Friday, October 7, 2011

Way WAY Out of the Zone

Did you feel it?

In the last year or so, there’s been a cataclysmic shift in the world of publishing. Ereaders and electronic publishing have opened up a whole new world. Writers are taking advantage of these new options to bring their stories directly to readers without jumping through the restrictive hoops of traditional publishers. Plus, both readers and writers are embracing lower prices and higher royalty rates.

I like to think of myself as a fairly flexible person, one who is open to new and different ideas. However, I found myself openly resisting the electronic publishing and reading revolution. To me, there is nothing quite like the experience of holding a book in my hands. I love flipping the pages, the weight of it, the smoothness of the paper. Reading is a multi-senses experience for me that an electronic format simply could not duplicate. Then two things happened to change my mind.

First, two of my best friends received Kindles as Christmas gifts. When I heard the news from both of them, I thought, “What a waste!” These two women were just like me, die-hard book readers. But they both tried and loved their Kindles. In fact, neither of them has bought a print book since receiving their Kindle!

What the heck?!?! I thought. There might really be something to this e-book craze…

Then the second thing happened and made a believer out of me. On March 7th, either my publisher or Amazon (I was never told which) decided to offer the electronic version of my debut novel The Wild Sight free for one week. I wasn’t even aware of this promotion until I received a notice that The Wild Sight was #1 in the overall Kindle Top 100 of Free Reads. It was also #1 on the Amazon UK Top 100 of Free Reads.

In other words, thousands of readers were downloading my book! More than all the other “free” books (both fiction and non-fiction) offered on Amazon and Amazon UK! My work suddenly had thousands of new readers, a huge audience I never expected. Best of all, when the ‘free’ week ended, The Wild Sight continued to stay in the Kindle Top 100 Paid Sales for another two weeks. Plus, sales of my other two books, The Treasures of Venice and The Wild Irish Sea also surged. The latter even made it into the Top 100 for Romantic Suspense. Honestly, you could have knocked me over with a feather; I was so surprised by the sudden flurry.

Coincidentally, The Wild Sight hitting #1 happened just as I received my latest round of agent rejections. I would hope agents know which books and authors are hitting those Top 100 lists, but apparently it didn’t matter. None of them mentioned representing my new work, at least none that I queried. Since I had sworn I would not sign another publishing contract without an agent to help negotiate the terms, I started to investigate self-publishing electronically. I debated with myself for a long time on how I should go about it, and which of my works to use for this ‘experiment.’

Finally, I decided if I was going to step out of my comfort zone, I might as well step way, WAY out! Several months ago, I started posting hunks of a story strictly as a bonus for the members of my newsletter group. This dark and somewhat foreboding fairy tale about a tortured young girl and the wicked fae princess she must out wit, was kind of a prequel to The Wild Sight, but it was not a romance nor even a novel. Nevertheless, my newsletter readers liked it and I did too, so I polished it up with the intent of making this 14,000 word novelette my first foray into the self-publishing world.

I am thrilled to announce that The Sidhe Princess is now available on Amazon--after a lot more time and work than I expected. 

To do self-pubbing thing right, it's a helluva lot of work! But my philosophy is: if you want your work to be treated the same as a traditionally published book, you have to treat it as if it were.

 I am way, WAY out of my comfort zone and I hope readers will join me!


In the rural Northern Ireland of the 1960s, sixteen-year-old Moira Mullins is newly released from her second stay in a mental institution. Her problem is that she can’t seem to escape the notice of the other-worldly inhabitants of the wild lands bordering her family’s farm. Creatures nobody else can see or hear.

When one of these beings, a fairy princess called the Maid of Ulster, offers to foretell the future, Moira jumps at the chance. But the Maid has ulterior motives that could have tragic results for Moira, who learns the future is sometimes better unknown. EXCERPT

BUY: Amazon

Please help me celebrate the release of my novelette today. There’s plenty of cyber-champagne and chocolate, and maybe even a few of the cabana boys from the Romance Bandit Lair! I’ll even give away a $10 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky commenter.

  • When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?
  • What did you do and how did it turn out? Would you do it again?

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy
A long-time reader of romances, Cindy discovered and joined Romance Writers of America in 2001. But her stressful career as the manager of a multi-million dollar State and Federally funded program prevented her from doing much writing or traveling. She still managed to squeeze in a little of both, but not enough of either to be truly satisfying. Finally, at the end of 2003 she decided to take an early retirement from her career to fully pursue her twin passions of travel and writing. Cindy likes to set her novels of romance and suspense in some of the fascinating places she has visited.

You can visit her on Facebook and her Website 


~Sia McKye~ said...

