Tag Archives: Indie Thursday

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/.

 

Dollar Sign Dilemma

Dollar Sign imageMost of us would rather admit to how much we weigh or the details of our sex lives than come honestly clean about how much money we do or do not make. In this case how much we do or do not make as Indie Authors.

I’ll admit this much. Our accountant wants to reduce my writing efforts to hobby status. On top of that my 2015 tax statement from Amazon wouldn’t cover my stamp budget and I hardly ever use anything but email.

PLUS yesterday a sister Indie was complaining she only makes a few hundred dollars a month on one of her titles – one of several making money. In other words she could pay what’s now my rent and used to be my mortgage with her earnings. I can’t use those same words about myself.

So – how does the Besotted-with-Indie side of me explain this to the Hardnosed-Business-Gal side of me?

First of course there’s the reality check consideration. I only have three Indie titles published. My previous traditionally published titles don’t count even though they’re out there in bright red Harlequin Intrigue splendor. Only my Indies count toward productivity calculation.

When I was originally thinking about the Indie route possibility the popular wisdom was you must have three to five titles out before you start getting noticed. What I hear now is five to ten titles. So I obviously have a distance to go before I count myself out as a selling author.

Second reality check. I’m not a fast writer. It took me a year to publish those three titles in my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense series. When it comes to waiting for a real payday to happen I’d better not hold my breath even though blue is my color.

That’s really all I’ve got for Hardnosed Business Gal. She has to kick Besotted with Indie in the butt to write faster. My money in that gamble – what I can scrape together – is on Not-Going-to-Happen across the board. I manage what I can manage when I can manage it. That’s all.

I guess it’s time to stop bristling when the accountant mentions hobby status. I’m retired after all. Several times retired actually from several ventures where I was searching for tax write-offs rather than taxable income.

Maybe I should be thankful for that. Maybe I ought to stop dancing the I-Think-I-Should-Quit-Writing Mambo every time I hear somebody talking dollar signs. Maybe it’s time to shut up and pray that when I finally have ten titles out the discoverability number won’t have risen to fifteen.

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/.

I Think I’ll Go Indie

Indie Spirit 1Sometimes I remember that title as my decision process. Think it. Do it. Done. But of course it wasn’t. The seeds were planted – the deep planting anyway – at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. I was there to present a workshop called The Art of Agent Stalking. Nothing Independent Publishing about it. Traditional Pub all the way.

I was watching the Indie movement for sure but from a poolside seat without as much as a toenail near the water. I was a curious onlooker. Nothing more. However before I even reached the convention hotel my toes and my attitude had begun to shift.

The airport shuttle van was packed with authors and guess what they were talking about. Indie Publishing. Some wanted to know more about making the leap. Some were thinking of making the leap. Some had made the leap and spoke of what had happened to them.

I mostly listened. Especially to the story of an author who’d long written for the same imprint I’d published with in the past. It didn’t take long for someone to ask her about money. She answered that her Indie earnings were approaching her Trad earnings and others said the same.

Those stories got everyone’s attention including mine. But they weren’t what impressed me most about the author themselves. What impressed me most was their enthusiasm. I’d been in writing and publishing for years by then as editor/agent/published author attending many writers’ events.

But I had never heard published authors – who were beyond the first euphoric blush of their careers – positively excited as these authors were about being Indie Pubbed. By the time we reached the conference hotel I understood why.

They had retrieved their writer selfhood from the control and manipulation of others. They owned their work. They owned their decision-making. They owned their careers. And they not only felt empowered – they were overjoyed.

During the next several days in one extraordinary session after another I learned the downside of the Indie life as well as the up. With total control comes total responsibility. The buck stops with the Indie writer and often the other kind of buck – the green one – doesn’t stop with her anywhere often enough.

I heard that. I comprehended it. Most of all I appreciated it. Whatever choice I made would be an informed choice not an emotional one. Or so I thought.

The truth on the other hand was that by the time I took the hotel van back to the airport I’d made a decision that was very much about emotion. I longed to experience the enthusiasm and – I barely dared imagine it – the happiness of those authors in that earlier van.

I wanted to be a full adult fully in charge of my own work life. I’d had that experience as a literary agent. I wanted it again as an author. One Indie memoir and three Indie fiction books later I very occasionally second guess my choice and only when the money issue arises.

I do not make as many of the green bucks as I did in my Trad Pub years. Not yet anyway. But I’m more content with what I do and how I go about doing it than I ever was back then. So – for now and I hope for a long time to come – I think I’ll stay Indie.

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/.