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So I’ve joined a fun and supportive blog hop that celebrates independent authors that requires you write one post about anything self-publishing once a month. If you’re interested in reading some of today’s posts or joining up as well, click on the icon above.

I came across a fascinating blog post on Kboards from a best-selling, formally traditionally published author, Elisa Beth Naughton. If you have the time, you can read it for yourself here. Otherwise, I’ll try my best to summarize.

Naughton opened up about the struggles she had when she was traditionally published where she used any meager profit she made for her own books’ publicity and claimed a negative income on her taxes (even being on the best-selling list). She brings up the fact that she was so focused on the prestige of being traditionally published that she was unaware of the poor contract she signed for her books. Many times, authors will trade many of their rights and profits just to say that they’re traditionally published. As soon as she got some of her book titles back, she decided to follow a few of her successfully self-published friends and dove into indie waters. She admits it took some hard work to get her books noticed again, but is now claiming possibly seven figures this year on her income tax from self-publishing alone!

She admits that self-publishing isn’t for everyone (and I’m sure having her name well-known prior to self-publishing helped her immensely), but she makes a great point by saying that she is so glad she writes in an age where authors have these choices. It is so important to realize that self-publishing allows every author that choice.

If you don’t get represented by an agent, you have a choice.

If you don’t get picked up by a publisher, you have a choice.

If you don’t get offered a great contract, you have a choice.

If you don’t make much profit off your traditionally published book, you have a choice.

If you get your books backlisted, you have a choice.

Self-publishing gives us all a choice, even if you do decide to go the traditionally published route.  It’s in every author’s best interest to support indies so that they always have a potentially profitable alternative out there (and hopefully publishers will become wary of this and offer better deals to keep their authors happy).

When I was querying agents (and my dream agent actually was interested!) I probably would have accepted anything to just get published. I’m so glad that I did go it on my own for the very reasons that Naughton points out:

“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 so happy that Naughton has found such rewarding success in self-publishing, especially after working so hard for all those years. I’m definitely content with my small successes at this point and thank the universe everyday that I had this option available. My series would never have been published and there are many fans that have thanked me for writing them.

Options are always a wonderful thing 🙂

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Corey M.P. (author of newly released HIGH) tagged me for the Next Big Thing Blog Hop weeks ago. I’ve been so busy trying to get my third book of my series out that I’ve pushed this post off. While I’m waiting for the formatting, I thought it was a great time to discuss Infinite Loss.

Of course I would love to talk about the novels of the future that are rattling around noisily in my head, but I’m committed to finish out my series and have only allowed myself to outline upcoming projects. So, in all honesty, the next big thing is getting my third novel of the Infinite Series released. I haven’t said much about the third book so maybe answering these questions will give a little sneak peek!

Here are my answers:

1. What is the working title of your book?
InfiniteLossCoverWeb

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

It is a continuation of the Infinite Series where I extend Maya’s spiritual evolution with past lives centered around loss and the lessons it teaches her. I took the opportunity to write three past lives in some of my favorite time periods: the early Native American Plains, the American Revolutionary War, and the early nineteenth century in America.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

This is still hard to pin down. I list it under historical fantasy, although reincarnation fantasy best describes it even though it is a specialized genre.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

If a movie was based on my series it would be unique in that different stars could cameo for all the different lives as they change gender and race throughout time. As long as each character retained the same eyes and markings, you could use many stars for each role. This is the only way to make it authentic to the countries and times involved in my books. Buckheimer, call me 🙂

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
With lessons and lives of sacrifice and devotion behind her, Maya must continue the journey into her next incarnations as a young and passionate Lakota warrior on the Great American Plains; the dashing British spy Major John André, fighting the tide of a great revolution; and the desolate master of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Self-published and loving it!

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

One year.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I don’t know of any other books that attempt to evolve a large cast of characters throughout so many incarnations. I think at this point, my series is unique.

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?

It’s a combination of the love of history and the fascination with reincarnation.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I search out the most hidden parts of history. I strive to surprise my readers with fresh look at a culture or time period, avoiding the usual stereotypes and historical clichés.

 

Instead of tagging five people I want to extend the invitation to anyone who would like to share their current project with us (who hasn’t been tagged already by this point). Just post the link in your comment so we can go and check it out.

Thank you again, Corey, for the tag. I’ve enjoyed it!

