I’ve wanted to write a series of blog posts about self-publishing for a while but haven’t had time. Now that BOUND is out and I can breathe a little easier between deadlines, I thought this would be the perfect chance to share a little of what I’ve learned about publishing and how the market is changing. Hopefully, some of what I share will be of help to those of you who are looking at your publishing options.
First off, I have to say I am by no means an expert when it comes to self publishing, but I’m happy to pass on what I’ve learned because I had great authors who shared (and continue to share) with me. Authors like Bella Andre, Marie Force, Tina Folsom and Gemma Halliday. What’s fabulous about the industry these days is that authors are willing to help each other. When I started writing everything was hush-hush. You didn’t ask what authors got paid because every publishing house treated their authors differently. Some amazing writers were handed BIG contracts, and some amazing writers got paid next to nothing. It all came down to which authors a publisher wanted to push. When I first told my husband I wanted to seriously pursue my dream of being an author, he said, “Well, what kind of income do authors make?” I answered, “I don’t know. It’s all different. No one talks about money.” He was shocked. “What? How can you not know what to expect?” I just shrugged my shoulders and went back to work on my laptop. He was right to be horrified, of course. Part of the reason authors have been treated as non-essential to publishers for so long is because we never stood up for ourselves. For years authors took crappy contracts all for the “prestige” of saying they were published (and I know this is true because I was one of them). I wrote for four years for traditional publishers and spent more money on marketing and promotion and conference travel than I ever made in profit. Something’s wrong with that. Thanks to self publishing, though, that isn’t the case anymore. Instead of publishers deciding who sinks or swims in this business, readers are now choosing who to support. And authors who write books readers want to buy are the ones who are succeeding. For a determined writer, for someone with book business sense who wants to make a living doing what they love, this is a fantastic time to be an author.
To give you a little background, I began writing in 2003 with the goal of one day becoming a published author. It took me five years to sell to a New York Publisher. When I finally got “the call”, I thought I’d made it. Yeah, the contract wasn’t that great, but I was PUBLISHED. My dream of seeing my name on a book had finally come true. STOLEN FURY was my debut book and released in 2009. It got great reviews and was nominated for two RITA awards in 2010 in both best first book and best romantic suspense. Over the next few years, I wrote four more books for Dorchester–two more romantic suspense books in my Stolen series, then the first two books in my (ongoing) Eternal Guardians series. I did a novella for Kensington which linked back to my Stolen books and could spur a new series. When Dorchester started having problems I moved to Sourcebooks and continued my Eternal Guardians series by writing three more books for them. From a professional standpoint, I was doing great. I had all the accolades of being a published author–my books were on store shelves and in airports, I was getting rave reviews, I was a top seller in romance for Sourcebooks, I even hit the USA Today bestsellers list! But what no one saw was the hard reality: I wasn’t making any money. I was working my ass off for a couple thousand dollars, which I was then spending on promotional materials, conference travel and expenses to write MORE books. In fact, I was spending more money than I was making. It was a vicious cycle, one I kept convincing myself would one day pay off. But the truth is it didn’t change. Not because of traditional publishing, at least. It changed because of self publishing.
In late 2011 I got my rights back on my Dorchester books and wasn’t sure what to do with them. I was continuing my Eternal Guardians series with Sourcebooks, but what about books one and two–MARKED and ENTWINED? I didn’t want to see these books disappear. Sourcebooks was willing to put these books back into print, but for a ridiculously low advance. I wasn’t sure what to do. Luckily, self publishing was just starting to take off, and I’d been watching what my friends were doing. One phone call to Marie Force was all it took to convince me to give it a try. In December 2011, I put MARKED and ENTWINED back up online. Did I know everything about self publishing right away? No. I learned by trial and error. It took me a while to get the metadata right, to play with pricing and to advertise that the books were once again available to readers, but I slowly figured it out. To this day, that was the decision that changed my career in ways I never saw coming. If Sourcebooks had offered me the same advance they were giving me for my other books (which wasn’t much at all) I would have handed those two books over. I would not be writing this post today.
