fun!

  59. Which they [cc company] my husband, that is. While I was still shopping!

    Thankfully, he gave the right answer. Otherwise, HE would have had to do the shopping the next time, and trust me, he did NOT want to do that. Anything but that!

  60. Mary Hicks, my lively informative post about how confused I am and let people lead me through life???

    To me this is a tragic story, but whatev!!!

    I should try and indy pub something myself.

    RUTHY Do they let you publish lists? Like just as a trial run?

  61. Jan, do you ever like.....try to stick their heads in a bucket of ice in the hopes they'll WAKE UP???

  62. But if they keep doing it over and over, well, maybe they'll get better. At least they're writing, right?

    (Mary desperately seeking the bright side!)

  63. Jeanne trust me, they have bar crawls in America.

    I personally have never been on one. (no one invites, me...shock!)

    I like the church crawl idea. How cool to get together with other churches!!!!! (which maybe at least partially explain why I never get invited to bar crawls.)

  64. Definition of INDIE PUB: A bar in India frequented by the British Raj in the late 1800s.

    Love it, Pam. On the floor laughing.

  65. Mary, this writer's group is a new thing for me. They already look at me like I'm some kind of alien because A) I write inspirational romance and B) I'm traditionally published.

    Someday, though, they'll ask for my advice.

    Maybe not the lady who writes "feminist spiritual poetry (not Christian)." Yes, that's how she introduces herself :/

  66. I am SO STINKIN' EXCITED about the Mary portions of those collections!!!


    If I had known they were releasing next Monday, I would have picked a different day for my own release ;).

    I announced last month that I was going indie. I've done it all myself so far. Well, I've parceled out crits and edits and proofing but through tradeoffs not money. And I did pay for the stock photos, but the rest? Pretty much all li'l ol' me. [Which is why I still don't have the proof copy for the paperback - because I keep screwing up the cover somehow - I think I got it this time and I'm waiting to hear back from CreateSpace. But now I know for the other books...] One just about down, five to go...

    I am seriously so stinkin' excited for Sophie's Other Daughter [you know I've asked about her!] and I love the idea of the contemp! WOOHOO!!! Those would be worth the 2.99 each on their own but...

    Plus other Seekers??? Heaven!!!

    [And yeah. No tabs. Format paragraph indents. But if you did it I can show you [or whoever else, because surely you wouldn't do such a thing again ;)] the easy way to fix it.]

    Thanks for the hoot this morning, Mary! Much needed!

  67. And now we know why RUTHY is handling the Seekers' indie-pub details and not MARY!!!

    KAV, just sign up and we'll catch you up. Today is introductions day. Tomorrow the "real" work begins!!!

  68. Yes, CAROL, we are not oblivious to the fact that having MARY CONNEALY's name up first in both these collections is why they are selling like the proverbial hotcakes!

    And when you bookend Mary with a name like JULIE LESSMAN for the historical collection, how can we go wrong???

  69. MARY said: "It's a great class. Myra and Dora have done a lot of work on this and are real pros."

    And you know this . . . how?


  70. Myra - I looked at that later and realized how it might sound :p. I blame the less than four hours of sleep.

    I'm so excited about new Seeker books all the time ;). However, I've been asking Mary about Laura McClellan off and on for YEARS. :D So her story does make me a bit giddy.

    Sadly, I probably won't get to read any of them until Christmas :(. I think this is what I shall spend Christmas day doing. Seeker binge reading. Always a good thing ;).

  71. Morning Mary, You are a hoot as has been said, but I'm chiming in with my agreement. LOL

    Yes, this indie publishing has been a fun adventure. I've indie pubbed so that wasn't so much the adventure for me. The big adventure was writing my first novella. I've NEVER written anything this small before. It was HARD to do. I mean, I do like to ramble. Well at least my editors tell me so. ha ha

  72. Wow, make it sound so simple! :)
    Congratulations on the Novellas (will they ever be available in print, or have I missed that notice somehow?). I don't have an e-reader (yes--old-fashioned, LOL), so no need to enter me in the drawing.
    Thanks for this post today, and enjoy the warm peach cobbler I just baked (yes, I even have it at breakfast, hehe). ;)

    Hugs, Patti Jo

  73. Yay!!! It's spreading! Like a disease. Like athlete's foot in the locker room. Like pink eye. OK... maybe not QUITE like that. And Ruthy, you were one of the few people who took everything I said (except the parts that were wrong) and did exactly as I told you. And since I got all my good information from the big movers and shakers, it really does work. If you do it right.
    Then you realize there's a whole new world of readers out there who don't care which publishing house you have or whether it's indie or trade. They just want a GREAT STORY.
    So happy to see the indie pub disease hit the Seekers (and you can all point to Pam as patient zero).