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I’m here today with an interview with debut author Corey M.P. If her cover doesn’t stop you in your tracks, her blurb will:

Sonja Fines is a thirty-year-old, uptight, sleep deprived, workaholic from Manhattan who hasn’t taken a day off in years. On a Friday before a Fourth of July weekend, she hops in a cab, late for an important presentation, but ends up in a coffee shop…in Montreal. Shocked by her sudden escape, she meets laid-back Chad Miller. They spend the next three days together, and quickly fall for each other. Sonja has never been happier. But when Chad suddenly reveals something from his past, Sonja flees in a hurry—and her life turns upside down. Overwhelmed with emotions, she embarks on a roller coaster of spontaneous decisions that change her life dramatically.

I’ve already read the first chapter and it is a very well written book with a great promise of escape. I can’t wait to release my next book so that I can really dive in. Corey was so kind to answer a few questions and please follow her on her blog tour if you want to learn more.

1. What is HIGH? As the author, what do you say it is about?

HIGH is a contemporary novel. It’s about Sonja Fines, a thirty-year-old, uptight, sleep deprived, workaholic from Manhattan who hasn’t taken a day off in years. On a Friday before a Fourth of July weekend, she hops in a cab, late for an important presentation, but ends up in a coffee shop…in Montreal.

2) How did the idea for this story come about?

It happened years ago. I was a fulltime graphic designer at the time, and I was in the middle of yet another hectic week of no breaks and long hours. One day, I managed to step outside for a quick coffee break. It was then I realized I was burnt out, and at that moment, I had the urge to escape. But I didn’t. Instead, I was inspired by that feeling to write HIGH.

3) Writing music? What is coming through your speakers when you’re writing?

It always varies. It depends on my mood.

4) If your book had a theme song, what would it be and why?

High by James Blunt. It’s actually in the book. ☺

5) For you, what is the most problematic portion of writing a novel? Plot lines? Character depth?

Editing is what I find the most challenging. Just when you think you’re done writing—you end up finding a sentence, or a paragraph that needs rewriting. It’s a long, grueling process, but a truly rewarding one.

6) When writing, are you ever stumped? How do you get over it?

Luckily, I haven’t had that problem yet.

7) Do you have a character that is most like you? If so, why and how?

Hmmm, this is a good question. I think a lot of writers have a little bit of them in their characters. I’d have to say the character that is most like me would be my protagonist, Sonja Fines. For starters, I based the story of HIGH on a feeling I had during one stressful day. It was the feeling of wanting to flee and escape the norm, which is a feeling she shares with me in the story. But that’s about the only thing her and I have in common, because unlike me, Sonja does flee.

8) Are there any characters that were difficult to write? If so, why?

Fortunately, I had no difficulty writing my characters. They just all came alive as soon as I started writing.

9) What are you working on now? What can we expect to see from you in the near future?

I’m editing my second novel, Hearts and Errors. It’s scheduled to release this June. You can also expect more novels from me in the near future. Also, I recently created Sammy’s Books, which is a collection of beginner books for children under the age of five.

10) Do you have a support system when it comes to writing? What was the reaction from those close to you about your novels?

Thankfully, I do have a support system when it comes to my writing. My dearest older sister and my mom have been so supportive. They read HIGH when it was only a few chapters long, and they encouraged me to finish it because they always believed it was a good story. After I completed the book, they read it immediately and gave me their feedback. They said it was a great story and that I should publish it…so I did. Aside from them, my husband and my dad have also been extremely supportive. And now that my book is out there, I am receiving wonderful feedback from family and friends. It makes it all worth it.

11) You’re about to write. Do you have a ritual?

No real ritual. As long as the ideas are flowing and I have either my computer, or a notebook and pen, then I’m good to go.

12) What are you currently reading?

I haven’t had a chance to read anything lately. But I do have a number of newly purchased books that are waiting for me. Hopefully I can get to them after my HIGH Blog Tour.

13) Do you plan on writing a sequel to High?

It has crossed my mind, but I’m not sure yet if I will or not. Let’s see what the readers say. If they want more of Sonja and Chad—I have no problem giving them more.

14) What do you want fans to know about High?

HIGH is about facing your fears, embracing new things, meeting new people, really tasting the coffee, forgetting the past, exploring life, and learning how to live and love all over again.

Click here to get your copy of HIGH or visit coreymp.wordpress.com.

Thank you so much, Lauren, for this wonderful interview.

