Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Wild, Wild West of Hybrid Publishing

 The Wild, Wild West of Hybrid Publishing
 By Carrie Fancett Pagels

It occurred to me recently that all these opportunities in publishing fiction today must be similar to when the American West opened up! A certain number of people, maybe many, were drawn by the notion of quick riches, but they learned that moving west came with a lot of expenses and a lot of hard work and toil. Writing in today’s market is a lot like that. The vast majority of authors aren’t going to find gold and silver; they may just eke out enough in their efforts to finance their way back home. But some will settle out west in Hybrid Land and make a go of things.

What is a hybrid author? In today’s publishing market, it is an author who is published both by a traditional publisher (i.e. Barbour, Revell, etc.) and has also independently published their work on their own, termed Indie publishing, or the old term self-publishing.

There are many reasons for making the decision to become a hybrid author. Newer authors may wish to Indie publish as a way to promote their traditionally published books. Long-term authors may have gotten some rights back to books that are out of print but want to make those available to their fans. Mid-career authors may want to Indie publish to learn first-hand about what goes into the publishing process and for the freedom of creating the book from start to finish.

The experience I had when I first Indie published, was to be invited by author friend, Gina Welborn, to join a group of authors who wished to Indie publish their novellas as part of a traditional Christmas collection. I didn’t know the first thing about doing so. At the time, I’d already had a short story published in Guidepost Books A Cup of Christmas Cheer collection and a novel, Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance, published with a small press. Up until Gina’s invitation, I’d spent much of my summer editing novels with some wonderful editors’ assistance and sending out proposals, but not yet getting any bites. So I prayed about it and took the Indie leap to write “The Fruitcake Challenge” for the Christmas Traditions collection with Cynthia Hickey, Gina Welborn, Patty Smith Hall, Niki Turner, Darlene Freeman, Angela Breidenbach, and Jennifer Allee. I was overjoyed when the collection hit the #1 spot for Christmas books and then “The Fruitcake Challenge” itself became an Amazon Christian Historical Romance bestseller, too!

From this incredible experience, I learned so much about what goes into putting a book together, formatting it, promoting, and what types of methods would work best for me. As a result, I gleaned the confidence and passion to put “The Fruitcake Challenge” into an Indie lumber camp series and added two more short novels, The Lumberjacks’ Ball and Lilacs for Juliana. Throughout it all, I continued to submit to traditional publishers while trying to learn more about what it takes to get a book written, formatted, and out there in the Indie world. For me, my venture into the Indie “Wild West” was a springboard into so many wonderful things for an author—from expanding one’s knowledge base about the publishing industry to instilling a confidence I might not have had otherwise. Especially when The Fruitcake Challenge long novella went on to final in the Selah Awards, was a long-list finalist for Family Fiction’s Book of the Year, and sold enough to qualify me for Romance Writer’s of America’s Professional Authors’ Network!

From that point on, I was able to begin building my reader base, set up my Amazon and social media author pages, get my Goodreads info going, and so on.  Some people love the Indie lifestyle for the freedom it provides and the control over decisions such as who will do your cover and who your freelance editors will be. You can do/write pretty much what and how you want – kind of like strolling onto a Wild West set and deciding you not only are going to play the cowgirl, but you are going to write the script and be the director of the show too!

There are advantages to both traditional and Indie options. With a traditional publishing contract, the company generally provides the cover, editing, formatting, some promotion, and the biggie – distribution! Publishers have worked hard and long to establish relationships with retailers across the country and with libraries. Their mailing lists are deep and long. They have their titles listed in catalogs. In some cases, an author may need to do little to no promotion, yet have tens of thousands of sales based on name recognition of the publisher and of their placement. For instance, if your publisher has Walmarts all across the country carrying their books, there will generally be good sales! Also, a big plus is that most traditional publishers give you an advance for your work. But. . . and this is a big but, getting those contracts sometimes feels like gambling at a Wild West tavern, not knowing if you’ll ever win the game.

Imagine riding out to the high desert of Traditional-Publishing Land, and you can’t find a place to lay your head for the night. That’s kind of like trying to find a spot with a publishing house. I remember looking through a publisher’s catalog about eighteen months ago and reading out loud to my husband the number of historical romances that company was releasing that half of the year. I was stunned there were so few. Yet one has only to go over to Amazon and peruse the Christian historical romance bestsellers to see that there are many, many more titles being released – albeit Indie.

Which is one reason why people often leave the high-risk gambling table of traditional publishing to venture out on their own, either with Indie publishing or going with a small press to help them break into the market. There are many advantages to this. The author can write and release the book at his or her own pace, so the stress of deadline is less. However, the reality in the Wild, Wild Hybrid West is that personal deadlines are needed to finish the novel and get it into the hands of folks who can read and review it. Indies can be creative with their covers and not be at the mercy of a publisher cover (some authors have gotten awful covers, I haven’t PTL! My Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter cover from White Rose/Pelican is gorgeous!). BUT Indie authors will need to pay for their Indie covers, and those can be costly, as well as the services of an editor, which is essential to make sure your Indie book is the best it can be. So if you like the control of this process, from start to finish, you’ll love Indie publishing.

