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Guest Post: My Self Publishing Journey by Sarah Mayberry

The following is a guest post written by Sarah Mayberry about the path to publication of her first self published novel, Her Best Worst Mistake. 

When I was a baby writer dreaming of being published, the idea of holding a real, paper book in my hands with my name on the spine was the be-all and end-all. I wrote 8 full novels over nearly 10 years before I was finally accepted for publication under Harlequin’s Blaze imprint. Fast forward 26 novels and novellas, and my be-all and end-all has undergone a dramatic shift. While holding a real, paper book in my hands still has enormous appeal, I now understand that paper is not the only way to get my stories in front of readers.

Everyone who is on-line understands that publishing has undergone a revolutionary shift in recent years. The ability for writers to self-publish their works and gain widespread distribution without going through a publisher has opened up a world of possibilities. As a writer, it’s an exciting time. It’s also a bit scary. There I was, beavering away in my writing cave for years, trying to get an editor to buy one of my books. Then I sold and just as I was starting to hit my stride and shift my ambitions to writing a single title novel, everything changed.

I’ll happily admit that at first I was more than a little discombobulated by the changes in the market place. But as time wore on I started to read and research and listen, and finally I decided it was time to drink some of this self-publishing kool-aid that everyone was carrying on about. The royalty rates for traditionally published books are well known, I imagine, as are the figures for the new e-model. It’s every writer’s dream to earn more for their labor. In some cases, self publishing may in fact be the only way that an author can survive on their sales. I felt it would be foolish of me to stick my head in the sand and not explore the new options open to me in this brave new world.

I already had fragments of a sub-plot story that I had been forced to pull from my last Blaze, Hot Island Nights, because I was over the word limit for that particular line. At the time, I was bummed because I loved the dynamic between my sub-plot hero and heroine, Martin and Violet. When it came time to write the epilogue at the end of HIN, I left in the bit where Martin and Violet turn up in Australia together, much to the surprise of the hero and heroine from HIN. (I don’t think I’m giving any spoilers away by telling you that there’s a HEA in store for these two. It’s a romance, right?). When the book came out, I got a slew of letters from readers, asking for Martin and Violet’s story. I hadn’t intentionally tried to drum up interest in their story, but it was nice to think that I might be able to use all those words that were on the cutting room floor.

My first thought was that I could write a little novella and offer it for free on my website. Then I started writing and kept writing way past the novella stage. As I hit what I thought would be the halfway point it occurred to me that this was definitely a story that I could self publish.

Once I made that decision, I realised I needed to get permission from Harlequin to use the characters from HIN in another book.  It’s a standard part of the Harlequin boilerplate contract that they have first rights on any spin-off etc from books they contract ( a pretty standard clause, I understand). I figured there was no point writing a whole novel I was never going to be able to do anything with, so I stopped writing and started talking to the legal department. They were very nice about it, and once I had their release in my filing cabinet, I hit the go button in earnest. Because I knew from past experience that I wouldn’t get the book out there unless I had a deadline, I booked on-line advertising for May. This was way back at the end of last year. I figured I’d have everything sorted – easily – by then.

Cut to March, with me knee deep in revisions and writing and scripts for contracted work – stuff people had paid me to do. I looked at that May deadline and seriously began to sweat. I wondered if I should cancel it and put my book out later in the year. Then I told myself to put on my big girl panties (actually, an astronaut diaper would have been more handy, to save time on those pesky bathroom breaks) and get the book sorted.

So I did. I wrote. I edited. I got feedback from a handful of smart writer friends who know and love the genre. I worked with a freelance editor. And I started shopping around for someone to look after my formatting for me – because I knew, absolutely, that that was not something I wanted to handle myself.

This is where Marie Force came in. Marie and I have chatted a lot over the years, and I read with interest that she had launched a book formatting and editing service for authors seeking to self publish. Marie is enjoying fantastic success herself with self-publishing, and I was more than happy to benefit from her know-how. Right from the start she took me by my sweaty little hand and guided me through what I needed to do to get my book on-line, from opening accounts with the various vendors to preparing my file and sending it. She also provided much-needed cheerleading from the sidelines.

