Category Archives: Indie Pub

Stars in the Dark – Happy Indie Author Day @aliceorrbooks #MFRW_org #asmsg #IAN1

Celebration image 7I’m late for the July 1st Indie Author Day party because, appropriately enough, I’ve been buried under the details of launching my fourth Indie Author novel. A Villain for Vanessa – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 4.

These details constitute a righteous high pile. So much so I’m inspired to mash our July 1st Indie Author Day celebration together with today’s national one. When my husband Jonathan and I sit on the roof tonight watching the Annual Macy’s July 4th Fireworks display, I’ll be dedicating a generous number of those glorious bursts to the authors who struggle with me in the Indie trade.

Fireworks remind me of stars in the dark. Bright enough to thrust through the city light-shield into visibility by the human eye. A massive tonnage of incendiary power is required to make that visibility happen. The candlepower of city lights is a formidable foe. Much like the challenge of continuing to toil in the Indie vineyard, however far short of a profitable harvest we may be.

We must burn bright and launch a lofty arc – with our ARCs and all the rest – if we are to have a realistic hope of being noticed amidst the glare of those other Indie authors whose harvest has already arrived and borne fruit.

Speaking for me, I’m a long way short of a vintage year, and occasionally the road to market feels too far to walk. When I allow myself this discouraging thought, my own past pronouncements come back to haunt me from years of workshop presentations. One pronouncement in particular. “Do It Anyway!”

These three words are the mantra fueling me toward every place I go and through everything I do. I passed my mantra forward, from the podium to the people in front of me. “However difficult the the path may prove to be. However heavy your load of doubt. If you possess a Passion for the Pursuit – Do It Anyway!”

I’ve stumbled into yet another do-it-anyway situation as an Indie author. Maybe you have too. How are we to manage the “Do” part of my admonition?

Here’s how. We will urge each other on. And in the urging we’ll find the strength and motivation for our own Doing. We’ll email one another and Facebook one another and Tweet like the birds holding forth outside my city window now. We’ll recollect that we still own telephones and call one another too. Most important, we will share what we learn.

United – we will stand and press forward, one step then the next. Divided – well, we won’t talk about that because we don’t intend to let it happen. Instead, we will celebrate one another and christen this Indie Author Month. Because a single day is not enough.

On our own – we may feel like stars in the darkness. Together – we are a blinding beautiful light.

Alice Orr – Website. http://www.aliceorrbooks.com/.

Alice’s Amazon Author Page. http://www.amazon.com/Alice-Orr/e/B000APC22E/. Facebook.   http://facebook.com/aliceorrwriter/. Twitter. http://twitter.com/AliceOrrBooks/. Goodreads. http://goodreads.com/aliceorr/. Pinterest. http://pinterest.com/aliceorrwriter/ 

RR

A Villain for Vanessa and my other books are available from Amazon HERE and from most other online book retailers at their websites.

 

Managing Indie Author Expectations

Baby typing imageDaredevil folks say “Danger is my middle name.” My motto is more like “Worry is my middle name. My most recent worry obsession has been what I perceive as my lack of Indie Pub progress.

I work hard at writing my novels and publishing them from my Alice Orr Books company. I have an excellent productivity ethic. My self-discipline standards are high. So why am I not speeding along toward the top of the heap the way I did in previous professional endeavors?

In my past incarnation as a literary agent I employed the same principles I follow now. I figured out exactly what needed to be done and did those things as absolutely right as I possibly could. Which worked like gangbusters on that other work life road. Now – as an independent publisher of my own books – not so much.

I whined about this to another indie author recently. She’s on the gangbusters track for sure. It is true she has a strong background in professional marketing. But I have a strong background in business. Shouldn’t that even us out? Apparently not. “How long have you been doing this?” was her first question.

“I published my first indie novel a year and three months ago.” I’d begun to detect her drift as I said that. I didn’t ask the length of her indie history. I knew she’d been at it for years.

“You’re a baby at this game.” I heard the truth of those words at once and all of a sudden my perspective shifted.

I’m well aware there was a golden opportunity window during which many indie authors were able to grab the brass ring and be pulled to mega sales territory. That was several years ago within about the same timeframe when my wise friend launched her indie career.