Just after I self published the first two Eternal Guardian books, I also decided to publish another book a few agents had told me would NEVER be published by a NY Publisher. WAIT FOR ME was actually the second book I wrote, but it was the book of my heart–the one I revised over and over every time I learned something new about writing. I never pursued a publisher with this book because I thought those agents had to know what they were talking about. The book straddles genres, it’s not a typical romance, it’s got an amnesia plot! But I loved that book and I wanted readers to love it too. So, when I decided to self pub my backlist books, I took a chance and put it out there.
Then…only a few months into my self publishing venture…I found myself up for contract renegotiation with my publisher. At this point I was just starting to see an income from my self published books. It wasn’t a lot, but it was growing every month, and I was starting to see how exciting it was to have total control. To be able to play with pricing, to be able to advertise how I wanted, to adjust metadata or change covers…it was liberating. And I was getting paid monthly instead of biyearly! That right there was a huge plus. I found myself with a decision to make: keep accepting what would be considered less than minimum wage for my work if I broke down all the time I was spending writing by hour, or take a chance. I chose to take a chance. I decided to continue my Eternal Guardians series on my own. I didn’t announce to readers that I’d left my publisher because the next book in my Eternal Guardians series (ENSLAVED) hadn’t even come out yet, but I told my writer friends. And as my revenue from self publishing continued to grow, I knew I’d made the right decision.
BOUND (Eternal Guardians #6) is the first book in my Eternal Guardians series that is straight-to-Indie published. I know that some readers are frustrated this book is not available in mass market form or on store shelves like the others in the series, but when deciding what to do, I had to take a lot of things into consideration. Book stores are closing, store shelves are shrinking, and my print run between ENRAPTURED and ENSLAVED (only six months!) dropped by 20,000 books. There was no guarantee Wal-Mart (who was the biggest buyer for my print books) was going to pick up the next book in the series, and at 4% royalties (most people don’t realize authors get reduced royalties from sales at Wal-Mart, so at a $4.99 sale price, I make less than 20 cents a book on my Wal-Mart print sales) I couldn’t come up with a valid reason to take a crappy contract JUST to say I was “traditionally” published. Especially when I looked at the fact the MAJORITY of my sales were coming in digital form. If there’s one thing I want readers to understand, it’s that this was not an easy decision for me to make, but at the end of the day I realized that if I wanted to continue writing this series (which I do!), I couldn’t do it for free anymore. It was a business decision, plain and simple. My books are still in print, they’re just not in MM size. And though you can’t casually pick one up in a grocery store, you CAN order them in print version online. My books–my writing–hasn’t changed. All that’s changed is where you can buy the print versions.
And that brings me back to a little book called WAIT FOR ME. The book that most people in the industry consider my “break out book”–the one that pushed me onto the NY Times list–was not a traditionally published book. Remember, I self published WAIT FOR ME in late 2011. Of all my books, it had the most amazing reviews, but it had the least visibility, so one day I decided…what do I have to lose? I made WAIT FOR ME free with the distinct goal of garnering a few more reviews. Readers started downloading it. Incredible reviews began popping up. I was thrilled. Then I took it off free, and because the book had generated buzz, it shot to the top of the paid charts. No one was more surprised than me. The book of my heart, the book no one wanted, catapulted me into a new publishing category. It spent nine weeks on the USA Today list, five weeks on the NY Times list and hit every other bestsellers list out there. My agent has sold numerous foreign rights for this book, it will soon be released in audiobook, and other exciting things are happening for the story (tho I can’t share details just yet.) The bottom line though is simple: if this had been a traditionally published book, it never would have reached the level it has reached. No publisher would have left WAIT FOR ME free for four weeks. No publisher would have GIVEN AWAY 500,000 copies with no promise of making those sales up somewhere in revenue. Because I self-pubbed this book, I had control over it, and I was able to let readers decide what would happen.