  74. Wow! I check in at 10:40 a.m. and there are already 72 comments! Just goes to show how popular you are Mary.

    I remember when the only thing I knew about indie pub. was those cookbooks we did for church fundraisers, lol.

    I am about half way through my Christmas shopping, some online and some in store. (I love amazon too, great for seeker book pre-orders)I like to spend the Thanksgiving weekend decorating while others fight over the deals on black Friday :)

    I have already read The Advent Bride and The Evergreen Bride, both great stories.

    Looking forward to Hope For The Holidays, so please throw my name in the cat dish for either one, thanks!

  75. P.S. Sandra Calhoun has quietly taken over the romance bestseller lists, in case nobody has noticed. Fighting her awesome new series for a place is giving me a pain in the tush! Maybe the Seekers combined can steamroll themselves past her into a spot, lol.

  76. I have an aunt who did the vanity press route a number of years ago. However, she is a professional speaker and used it at the time to promote herself. (She now does her own DVDs, or does all of her recorded performances at a university near her house and then the university produces the DVD for her.)

    Writing my first piece of indie publishing at the moment. It's a work of fan fiction and will go through Amazon as part of their Kindle Worlds program. The story is written. Have to do formatting next.

  77. So fun to watch the success of these two anthologies featuring some of the Seekers.

    Wish I hadn't been on too tight of a deadline to join in the fun. Looking forward to the next collection...and to reading both of these. I know they'll be fantastic! Full of hope and love. Both books are treasures that will continue to bless the holiday season each and every year.

    Congrats to all those involved. Thanks, Ruthy, for taking the lead on indie pubbing and for listening to Virginia's advice! Both you gals rock!

  78. I've made a pledge to read a Christmas novella a day.And it is so great to find you all hanging in the same bundle.

    I think the point you made in the comments about doing what you can do and hiring what you can't is so important. I know paying an editor, critiquer etc has taken some fret out of my life.

    My word I can't spell is was. I look at it and think it needs a z.

    Peace, Julie

  79. Jenny has all her Christmas shopping done?

    Jenny has all her Christmas shopping done??

  80. Thanks so much for the walk down memory nightmare lane, Mary.

    This gave me flashbacks of self publishing nearly 2O years ago, and the books still haunt me. talk about needing an editor. And let's not mention the massive dent in my check book just to buy my own books.

    I've considered jumping into the fray again and going Indie, but I know I would have to find an editor. I type and leave out full thoughts. I thought them, my fingers didn't keep up is all.

  81. Fun post, Mary. I always appreciate your sense of humor (at least what you choose to share in public).

    And yes, I really did learn something from your post. Not saying what. Just saying I learned something.

    Oh, don't enter my name in the drawing. I have Pam's book. I have your book. I'm that sale at iBooks.

    Nancy C

  82. Fun post, Mary. :)

    I self-pubbed two non-fiction books 5 years ago and the changes I have seen in the industry since then have been amazing! :)

    I won 2 of the 4 books you're giving away last week (and can't wait to read them!) and am reviewing The Advent Bride for NetGalley, but I'd love to be in for the Contemporary collection. :)

  83. I love that Carol Moncado is super excited about the MARY portions of the novellas, LOL!

    The rest of us are chopped liver, and that's got me laughing myself silly!!!!

    Mary Virginia, you were/are an awesome teacher! I'm never afraid to be a follower of the successful because why re-invent the wheel? That's just a waste of my time and none of us like wasting time!

    I have to say I love having a foot firmly in both ponds. First, because my goal is to increase readership and if I make money while doing that, then YAY!!!! But the broader and more devoted the readership, the stronger base I have.