I’m also well aware of the deniers who speak out against what they label as negative thinking. “It’s still a wonderful time to indie pub.” They declare this repeatedly and they are right. But they leave out the caveat. That it is not and most likely will never again be those olden golden nearly instant mega sales days.

Here’s the rest of that caveat. It is still a great time to publish our books independently. BUT it will take longer to see positive sales results than in the golden years. AND we will have to work like hell to get there. In other words we’ll have to #1. Figure out exactly what needs to be done. #2. Do those things as absolutely right as we possibly can.

May I add #3? We must perform those essential activities not only as correctly as we can but also for as long as is needed to get us where we want to go. This is the aspect of realistic expectations we have to contemplate thoroughly before deciding whether or not the indie path is for us. Do we possess the wherewithal to keep on jogging for a long run?

I’m hoping I do. I intend to try anyway. I will also take a chew toy along for the tough teething times on this steep learning curve ascent. Meanwhile worrying is premature because I’m just a baby in this indie basket. How about you?

Alice Orrhttp://www.aliceorrbooks.com http://www.facebook.com/aliceorrwriter http://www.twitter.com/AliceOrrBooks 

RR

A Villain for VanessaRiverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 4. Official launch June 17 – is already available here. A Wrong Way Home – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 1 is a FREE eBook at the same site and most other online book retailers.

 

My First Indie-Versary

Anniversary 1 imageIt’s been one year – or will be on February 14th – since I put out my first independently published novel. Twelve months seems too short a time for all that has happened. Especially too short for all I’ve learned.

The most significant thing I learned is I can’t be as independent as Indie sounds. Other authors run the gamut of what it takes to put out a book from start to finish. I admire and salute their fabulousness but I’m not among their number. I need a lot of help.

April Eberhardt tells me I’m what she calls an Assisted Independent Author. In other words I have a team assisting me. The thing I’m most grateful for about this past year is that I was able to find my team and they’re willing to work with me.

My first book was edited by Mary Litchfield Tuel. I’d worked with her before so I know she’s very good. Some huge personal challenges forced her to cut back for a while. But – Hallelujah! – she has put on her editing hat again. Anybody in need of a great editor would be well-served to get in touch with Mary.

Meanwhile I had to push on to a new strategy. A beta reader plus a proofreader. My beta reader is the same guy who did that for me in my traditional publishing days. My handsome hardnosed – when it comes to what does and does not work in a story – husband Jonathan.

My proofreader is another smart head. In fact she’s one of the sharpest people I know. Irene Peterson doesn’t let me get away with anything and – believe me – I try. I attempted to do this part by myself for a while but – although I can spot other people’s errors in their work – apparently I can’t do the same in my own. Thank heaven for Irene.

Another thank you shout goes out to Caridad Pineiro for recommending The Killion Group Inc. They do so much for me. Kim Killion take my ideas and sprinkles them with her mystifying magic to produce the fantastic book covers I’m very proud to have on my work.

Jennifer Jakes – also a Killion Kween – formats my eBooks and my print books and uploads them to their online platforms too. She has also given me enough crucial advice to fill a book all its own. If I were her I think I’d call it Jenn Tells Us When Why and How to Do It Right.

Killion whipped my website into shape as well. The sunrise banner sends exactly the message I want out there about me and my career. “Good Morning Everybody. This is My Brand New Day.” With my book covers added for everyone to see. The three I put out in this sunrise year.

My most recent teamwork leap was into Newsletter Land. I’d have fallen flat on my face if not for Amy L. Heffernan. She takes my copy and makes it beautiful. I was scared to death to try a newsletter. Amy makes it easy-peasy.

What a year! What a lot of work! What a Super Team! I’m thankful and hopeful and full in general – mostly of enthusiasm to start Year Number Two with Book Number Four.

So – do I get a cake with one candle? Yellow cake with chocolate frosting please.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

A Wrong Way Home – Book 1 of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense series – is a FREE eBook at Amazon and other online retailers. All of my books are available at my Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Alice-Orr/e/B000APC22E/.