For Indie publishing, you’ll still need to, in fact more so, have Beta readers (first readers of your novel who will give you invaluable input), promo team, and all other marketing efforts set up. You’ll need to pay for your own advertising (however here in the new Wild, Wild Hybrid West, traditional publishing may also require you to pay for some of your own promo efforts). Indie publishing and working with smaller nontraditional presses allows you to get more books out in a shorter period of time. It also gets the author in the habit of producing a finished manuscript, knowing that it will be released to the public soon, which is far more motivating than waiting at the dice table wondering when your number will be rolled.

I’ve worked with large publishers—Guideposts Books and Barbour Publishing—and it was reassuring to know they have many plans in place which make my job as an author much easier. The same with a smaller press such as White Rose/Pelican, which gave me an amazing cover and banners for Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter plus promos through their author system. Forget Me Not Romances, which just published my novella, "Tea Shop Folly," is a new and smaller company and a nice transition for authors who are coming from traditional publishing but not ready to Indie publish, or who have done Indie but prefer to come under affiliation with a house.

I feel like my Indie experience has been invaluable, and I hope my journey has helped you, too, giving a glimpse at the path of one hybrid author. I wouldn’t understand, nor be as appreciative of, traditional publishing as much if I hadn’t done it. I’ve met so many wonderful readers, established the props that need to be in place, and broadened my horizons on both sides of the publishing spectrum—traditional and Indie. So I recommend that if an author is up to it, that they publish at least one Indie book. It is an eye-opening experience and you learn a lot from it, whether it’s part of collection or on its own. Because there’s room for everyone at the table in the Wild, Wild Hybrid New West!

GIVEAWAY: So, how about you? If you are traditionally published, Indie published, or on your way there -- tell us your story! If you haven't considered Indie publishing yet, why or why not? And if you are a reader only, what are your feelings on Indie books? Do you read them and if so, do you notice any differences between them and traditionally published novels? Leave a comment, and we'll enter you to win a copy of Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter (which received a RT Book Reviews 4 Star review!) and Tea Shop Folly (soon to released in paperback!). Winner’s choice of format (ebook only outside the USA).

BIO:
Carrie Fancett Pagels is a multi-published award-winning author of Christian historical romance. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn't "cure" her overactive imagination. She resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia, which is perfect for her love of history. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time!

RECENT BOOKS: Upcoming Barbour releases “Requilted with Love” in Blue Ribbon Brides (November, 2016), “Dime Novel Suitor” in Seven Brides for Seven Mail Order Grooms (June 2017), and My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island – a novel (July, 2017).

2016 Releases – Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance, The Steeplechase (Forget Me Not Romances) – also published in Love’s Sporting Chance Collection, Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter – a novel (White Rose/Pelican), "Tea Shop Folly" (Forget Me Not Romances) in the Teacup Courtship Collection.

Website: www.carriefancettpagels.com
Blogs: 
--> Overcoming With God and --> Colonial Quills --> Facebook Author Page --> Facebook Personal Page --> Twitter --> Pinterest
-->Goodreads  --> LinkedIn  --> Amazon author page

LINKS TO PURCHASE:

Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter (White Rose/Pelican Book Group, June 2016) Available from 
-->

Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance  (2nd edition, January 2016)

--> The Steeplechase  (Forget-Me-Not Romances, February 2016)
--> The Substitute Bride: A Novella: (October 2015) Maggie Award Finalist 2016



112 comments :

  1. Thank you for sharing your experiences. There is a lot for an author to weigh before deciding which way to publish and I appreciate learning about this. I have never thought of writing a book before but my mother tried many times when I was a little girl. Writing Guild meetings were very important to her. Although never published, I enjoyed hearing her stories. Good luck with your upcoming releases Carrie! I am sure I will enjoy them as much as your other works I have read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe you can write some of your mother's stories. Thanks so much for coming by Mardell! So glad to have connected with you!

      Delete
  2. Hi Carrie, thanks for sharing such great information on hybrid publishing. As a reader, it gives me lots of insight to an authors world.

    I know quite a few authors who are hybrid or indie publishing, or are with smaller publishing companies. I think it would give them much more freedom on their works. I also know quite a few who are with bigger publishing companies but have explored going indie with a novel or two. I think it would widen the authors experiences vastly! Whether they choose to go completely indie or go completely back to a traditional publisher or somewhere in-between with hybrid :-)

    I loved reading your experiences and seeing how you grew (and are still growing) as an author. I say, never stop learning :-) Please toss my name in the hat for a copy of your book, thanks so much. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Trixi! I agree that it gives the author a different perspective. I think hybrid is the way to go for many folks. Thanks for visiting me in Seekerville!