I had pretty firm ideas about what sort of cover I wanted – something sexy and striking but classy – and the artist I used was very patient with me. Because the book wasn’t finalised yet, I had the freedom to go into the manuscript and add details from the cover into the story so that the cover felt more connected to the book. That felt really important to me – I hate it when there’s a disconnect between the cover and the content of a book.

Finally, it was time to send the file off and get it ready for uploading.

I want to say up front that the hardest thing about this whole process for me was working without my editor. We’ve worked on 26 odd books together, and she is my story touchstone. Usually, my book doesn’t go anywhere until my editor gives it the go ahead. As any writer will tell you, by the time you’ve finished writing and revising and editing, you have lost any sense of perspective about the book. You can gain it again by putting the manuscript in the bottom drawer for a few months, or by talking to a great editor who offers a new take on things. But it’s tough to assess a book yourself when you’ve only just crawled out of the trenches. So making the decision to send my manuscript file to the formatters was the single most nerve-wracking moment of my journey, hands down. This was just me, after all, deciding my book was ready. Empowering and pretty freaking awesome, but also scary. If I messed up, I would truly have no one to blame but myself.

I sent it off. When it came back, I girded my loins to do battle with Smashwords’ legendarily  cranky Meatgrinder. Hallelujah, it went through first time. Smashwords makes it incredibly easy for writers to navigate their way to self publication. Seriously – I am pretty tragic when it comes to technology, but I just followed all their cues until I had all the appropriate boxes ticked. Amazingly, my file was live and on sale within 5 minutes. I had my first sale after just ten minutes. I rang my husband and giggled like a schoolgirl down the phone. Then I wrote to Marie Force and asked if she’d bought my book, thinking that maybe she was testing the formatting. She hadn’t. A real live genuine person had bought my book. Get out of town.

Please understand, I have no idea normally if anyone is buying my books. I get two very complicated royalty statements from my publisher a year, but usually I don’t know how a book has really done until about a year after it was released. And here I was, ten minutes after going live and I could see that someone had bought my book. Welcome to the future, Ms Mayberry.

Kindle took a whole 12 hours to load my book before it was ready for sale (I know, outrageous). Again, it was a numbers game, watching my ranking, checking reports to see if anyone had bought my book.

Which brings me to marketing. As I mentioned above, I booked an on-line ad with Smart Bitches to create a deadline for myself. (I’d have one here, too, but DA was all booked up. What’s up with being so popular, DA?). This isn’t something I’ve ever done before. Generally speaking, I rely on Harlequin to promote my books in that way. But I was my own publisher this time around, so if I didn’t make a ruckus about my book, no one would. I started by gifting my book to everyone on my newsletter mailing list. Getting reader letters is the highlight of a writer’s day – sometimes even her month. When you spend your days in your pajamas talking to imaginary people in your head, hearing back from the outside world that your words have struck a chord with someone is damned awesome. So, I sent my book to these lovely people who’d made time in their busy lives to contact me because I wanted to say thank you for their support and kind words over the years. And I contacted a few romance bloggers who have reviewed me in the past and offered them copies of my book, too. The final plank in my astonishingly sophisticated marketing plan was to Tweet to my enormous 500 followers. And I did, exhaustively. To the point where I annoyed even myself.

Since launching my book, I have also taken out an ad on Good Reads. So far, it seems to be earning its keep. I’m not sure at what stage a book develops its own “life” out there in the ether in terms of word of mouth and recommendations, but Her Best Worst Mistake has enjoyed some great positive reviews to date that have definitely impacted on sales. For example, I could map the shift when the DA review appeared – a huge jump in my Kindle sales ranking over all, including an appearance on the Kindle contemporary romance best sellers list. The same thing happened when Smart Bitches posted a positive review, pushing the book even further up into the early 500s in the overall ranking and number 50 something on the contemporary romance bestseller list.

It’s probable that I will need to get better at marketing, but I happen to be a big believer in the “if you build it, they will come” philosophy, and I’d like to think that concentrating on writing a great book is the best place for me to direct my energies. But that’s probably the pajama-wearing introvert in me wanting to avoid self-promotion. We shall see.