    I raised a bunch of economists/CPAs, they like a strong base before branching out!

  84. Jan Drexler, I know what you're saying and I agree.

    I see all kinds of indie books out there, and I'm not being critical by saying there's a formula to success:

    1. Write a great book (and that's not just by your standards, but don't be afraid to strive for the best story telling that OTHERS love.)

    2. Hire professionals as needed

    3. Produce, produce, produce.

    4. Make sure each book put out is as good or better in its own way as the last one.

    5. Be the best "you" God made you to be. Kind, generous, selfless and helpful. I believe that all comes back around as you pursue your career. And I don't mean that lightly... because I think that's a huge, huge component.

    6. Work, work, work. Write, write, write. And then listen to criticism with an open heart and mind and change as needed. Readers have opinions and those opinions matter.

    That's it. In a nutshell. But it all starts with a great book!

  85. I'm with Myra. The rest of us wannabes were okay with bookending the collections with Mary at the front and the award-winning Julie Lessman and RITA finalist Missy Tippens taking up the final spots!

    We're no dummies, LOL!

    I will ride the coattails of their success wherever it might take me!!!!

  86. Mary - I adore you.(see, I know how to bold too!) You bring laughter into every day with your self-deprecating humor. You know more than you think and you definitely help all of us feel less inept with the tales of your exploits into modern technology.

    I'm attempting to collect the 12 Brides novellas, so I've got both yours and Pam's already. I also pre-ordered both Seekerville collections - how could I NOT?????

    Um, for everybody else, if you want cover design help - feel free to contact me. I'd love to help out Villagers with initial forays into self-pubbing in a meager attempt to give back to Seekerville in some small way since I've been blessed here so much. Plus, I'm working on getting a side "cottage" industry going on eBook covers. (apologies if i'm not s'posed to do this...).

  87. Jan Drexler, I went to a writer's group once...a ONE TIME VISIT...and everyone there was writing poetry or overcoming divorce and abuse know....your basic heartbreaking works of staggering genius.

    And we went around and introduced ourselves and one guy sitting there, we were kind a coffee shop so sort of spread out on a few tables so it's just a FLUKE THAT HE NEVER EVEN SAT UP STRAIGHT AND TURNED TO LOOK AT ME!!!!!
    When I introduced myself, I said, "I'm Mary Connealy and my 20th book just came out. I write romance novels."
    Without even LOOKING AT ME (oh, oops, I believe I mentioned that before) he says, "Yeah, I've heard romance novelists write about 20 books."
    I stayed and listened to their readings of angst and blackness and was very much a silent observer, though I'll admit I was internally a bit.........ahem........well, perhaps smug and judgmental and irritated isn't overstating it.........
    Then I left and never returned and I'm sure Mr. Back-of-my-Head You Lowly Romance Novelist has by now managed to find a doctor who can remove the sharpened #2 pencil from his butt.

  88. No Seekers are chopped liver, Ruthy dear. Except maybe... well... um... no names mentioned /whistles toward upstate NY.../

    I think I asked Mary about Laura McClellan's story the FIRST time in St. Louis like three years ago...

    I've been suggesting she go indie with those stories for quite some time.


    [And my cover FINALLY met CreateSpace's demands - proof copy ordered!!!]

  89. wow, Mary
    I think I woulda just left after that snide comment. I would not have stayed to listen to the group stuff. I would also probably hope for lead poisoning from the #2 pencil in the dude's butt.

    There are days I'm not very Christ-like, I'm afraid.

  90. I enjoyed your article. Not very far in my authorship journey, but it helps to read these! I won Pam's The Evergreen Bride during the birthday bash, but the others sound wonderful, too!

  91. Hi, Carol. You've been teased enough so I'll refrain.

  92. Good.

    Because... LAURA MCCLELLAN AND A REEVES BOY!!!!! What more can a girl ask for in a book???

    Except maybe a Ruthy sighting??? ;)

  93. Myra this is the class you and Dora go around and teach at multiple events right?

    You've got this DOWN. Of course it's great.