      Delete
  3. Welcome, Carrie! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with indie publishing. It seems to be a growing trend for traditionally published authors to venture into the indie world. It certainly sounds time consuming and for those of use who work full-time outside of the home, it would prove to be a challenge. Wishing you the best with your upcoming release.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jill! The Ebook Indie route is way simpler than adding a print book. Being a published author with ongoing publications would be hard for full time worker regardless - but when God is in it He eases the way! Blessings!

      Delete
  4. Hi Carrie! I was so excited to see you wrote this post! It is definitely nice to get a view of both worlds as both still seem very foreign to me. I feel like an immigrant just coming to America and the Wild West is something I have heard about but really don't have a lot of knowledge about. Will you continue to work with traditional publishers and indie publish, or will you stick with just one form now that you have experienced both?

    Do you have any projects you are working on right now? Can't wait to hear from you and praying the constant changing weather isn't affecting your comfort.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hybrid means doing both and yes I plan to still do some Indie projects if The Lord gives me time. I just had two new releases I am promoting and have finished galleys for "Requilted with Love" in Blue Ribbon Brides from Barbour. Next I get Dime Novel Suitor done for Seven brides for Seven Mail Order Grooms! Thanks!

      Delete
  5. Carrie, I have loved watching your road to success unfold! Kudos to you, and thank you for this insightful post about both worlds...

    I love doing both.

    I have learned more from working with multiple publishing houses than I could have ever gleaned from a theoretical college course... and got paid to do it, so a double win.

    But I've also enjoyed seeing the open door of chances for authors, the opportunity to spread their wings and fly solo...

    We are CRAZY BLESSED to have such choices!

    Great blog input, and so happy to have you here with us today!

    Ruthy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ruthy! I agree about what a blessing it is to be an author in today's New Wild West of hybrid! When I dropped out of grad school 38 years ago to write a novel, there weren't even PCs and I typed it up! The past decade has thrown the doors open for authors wanting to get their work out there. Glad to be here!

      Delete
  6. Thank you Julie Lessman for allowing me this guest spot! You are a gem!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. CARRIE!!! SO fun to see you here, my friend, and I'm ready to go back to bed after reading all you've accomplished in this blog and knowing what you currently have on your plate!! Makes me tired just thinking about it, girl. :) Like Ruthy, I have been thrilled to see your amazing success!

    Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your hybrid journey, and may it take you farther than you ever dreamed!!

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie you are so funny!!! I am in bed sick and going to Doctor soon -- do you think all that did it? God gave me a lot of work to do for Him when I was off my feet for almost 5 years. PTL I can walk again. You have always encouraged me and I am so grateful for your help with my writing journey. I will say there is no "success" or accolade in writing that feels as good as walking again!

      Delete
  8. Great post, CARRIE! So helpful and interesting! I've got one manuscript completed and two more in the works so this path to publication piece was just what I needed. Thank you for sharing your journey! You definitely have a way with words. I especially loved this: "You can do/write pretty much what and how you want – kind of like strolling onto a Wild West set and deciding you not only are going to play the cowgirl, but you are going to write the script and be the director of the show too!" Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Laura! Best wishes for your book babies! God has a plan for all of us and sometimes that is into the Wild West of hybrid!

      Delete
  9. Thanks so much for sharing, Carrie! Good to see you at Seekerville!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Tina, I just saw this, "First Coast Romance Writers are pleased to announce the finalists for the 2016 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards. Tina Radcliffe for Safe in the Fireman’s Arms"

    Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  11. CARRIE, welcome to Seekerville! Congratulations on your success! Your books and novellas sound terrific! We share a title. The Substitute Bride is one of my LIH novels. :-)

    Thanks for this thought provoking post on indie publishing. I love the options for authors today. I've dipped my toes into indie waters with a Seeker novella collection. A fun, rewarding experience but haven't done it on my own.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! God has been blessing me with this writing to do for Him! Yes it turns out there are several books with that title including another recent inspirational novella with Barbour. I am glad you got a chance to try a hybrid experience!

      Delete
  12. TINA, congratulations on the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards final!! So well-deserved!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  13. CARRIE, are you a panster or plotter?

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  14. Carrie, it is so good to see you here in Seekerville. At this point who knows where my writing journey will take me. For now I am just writing, polishing and learning the art of writing. But hopefully one day soon I will be to the point of actually submitting to a publisher.

    I feel like I have followed you on your journey by reading the book you've published.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Wilani! God has been blessing me for sure! Great to have you along on my journey! Praying your work is out there to the public soon!

      Delete
  15. Hi Carrie:

    "The trouble with wearing many hats is that you only have one head."


    What made the Wild West so wild was that the people got there before the law did. I hope that is not the case with Indie publishing. Of course, one might see editors and publisher guidelines as 'the law'!