Afew people have asked me if I plan on doing this again. The answer is “hell, yeah.” I’m already working on a concept for a linked series of books. I’m actually pretty excited about it. I will also continue to write for Harlequin.

There was a post recently on a well known self-pubbing site talking about Harlequin. I don’t want to get into the numbers, because that’s not what this post is about, but I would like to address what my publisher has done for me. After 26 books, I know I am a better, smarter writer than when I first sent my manuscript off to Harlequin. I have had the guidance of an extraordinarily talented editor, Wanda Ottewell, and I continue to think of every book I produce as a joint project between the two of us. Believe me, she sweats with me in the trenches. She listens to long, rambling phone calls and tells me when I’ve jumped the shark. To suggest that my career would be where it is without her and Harlequin is ridiculous. For starters, no other North American publisher would have bought a book set in Australia, peopled with Australian characters. I have plenty of writer friends who have tried to sell these types of stories to New York, and no one wants them. None of you would have ever heard of me or read one of my books. It is nonsensical to suggest otherwise. Harlequin gave me a platform and believed in me, and that is why my future will include a mix of options, not just one. That’s what self-publishing is all about, in my mind. Options.

Moving forward with self-publishing, the great question in my mind is who I can find to work with me in the same editorial capacity on a freelance basis. Having worked in story departments on four different TV shows in two countries, I know exactly how rare people with strong story and structural skills are. Finding a freelance editor who can stretch me in the same way that Wanda does is going to be a huge challenge and I definitely worry that I won’t be getting the same candor and tough love when I am footing the bill for services rendered. But that’s a mission for another day.

Nearly three weeks into my self-publishing journey, watching the numbers and the feedback has been exciting and engaging. My book, published by me, is out there in the world being read. I definitely feel empowered and invigorated by this adventure so far. I have no idea where it’s going to take me, but I have already decided one thing for sure – this kool-aid is pretty damn moreish.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

39 Comments

  1. Marguerite Kaye
    May 29, 2012 @ 04:48:48

    Really great post. And it’s lovely to see such a balanced and honest view too, I couldn’t agree more on the subject of editorial support, my own M&B ed has made a phenomenal difference to my books, and on the days when I think I will never write a publishable word again, she picks me up and dusts me down and sets me off on the right track again (just like Thomas’s little engine, if anyone has every heard of that story!). Thank you.

  2. Kaetrin
    May 29, 2012 @ 06:48:41

    Congratulations Sarah. Her Best Worst Mistake is a great book. I think Harlequin will see a boost in sales too as those of us who hadn’t yet read Hot Island Nights will be snapping it up too. (hint: it’s $2.99 at Books on Board at the moment).

    So happy to hear you will be doing more self publishing. It sounds eminently sensible that you continue with Hqn too. Well done you! Hope you make squillions :)

  3. Liz Talley
    May 29, 2012 @ 07:24:55

    Terrific post, Sarah, and (gasp!) your publishing plan makes such good sense. In a time where many draw a line and stand on a side and shake a finger at the other, it’s smart to have a foot in both worlds.

    I’ll also agree with that editoriall support. I’m relatively new to HQ, but I’ve been given such good support, not just editorial but with promo, too. Currently, I’ve not ventured into the self-publishing waters because, honestly, I’m still working on my brand and platform. I’m still learning. I’m still stretching my wings. But I’m good with where I am and I’m trying to be patient with myself as an author.

    I’m very proud of you, and so glad to share being a Superromance author with you…and I’m really glad to share Wanda :) I’m thinking Kaetrin is correct. I’ve got to read Hot Island Nights first. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your story of wading into the “kool-aid”

  4. Rita Oberlies
    May 29, 2012 @ 07:34:55

    As a reader I love when my favorite authors try new things like self publishing. One big benefit as a consumer seems to be having access to more books in a shorter period of time. I picked up “Her Best Worst Mistake” after reading the review at DA and loved it so much that I immediately downloaded “Hot Island Nights”.

    Congratulations Sarah! Looking forward to your next release!

  5. Dabney
    May 29, 2012 @ 07:56:53

    What an interesting post. Thanks for sharing your story!

  6. Anne V
    May 29, 2012 @ 08:07:32

    It sounds like you’ve struck a great balance, which is something I think many authors are struggling with as the business model for publishing becomes more and more fluid.

