A Journey of One Author's Road to Self-Publishing
One upon a time... okay so that was a cliché beginning, but we have to start somewhere. Truth be told, I was bored with what I was reading. I love to read, mostly supernatural and paranormal novels. I love to get lost in fiction and worlds of loves that should never be. It is an escape. We all need some type of escape from the real world. Some people find it in sewing, sleeping, (one of my personal favorites) and of course, reading. As I read, my mind kept drifting to how I would have written that scene or moment differently. A thought popped into my head and BAM, I decided to write a book. I've always been a rhymer and poet of sorts. I'm a preschool teacher and always made up songs spur of the moment; you have to think fast when you work with toddlers.
Once I decided to write a book, I needed a plot. Coming up with one was not my strong point. I had a beginning, an idea of a girl on the run from a group of men who kidnapped her as a child. That was all I had, once I gave the character a voice, she told the story. In my first novel, Human Blend, I had no idea what was going to happen. The story took shape as each new character was introduced and amazing things began to happen. By the time it was finished, well by the time I decided I'd better break it off, I had written what was to be the first in a series of three books. I was proud of myself for accomplishing the task I set out to do, but then came the really hard part. How would I get this book into print?
E-books were just beginning to emerge. I didn't really pay self-publishing any mind, my goal was to get noticed and get signed. Little did I know how laughable that goal would be. The industry was crumbling. No agents or publishers were taking on new, unproven, and at the time, unedited authors. My goal was seemingly impossible.
I finally looked into self-publishing. I looked to the biggest selling book company I knew of, Amazon. They had recently launched self-publishing for Kindle. I didn't even own a Kindle but had wanted one. After exploring the website, learning everything I could about it, I decided this was the way to go, at least until some agent who previously turned me down saw just how good I was.
Thankfully, I have a techie son who was more than willing to help, as long as I paid him with trips to Outback. So voila Human Blend became published as an e-book. I sold some to several very amazing friends who really liked it, but also pointed out my poor job of editing. I kind of glossed over it, which was a bad idea, as it later came back to haunt me. But now it was time to market my book. I joined an author's group who recommended some bloggers to submit to. These amazing bloggers would read and review and essentially promote my book all for the price of a free copy. My only problem was that most needed print versions, as they were not yet themselves into the e-book world. Crap. Looking around Amazon again, I found Create Space, an Amazon owned printing company. So began my journey into print.
Again, with the help of my son and at the price of him eating Aussie Cheese Fries every day, he helped get my book ready for print. From cover to cover, he worked effortlessly to make what I wanted appear on screen. I now had my proof copy of Human Blend. I brought my book into work and proudly showed it off. Everyone was amazed, even my boss was impressed. She asked if she could look at the book while I worked. She knew me too well from editing my weekly newsletters to the parents, and mentioned the many mistakes she found. She offered to edit the book over the summer for me. I was thrilled! My error was to have gone ahead and published the book before I had anyone edit it. I did submit to some bloggers who, although they liked the book and the story, did find issue with the errors. I was beginning to get a very bad reputation. Even when my boss handed back my edits and I fixed them, there were still some she missed or I missed when correcting, but at this point it didn't matter. After two other friends corrected the ones they found, I was getting ready for my first ever book signing. I was moving forward.
My book signing was at one of my local independent book stores right in the center of town. I did a massive invite, and plenty of my friends showed up and purchased copies. It was a success, but still minor comments about errors found reached my ears. It was frustrating. I could not afford to pay anyone to edit it.
To my rescue came my girlfriend, also a fellow writer and law student who received a copy of my book for her birthday. (lame I know) She is a perfectionist and edited the book and sent it back to me saying she wanted a better copy. I love her to death! For free, she made me look so much better and a second edition of Human Blend was released. By that time I was hard at work on the second book. I asked her to edit Earth Blend before it came out and we did work out a very reasonable payment plan. Now that Earth Blend was just published, I am confident of its first impressions.
In a year's time, Human Blend is a self-publishing success story, for me at least. Selling over 800 copies in both print and e-book format, I have 65+ reviews, most of them are 4 and 5 stars. I have heard of so many published authors who are making the switch themselves to self-publishing. I no longer try and get noticed. I may never reach the level of a Stephanie Meyers or a J.K. Rowling, (No I am not comparing, please no letters, I just love those authors) but I'm okay with that. I'm making a decent profit on my books and am happy with where I am. So help me in my continued success and read my books. :) Thanks to all of you for taking the time to read the blurbs of my mind. HUGS!
Earth Blend is the second book in the Blend series, and the sequel to Human Blend. In this installment, the mysteries of the Blends and Earthlings are revealed. How can Julie live a normal life when she is anything but normal? Her relationship with Austin is complicated by emerging abilities in them both. Trust is hard to come by as lies and secrets hinder them at every turn. Is the past destined to repeat itself as the Earthlings once again rush to save them? Ensuing chaos breeds fatal consequences
This fast-paced second installment in the Blend series delves deeper into Julie's horrific past and helps us better understand her as a character. Additionally, she and Austin both discover surprising new talents and learn that people whom they have trusted have fabricated lies and deceptions that are finally revealed.
The author artfully develops the world-building begun in Human Blend, and many questions that lingered from the first book are answered, even as new developments kept me reading and anticipating the twists - rarely did I guess correctly, but that just made this installment all the more satisfactory. The events unfold in a straight-forward manner with non-flowery prose that seemed to fit this tale perfectly. I felt a justifiable satisfaction at the ending and I definitely look forward to the continuing saga in the next book. This is a winning series that, in my opinion should appeal to a broad spectrum of readers.
An ARC copy of this book was provided to me for review by the author. My opinions are my own, and I have received no other compensation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A preschool teacher by day and a wife & mom by night. Although I love all of these titles, I can now add published author to the list of things I can consider myself. I was proud the day I got married, I was proud the day I gave birth to each of my boys, (now grown men) and I was proud when I got my certification to teach. My newest accomplishment in being a published author is my latest proud moment. Writing all my life for fun, family and friends, creating my own story and original characters has been a wonderful journey, one I hope is long lived. It is what I want the rest of my life to be about.
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