Every author has to look at his/her career and decide what is best for them. Self publishing is not for everyone. It’s a lot of work. Since I’ve done both (traditional publishing and self publishing), I see the pros and cons of each. I’m not trying to sway anyone toward self publishing here. I’m very thankful for the years I worked with traditional publishers because during that time, I learned a lot about the industry, about formatting and editing that I now find invaluable information as I self publish. But don’t let a publisher tell you self publishing is “hard”. It’s not hard. It’s more time consuming than anything else. How much time do I spend on publishing versus writing? I will be honest and say that I spend as much time wearing my “publishing” hat during my work day as I do writing, but it doesn’t bother me because I know I get the payout at the end–not someone else. To me, the work is worth the time spent because at the end of the day the profit is all mine. I mentioned before that I spent more money in expenses as a traditionally published author than I took in. (And this was even after hitting the USA Today list with one of my Eternal Guardians books). To give you an idea of how my life has changed since I began self publishing, in 2011 (traditionally published only) I reported a negative income on my taxes. In 2012 (after I began self publishing–and it’s important to note that the majority of my income that year came from self published books, NOT my traditionally published books), I reported six figures. In 2013, we’re projecting I’ll be approaching the seven figure mark. To me, that’s a HUGE difference.
Some authors don’t want to be publishers and that’s ok. If all you want to do is write books–then traditional publishing is for you all the way. But some of us–those of us that have that business savvy and want more control over our careers–can see amazing results through self publishing. Will I ever traditionally publish again? I’m contracted for three books with Montlake (a new RS series that links back to the novella I did for Kensington, with release dates in 2014), but after that…honestly, the contract would have to be enticing enough to draw me away from the income I’m now making. Thanks to self publishing, I have the time to write the books my readers are eager to get their hands on (like the sequel to WAIT FOR ME, which I’m working on, and the 7th Eternal Guardians book–Nick’s book!–which I’m in the process of plotting.) I get to write the books I want to write, the way I want to write them, and I get to release them when I want…not when a publisher can fit me into their schedule. For me, self publishing is a perfect fit and no matter where I go from here, it will definitely be part of my career plan.
Of course, this all seems fabulous and it sounds like I’m making tons of money, doesn’t it? But you have to remember that I wrote for ten years without making a penny. Three plus of which as a published author. If you add up what I’ve made self publishing and divide it by ten years, trust me, it’s not much in the long run. But the growth potential is there, and that’s what keeps me going. There was a time not long ago when I was pretty sure I was going to have to go back to teaching because I wasn’t making any money writing. I was even looking at job postings online, trying to find a science position in my area. Now that’s all changed. I get to keep doing what I love. I get to keep writing the books readers love because of self publishing.
I’m happy to share what I’ve learned, so if you have questions about self publishing, post them in the comment section and I’ll try to answer.
April 6th, 2013 at 6:05 pm · Link
Bravo, Elisabeth! Love this post – love that you sold the book of your heart and it found its readership. I decided about a week ago to self publish the remaining books in my Mephisto series – scared to death, but more excited than I’ve been in eons. Thanks so much for this! For sharing – that’s gold. And you’re a rock star! <3
April 6th, 2013 at 6:48 pm · Link
Thanks, Stef. I’m so excited for you! Change is always scary, but if you don’t take the chance you’ll never know what’s possible. I have a quote on my phone that I read daily. It says:
“If you do not go after what you want, you will never have it. If you do not step forward, you’ll always be in the same place.”
Words to live by as far as I’m concerned. 🙂
Good luck! And keep me posted!
April 6th, 2013 at 7:40 pm · Link
Great information!. I haven’t written anything but very short stories for myself but I’ve wondered about writing something longer and trying to get it published. My thoughts were leaning towards self-publishing because I’ve heard stories from other self-published authors about the positive empowerment it gives authors. This blog actually gave me much more information and also may be just what I needed to finally take that “step forward”. Love that quote!