    And the main reason I know is because you are YOU. You wouldn't do this is you didn't think is was good. Or am I just imagining that you hate speaking in front of groups.

    Wait! That might be me!

    Our names are spelled so similarly Myra/Mary that I sometimes get us mixed up. Except for the grammar skillz.

  94. Carol I've got one coming...sometime... next year, another novella that's got Betsy Tanner, the youngest of Belle Tanner's daughters, and one of the sons of Daniel and Grace Reeves.

    And Daniel and Grace have a strong part in the Laura McClellen/Ike Reeves story. Sophie and Clay McClellen are in it too, but mainly threatening Ike's life when something untoward happens between him and their daughter.

  95. Oh, and Carol, maybe on Christmas you should like........spend it with your family or something.

    (more teasing, I'll stop now)


  96. Patti Jo, you know you can download a Kindle app onto a PC or a smart phone or a tablet right?

    Can't you borrow one for a while?

    Does the local school have them you could 'check out'?

  97. Oh. I'm sure I will spend at least some of it with them ;).

    And I am totally fangirling over this information, btw. Because the fanfic in my head just isn't cutting it ;).

  98. PS Patti Jo....I make it sound SIMPLE?

    I specifically reference wandering in the desert (unspoken that means FORTY YEARS) and that sounds SIMPLE?

    It's only simple if you've got a RUTHY in your life.

    And seriously, Ruthy is mostly so much trouble, she kinda owes us this, right????

  99. [And I can just see Clay with one of his girls with one of the Reeves boys. I'm sure that goes over... well, about like Belle Tanner with any of her girls and assorted boys...]

  100. Oh the joy of this moment!!!!
    Virginia has compared us to a communicable disease.

    Let me just pause and savor this.

    Then we will change the name of our blog to Ebolaville.

  101. Mary, thanks for this post. I'm not sure I still quite understand indie publishing, but it does sound interesting. Please enter me in the drawing for everything except The Evergreen Bride. I just won that last week. I do want to read all the others as well.

  102. You made me smile, Mary. It's such a big gap between tossing the words out, and seeing them all neatly cleaned up on a published page. I self-pubbed a children's chapter book for an elderly aunt. Of course I didn't write it, but I did multiple edits on the story, Photoshopped the illustrations, did all the formatting, created the covers, arranged for a printer, etc. Wow, was it ever a learning experience! I loved doing it, but don't think I would ever want to undertake self-publishing one of my own novels. I need the input of others knowledgable in the field (my personal version of a Ruthy!)

    I'm looking forward to the Christmas collections for holiday reading. Now that November is under way, I'm already beginning to get excited about the holiday season. :)

  103. Tracey OH MY GOSH Black Friday! It's like I had a mild heart seizure.

    You know what really helped me with gift shopping????

    I had four daughters and I swear those little tykes (okay, teenagers) said the words "Thank You" and "Did you keep the receipt" in the same stinking breath on Christmas morning.

    At some point I just gave up. I mean seriously GAVE UP!
    I stopped trying.
    I would just figure out their favorite stores and I'd point to something...and outfit on a mannequin for the price range I wanted to spend and say, "I'll take that in a size 6."
    And then I'd say, "Can you wrap it for me? And make sure and include receipts because it IS coming back!!!"

    That's it. I divorced all emotion from gift giving because it was IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE THEM HAPPY!

    So I'd hand them a box on Christmas morning and say, "Consider this a shirt boxed size gift certificate to Maurice's."

    And then we'd go shopping. WAIT!!!! (imagine skidding tires on wet asphalt) I may have just figured out why I hate to shop. Skinny, beautiful teenagers who weep over how fat they are while I stand nearby with my credit card. Yep, it's like the smoke is clearing!

  104. Walt, now see if you have a speaking ministry or a speaking career then those books make some sense. To have them for sale at the back of your arena (your aunt fills arena's right?) makes perfect sense.

    Although THESE DAYS you can get that same thing in the same quality for a fraction of the price.

  105. Debby G, our books are full of Hope and Love and gunfire.

    We were supposed to have shooting in our sweet Christmas novellas right?

    I am sure I got that memo.

  106. Tina we have the names of some great editors. I think Tina might have a list somewhere on a website only she has heard of.