    I think your covers are outstanding. In a way, quality on the outside tends to foreshadow quality on the inside. I don't think it ever pays to skimp on a high quality cover.

    I do have a question on how you feel the lower prices that can be charged by Indie publishers effects sales and the all important establishment and growth of a lifetime fan base. I think a strong way to grow a enduring career is to be always expanding an author's 'auto-buy' list.

    BTW: I liked Janet Dean's "The Substitute Bride" so much, I just downloaded your "The Substitute Bride". I guess you could call that an affinity sale! Besides, I think you get to the real romance action faster with runaway, mail-order, and substitute brides.

    Thanks for sharing your insights on publishing. I'm sure to venture there soon.

    Vince

    P.S.
    Please enter me into the drawing for an ebook copy of "Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter". That old sailing ship has caught my interest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vince! Interesting comments! The most recent Publishers Weekly Select issue could address that low price point issue better than I can. There is real concern over that and especially with the KU program. Thanks for buying The Substitute Bride! I wrote a book that I wanted to read and PTL the Maggie Award judges liked it too - it finaled in 2016 Romance Novellas!

      Delete
  16. Hi, Carrie, thanks for this insightful post. I found it all very interesting seeing that I am and indie author, but I kinda want to get a few books traditionally published as well. You were right about the costs of buying a cover for your book when you indie publish your work. They are steep, I'm just glad that I found a place that sells pre-made book covers made by different people who sell them for all sorts of different prices. Some being quite cheep but not as good of quality and some being unaffordably expensive but the best of quality. As for me? I like to surf the middle ground.

    Please enter my name for the drawing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Best wishes Nicky! Hybrid offers a wider range of advantages. Distribution by traditional publishers being a huge one.

      Delete
  17. CARRIE, this is good and extremely encouraging. Of course it's scary, but what isn't these days?
    I haven't the stomach for indie right now, but am definitely looking at small presses. Wherever God leads me, I guess.
    Well, you have been prolific! Good for you!
    Please enter me in the drawing.
    Tks,
    Kathy Bailey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kathy! There are so many choices these days! What a blessing! I was housebound for s number of years from my RA attacking my feet and I got a lot of manuscripts done then.

      Delete
  18. I got back to my "real" writing last night, studying Freytag, Seven-Step and Hero's Journey and prepping a couple of contest entries. I hope I won't let it get away from me again. Being a professional journalist is one of those double-edge sword thingies.
    KB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being pro journalist is an advantage for sure! Freytag?

      Delete
  19. Carrie, hope you are feeling better soon.
    KB

    ReplyDelete
  20. I changed my profile picture. Finally.
    KB

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi, Carrie! Thanks for sharing your experiences as a hybrid author--all so relevant in today's publishing world. Love your comparison to the Wild West, because sometimes it does feel like bravely venturing into unknown territory!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Myra! Thanks for Seekerville hosting me! It really felt that way to me - taking the chance on some Indi stories - definitely a different landscape and situation and it felt like Wild Wild West!

      Delete
  22. Thank you for sharing. I have just started submitting my Contemporary YA to agents/publishers and if it doesn't get picked up next year I will be going the Indie route. I'm going to take the next year to learn about publishing. I'm glad that it's becoming ok to head out on your own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome Jeri! Publishers Weekly Select just had a compelling issue on all the Indie books coming out. I understand from all the folks flocking exclusively to Indie why they think that looks best. So many titles on those bestseller lists. But there is a lot to be said for those traditional contracts too! Best wishes!

      Delete
  23. Thanks, Carrie for your post today. As a reader I'm fascinated by what authors do to get a novel in my hand. Has any one written a novel on someone trying to publish one?
    Congratulations, TINA. I'm of course not surprised you won. That's a great story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome Marianne!lots of Hallmark movies have that theme!

      Delete
  24. Gosh, Carrie, you are such an amazing shaker and mover, my friend, that I always forget about your health issues! But that just makes your success ALL the more amazing, to accomplish all you have with debilitating health issues, WHICH -- PRAISE GOD -- are hopefully behind you now for the most part!

    Except you're in bed sick right now??? Holy cow, girlfriend -- saying one for you right now. PLEASE get some sleep and I can man the hatches, okay?

    Hugs!!
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We go to the dr soon so thanks but I will be back.

      Delete
  25. VINCE SAID: "I think you get to the real romance action faster with runaway, mail-order, and substitute brides."

    Mmm ... then I've been missing out BIG TIME, my friend, because heaven knows I like getting "the real romance action" started as soon as possible. Although ... ironically, my current WIP has a runaway bride (and a crotchety nun and half-naked cowboy clad only in gauze and a sheet at the waist), so who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks? It just takes a lot longer! ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  26. When I see this info, Carrie it really makes me dream.
    I've got these five books on my computer and with a LOT of work I could form them into a series, a series more like Ten Plagues then Romantic Comedy with Cowboys.