Thanks for sharing!
April 6th, 2013 at 7:50 pm · Link
Just two words, Elisabeth: Love. It. :))
April 6th, 2013 at 7:58 pm · Link
Thank you so much for posting this, I’m just finishing my first book and have been looking around researching publishers. I never thought writers got a bunch of money for the first few books but I thought they at least got a decent amount for the work that gets put into actually writing a book.
Self publishing never even crossed my mind but now you can bet I’m going to look into it.
P.S. I’m really looking forward to Nick’s book!!!!!
April 6th, 2013 at 8:05 pm · Link
Elisabeth, thank you for your insights. I am embarking down the self pubbing road since the rights to my first novel were returned to me by a publisher who recently merged with another just a few weeks back. I was devastated as the book was to be released in April. However, I picked myself up and am looking at releasing it by the end of this month. I’m working really hard with some lovely author friends and my husband who are helping me get it ready. I loved Wait For Me and have Stolen Fury ready on my Kindle to read. Your post has inspired me and I really think for this book it is the right thing to do. Georgie
April 6th, 2013 at 8:20 pm · Link
Such a great post, Elisabeth!!! Thanks so much for sharing all of this!!! xxoo
April 6th, 2013 at 8:22 pm · Link
I knew that Wait For Me was different than your other books, but I didn’t know the rest – what an amazing story! It breaks my heart when I hear writers say that they’re putting away a story because agents and editors don’t like it. I hope this gives some courage to those considering putting their work out there, direct to readers.
April 6th, 2013 at 8:24 pm · Link
Thank you for sharing your adventures in publishing and congratulations on your self publishing successes. I am not an author but, as a reader, you have given me a fascinating peek into the business end of things.
I wish you much success now that you have control over your work. If your profits are in sync with the amount of pleasure that your stories give your readers, you will leave that 4% nonsense behind in no time. It’s also great that, as authors, you are supporting each other. There is definitely strength in numbers.
April 6th, 2013 at 8:25 pm · Link
Elisabeth, I have to admit that meeting you and learning about your experiences has been eye-opening. I used to view self-publishing as something only a select few could be successful at, and now it’s something I’m excited to try. Speaking as someone who finds the process a little daunting, I’m grateful to you for your willingness to share what you know. 🙂
April 6th, 2013 at 8:53 pm · Link
Thank you for sharing your experience and providing insightful information about self vs. traditional publishing. The way things were done in the past are no longer the effective ways of the present. Every aspect of business and life is evolving at a fast pace and we have to adjust. I’m happy that you now have earnings for all your hard work.
Thank you for sharing the quote on your phone, these are words to live by. Words I need in my life right now, Thank you!
Thursday I was searching for my next read and decided to check USA TODAY Best-Selling Books Top 150 list. I eyed the list up and down, your book title “Wait for Me” (6th place this week) captured my interest. After downloading “Wait for Me” I could not put down my iPad. The story is so captivating, I loved the story and the characters. I envision this book being made into an enthralling movie. I am thrilled that you have a sequel in the works. I look forward to reading your other books as well.
April 6th, 2013 at 9:29 pm · Link
Love it! I’ve been watching your career since GH ’07 and cheering you each step of the way. Totally love that a book of the heart has hit like this. Thanks for being so honest. It’s inspiring.
April 6th, 2013 at 10:41 pm · Link
Thanks so much for the great post!
I got my Dorch books back in late 2010, and had the first one out in February 2011. That particular book, in MMP, made me a total of $3,000. (less comisson, so $1000 more than the advance.) By my 2nd Amazon payment, this book had made me $16,000. It continues to be a steady, significant seller. I then got out the rest of my back list and my life was transformed. Not just my writing life, but my life.