    I read Her Best Worst Mistake based on the DA review, and then I went and bought some of your HQ backlist at Amazon – Hot Island Nights, Anything for You, She’s Got It Bad, More Than One Night, and so far I’m really enjoying them.

    Purely selfishly, it is so nice to find an author that I enjoy and then find that they have backlist, whether self published or publisher-published (what’s that called these hectic days, anyway, when there’s a publisher involved in the publishing?)

  7. Jane
    May 29, 2012 @ 08:10:56

    @Anne V: I read recently where a publishing person (I don’t know if it was a self publishing consultant or what) recommended that a new self published author write at least three books and then publish them because readers want to buy more than one book by the author if that author resonates. From the comments I am seeing, that may make a lot of sense.

  8. Jennifer Estep
    May 29, 2012 @ 08:21:13

    Interesting post. Thanks for sharing your story and congrats on your new release.

  9. Maili
    May 29, 2012 @ 08:26:21

    Thank you so much for this! I found it really enjoyable and educational.

    @Jane: Definitely does make sense. I’m a self-confessed impulsive buyer so when I try an unknown and enjoy their book, I tend to return to buy their other books. I’m usually disappointed when I find there’s no book and admittedly, after a while, I’ll forget that author’s existence.

  10. Rosie
    May 29, 2012 @ 09:33:05

    I love that you’re exploring your options — especially if that means more books from one of my favorite authors! Great post.

  11. ReadingPenguin
    May 29, 2012 @ 09:40:54

    Thanks so very, very much for sharing your story! As a reader, I will admit to a certain indifference when it comes to HOW my favorite authors publish–as long as I can find an ebook copy on release day I’m a happy girl. But I’m glad to know that trying new methods like this is beneficial to you.

  12. StacieH4
    May 29, 2012 @ 10:17:00

    I am a huge Sarah Mayberry fangirl was thrilled to see the new book! It is a fantastic story and I appreciate the professionalism with which it was written and produced. I am excited to see more self-published stories in the future.

    Also, kudos to Harlequin for agreeing to let this story be self-published. I appreciate a publisher who is flexible like that and who releases thier ebooks early and with a discount.

  13. Stephanie Doyle
    May 29, 2012 @ 10:45:37

    Great post Sarah! And I totally agree. Self publishing can be empowering and scary. And it’s great for authors to have options. I LOVED Her Best Worst Mistake.

    Oh and I also agree with you and Liz – Wanda is the best there is!

  14. Kim
    May 29, 2012 @ 12:09:32

    Interesting post. I like that Ms. Mayberry credits Harlequin with refining her skills and believes there is still a place for traditional publishers. I don’t mind spending money on authors that started with traditional publishing and are branching out, precisely because they now have the experience of crafting a story that sells. I won’t buy from someone who goes straight to self-pub, because I don’t trust that they all have the same skill set. I’m sure some do, but I don’t think reading the sample gives me enough of a basis to judge their ability.

  15. Michelle Grey
    May 29, 2012 @ 12:14:02

    Thank you for being willing to sharing your experiences. I am, as yet, unpublished, with an e-pub marketing plan that begins on 1/1/13. I appreciate hearing what’s working (and not) for others.

  16. Ridley
    May 29, 2012 @ 12:48:15

    I’ve bought but not yet read Her Best Worst Mistake. I had to read Hot Island Nights first. I’m looking forward to Droopy Drawers getting his own story.

    But, me being me, I want to comment on something in your post:

    The final plank in my astonishingly sophisticated marketing plan was to Tweet to my enormous 500 followers. And I did, exhaustively. To the point where I annoyed even myself.

    I follow you on Twitter and, to be honest, almost unfollowed you during this phase. Effective promo is not repeatedly tweeting about your book. I unfollowed Smart Bitches Sarah when her last book came out and all she tweeted about for weeks was her book and where she was appearing on a book tour. I just unfollowed Pamela Clare who, despite having lots of interesting material to tweet about as a newspaper editor, journalist and activist, only tweets links to her self-publishing friends’ books. I didn’t buy Sarah’s book and I’m not buying any of that self-pub circle’s books, though I am WELL AWARE that they exist.