Thank you, Corey! And best of luck on the rest of your tour!

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Just wanted to let all of my writer followers know that entries have begun for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. The cash awards and publishing deals are pretty amazing, (not to mention the publicity!). I don’t think you have to be published yet to enter, so those of you who are looking for another way around the query process, this contest is for you! Oh, and best of all, it’s FREE!

For contest rules and guidelines, click here.

Hurry, they will stop taking entries on January 27th or after they receive their ten thousandth entry. Why are you still reading this blog post…go!

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Thanks to an insightful post by the talented Yesenia Vargas, I decided it would be a good idea to create a separate website for my series. Yesenia does an amazing job discussing the pros and cons of creating a separate website, and even though she ultimately decided to keep one website, I decided that it would be best for me to create two for the following reasons (you know I love bullets).

  • This website is a place to share my trials, triumphs, and observations with other writers. I need you all for support and advice, and hopefully, I might be able to help others as well.
  • Every time I host a giveaway, market, run a promotion, or I’m featured in an interview, I don’t want to spam all my writer friends.
  • If I had a few standalone novels then I would most likely keep them all here, but given that this is a four-book series, it’s probably best to create a separate site.
  • My other site has less followers, but readers don’t seem to want to follow a writer’s blog. They want information about your books, background, promotions, and releases. It’s good to give them what they want. Instead of clicking around on your writer’s blog, lead them directly to your books.
  • I wanted to separate each book on its own page, where I can list everything pertaining to that book (cover, blurb, historical background, and book trailer). That way, the reader only views information about the book they’ve read. I wouldn’t want to spoil the next book in the series for them.
  • I also started additional pages on my other site where I feature fun things such as information about past lives and my favorite reviews left by readers and bloggers.
  • I still have an Infinite Series tab at the top of this blog that leads you to my other site (and vice versa) so they are not completely separate.

Through WordPress site stats, I see that people who search for my books or author name go directly to the other website. This blog gets more views by people looking up writing topics. So I do think it was a wise choice.

Here’s the link if you want to stop on by. On a side note, I’ve released the cover to Infinite Loss, so go check it out!

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Merry Christmas!

But..wait…we haven’t even had Halloween here in Connecticut.

Hurricane Sandy has wreaked havoc on all the trees, power lines, and coast so much that they postponed Halloween—the second time in a row here!  Guess which day they chose to celebrate it?

Tonight.

Just when a nor’easter has decided to snow-torture all of us who have been without power and standing in hour-long gas lines for the past NINE days!

Wait. The lights just flickered off and on.

I can’t go another week of not being able to check my sales and email!

Anyway, I kept my Halloween decorations up in order to help get into the delayed-Halloween spirit, but now this is just looking pathetic. Gore and snow do not compliment each other. The town has canceled Halloween yet again and I hope this cold spell moves out so that my kids can get a night out in their much-anticipated costumes without having to cover them in  snow suits.

Oh well, I should just count my blessings that my house and family are safe and power is up and humming. Halloween will come again next year…

Or will it?

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I love these Lucky Seven Challenges! Not only do I get to share a little of Infinite Loss with you, (another perk being self-published), but I get to perfect seven lines of my book before revisions! Nothing polishes a few sentences up like releasing them for everyone to see. I’ve done a Lucky Seven before with this same work-in-progress, but it specified page 77, so it’s all good!

Thank you to Delia, from Postcards From Asia, for nominating me 🙂 The rules are: you must go to the 7th page of your current work-in-progress, go down 7 lines, and post the following seven lines. The following is from the first draft of my third novel in the series, Infinite Loss.

Frantic yelps erupt within the camp and Father springs, yelping from our teepee. Mother grabs for my little brother in the papoose and takes me by the hand to flee with the other women and children. Everyone runs and screams—all except for Apawi, who lies down on his buffalo blanket in the center of camp for us all to see and sleeps soundly. In the light of the full moon, the men grab their lances and bows, jump on their ponies, and hurry to make the formation to protect the camp—the formation of wild geese. Father whoops and leads the group, taking the very top of the line. They all stand their horses still as the thundering sound comes closer and closer, shaking every living thing awake and running for cover. Dark shapes charge toward us, with a cloud of dust reaching high into the air above them.

Well, that’s all I’ve got to share with you for now. I would love to see what everyone is up to—so to all of my followers, consider yourself tagged! Put a link to your Lucky Seven Post below so we can all take a look!

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