However, what I really wanted to say was that your experience and that of many, many other authors, is that books they were told would never sell DO sell, and they often sell big. And even if they don’t ht big, they still make the author much more money than if they’d been able to traditionally publish the title.
There are a lot of reasons for this, I think, not the least of which is that NY is buying books to fit an imprint and so, they do NOT acquire books that they can’t make fit in that box. Romance, in particular, is subject to “boxitis.” This acquisition for imprint is, I am now convinced, profoundly wrong, and it’s cost publishers millions of dollars.
Books acquired for an imprint have a sameness, and they are usually not risky books. It means the publisher said “is this book a great book AND a round peg?” instead of “is this a great book.”
Readers buy books. They’re the ones who, if they can get their hands on a book, will create buzz even for a book with no publisher support. IF readers can find the book. For NY published authors, that’s a huge IF and in most cases, it means the book will not be found.
I’ll restate just slightly: Readers buy books. Publishers, as every NY author knows, are selling to bookstores and superstores . Publishers have lost sight of the reader because their model requires that they make the sale to B&N or to Walmart. The tastes of a few replaced the taste and desires of the actual market, and it’s turned out that this “efficiency” has a deadly downside if you’re a traditional publisher– they have no proving ground for what sells to readers.
The NY model created a reality for book selling that works ONLY when there are accounts buying large numbers of books and that led directly and inevitably, to fewer types of books and fewer risks with the content of genre books that comprise the bulk of the market.
Authors have always known that readers want books that NY is not buying. We know that readers have been frustrated by disappearing backlist. And now we don’t have to write to imprint. This is huge and transformative for authors and readers alike.
It does not surprise me at all that the book of your heart sold big when you self-pubbed it. You aren’t the only author who’s had this experience. You named some of them in your post. Authors who have proved they can write at a high level are already changing the market. (New Adult, anyone?)
When I looked at the numbers on my last contract offer, my response was this: “I can make this much self-publishing the title, and probably in 6 months or less.”
Thanks for the great post.
April 7th, 2013 at 7:59 am · Link
Well done and I love eternal guardians
April 7th, 2013 at 8:29 am · Link
I am just so proud of you as an author, a publisher and yes as a woman with a brain *grins*. I love the way you pointed out how self publishing fit your choices but that it wasn’t for everyone.
I look forward to each and every one of your books so just keep em coming.. I will be waiting
April 7th, 2013 at 9:26 am · Link
Great post, Elisabeth! You know I’m so thrilled that it worked out the way it did for you. I have a feeling you’ve only seen the beginning! Congrats!
April 7th, 2013 at 10:09 am · Link
Hooray for you, Elizabeth! I’ve been watching your success and cheering you on. I love to see self publishing success stories. I, too, can attest to how little money the average traditionally published author makes. Congrats!
April 7th, 2013 at 10:13 am · Link
Eli, you know how I feel about your journey. What an inspiration! Thanks to you I took the plunge and am happily indie pubbing as well as traditionallly pubbing. For me, right now, that’s what works and makes me happy. I’m just glad we have the choices today, but more importantly, it’s nice to have the support of so many awesome authors! kudos girlie, you did good!
April 7th, 2013 at 10:42 am · Link
Great post Elizabeth! I LOVE selfpubbing and am about to release a book everyone said was funny, but not saleable. We’ll see what happens – but it’s great to know that ‘something’ will definitely happen with this book.
Congrats and keep up the great work!
April 7th, 2013 at 10:54 am · Link
It always rocks my world when great people write great books and knock it out of the park.
You so deserve all of your success.
April 7th, 2013 at 11:05 am · Link
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! And I’m so happy for your well-deserved successes. 🙂
I’m working on getting my small backlist reverted, and meanwhile have made *more* money self-publishing romance short stories than the advances were on my tradpub novels.