    But to tackle that, I'm just a little too busy with my traditional work to take that all on, and yet I want to. I'd love to see those books I spend so much time writing, appear in print.

    I love the dream your post wakes up.

    No doubt I'll fight it into submission.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is intriguing that your other work is more like Ten Plagues, Mary! With the contracts I have to fulfill for right now I don't see any of my other Indie ideas coming out right now but maybe down the road what a blessing that you have all those contracts and can stifle that dream back until God has a plan for those plagues lol!

      Delete
  27. Welcome back to Seekerville, Carrie.

    So exciting to see your success and your joy in your writing with these choices in publishing.

    It really is a wonderful time in publishing.

    Just think, a few years back we were still mailing manuscripts and queries and waiting for months and years on responses. Then we couldn't simultaneously submit while we were at it.

    Now response time is shorter and we have all these choices.

    Now I just need a fountain of youth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats on your contest win Tina! Thank you I am grateful to God for getting my work out there. Do you remember the old SASES??? You always had to include SASE so they could mail back to you! Times have sure changed!

      Delete
  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wonderful article, Carrie! So much interesting information.

    I think indie pubbing is a wonderful opportunity, but one I'm not quite ready for yet. At present, I don't feel I have all the technical knowledge or resources available to commit to an indie project. I still have so much more to learn about this crazy, wonderful world of writing and publication that I'm still seeking traditional publication.

    Many congratulations on your successes and best wishes for many more!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Finalist. Thanks, Carrie. And thanks, Jackie for spotting that!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. JACKIE SAID: ""First Coast Romance Writers are pleased to announce the finalists for the 2016 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards. Tina Radcliffe for Safe in the Fireman’s Arms"

    WHOO-HOO, TEENSTER -- WAY TO GO!!!

    HUGS,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  32. CARRIE, how scary to not be able to walk. Hope your doctor's appointment goes well.

    Hugs, Janet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it really was. To not know if I would ever walk again without extreme pain. Surgery didn't quite do the trick. I have had three PRP procedures done and PTL got the miracle of being able to walk and stand again. Still some issues but so much better!

      Delete
  33. Carrie, love this post!! In our writer's group we've often discussed the "best" route to publishing. Of course, since we have authors from both camps, the conversation is lively! I'll be sharing this post with my writer friends!

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and am delighted to hear all that you've accomplished! It's an inspiration! Congrats on your new release.

    Have a tea-riffic week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kathryn!!! Try not to get caught in the cross fire of the two camps! Each proponent camp followers have strong beliefs! The best path is the one God has planned for you!

      Delete
  34. It really is a blessing, Carrie. And I also feel protective of my brand. These are all romances and I think part of editing them into a series, I might make them all old Army buddies from Texas. A few of them cops, maybe Texas rangers. But one's a veterinarian and it'd be hard to change that, but he could still be old friends with them.
    One's a Houston Homicide Detective, one's a Chicago cop--I could move him to Texas, one is pretty weird, a gothic romance set in Maine, not sure how I'd link that one. Hmmmmmm
    One's the vet and a tough woman Denver cop. The vet is a mild mannered guy who loves animals, but when pushed ... turns out he can be very tough.
    Slap a stetson on all of them and they wouldn't be too far outside the genre. (except that gothic...I don't think I could manage that unless... maybe I could have a small secondary cop character be a repeat from an earlier book???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those sound so fun Mary!!! I bet your fans would be fine with that branching out!

      Delete
  35. Oh, I remember the other one. Two spies who survive a double assassination attempt, but they'd never met before and have no idea why someone would want to kill both of them. They try and drop out of sight, she needs to heal, and the bad guy keeps FINDING them. So for a while they run for their lives, and then they turn and fight.
    I already wrote that one so the hero turns to the before-mentioned Veterinarian for help.
    All old army buddies. This would be a lot of work.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Congratulations to Tina!! Saw this on an early morning thread...."First Coast Romance Writers are pleased to announce the finalists for the 2016 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards. Tina Radcliffe for Safe in the Fireman’s Arms"

    YAY!!

    This Seekerville group is amazing!! So talented...wow!! Every time we come here one of you has won something!! Inspirational! Thanks for taking the time to respond to all our comments and to encourage each one of us!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They have all come so far since starting out on unpubbed island. And such a blessing to all of us!!!

      Delete
  37. Fascinating journey, Carrie! You are one busy lady. One of the things about going indy that intrigues is the freedom it brings. What a terrific chance to explore stories that aren't quite in the mainstream . . . Thank you for the inside look and congrats on all your success!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was great to have stories to distract me when I could barely leave the house for all those years. Still settling into my new routine now that I can do stuff again!

      Delete
  38. Well, I am back home and my comments showed as replies, right under each person's comments but on the PC they show at the end or separate. Sorry about that where I didn't tag people's names!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Welcome back, Carrie -- that was fast, girlfriend!! Now you need a nap!! But somehow, I don't see you doing a lot of napping ... ;)

    MARY SAID: "These are all romances and I think part of editing them into a series, I might make them all old Army buddies from Texas. A few of them cops, maybe Texas rangers. But one's a veterinarian and it'd be hard to change that, but he could still be old friends with them."

