Sunday, April 28, 2013

Morphtastic! Traditional + Indie = Hybrid Author



by Jennifer James
Almost one year ago, my first book LOVE KINECTION (Sexy geek romance) was released from Decadent Publishing. I was ecstatic. Finally, I’d sold a manuscript. I had the street cred I thought I needed to say that I was a “real” author…. At that time, I had the mistaken impression that an Indie author was someone who couldn’t sell a manuscript to a publishing house and so they were forced to self-publish their crappy story. 

Don’t hit me with rotten tomatoes and old sardines! I like to be as frank and honest as possible. *I was an undereducated, mislead, brat.* Any Indie titles I’d picked up at that point were a hot mess in need of editing. My little, closed off world view combined with a few bad purchases on Amazon left me with a bad case of tunnel vision author snobbery. (Of course, I think everyone can agree that there are plenty of books out there published by the Big Five in NYC that are a freakin’ overpriced doorstop.)

Now, almost a year later, I’m getting ready to publish two titles myself. Originally I had planned on having MARKED (a BDSM Werewolf short) up and ready to go for free. Unfortunately I’m still waiting on cover art. But, I have high, HIGH hopes that it will be ready to go very soon. I’ve got a 20k erotic paranormal romance called COVERT CRAVING at the editor’s right now. 

What caused the change of heart? Well, I got educated. 


I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t know nearly as much as I thought, and that my limited experiences greatly affected how I viewed Indie authors and publishing. Add in the traditional thinking that permeates the publishing world (you have to have an agent, you have to be published by a huge publisher, only novels can be sold, if you don’t have an agent, you’ll never get published anyway, Indie books are garbage) and I had unwittingly closed myself off from an entire world of possibility.

After realizing that I could publish a book faster than a publisher, that I had a circle of fellow authors with the chops to edit for me in exchange for things I’m good at, reading some amazingly good Indie books (happiness abounds when I get a new Felicity Heaton, Tonya Cannariato, or Tom Winship book), and discovering the blogs and books of authors who have been Hybrid for a while and are hitting the Best Sellers list, I got out my thinking cap.

Was Indie really bad? Or was Indie being vilified?


How could I get my book out when *I* wanted it out, instead of having an approximate six month wait from submission to release? What was I missing? Indie didn’t mean bad. I came to realize Indie meant control. Indie meant a lot of work. Indie meant I could get more books out faster . . . with a circle of talented friends to help me. 

When you really think about it, going the Hybrid route makes loads of sense. I can write books with publishers and have the advantage of their built in systems for getting a book on the market. Very little out of pocket cost for me, I get to work with great editors who help me hone my craft, and my readership base can grow because my books have the publisher’s name attached to it. When I want to release something Indie, I get to decide the publication date, I get a larger share of royalties, I can set the price myself, and I can keep my readers happy because they’ll have more books to read more quickly. 

Being Hybrid is a win-win. 

Author Bio:

Jennifer James lives on the coast of a lake fed by a famous burning river. She and Jack Daniels have a good, if slightly unbalanced relationship. Chocolate and peanut butter were meant to be together, and should be considered the ultimate celebrity couple. Two Tiny Divas, a dog, a cat, a husband, and a whole ton of imaginary friends follow her wherever she goes. This can make bathroom breaks awkward. 

Author Links:

Love Scenes and Wet Dreams : http://www.lovescenesandwetdreams.com

  

 Contest Time!

To get ready for Jennifer James' guest blog, I read her paranormal ebook Hunger Embraced.  I loved it so much, I want to give it away!  So here's the deal:  The book features the Celtic goddess Morrigan, who can appears as an old wise woman, a warrior, or a mother. To enter, simply post below which side of Morrigan you most embody.  I will use Randomizer.org on Saturday, May 4 to pick a winner of an ebook copy.  PLEASE leave a contact email so I can contact the winner.  -- pearls

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting me today Pearls! :) I'm so glad you enjoyed Hunger Embraced. :)

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  2. Great comments. I know a lot of authors who self publish and they write amazing books and I have read some horrible books by famed publishing houses. Glad you came around to see the light. I like that authors have control - I sort of think that is how it should be!

    I am adding you to my read list!

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    1. Thanks Tink! :) You know, there's a lot of misleading information out there, and it takes a long LONG time to wade through everything and get educated!

      Everything I was taught (and even this semester at school in a fiction workshop) is that the old route of subbing for years to agents, then waiting more years for a house, then taking a tiny advance...that's still the majority of advice out there. And it's ONE way of doing it.

      But this is YOUR career, your dream as an author. And thank goodness you can finally get control of stuff and go your own way. Whatever that may be.

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  3. Hey, Jen! Great article. As for which of Morrigan's personas I most embrace, who wouldn't want to be a goddess? Maybe not Celtic, but goddess, nonetheless ;-) darielraye@yahoo.com

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    1. Oh yes. it could be really fun...and very much an opportunity to act totally bat sh*t. :)

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  4. Very nice article. As far as which of Morrigan's sides that I would most embody, I would say the warrior side since I'm not very old and I'm not and never will be a mother. But I have fought my share of fights and gone through plenty of trials.

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    1. Well, then you'd certainly fit the bill for Babd. Here's a snippet of her being...well, scary.

      She gripped my chin and angled my head back until my neck muscles began to scream in protest. “Do not mock me, child. One of the Chosen or not, I will not hesitate to take your head if it will suit my purpose. I am a goddess of sex and fertility, but also war and death. Both sides of the coin. You will learn to appreciate the joys of bloodshed and war as much as I. Blood makes the grass grow as much as sex.”

      She let go of my face, and I managed to keep my hands at my sides. It was hard not to rub where her fingers had dug in. “Clear out the nest. Make it rain with their blood. I will not be pleased if you fail.”

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  5. I really enjoyed your post Jennifer :)

    While I'm not an author, I agree with you about hybrid being the best model

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    1. Thanks Sasha! You aren't an author, but you're a great blogger. ;)

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  6. nice post. In the e reader market, l think its been marvellous for indie writers. As im Welsh i say that Morrign celt side appeals to me and that whats makes her a good warrior.

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    1. She's scary! :) I enjoy researching for books, but sometimes you find out some really creepy stuff.

      I think e readers were (and continue to be) a huge factor in the ability of authors to take control of their own careers.

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  7. Thanks for the shout-out, Jen! Really looking forward to your *other* indie offering now, too. :)

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    1. I always have to give you a shout out my dear. You're one of my faves. :)

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  8. Congratulations to Dariel!!!! You are the winner chosen by Random.org. We will contact you to get you your prize.

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