The joys of handling everything

Some call it self publishing.  Some call it independent publishing.  The name doesn’t matter.  What’s important is that more readers have more access to more books than ever before.  In today’s world, we can download a book for just a few bucks, and never worry about where to store it when we’re done.

As an author, it’s even better.  Some of my work just isn’t “main stream” enough to be picked up by a production business.  They have to weigh all of the risks vs. rewards.  If they know the market is buying up book type A as fast as it can hit the shelves, but has never seen a book like Z, why would they dump in hundreds of thousands (or more) into printing it?  That would be a very foolish business decision.

But I no longer have to worry about if my story is “mainstream” enough.  I just need to worry about things like plot, characterization, and a viable story.  Authors can focus on telling what they want to, and ignoring wondering how many people will read it, if it will make the best seller’s lists, and all of the “old style” way of doing things.  What matters are individual reviews, public perception, and knowing how to market to your niche in the book world.

Doesn’t matter if we’re talking about unicorn porn (yep, found that on kindle, eek!) or murder mysteries.  Every book out there has someone who could read it.  Today, we authors have to worry about professional covers, grammar and editing, as well as writing with a unique voice that sets us apart.  We have to build an audience, the appease their need for more.  Regurgitated story lines and transparent plot twists aren’t going to cut it in this world.  We need to be smarter, more inventive, and twice as creative – but it’s allowed.

You see, the gatekeepers for traditional publishing are doing their job.  I’m not opposed to that, and it makes perfect sense.  The number of people buying tangible books is down.  That means that each book published needs to be a sure thing.  They must hedge their bets, but that also means not taking a big risk.  The stories they like are the ones they know will sell.  Rulebreakers like Hemingway or Tolkien wouldn’t stand a chance.

But they would if they did it themselves.  The best way is to make a team.  I have mine.  Between my cover artist(s), my editor, my beta readers, and more, we have a herd of people invested in each and every book.  Remember that old saying about how it takes a village?  It’s true in indie publishing, but it’s worth it.  To see the cover I dreamed up, with the words I wrote, all sitting there, getting read by complete strangers?  There are no words for the feeling that stirs inside me.  It’s epic.

One More Day

The test results are back, and they say it’s cervical cancer. As if that isn’t bad enough, getting laid off from her job means Mackenzie can’t afford to pay her bills, including the medical ones! She’s convinced it’s the worst day of her life. Not even meeting that Super Hot Guy from the coffee shop can make it better.

Or can it?

Ryan has been trying to get the nerve to talk to her for months. Her art is amazing. It’s exactly the type of thing he’d like to ink onto his skin forever. For the first time, the beautiful artist wasn’t lost in her work. Nope, she was lost in something else. Something that brought tears to those gorgeous eyes. It’s the excuse he needs to finally get up the nerve and talk to her.

She needs a shoulder, and he’s more than willing to give it – plus a job that lets her use her art. Mackenzie never expected to be working in a tattoo parlor, but it will pay the bills, and being around Ryan is pretty nice. Maybe too nice. His shy smiles make her stomach flip, or that could be the chemo. It all comes back to the cancer, so why should she even try? The Super Hot Guy is her boss, and maybe this is as good as her life is going to get… because the cancer’s getting worse.

Mackenzie may want to protect him, but Ryan isn’t going to lose the girl. Not because he’s her boss, not because he’s too scared to make a move, and he’s certainly not going to let some disease screw this up. She thinks the cancer is going to win, but he has other plans. He just needs one more day to prove it, but she may not give him that option.