    What a great idea, Mare, to turn those five books on your computer into a series along the vein of Ten Plagues! However, you are one gal who has the least spare time of almost anyone I know between family commitments/functions and a gazillion contracts, but somehow I think you could do it. :) Uh, if you set aside a few novellas, that is ... ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  40. Carrie, thanks for an informative post. Great input concerning indie vs traditional. Nice that writers have options these days. And, yes, I remember SASEs. I sent a manuscript to my editor Monday, an hour before close of business. I was musing that day about how grateful I was to be able to send it electronically. Wasn't long ago when I'd have to print out the pages and race to the UPS center and pay more than I wanted for the manuscript to arrive on the due date. WHEW! We've come a long way, and I'm so glad! :)

    Rejoicing that your RA is better controlled and that you can now walk! Prayers covering you today! Sorry you're under the weather!

    Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Loved hearing your thoughts on being a hybrid author!
    I'm an indie author trying to break into traditional publishing with my second novel and it has been quite a journey thus far. A lot of learning, waiting--but so much grace. God is good. And I can't wait to see what He does.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I have Doc Martin on Netflix, am in the recliner, and trying to follow doctor's orders. She didn't say anything about naps! And I got a little shocker when I realized a contract I thought was due in November is due October. ACK!

    ReplyDelete
  43. First, I love Mary's contemps and I hope she gets the time to self-pub them at some point. They're wonderful. Just enough snark and snipe and story to make you laugh while you cheer for the hero and heroine to survive... Like "Jewel of the Nile" type romantic comedy suspense with cop-like heroes.

    Second, YOU ARE ROCKING THIS TODAY, CARRIE!!!

    I am sorry you're not well, and sending hugs your way.

    I'm snarky.

    It's about 93 degrees and 97% humidity and I'm feeling less than nice.

    I am a grouchy old bear in the heat.

    BUT.... I've got a bunch of kids underfoot and I'm being nice to them. So there's that. :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. DEBBY, hi! thanks for your kind words. I was just thinking the other day about how much technology has speeded things up and eased the writing submission process up for sure. THANKS for those prayers!!!

    ReplyDelete
  45. MEGHAN, I really think hybrid is the way for many. For those blessed with a plethora of traditional contracts, I don't see the additional of Indie, for hybrid, to necessarily be a good plan. But for newer authors like us, this hybrid approach can be beneficial. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Interesting post, Carrie. I have to say that all the new possibilities seem confusing. Are self-publishing and indie publishing interchangeable terms or is there considered a difference. Self-publishing has always had a negative connotation to me because it has seemed like it is what people do when they can't get a book published otherwise, usually because they really aren't a writer. My book group recently read a really badly written novel that had been self-published. Someone in our group heard it advertised (by the author) on a Christian radio program and thought it sounded interesting. The story line was great, but the author apparently had no idea how to write and never studied the craft. However, the indie publishing you guys all do seems different to me because you are really writers and still publish a good book.

    I can't see myself trying indie publishing because of the cost. How much on average does an author generally pay for a print book in indie publishing? It doesn't bother me to read one if written by an established author but I am going to be very careful in the future about reading a non-established author's indie work. (Seriously, that book I mentioned was excruciating to get through!)

    Hope you feel better soon Carrie.

    ReplyDelete
  47. RUTH, I haven't read Mary's yet to be published stories but that collection sounds awesome! I wonder if someone would help her get them out there as Indies but there are still so many things you have to do to promote an Indie collection and Mary is already super busy. It's such a balance, isn't it?

    93 and 97% humidity in NEW YORK state?~!!! Yikes! I hope your AC is working well. I've been out of sorts since getting back from Michigan and the gorgeous weather we had there but maybe it's just this sickness making me also feel like a grouchy old bear!

    Hugs and blessings to you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Congratulations Tina on being an award finalist!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi Julie:

    I think we may differ on what constitutes "the real romance action". I was referring to the wedding and the period of adjustment that comes afterwards. That way you can avoid the whole 'boy meets girl', 'courtship', 'black moment', kabuki dance and discover what happens on the other side of the HEA. I think this is why 'Marriage of Convenience' may be the most popular romance theme.

    Of course, there are those who like the 'kabuki dance' -- which is a good thing for traditional and Indie publishers.

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
  50. Carrie, thanks for sharing about the choices an author has to get their books published. I enjoyed your little "Wild, Wild West" descriptions.

    As a reader it is good to see what goes into publishing a novella and/or book. This glimpse gave me a better understanding of what authors go through to get their stories out to the readers. I appreciate your (authors) hard work and dedication and enjoy reading your books once published. I don't think I can tell much difference in the types of publishing, either Indie or traditional, but I am sure there may be.

