Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I’ve joined the Indie Publishing revolution and am very excited about it. In fact I have put three books up on Amazon within this month and Smashwords has sold two copies already.

Of course, most of my books have been available as e-books from their various publishers for a few years already, and usually my royalty statements show more e-book sales than trade paper. But this time I’ve done it myself (well, hubby did it actually, but I’m technologically illiterate, dontcha know).

The books Smashwords has sold are NORTH BY NORTHEAST and THE GREEN BOUGH, both for $2.99. Today he put up ONCE MORE WITH FEELING, and I priced it at 99 cents to see what would happen. Didn’t I read that some guy had sold a million copies of his 99-cent book? Plus the local newspaper book page listed two 99-cent books on their best seller list recently (and they were not by famous writers like Stephen King or Sue Grafton).

ONCE MORE WITH FEELING is the second romance novel I wrote, way back in the early 1980s and was published by Kensington for their short-lived Precious Gems line. It was set in San Francisco, where I was living at the time. Two of the characters in the book are 85-year-old twin aunts of the hero, and on two different occasions I was told by readers that they knew those ladies and wondered how I came to know them. The truth was I didn’t. I thought I had invented them. Small world, isn’t it?

Because my hubby did it for me, I can’t boast about how easy it is to self-publish like this, although many other authors have said so. However, reading the blogs of Anne R. Allen, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Dean Wesley Smith, and J.A. Konrath convinced me this is the wave of the future and I hope to be there.

Besides, I have my own horror stories about publishers who literally held my books for years: one for 26 months and another for 35 months before returning them. Another published my book but went out of business before paying me. Still another wanted the rights for the life of the copyright. I didn’t sign with them: I may be technically challenged, but I’m not stupid. I also rejected a contract that offered me a “generous” ten percent discount on any of my own books I might buy. And one which charged writers $35 to enter their annual contest. One publisher--a woman--claimed to be suddenly hospitalized and asked her authors to please buy a bunch of books so she could pay that month’s bills. (I fell for that one; found out later she did it every year.) One male publisher wanted to put his name on my book as co-author. (Oh no, that was an agent.) But my agent stories will have to wait for another day and another blog.

Hey, writers, does any of that sound familiar? Have you had your own problems with publishers? I’d love to hear about them, and maybe we can laugh through our tears together.

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