Today’s guest post is courtesy of Ishabelle Torry, one of my beloved beta readers and a fellow author I met through Breathless Press. She’s here today to talk about her adventures with self-publishing for the first time, in the wake of Breathless Press closing.
There’s no surprise in this world when businesses come and go. Especially in this day and age. We live in a fast paced society, and are constantly keeping up with the motto “kick out the old, bring in the new.” All sorts of businesses fall to this merciless rule, and unfortunately, I’ve recently caught myself in the middle of one of these failing enterprises.
As of May 1, 2015, my publisher Breathless Press closed its doors. But not for lack of tact and effort. More often than not, the small man caves to the larger. It’s the unwritten rule you won’t find in your business texts. I’ve come to learn the literary world is loaded with competition, and consumers are fickle. Myself included.
Although an author, I am still an avid reader. I scrounge the internet for books and new writers all the time—along with coupons and discounts. Yep. I said it. If I can find a book for cheaper, I take that route. But that’s not the only incentive. Convenience is my next best friend.
Like many of you, the Kindle and Nook are my best friends. It’s so much easier to order directly from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, allowing your purchased book to go straight to your desired device. I myself despise having to download to my computer than swap it over to my device. Many times, have I actually scrounged websites of the small presses only to go to Amazon and order it there. (Unless they have one heck of a sale on the mother site.)
What does that mean for the authors and publishers that I am buying from? It means less royalties on both accounts. The third-party vendor takes their portion first, and then the author and publisher split the money as agreed per contract. A two way split becomes a kinky three way…without the thrills or handcuffs. Hence the rise of third-party distributors.
So what does that mean for me, and what have I learned during this excursion? Well, a few things actually.
One: I’m an author without a publisher. I am homeless!! (WHAAAAAA)
Two: I’ve learned the value of supporting small presses.
Three: The big dawgs are big because they are flexible, multipurpose, and convenient. (Like really, I can buy a nightgown, unicorn stickers, movies, chocolate, and books, all in one visit.) All kinds of hot combos!
Four: I may need to embark on a new journey like a virgin greeting the marriage bed for the first time. Tired, scared, curious, excited, and maybe a little drunk.
Five: Amazon is my friend.
So, my first step on this epic new voyage? Self-publishing.
With the closing of Breathless Press, the copyrights to my titles were released back to me. I decided it was time take my shorter pieces straight to self-publishing on Amazon while my longer ones are hopefully re-homed soon. And I couldn’t be anymore terrified!
When you first think about publishing as a writer, you dream big. You wanna get into that big ass publishing house everyone loves. For me, Avon, Harlequin, Penguin… You try like hell, and more often than not, they tell you NO!
Ughhh! Now what?
You’re gonna be one of them starving artists for life at this rate. Or you can find yourself a nicer, little lesser known home and earn your street credit there. That was the route I took. And I don’t regret it one bit! Thank you Breathless Press for taking a chance on me! I’ve learned so much while there and I will always be grateful. But now…I must fly! Or fall on my face…either way, I am ready to move on now.
As a result, I am celebrating my newest release…er… re-release! I have taken that big step into the self-publishing world with The Gift. I chose to use Amazon, perhaps the biggest third party distributor known. With their new publishing platform, self-pubbing has become a very popular option to many authors.
I must admit, this decision didn’t come lightly. I was leery in approaching this option because firstly, would I still be considered an author if I self-pub my work? After much thought, I realized HELL YEAH I am. An author isn’t defined by their publishing house. They are defined by their work—writing. I write. I publish in whatever format. I am author! Hear me type!
With that silly question answered, my next issue became “How?”
Okay, I will admit, I suck at all this technological crap. I can barely run Facebook some days. It’s sad. I know. *hangs head in shame and asks 8 year old how to insert pics into the document*
So I scrounged the Amazon site. Scared me. Too many words and definitions and rules and guidelines… *where’s my bag to breathe into?* Next stop, YouTube. I watched a few videos, and they made it look so easy! Against my head screaming to leave it alone, I went to Amazon and created a publishing account on Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP. Pretty easy so far. Personal info and such. And then the feared “Add a Book” button showed up. What the heck, why not? I clicked it.
Twenty minutes later, book was added and I hit save, not convinced I was ready. I waited until the next morning after going over my manuscript one more time. Once I was certain everything was perfect, I returned to KDP, selected a release date, uploaded the final final final version, and hit submit! Really, that’s all there was to it! Simple and effective. They even convert the Word doc for you, and have an option to help you design a cover. (PS. My awesome cover is the wonderful work of Allie Kincheloe! XOXOX)
It is nearly 10 p.m. the night before my re-release is officially sent out into the Amazon world as I type this. I no longer have any finger nails left, and my toe nails are starting to look good. In the next few hours, the first part of my new journey begins. And I couldn’t be more honored than I am now to have you joining me. So deep breath, here I go. Come on! Bring peanuts and beer if you like!
Thank you for reading!
You can find Ishabelle Torry at https://www.facebook.com/IshabelleTorry
Or follow her on Twitter at: @IshabelleTorry
Amazon Author Profile: http://www.amazon.com/Ishabelle-Torry/e/B00KY55CMC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
The Gift by Ishabelle Torry on Amazon:
When their tenth anniversary comes around, Sheryl wants to make it special for Daniel. Something crazy, extraordinary, and completely out of her persona. Her solution–a nude portrait. But on the way home, self-doubt leaves her wishing she’d stuck to the same old ties and shirts of the past. The painting must go! Only one problem…Daniel’s home earlier than expected! It’s no-holds-barred as Sheryl frantically tries to hide the foolish gift. Can she play distract-the-hubby long enough before he catches a glimpse?
My chest tightened, and I had to take slow, calming breaths to steady my quivering limbs as I maintained eye contact. I had waited years for this moment; defeating modesty with a blatant desire to shed the snow from its covered mountain peak. I prayed I wouldn’t pass out before the overdue climax reached fruition.
His tongue darted out and he licked the corners of his mouth hungrily, squinting in concentration. “One more touch,” he promised with a whisper. He then threw his head back and bellowed. “Finished!”
I pulled the sheets over my nudity, suddenly embarrassed. My clammy palms smeared the soft fabric with wet streaks as I wrung the material between shaky fingers. I waited for him to speak—to say anything. With pursed lips, he occasionally produced a clicking sound as his tongue bounced off of his front teeth.
I willed his words to come. But silence was the one thing I found to be the most charming of his many qualities. Without words, he couldn’t criticize me…or my newest fetish. My endeavor was safe with this almost mime.
He grunted loudly and twisted his body back and forth. A long stretch pulled him to his tiptoes as his head fell back to blow kisses at the popcorn ceiling. He lowered his gaze slowly and devoured my form from crown to toe, like a lion inspecting his prey. The deep blue of his eyes hid his thoughts, just as the ocean concealed buried treasure.
My pulse raced. Had I disappointed him somehow? I fought a sniffle. What if the last twelve hours had been nothing but a shallow exertion of his part to simply earn a fee? I swallowed at the lump in my throat, but lacked the saliva to push it down. I couldn’t believe he was void of any emotion. Passion is what fueled his type, and it was reflected in their work. What we had shared could be nothing other than a masterpiece.