    Blessings,Tina
    ....I am not entering the contest...



    ReplyDelete
  51. Carrie, so good to have you visit Seekerville with a great Wild West post! It's fun to *see* you in many places. With hybrid publishing, it sounds like you are in the right spot. I'm thankful there are these choices for writers. You have been quite busy, so hope you get a bit of rest before riding into the adventures again. Blessings to you for the upcoming CFRR!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hi SANDY! I think you can find poorly-written fiction in both camps. Indie publishing has replaced the term self-publishing and years ago what you said was true. But as the recent Publishers Weekly points out that most of the current bestsellers on Amazon are Indie. Best wishes with your writing!

    ReplyDelete
  53. TINA! So great to see you here! Yes, there are all kinds of contortions we must do in the Wild Wild West of Hybrid Publishing to get our books out there and into the hands of readers! God bless you for being a faithful reader and reviewer! We're so delighted to have you with us on the Colonial Quills blog! Awesome meeting you in person finally! Hugs!!!

    ReplyDelete
  54. SHERIDA, I am thankful too that we now have more choices in getting our stories out there to readers. I have deadlines this autumn so there won't be much rest before I have to dust off my cowgirl hat and get back on my horse lol! I'm excited about being at CFRR!!! Looking forward to seeing you!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi Carrie Welcome to Seekerville and thank you for such an informative post on indie vs traditional publishing. I've done both and there are definitely advantages and disadvantages to both. I think you need to take all factors into account and decide what works best for you. I love the marketing and distribution of traditional publishing. But I love the swiftness and checks in direct in the bank account of indie publishing. I don't like the limiting restrictions of traditional and I hate the marketing needed for the indie.


    So you see, I'm happiest when I have a bit of both. smile

    I like to write. So I do whatever it takes.

    Thanks again for joining us. Have fun today.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Carrie. welcome! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I've been a hybrid author with novels traditionally published and novellas indie pubbed. I've loved aspects of both!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Ooh, I'm sorry for the contract confusion! Hope you're able to make up that month!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hi SANDRA! You really nailed it succinctly! Those are the good and bad points of each!

    Thanks for the warm welcome! I'm of the same thought about enjoying writing and you have to do what it takes.
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hi MISSY! Thanks! Great aspects with both, I agree! PTL the contract is the date I originally thought. PHEW!!! Susan Page Davis was on the phone with me and checked the date for me, thank goodness! So I can breathe again lol!

    ReplyDelete
  60. I'm an indie author with a dream to go traditional. One problems with indie books is that I feel like you have to be all over Facebook and Twitter and stuff in order to sell anything, but I don't do any social media except this blog, if it counts. But the freedom to write my quirky stories and not have people (besides my family) telling me they need to be changed this way and that is almost worth it. Still wish I could traditionally publish something though.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Carrie, your post was filled with helpful guidance. Thank you for taking the time to write for us. You're so enthusiastic about being hybrid that it's obviously perfect for you. I wonder how often writers go from straight indy to traditional? In general, do traditional publishers care if a new author has already gone indy?

    Tina, Congratulations! You are my contest guru!

    And Ruth when I read your comment about the weather, I'd just crawled in from driving the tractor. The sweat that covered me from head to toe said I had your temps beaten - but not. We're only at 92 degrees and 55% humidity. I hope your grandkids are inside playing quietly!

    ReplyDelete
  62. Carrie, so glad you don't need to panic. I don't like to panic! :) Bet you don't either. Deadlines are always on our minds, aren't they? We're always on the job, so to speak. :)

    Stress is never good, especially when dealing with a chronic illness. Take care of yourself.

    Continued prayers as you meet your OCT deadline. :)

    ReplyDelete
  63. Hi BOO! Great nickname! All that promo does take up time and needs to be done if you are putting out Indie titles. But as you point out, you do give over some control to the publisher if you go with a traditional contract. Best wishes!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi BARBARA, You asked, "I wonder how often writers go from straight indy to traditional? In general, do traditional publishers care if a new author has already gone indy?" I don't know but I suspect it isn't so common. I was traditionally published first with a large company (Guidepost Books) and also with a small press (who I subsequently got rights back from) before I tried Indie. You should ask your agent. I also suspect that publishers might be more concerned as to whether you can sell books, work well with editors and peers, produce a quality product in a reasonably quick amount of time, and are willing to promote your books rather than hiding in a writing cave. That's my guess. You can't really show that you can do that unless you go ahead and get your books out there, though, which is why some folks choose to Indie publish and go hybrid!

    ReplyDelete
  65. DEBBY it turned out it is November not October, but I should be aiming for earlier anyway, since this is a group project of a collection at a single location. I've been avoiding thinking about deadlines while I was out of state doing book signings and library presentations in Michigan, and researching, and searching out possible settings for next year's signings and presentations (all that helped me avoid thinking about looming deadlines.) I had galleys to complete in there too and no WIFI or internet where I was. Stress. . .