    Here’s the thing, if someone is following you, they probably like your books. When people like your books, they tend to keep up with your release schedule. Repeatedly linking your book to these people is preaching to the choir. Also, it’s not really the sort of thing people follow an author for. Ideally, Twitter is a conversation, not a loudspeaker.

    Authors should limit themselves to maybe one mention of their new book each day for the week it releases. Even that’s a bit much. If people are following you, they’ve presumably seen you mention the book already. After all, authors seem to love venting about their current WIP, squeeing about sending a book off after a final round of edits and sharing with everyone their anticipation leading up to release day. So, your followers should already be well aware that you have a book coming out. Repeated tweeting after release day is flogging a dead horse.

    Effective promo on Twitter is making yourself available and approachable. It’s not something you do for release day, it’s a relationship you establish with your followers over time. Talking about life, writing, TV shows, your dog, whatever is what makes an author’s feed interesting. That’s what keeps followers listening to your feed, not sales pitches.

  17. Ridley
    May 29, 2012 @ 12:50:42

    Damn me, that post was longer than I thought. I was just trying to help, but that post looks so douchey.

    Oh well.

  18. Phyl
    May 29, 2012 @ 13:53:03

    @Ridley: Thank you, Ridley. Perfectly said and not douchey at all. I could not agree more.

  19. Joan Dyer
    May 29, 2012 @ 13:54:12

    I work with a self-publisher that offers marketing and editorial services ala carte (meaning, you don’t have to publish with us in order to be able to access our services).
    We’ve been rated as ‘Excellent’ in a number of industry publications. Check us out! XulonPress.com

  20. Tina
    May 29, 2012 @ 14:07:10

    This was a fascinating read. I think every person (especially never before published authors) choosing to self-pub should read about the care and steps Sarah took before putting the book out there. Especially the fact that she understands the necessity of working with a professional editor and employed a good cover artist. I have to say that I click on about 30ish self pubbed links a day will rarely ever even take the time to even look at the description because the cover is so awful.

    Even though I am a big Sarah Mayberry fan anyway, the cover of HBWM simply spoke to me on a aesthetic level. Very striking.

    And yes, I went out and bought HIN on the strength of wanting to read HBWM, even though I don’t particularly like the Blaze line. I am cynical enough to believe that Harlequin probably understood that interest in the new book would likely create interest and increased sales in their older title, hence allowing her use the characters was pretty much a good business decision on their end.

  21. rachel
    May 29, 2012 @ 14:08:51

    This was such an interesting post to read. I bought Her Best Worst Mistake because of the really excellent ad that you ran on DA and from there bought Hot Island Nights. I’m really excited to see where your work goes in the future and congrats on all your success!

  22. Karina Bliss
    May 29, 2012 @ 15:57:10

    Sarah, thanks for sharing. A fascinating insight.

  23. Sarah Mayberry
    May 29, 2012 @ 16:46:55

    I’m awake on this side of the world now. Thanks everyone for all your kind and supportive words – it’s very early days with all this stuff, but it’s great to know that people have enjoyed the book and that the cover hit the spot. Always a big relief to know that my own tastes aren’t completely off the planet. Ridley, even though a part of me clenched and squirmed as I read your post, I appreciate the advice. Sitting on this side of the Twitter fence, it’s hard to know how to handle promo. As I said in my post, I did annoy even myself on Twitter. But because I had so precious few tools at my disposal, I pushed past my own inclination to shut the hell up about my book and kept tweeting. Guess I should have listened to my gut, huh? But one tweet a day for gratuitous self promo is not a bad rule when you’re releasing a book. The rest of the time, I prefer to talk to people about my dog. Who is adorable.

  24. Ridley
    May 29, 2012 @ 17:16:55

    @Sarah Mayberry:

    The rest of the time, I prefer to talk to people about my dog. Who is adorable.