Aunty C, Congratulations on The Sidhe Princess!

We're throwing a party here Over Coffee just for you!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

WOO HOO!!! Thanx SO MUCH, Sia!

I'm THRILLED to be able to celebrate my newest release and first step into the self-pubbing world here on Over Coffee.

Bring on the champagne and chocolate!


Virna DePaul said...

Cindy, Congratulations!!! I love your post and your cover is absolutely beautiful. Wishing you much success!

Nancy said...

Cindy, I love your work and am so looking forward to Sidhe Princess!

The dh gave me an iPad for Christmas, explaining that one of us had to join the 21st century and he didn't want to. I had no idea what I'd use it for, but it has been very handy. It's much easier to carry around than a laptop and went through Dragon*Con in my backpack. I could stop in any WiFi hotspot and check email.

I've also discovered the joys of e-reading and the virtual TBR pile! However, I do still buy paper books. After having a hurricane knock out our power for two weeks, I want books around I can read without having to recharge anything. And I like the tactile experience of an actual book.

Tonya Kappes said...

Whoo hoo! Congrats, Cindy for stepping out of your comfort zone and taking your career by the horns! Cheers!

Dee Brice said...

Wishing you much success! You deserve it.
Dee Brice

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Cindy! Love the cover of your new novella!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Isn't it gorgeous, Brenda? I'm impressed with all the hard work Cindy has put into this and her professional standards.

Thanks for stopping by!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And I haven't purchased a print book since I got my iPad.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Morning all!
(Aunty rubs sleep from her eyes)
BIG THANX for joining me to celebrat my new release! Never fear, I've brought a big supply of Sven's special mimosas from the Lair. DRINK UP! ;-)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

((HUGS!)) to Aunty's chaptermate! I really appreciate you dropping by!

I must say, of all my covers, I LURVE this one most! It was done by another chaptermate of ours, the lovely and talented Kim Van Meter. She is DA BOMB!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Nancy, thanx SOO MUCH for dropping over from the Lair so early!
I know we all have a LOT to do over there preparing for our Tricks & Treats and BIG SURPRISE on Oct. 14th!

LOL over your DH saying he didn't want to join the 21st Century. I AGREE! I still REFUSE to get a cell phone! I know, I know, I'm probably the last person in California over the age of 5 who doesn't have one.

I do LOVE the look of the iPad however, and the idea that it's light and easy to carry is very appealing. I MUST have my internet connection. ;-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanx for the shout out! I appreciate your vote of confidence as I'm still a wee bit nervous about this whole thing.

Have a mimosa, m'dear! And OOOO, Nancy brought some chocolate cupcakes. You MUST try one!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Dee!!
(Aunty waves MADLY at another lovely chaptermate!)

Can't thank you enough for all your support of me and my books! You're THE BEST!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

((HUGS)) I really appreciate you taking time to drop by. I also can't thank you enough for the WONDERFUL cover quote you gave me for Treasures of Venice! YOU are the real treasure, m'dear. ;-)

And yes, Kim did a SUPER job on my cover! I may have to make a few print copies of the novelette just so I can see a paper version of the cover.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanx again for hosting me, Sia!

Have another mimosa! Don't worry, they're virtual so no after-effects!

This self-publishing experiment (as I've been calling it) has been a lot more work than anticipated. But I wanted my readers to have the same high quality read as my previous work. I've come to realize that the GOOD NEWS about self-publishing is: you do everything yourself. The BAD NEWS is: you do everything yourself! LOL!

If anyone would like to see more of Kim's great cover art, here's a link:


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanx for dropping by Alex!

And another vote for e-books. I am amazed at how many avid book readers are loving their e-readers!

But I'm like Nancy, I do love that tactile experience of a printed book. Still... I'm hoping Santa will bring me a Kindle for Xmas. :-)


~Sia McKye~ said...

Aunty, you're way too cheerful this morning. I woke up in a Neanderthal mode this morning. I was okay after about 30 minutes and a lovely cup of strong darkroast coffee and a walk with the dog. I also had my bitty babies (9 wk old kittens)following me. I looked back to see 6 tiny tails aloft, and followed by their 3 big brothers. Can't stay grumpy when you see a sight like that. :-)

I like your excerpt--I need to read this book. I warn ya, I'll read it and then be bugging you to give me a new one to read, lolol!

I didn't know Kim did your cover. Wow, multi talented lady!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Sia,
6 tiny kitty tails sounds TOO CUTE! Nope, can't stay grumpy in the midst of that.

Thanx for your kind words about The Sidhe Princess. Like I said, different from my usual writing so I'm NERVOUS.