    Anyway, if you're serious, we can hook you up.

    I don't know if Aaron would do it for just anyone.

    I had some incriminating photos so he was willing to fit me in.

  107. Anna your name is in the drawing!!!!
    And seriously don't give up if you want to try again.

    Also please make a note here that, although I've been freely and forcefully dispensing advice for seven years.....I honestly have no idea what I'm talking about most of the time.

    If someone else tells you differently, definitely listen to THEM!!!

  108. This isn't finalized yet but it's close....
    Ad copy for:
    Fire and Ice
    Wild at Heart #3
    Mary Connealy

    Bailey and Gage each have something the other wants—but can these two headstrong homesteaders settle their differences long enough to find out?
    Bailey Wilde is one of the best new ranchers in the West. She’s been living disguised as a man for a while, but when Gage Coulter comes to drive her off her homestead, he quickly realizes he’s dealing with a woman—a very tough, very intriguing woman at that.
    Gage is an honest man, but he didn’t make his fortune being weak. He won’t break the law, but he’ll push as hard as he can within it. Five thousand acres of his best range land is lost to him because Bailey’s homestead is located right across the only suitable entrance to a canyon full of lush grass. Gage has to regain access to his land—and he’s got to go through Bailey to do it.
    Spending a winter alone has a way of making a person crave some human contact. In a moment of weakness, Bailey agrees to a wild plan Gage concocts. Can these two independent, life-toughened homesteaders loosen up enough to earn each other’s respect—and maybe find love in the process?

  109. Coattails, Ruthy?

    Yeesh, barf.

    Sorry to not be more eloquent.

  110. I had DebH help me with a cover and she's so smart and talented and nice that if I DROVE HER MAD WITH MY SUGGESTIONS....she just quietly typed with a stylus in her mouth so the straight jacket didn't slow her down much at all.

    She did a great job.
    Here's the cover she did for the novella Closer Than Brothers. I wrote it as

    a prequel to the Trouble in Texas Series

    The novella is here, too, if you missed it. I published it on my blog...which was my own twist on indie pub.

    apparently that's wrong, huh?

  111. DebH, I did NOT leave after that snide comment.
    Why you ask?

    Because I am pathologically non-confrontational. And also I just entertain the heck out of myself THINKING HORRIBLE SCATHING THINGS as I sit and smile and nod.

    Then I gossip about it to other writers who join me in my loathing ... and since I don't even know his name I am not absolutely positive it's a sin.

  112. Um, MARY, I don't think anyone shot anyone in my novella. However, it is set in Texas, so there's always that possibility lurking in the shadows.

    And I included a couple of horses and cows.

  113. Becky HI! If you all click on Becky's name you can find her website and she's got a blog full of some seriously cute kids and beautiful flowers.

    Add puppies, Becky, it's like the blog trifecta. Ask Ruthy.

    Thank you so much for stopping in, Becky.

    Wait I will once again dust off my LIVE LINK SKILLS.

    Blossoms and Blessings

  114. Chill N its not hard when you don't have many to buy for. but if I cant cook like last year then I have a few gifts to buy. I give cookies to a few people and the past two years that has been difficult.
    I tend to buy through the year as we have sales at the end of the financial year (end of June).

  115. Deb H., I love that you're doing this! You're among friends here. You have to put together some covers and show us!!!! I want to see what you can do!

  116. Carol, I hear that whistlin', girlfriend!!!!

    And I love pate, so I'm okay being chopped liver! With bacon. Of course.

    In all seriousness, I totally understood what you were saying. I think we're amazingly blessed to be in this place and time and I'm note the bolding to make my point, please!!!! GRIN....


    I get so giddy when my kids get excited each time I call them with a new contract or milestone.

    They are the best cheerleaders ever.

    So living my dream in Mary's shadow is good!!!

  117. Do you think I'm the athlete's foot or the pink-eye?????

    And I do owe youse, big time! Who else on the planet would listen to my tirades and scoldings and rants and finger shaking????

    NO ONE.

    My children thank you for getting me off their case.

  118. Oh, Becky's blog is stinkin' adorable! She's like me, minus two kids!!!!

    Becky you need two more boys and we'll be twins, darling! :)

    Yes, puppies.

