Today, I am thrilled to have a guest post by my good friend and critique partner, Katie French. I was fortunate to meet Katie last year at a pitch conference in New York. After spending a few short hours together, I quickly learned we had the same passion for writing and a commitment to the craft.
We have worked together the last year trading pages and critiquing each others work with hopes of finding an agent. While I eventually shelved my MS and began working on a new project, Katie made the momentous decision to e-publish her work – THE BREEDERS.
While daunting, she made the fearless decision to take control of her own publishing fate and wade out into the digital world on her own. This decision not only took guts but a lot of research and hard work.
I have asked Katie to share her thoughts on e-publishing and why, in the end, it was the right choice for her. I hope her story will provide inspiration for those of you who are considering taking control of your own publishing future.
Taking Publishing in my Own Hands
By Katie French
There has never been a more interesting time to be a writer. As I sit and write those words, there are very few things I believe more strongly. We are on the cusp of a revolution. It is a moment akin to the invention of the typewriter or MTV. The publishing industry is not just changing; it is transforming more than Rue Paul on a Saturday night. So many authors, like myself, are wondering what does this mean for me? I put many long nights into that same question. What does the evolution of the publishing industry mean to me, a struggling writer who has been rejected more than I’d like to admit? But I’ve decided. I’ve decided it means freedom, acceptance and hard work. It means self-publishing.
For years self-publishing has been synonymous with bad. Many authors have it in their heads that to be lumped with the $2.99 crew on Kindle means you suck. Isn’t the traditional process of getting an agent, getting an editor and printing lots of copies the only way to prove you’re any good? I’m not so sure anymore. Dozens of success stories like J.A. Konrath, Amanda Hocking and John Locke prove otherwise. And I started thinking, what if I stopped taking no for an answer? What if I took my life into my own hands? What a scary and exhilarating thought.
I must confess I am a control freak. I love having every aspect of my life in my own hands. So, you can imagine how picking my own cover, writing my own blurb and keeping my own title appealed to me. I could also release when I felt like it, market how I wanted and leave my prose alone. I didn’t have to please anyone but myself. Then came the research. There are some fantastic resources for self-publishers out there. I picked a book called Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran. That book helped me through the process of formatting, which was harder than I ever imagined. I hired a top-notch editor, cringing at the price, but knowing it might make or break my work. I hired a friend to do my cover art and was pleased with his work. I built a website, a Facebook page and updated my blog. Then I released THE BREEDERS and held my breath.
Since then, the most amazing thing has happened. Friends, family and even high school classmates I haven’t seen in fifteen years came out of the woodwork to support me. I sold almost 80 books in the first day (and outsold some James Patterson titles for a day!). I’ve been getting five star reviews from people I don’t even know. One friend has organized her book club to feature my book as their next selection. And my drive to write has skyrocketed. All it takes is a couple people saying, “When’s the sequel coming out? I can’t wait” to drive you to your computer day after day.
So, in the realm of self-publishing, I feel like a success story. True, I’m not on the top one hundred and I certainly can’t quit my day job, but I’ve never been happier. My writing is in my own hands and I’m not taking no for an answer.
My sincere thanks goes to Katie for sharing her story. Her novel THE BREEDERS is available now at Amazon.
If you enjoy a fast-paced story, with unique world-building, and a strong female lead, I highly recommend you download it today!
Here’s a short blurb:
“When the Breeders come for ya, there ain’t no escape. They strap ya to a bed and all ya hear is the thud of your heart and the cries of your friends as they wheel ya down to hell. Then the doctors come. You squeeze your eyes shut and pray you can forget. But ya never do.”
Sixteen-year-old Riley Meemick is one of the world’s last free girls. When Riley was born, her mother escaped the Breeders, the group of doctors using cruel experiments to bolster the dwindling human race. Her parents do everything possible to keep her from their clutches– moving from one desolate farm after another to escape the Breeders’ long reach. The Breeders control everything- the local war lords, the remaining factories, the fuel. They have unchecked power in this lawless society. And they’re hunting Riley.
Katie French imagined herself an author when her poem caught the eye of her second grade teacher. In middle school she spent her free time locked in her room, writing her first young adult novel. Though her social life suffered, her love for literature thrived. She studied English at Eastern Michigan University, where she veered from writing and earned an education degree. She spent nine years teaching high school English. Currently she is a school counselor, doing a job that is both one of the hardest things she’s ever done and the most rewarding. In her free time she writes, reads great books and takes care of her two beautiful and crazy children. She is a contributor and co-creator of Underground Book Reviews, a website dedicated to erasing the boundaries between traditional and non-traditional publishing. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two children.For more information about Katie you can check her out on Goodreads, Facebook or on her website, Katie French Books.