As for a new read, I HOPE to have a new romantic suspense novel available before Christmas. This one will be the first in a new series. More info to follow... ;-)


Kat Sheridan said...

Cabana boys? Champagne? Fun stuff to read? Oh yeah, I'm all OVER that! Congrats on the release and with taking your writing life into your own hands!

~Sia McKye~ said...

The Lair's cabana boys are always delectable, Kat.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Aunty, if you weren't nervous you'd be a robot. Aren't all authors nervous when their new book hits the sales rack? Everyone I know has been.

Are you getting this up on Smashwords too? If not, you should look into that. Just sayin'

Must dash off for awhile and do some chores outside in the sunshine.

flchen1 said...

Woot, AC! Congrats on The Sidhe Princess--can't wait to pick it up! As for comfort zones, I tend to stay in them I admit... I'm currently being shoved out of mine--we're moving, and my pack-ratty self is shrieking as we're sorting and packing 12+ years worth of stuff. *sigh* ;) I know it'll be good on the other end, but the journey is a little rough at the moment :) Happy times on the self-publishing, AC!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

ALL RIGHY! One mimosa and one cabana boy for Kat! ;-)

Sia's right, our cabana boys ARE delectable. Aunty should know since she personally picks all of them! LOL!

Seriously, taking complete control of my writing career has been a wee bit intimidating. But exhilarating too!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

OOPS! No more mimosas for me. That should have been ALL RIGHTY! (hic)

Sia, I'm working on the SmashWords upload even as we party! It takes about two weeks, but then Sidhe Princess will be available in multiple e-formats.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Fedora!

Glad you could drop by. Moving?!?! ACK!! I do NOT envy you. I'd love to get a new place, but the thought of packing up this one sends me into a cold sweat.

Hope you enjoy Sidhe Princess (that is pronounced SHEE by the way, as in banshee). Sometimes it's FUN to step out of the old comfort zone.


Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Waving Auntie Cindy. I just downloaded Sidhe Princess and can't wait to read it. I was one of those who fought those doggone ereaders, but just love mine, especially at night when my eyes are tired. It makes it easier for me to read later in the quiet.

I suppose sending my stories out to contests have been stepping out of my comfort zone. I know somebody who is going to not be happy with me because I haven't entered the GH yet. :( Now that I am off pain pills and my head is clearing, I suppose I will make that step one more time. :)

You know I send my best wishes to you for a lot of sales. We love your voice and your stories. Hugs!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hello Paisley Darlin!

Oh My GOSH! I better run over to Amazon right now to see if Sidhe Princess is listed!

I'm very proud of you for stepping out and entering those contest! It was uncomfortable for me too! Just like putting my work out there for readers...

Glad your knee is feeling better and HUGS, for all your support!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

WOO HOO!!! Sidhe Princess is UP ON AMAZON!!

Here's the link to the page:

Please check it out and "like" it! ;-)


Anna Campbell said...

Hey, it's Sia and AC! That's always a party. AC, HUGE congratulations on the release of the Sidhe Princess. I love stories based on mythology and this one sounds like a doozy. And congratulations too to you on stepping outside your comfort zone and keeping your wonderful stories in front of readers. Hope TSP whizzes out of Amazon and onto Kindles everywhere!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey AC -

Congrats on the new release. I LOVE the cover. Like Nancy, I'm exploring the world of ebooks now that I can download to my ipad. My big problem now is that when I'm reading and discover something on the screen that needs to be swatted away - I'm suddenly advanced several pages in the book! LOL. Reading on the ipad requires a new set of reading skills.

As for stepping out of my comfort zone, I seem to be doing that more and more especially in technology areas. But what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger - I hope.

Laila Knight said...

Congratulations! I was a die hard against ereaders too, but we have to get with the times. And Sidhe Princess sounds like a wonderful book. :) I wish you luck.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Fo!
Thanx for stopping by from the Bandit Lair! And THANX for the reTweet! Sheesh! I'm still trying to figure Twitter out. :-P

I really hope readers will enjoy this dark little tale. It was fun to write, if a bit scary. ;-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Donna!
(Aunty waves madly at another Bandita)
Sister of my techno-challenged self! I kept doing the exact same thing yesterday when I was trying to proofread the converted file. OOPS!

I hope you're right about getting stronger! ;-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanks for popping by Laila and I can always use all the luck I can get!

There's another vote for ereaders. I guess I will have to get with the times... eventually. STILL not getting a cell phone, however. NOT NOT NOT! ;-)


~Sia McKye~ said...

Anna, It's good to see you! I really do need to get you back to Over Coffee.