    Because why not?

  119. Ruthy
    working on the mock covers, will let you know when ready for prime time...

    thanks for the shout out... and it was fun getting a peek into how your mind works - really. no kidding. you are wonderful fodder for cartoon stuff.

  120. Puppy. Yes, we have another 22 oz Pom named Chapel and the cute plump belly and puppy breath are getting old as far as the other dogs are concerned. I digress...

    Thanks for the chuckles, Mary. You know way more than I do on this topic!

    Ruthy can be downright helpful. She just likes to poke in the ribs as she's being kind. ;) I suggest wearing armor while Ruthy does her thing. Love you, Ruthy.

  121. Even though I'm not a writer, I love learning about all this stuff, Mary! Very interesting post! I would love to win anything you are giving away! I love holiday books! Yours are always delightful, as are other authors! Thanks and Merry Christmas - early!

  122. Wow, I feel so honored! You shared the link to my blog! It isn't anything huge, just my normal life. Some day, we'll get a puppy, but for now, it's just the 4 kiddos (sorry Ruth, we're done!) and my crazy life! By the way, you all are so funny!

  123. Loved your blog Mary! You sound so much like me! Where are you Ruthy when I need you? ;-) I only have a few minutes, so I'm not reading all the other comments right now--just going to make my post to make sure I'm in the drawing. LOL
    Anyway, keep writing and I will see you in 1K1HR...

  124. You make me laugh, Mary! And that's a gift!

    Congrats on all these great bundles of books!

    Love to throw my name in the cat dish!


  125. Aw, Becky is the CUTEST THING!!!!!

    Okay, stop at four, really, it's the SMART thing to do...

    Although my youngest two are a lawyer and a CPA in Manhattan, so they do okay for themselves.

    And they love, love, love their Mama!!! :)

    I think I love Becky because she looks so stinkin' normal. And the kids are four shades of cute!

    Deb H., I'm psyched about the covers! Now I'm going to go write something (or pull another book out of my hat) and have you design a cover for me!

    Must go check my backlog!!!!

  126. Vicki, I'm coming straight over to 1K1HR. I'm starting a new project tonight, I'm going to sink my teeth into a spring novella....

    So I'll meet you on one of the side streets of facebook, 'kay????

  127. Always an interesting day when Mary is hosting......such fun!
    And what great prizes.....please put my name in the cat dish.....all of the books are on my "wish list."


  129. Becky stops in and I tell her to get Puppies and Ruthy tells her to have two more kids...and then we are SHOCKED to never see her again?
    Shocked that she ran away screaming.
    Shocked that she now questions how good our WRITING ADVICE MIGHT BE!!!!!?????

  130. Virginia, I do what I can.... lol

  131. Carol, I'm not sure how Kindle/Nook ebooks work with illustrations.

    I've never purchased an ebook with pictures beyond the cover.

    It sounds like you did it all for a print book, but I wonder how it works.

    Are there kindle versions of...Where the Wild Things Are?

    I just checked. All the Dr.Seuss books are $3.99. they would HAVE to have the illustrations, right?
    I'm too cheap to check.

  132. Hi Valri, your names in the drawing. We love readers at Seekerville!!!!!!!!!!

  133. Hi Vicki, thanks for taking time to leave a comment. It's very sweet of you to let your husband into your pictures.

    I should do that. If I could ever get My Cowboy to stop moving long enough!

  134. Hey, Becky might come back! You never know.

    I brought CHOCOLATE. From Teeeeeena's stash.

    Shh.... it's to share but I don't want Tina to know.

    sotto voce

  135. Becky, you KNOW Ruthy got that chocolate out of a (supposedly) clean cat dish.

    Unless you're really hungry, just keep moving.

  136. Chocolate? Did someone say chocolate? I suppose if it's wrapped, then it doesn't matter if it came from a cat dish, right? As long as I'm in for the drawing and I get chocolate, I'm good! It's actually my husband you have to convince to get a puppy. He wants one....someday.



    Then I left and never returned and I'm sure Mr. Back-of-my-Head You Lowly Romance Novelist has by now managed to find a doctor who can remove the sharpened #2 pencil from his butt.