    ReplyDelete
  66. Terrific article, CARRIE! I know you work hard and long hours. I'm always amazed at your accomplishments but I shouldn't be. The Lord has his hand on you and your writing! Always a pleasure to read your stories. And the cover for Marquise is outstanding!!!! Love you much, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  67. Hi ANNE.ANN!!! I pray you got moved into your house ok! Thanks for your kind words! God has been so good to me! I give Him any credit I receive! Love and hugs, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  68. SANDY ASKED: "I can't see myself trying indie publishing because of the cost. How much on average does an author generally pay for a print book in indie publishing?"

    As far as price for a print book, I pay about $135 for a cover and $85.00 for formatting, which you can do yourself if you're industrious enough. The big cost for Indies comes with hiring an editor/proofreader, which I think is essential. That cost can run you anywhere from $500 to $1200 or more for a novel. To Indie pub on CreateSpace costs you absolutely nothing if you don't have them do the cover, formatting, and editing

    If you think you can recoup those expenses, then Indie pub is a good way to go.

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  69. Carrie, that's a huge relief! That would've been a panic moment for sure. :)

    ReplyDelete
  70. The thing that struck me in this post is that, when you're doing indie publishing, you need more beta readers. Hadn't thought about it that way, but that does make sense.

    ReplyDelete
  71. JULIE and SANDY, those costs for Indie publishin can vary dramatically. There are some authors who want a fantastic cover from a well-known cover artist and pay over $1000. I think they are the exception but people sometimes do this. Editing also varies wildly. I've had a full novel edited for only several hundred (very low end) to an offer to edit by a top freelance editor of over $4000.

    ReplyDelete
  72. WALT, there are a number of authors who do not use any Beta readers or even critique partners. I prefer to have critique partner plus Beta readers plus the editor. But I'm unfortunately without critique partner right now. So even for my traditionally published books I have a freelance editor friend (PTL!) who stepped into the gap and who crits/edits and I pay her, plus the house editor also goes over the manuscript.

    ReplyDelete
  73. MISSY, Yes, I did have a moment of panic but I figured if that was the case then God would have to get me through it because I for sure and for certain couldn't get it done by then and "clean" without Him intervening!

    ReplyDelete
  74. Carrie, I enjoyed your interview and am so happy for you and your writing success!! I'm always amazed at your accomplishments, knowing your health issues - yet know it is God Who gives you the strength.

    I've enjoyed a lot of books that are Indie published. If they are done correctly, I see no difference between Indie and traditionally published. Unfortunately, I've read some Indie published books that weren't - nothing turns me off for an author's writing more quickly than a book that hasn't been well edited/proofed and contains lots of errors. It's a huge distraction that prevents my enjoying the book - no matter how wonderful the writing, characters, and storyline.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Hi, Carrie! Loved your blog post.

    I'm an Indie and have been for almost six years. The creative freedom it has given me is something I cherish. I've wondered if I had an opportunity to traditionally publish, if I'd even do it at this point in my life. I rather enjoy being in charge!

    As for your journey, just keep writing.

    Gid bless!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Hi BONNIE! I have seen that too. There are people in such a rush that they don't learn the craft much less bother to have their work edited. It takes years to hone your writing before it is ready for public consumption IMHO. And even then you need an editor.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hi Ruth! A lot of Indies say that. And they would rather have the creative freedom to sell hundreds or thousands of copies vs. tens of thousands with a traditional publisher, depending on their distribution. With hybrid you could have both and I think each helps the other in different ways. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hi Carrie,

    I'm so sorry for the very late post.

    I haven't traditionally published yet, but my memoir, coming out in late November, is being published by a well-known "self publishing" company. All I can say is "Buyer, beware!" Make sure you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what the upfront money you pay covers and what it doesn't cover. And read between the lines. At least six times.

    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Hi Carrie! I think it is essential to have some good editors if you are going to indie publish. My brain picks up on spelling errors, wrong use of words (passed vs. past, etc.), punctuation errors, and other editing problems. If there are many errors, it disrupts my concentration on the story. A good editor is crucial, and I think it would be great to find a few other people who are good at proofing to read through a book ahead of publishing time to catch additional mistakes. I've read some books that are wonderful stories, but there are so many errors that it is distracting.

    ReplyDelete
  80. UH OH EDWINA, I bet I can guess who is publishing your memoir. Sorry to hear that. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  81. WINNIE, sadly, even with traditional publishers every mistake can't always be caught. But I know what you mean. An excellent editor makes all the difference for sure! Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  82. I am a reader only, but I'm enjoying reading all the comments from the writers.
    I have downloaded quite a few free books over the years for my Kindle, and I do notice the need for better editing in some of them! Some mistakes it's just hard to overlook.
    Please throw my name in the hat for one of your books

    ReplyDelete