But even better is that I’ve found a LOT more readers than I did when I was traditionally published. Print distribution is great… when it works. My titles never made it into Walmart, or even in large numbers into bookstores – partially because my debut novel was marketed incorrectly (completely wrong cover for the subgenre) and partially because that book came out in October 2008; the month that most big book retailers RETURNED more books to publishers than they received. http://editorialass.blogspot.com/2008/11/crash-flow-or-what-went-wrong-in.html
Anyway, HUGE congrats to you, Elisabeth, and thanks again for drawing back the curtain on your journey to self-publishing!
April 7th, 2013 at 11:13 am · Link
Good post, Elizabeth. I also was a Dorchester author….. yah. And though I still publish books with “traditional” publishers, I’ve also recently jumped into the self-pub arena. I’m enjoying that, and hope, like you, I can one day hit a list or two.
Cheers to you.
April 7th, 2013 at 12:49 pm · Link
What a wonderful post, Elizabeth! It’s fantastic to see a fellow former Dorchester author having such great success! What you call the “vicious circle” of traditional publishing was something that completely demoralised me and (together with the Dorchester mess) ultimately added to my taking a rather prolonged break from writing. It’s so heartening to hear that thanks to indie publishing, this circle can now be broken. So thanks a lot for sharing your experiences!
April 7th, 2013 at 12:52 pm · Link
Awesome post, Elisabeth! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m in the position of starting over [more or less] and am inspired by your journey!
April 7th, 2013 at 12:59 pm · Link
Loved hearing your story, Elisabeth! Truly inspiring. The best thing of all is that readers have so many great new choices available to them thanks to brave authors like you who broke out of the box!
April 7th, 2013 at 1:12 pm · Link
Hooray! What a great post – I’m SO happy for you! Your success is so well deserved and I agree with Marie that this is just the beginning. I can’t wait to see what new and amazing things happen next for you!!!
April 7th, 2013 at 1:22 pm · Link
Thank you for the post. Though I have one published novel with a small E publisher, I’m about to start my self publishing journey and articles such as your give me encouragement.
April 7th, 2013 at 1:34 pm · Link
Inspiring! The more of these stories I hear, the more it seems obvious that self-pubbing is the future of the industry (or, maybe the self-pub-to-big-house shift like Hugh Howey). I’ve got my first book coming out, self-pub, in little more than a week and I am terrified but also very excited. Like you, I’ve put years into my writing only to hear from agents that the kind of things I’m interested in writing just won’t sell.
I’m hoping my “impossible to sell” books do half as well as yours!
April 7th, 2013 at 1:40 pm · Link
Elisabeth, Congratulations on making the switch and having such great success with a book NY didn’t want. It’s a good feeling when you can finally show a profit.
April 7th, 2013 at 2:03 pm · Link
Elizabeth, a great post, and I thank you for taking the time to write it. Every writer needs to hear these success stories so they know what is possible out there in EbookLand. No, it’s not all puppies and red roses, but it’s fun, challenging, and loaded with potential.
On another note, I kept seeing Wait For Me riding high on the Amazon charts until my curiosity got the better of me and I bought it. What a brilliant story! I was happy to read it was a book of the heart and, by reading your post, learn more about the story behind the story. All win! Congratulations.
April 7th, 2013 at 2:12 pm · Link
Congrats on all your success!
April 7th, 2013 at 2:28 pm · Link
How long did it take you after being self-published to see an income? AND, do you work with a copyeditor you could recommend? LOVE your covers, btw. Congrats!
(Former Dorchester author)
April 7th, 2013 at 2:29 pm · Link
Thank you Elisabeth for sharing your story. You are an inspiration!
April 7th, 2013 at 2:36 pm · Link
Hooray, Elisabeth!! So very happy for you and all your successes!! Thank you for writing such an honest, heart-felt accounting of your publishing journey (so far!) You’re an inspiration and delight! Keep up the great work and I can’t wait to hear the *big news* soon!!!