  138. But TINA I did NOT mention his name. So it's not gossip (much).

    Just venomous venting by an enraged loner.

    There is no gunfire involved.

    Outside of my books that is.

  139. My cats clean better than my dishwasher, Becky. You and I can split the cat dish chocolate.


  140. EWWWWWW
    what are we? Cave dwellers?

    Maybe in like...the apocalypse we will have to share our dishes with cats, but until then, puhleeze!!!

  141. Mary, Thank you for today's blog. Some great advice. And I think you know quite a bit more than you're giving yourself credit for knowing.

    And I'm amazed at all those who have their Christmas shopping done. Wow!

  142. I may know more than I give myself credit for, Tanya, but then how would I know if I knew more than I know.

    I just don't know. :(

  143. LOL, Mary! I didn't know you could come up with so many takes on Indie Pub!! I loved your pub crawl through Britain, especially the Pig and Finch. all tastes like chicken, right?

    Yes, I've heard of those dark days when you spent thousands of dollars to fill your garage up with boxes of overpriced books and didn't have a way to sell them. Wow.

    Personally, I love the process indie publishing has morphed into. It's kind of like online school, you know, writing at your own pace. BUT, you have to be careful. Just because you can dance around pub dates does not give you permission to abuse the priviledge! Set a date for publication and meet it!

    Hire Ruthy to keep you on task. She does it well. And sends cyber chocolates when you do good, LOL!

    Great post, Mary! WooHoo, the Seeker collections are almost here!!!!!!

  144. I'm got Pammy's novella and Mary's novella on my Kindle already. And of course, preordered both Seeker collections. Aren't these handy little ereaders AMAZING???

    I think I'm ready for Christmas : )

  145. Mary, you make it sound doable. And funny!

    Don't enter me. I have/have ordered them all! I can't wait for next week!

  146. Mary, I loved you oh so insightful post. It certainly takes a village of knowledeable people to get an indie book out there. I type like you for words like with and the. My fingers and brain never cooperate.
    If I don't win I will probably purchase one of the suggestions.
    Cindy Huff

  147. Mary, thank you for the very fun post! I'm sad to admit I'm one of those who did what you said "never" to do. Live and learn. But I'll never do it again! Please enter me in the drawing. The Christmas books look fun--just what I need to get in the spirit!

  148. MARY!!! Cannot believe I missed the party -- Mondays ALWAYS sneak up on me, so forgive me!

    But it was SOOOO worth the wait because I got my daily laughs in early today, so THANK YOU!!

    IN MY OPINION, YOU ARE THE NOVELLA QUEEN!!! AND absolutely AMAZING at it too, even if you are clueless about indie publishing (which I really don't believe!)!! Cannot WAIT to read them!!


  149. Yes, the children's book I did was a print edition. I don't know how kindle self-pub handles pictures, but certainly other children's ebooks are produced with their pictures, so I assume it's possible.

    Now I have to go check out today's post, although I doubt it can bring the number of smiles yours and its comments have produced. :)

  150. Mary, I LOVE your sense of humor! I cracked up envisioning the Indie Pub crawl. Thank you for sharing your newfound knowledge of this new arena in publishing. Maybe someday I'll be brave enough to step out into those waters. I'd love to be considered for your drawing, but even if I don't win, I will definitely recommend the books to my book club.

  151. I absolutely love friends who do all the terrifying and hard work for you (like making phone calls - I hate calling people). . . And then there's those people who claim to be friends yet think it will build character to make you do every single awful step yourself. Glad you have Ruthy to get you through!

  152. There's nothing better than getting cozy and spending a cold day reading a holiday collection. This looks great, Mary!

  153. I've reviewed the Evergreen Bride & thought it was great! Great gifts today:)
    dkstevensneAT outlook dotcom

  154. Mary, you rock! I really loved your post God's! Thanks for the great gifts and for your sweet nature.

  155. That was supposed to say today. My auto correct dives me crazy sometimes.

  156. Are these practice runs for longer indie ebooks? Do you gals make more profit this way? So glad you all love writing! Keep up the good work:)