For those of you who may not know it, Anna was one of my first topics for Over Coffee and name recognition. Gosh that was waaay back before Captive of Sin. She was a big encouragement to me.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Aunty, I check the books availability early this morning and set the buy link. Looks pretty good up there on Amazon. The excerpt is good too.

What is wrong with a cell phone (they're great to have wihen traveling or having to deal with hotel extras charges to use their phones--just sayin')? Didn't I hear this refrain regarding kindle? lol!

Honestly, I love my kindle. I won't say I don't buy paperbacks, but majority of my book buying has been for the kindle. I love the instant gratification.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Hi to all the banditas. Hugs to you all. Love seeing your icons popping up. We promise to give back the cabana boys when we're... um done with them.

Becke Davis said...

Yay! I'm so excited to read your new novella! Question - is it going to be available on Nook, too?

~Sia McKye~ said...

Becke, Cindy's loading on Smashwords today and she said it would be a couple of weeks before it's listed there. You can download it from Smashwords to Nook and other e-readers.

Becke Davis said...

Thanks, Sia!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Becke!

Thanx so much for stopping by! Yup, what Sia said. SmashWords takes a couple of weeks so I put it on Kindle directly. Patience has never been one of my virtues. ;-)

Have some champagne! Have a cabana boy! TAKE TWO!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

LOL Sia!
I guess I'm holding out on getting a cell phone because too many people are FLAT OUT RUDE when using them! I swear, even in a public toilet, I hear people talking on them! WHAT is so very IMPORTANT?!?!

And it is illegal here in California to use one (other than hands free headsets) while driving, but people still do it ALL THE TIME! How did we SURVIVE without being on the phone every waking minute? Very well, thank you! ;-)


~Sia McKye~ said...

Oh, I know Cindy. I'm not a fan of rudeness regardless of the medium. Chatting in movie theatres is rude. I didn't pay $12 to hear your conversation or your phone ring every 5 minutes. Bathrooms and restaurants, chatting about the hot sex you had the night before or some disgusting personal matter, loudly, is rude. You come into a public place, for god sake turn off the ringer.

I'm not a fan of being constantly accessible and if I'm busy, I don't answer--simple as that. That's why they have voice mail. But it has been a lifesaver on trips. I like the convenience but on my terms. lol!

Jo said...

OK I just picked up your book on Amazon to read on my

Jo said...

Sorry - I just picked up your book for my Kindle.

Its illegal here too to be on the phone when you drive.They got very tough on it recently. Lot of people fined.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Jo, thank you so much for buying Sidhe Princess! I hope you enjoy the story and if so, that you will leave me a review.

BTW, anyone who wants their Kindle books autographed, I'm on Kindlegraph and can do that for you. :-) Such a KEWL little feature.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thank you sooo much, Sia for hosting my Launch Party! You are THE BEST!!!

And BIG THANX to everyone who came on to comment for your support. I appreciate it more than I can say!


Anonymous said...

Hello there, how are you?? I hope you are well.
I'm just taking time to drop in from Alex's blog hop. Great to "meet" you! *Waving* I'm a new follower.
Hugs Eve.

Marie Force said...

Congrats on the new book, Cindy! The last time I stepped outside my comfort zone was a year ago when I self-published my first book. Best thing I ever did! Hope it's the same for you!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Eve, good to see you here. Alex has a cool blog too. Thank you for the follow! Have a great weekend!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Marie, you've done quite well with your series. Like Cindy, you've taken the time to create professional quality books and I love the covers. Kudos for all your hard work!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

How do we go about getting your Kindle signature, Aunty Cindy. I think I need one. :)

Caren Crane said...

Aunty Cindy, I have downloaded "The Sidhe Princess" and am so excited to read it! I loved "The Wild Sight" and am excited by the buzz I read that this is like a prequel to that book. I'm extra-excited that I get to read it on my Kindle. I was a bit skeptical about e-readers until I borrowed a friend's Kindle to read a book she only had in that format. I loved it! I am so enthralled with my Kindle it's a little embarrassing. :) I still love print books, but the Kindle let's me indulge in instant gratification!

Sia, thanks so much for hosting our lovely Aunty here at your place. Come visit us in the Lair at Romance Bandits!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Hey, Caren! It's been forever since I've talked to you. You're so lucky to be a Bandit. I wanna be one, 'cept I haven't finaled in a GH, darn it.

I love my kindle too.

For sure I'll make it a point to visit the Lair more often!

Ciara said...

It's funny how much the e-reader has changed to publishing game. Congratulations on the new release. It does take a lot of work to pull off a good quality self-published book.