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Powered By Indie
In 2007, I entered the world of self publishing. This was accomplished by partnering with a company which saw the project through from concept to completion. Bullets: Growing Up In The Crossfire is a memoir about growing up with Domestic Violence. I was thrilled when Book Pros picked up my project. Each step in the process was greatly exciting to me. Working with the editor, designing the cover and determining the publicity approach was some of the most engaging work I had ever done. The satisfaction of seeing my dream come to fruition, however, came at a great cost. As a single mom with 4 jobs, I took a great risk signing a $15,000 contract that didn’t even cover the printing costs.
Thanks to help from my family, I was able to keep making payments on my contract while enjoying being interviewed and seeing Bullets rise to the top of the charts. We never sold nearly enough copies to even make a dent in the debt but Bullets was a passion of mine in an effort to reach young people who were going through similar circumstances.
When I visited schools and talked to young adults about staying in school amidst adversity at home, I knew this project was valuable even with the price tag. I’m even surprised how many copies are still downloaded 10 years later. I am satisfied Bullets has held up through the years.
Around November of 2014, I got the writing bug again. It started with an idea that popped into my head and each night when I went to sleep, I continued to develop the story until a real plot developed. It was also during this time, I was drowning in student loan debt which accumulated from supporting my children through school. I thought how big problems required big solutions, so was born The Chubby Trilogy.
Actually, Chubby Chasers: Volume 1 of The Chubby Trilogy started as only one book. Having never written fiction, the story had a clunky start. I had no idea how to write dialogue and wrote the full first chapter as narration. I later turned this into a prologue which worked nicely with the opening of the story.
Carrolyyn Davidson became such a complex character, I knew ending the story with just one volume would not do her justice. So I kept on and eventually wrote and published all three volumes. My pride shone upon publishing all three volumes in one year’s time.
For someone who never wrote fiction and who never published on her own, this was quite a feat. I knew, The Chubby Trilogy could not be published with such a high price as Bullets. I was already struggling with my monthly budget. Being resourceful, I read all about how to publish on my own.
Kindle Direct Publishing was my guiding light. All the information I needed was either right on their sight or was found by linking to other resources. My editor, Kristen Hamilton, was also very important in the process. She edited, proofread and formatted my books for both print and e pub for a reasonable price. Once I purchased my ISBN numbers and bar codes and followed the simple directions for uploading on both KDP and Create Space, I was now in the fiction game as a 4-time published author.
This upcoming weekend, I plan to participate in the first annual Indie Author Day. Being able to connect with other Indie Authors will be a dream come true for me. Independents are sometimes isolated without support, especially if we cannot pay for promotion and are left to do what we can on our own.
Promotion and marketing are the largest struggles of being independent. When fans read my work, they are often thrilled and moved by the material. I have received so many great testimonials. While valuable to me, these accolades do not get my work into bookstores and has not spread my work to a larger audience. Over this past month, I have seen a strong surge of efforts to support Indie Authors and I again am feeling that enthusiasm as I did with the publishing of Bullets.
Since 2007, I have quit multiple times. My feelings are: if no one is reading, what is the point? There are a few people in my fan base, however, who always tell me to never quit. While the numbers are not staggering, people are touched from the words emerging on the printed page. When I launch a free Kindle promotion, I sometimes see over 200 downloads. I then feel proud and know I am reaching an audience through being an Indie Author which is always cause for celebration.