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.
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
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.