April 7th, 2013 at 2:59 pm · Link
Thanks Elisabeth, for taking the time to share your story. I’ve just started dipping my toes in the self-publishing waters. While I love writing Silhouette Desires, I’m excited that I can write more offbeat, out-of-the-box stories as well and still get them to readers. It’s very liberating for the imagination!
April 7th, 2013 at 3:00 pm · Link
Inspiring article. Thanks for sharing. Your books sound like the type I like to read, so after this, I’ll go buy some!
I was almost a Dorchester author, and I thank God for that rejection! I started self-publishing as an unpublished, unknown author. My books (to my very great surprise) took off. I’ve sold 200,000 in two years (without much promo) and made the USA Today list.
I’m teaching an online class on self-publishing for the FF&P RWA chapter. If you say it’s okay, I’ll return and share the information.
April 7th, 2013 at 3:04 pm · Link
Finally we’re letting the readers decide what’s publishable and what’s not. Congrats on taking the leap and making things happen for yourself!
April 7th, 2013 at 3:04 pm · Link
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, Elisabeth. I really appreciate it. 🙂
April 7th, 2013 at 3:40 pm · Link
Thank you for sharing your inspirational story. I’m thrilled about the success you’ve had in self-publishing. I have a story agents and editors are rejecting while saying good things. Your post gives me hope. 🙂
April 7th, 2013 at 3:46 pm · Link
Thanks for this post. Any tips on asking for rights back?
April 7th, 2013 at 3:54 pm · Link
I am SO psyched for you! Huge congratulations! You are such a cool chick and a great writer, and you deserve all the success you are finally getting.
April 7th, 2013 at 3:57 pm · Link
Excellent post, Elizabeth, and great success. You show how valuable determination and a solid business sense can be. Congratulations!
April 7th, 2013 at 4:14 pm · Link
Thank you for sharing your story, and congratulations on your much-deserved success!
I’ve been doing a bit of everything (traditional, small press, and indie) and there are definite pros and cons to each. But the monthly royalties I get from my selfpub books are making it possible for me to be a full-time writer! 🙂
Random small-world thing: two of my S&S books have the same titles as yours…Enslaved, and Enraptured. O.o Oh well, I doubt anyone will confuse them, lol!
April 7th, 2013 at 4:19 pm · Link
Just now finished Wait For ME- could not put it down- loved it and enjoyed your article on self publishing.
April 7th, 2013 at 4:40 pm · Link
Congratulations on your success after so many reas of hard work! Very rareley do we hear happy endings for people who were unfortunate to have dealt with Dorchester. Your story is quickly making it’s way around the indie-blogosphere and you can bet you’re helping to inspire and empower a lot of new writer’s.
And best of luck on your “top-secret” business deal!
April 7th, 2013 at 4:41 pm · Link
Elizabeth, don’t you think that your time with a traditional publisher helped your self-publishing venture by giving you and your books some visibility with readers and reviewers? So many authors who are successful with self-publishing seem to start in traditional publishing and establish a readership.
April 7th, 2013 at 4:42 pm · Link
Brilliant post. Wonderful story. Thanks so much for sharing!
April 7th, 2013 at 5:02 pm · Link
When I write a blog post like this in a couple years (um, after I get a blog), I’ll be putting your name right up there with Courtney Milan as people who supported me in launching my self-publishing career. I love, love, love that so many romance writers are not only paving the way in this brave new world, but helping others do the same.
You know how proud I am of you. To say your success is inspiring just doesn’t seem to cover it. 😉
April 7th, 2013 at 5:11 pm · Link
Thanks so much for sharing your story, Elisabeth. The more self-published authors who talk about their experiences, the more writers who will be emboldened to try this path.
One of the things that works for us is coming from a belief in abundance… plenty of readers, and plenty of opportunity to make money. Helping one another distinguishes the self-publishing community from one in which there is a scarcity mentality. When you write “from your heart” with honesty, playfulness, and joy, you put out a better story… and the reader senses that. Readers want MORE books rather than fewer when you write what you want.
Plenty of room for all of us.