    QFT

  25. Serenity Woods
    May 29, 2012 @ 20:19:06

    Wonderful post Sarah, probably echoing the thought of many a modern writer. I recently took the plunge and self-published a short romance too, because I wanted to offer some of my work to readers at a low price with the hope that if they read it and liked it, they’d go on to buy my other novels. I went through Amazon’s KDP system and offered my novella (Stranded with a Scotsman) free for 5 days. It was downloaded 23,500 times *faints* Since then, it’s continued to sell 100 copies a day, which is far better than I thought it would (as I’m not as well-known an author as your good self!) But the important thing for me was that it gave me back some control over my writing in a business where a writer can so often feel out of control. I love my editors and publishers, and it’s scary working without them, but it has been wonderful to write my story exactly as I want it and to be able to design the cover and write the blurb etc myself. It’s been great fun, and not at all as difficult as I’d anticipated. I’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone, and I’m definitely going to give it another go! Good luck with your book–I love your style and will definitely go and buy this one!

  26. Camille
    May 29, 2012 @ 22:58:56

    Fantastic, honest, open post.
    I love your writing! Seriously, in a (romance) world full of billionaires, bears and over the top alphas the depth and realism you give your characters and stories enthrall me every time. And while I am a new-ish reader of yours My Best Worst Mistake is my favourite hands down. There is a real dynamism and energy in this one that strongly appeals to me. Congrats on the sales…good writing deserves it.

  27. Lilian Darcy
    May 30, 2012 @ 01:16:20

    Count me as another one who goes back and forth between loving this new publishing world, being terrified of it, totally failing to understand it and stuffing everything up, wishing we could go back to the Olden Days when I’d only written ten books instead of eighty, loving the whole thing again even while not understanding it any better…

    Congratulations on the book, Sarah!

    And hearing you on the Twitter thing, Ridley. I unfollowed someone today who posted about fourteen tweets in the space of a minute on the same subject. Can’t even remember what the subject was, but I don’t think there’s anything in the universe I’m fourteen-tweets-a-minute interested in.

  28. Kris Pearson
    May 30, 2012 @ 02:03:44

    Sarah – most interesting post. I took the self-publishing plunge late last year and am so glad I did. My novels never quite fitted the publishers’ lines, but they’re selling in thousands now.
    I’m finding all sorts of other books that didn’t suit the trad publishers either, and this is what’s so good from a reader’s point of view. There’s such interesting reading out there now! And on a Kindle, taking a chance costs less than a cup of coffee.

  29. Charlie
    May 30, 2012 @ 03:30:52

    Fascinating post! I didn’t know that Harlequin has dibs on characters, so how good it is you were able to get the go ahead. It’s great you’re able to follow the downloads as they happen, that must be such a morale boost. Love the sound of the book and hope to read it soon!

  30. cleo
    May 30, 2012 @ 07:36:12

    Interesting post. And, it reminded me to check B&N again, so now I finally own HBWM. Woo hoo! I’m reading Hot Island Nights right now and I’m really enjoying it.

    I have to thank you, Sarah, for saving my commute last night. My regular train route was disrupted by a fire at a station (no one was hurt, so I feel ok being grumpy about being inconvenienced) so I took a bus that took twice as long, and I was grumpy, but not too grumpy, because I was hanging out with my new friends, Elizabeth and Nate, on an island in Australia.

  31. Lucy Francis
    May 30, 2012 @ 10:35:44

    Love the post, Sarah. I always enjoy reading about a writer’s success, and the fact that I love your work made this one even more fun. Kudos on seeing the advantages of both the traditional and self-pubbing options. I dislike seeing the battle lines drawn and one side declaring that the other has nothing good to offer. Both are viable paths, not necessarily mutually exclusive, and a clever writer will use every tool in the arsenal to have a long and healthy career. I wish you continued success in both ventures.

  32. Estara Swanberg
    May 30, 2012 @ 15:23:14

    @Kim: I have found that when trusted reviewers with a similar taste review a self-published book by an unknown author favourably, I can buy with confidence ^^. Case in point: The Booksmugglers review of Andrea Höst’s Champion of the Rose (which is fantasy, by the way and not romance). I have now read five books by her and haven’t been dissappointed yet.

    As for a freelance editor: Laura Anne Gilman is doing freelance editing on the side, she is an author and a former editor for one of the big publishing houses. However, her writing and editing was mostly in the realm of sf&f, so I’m not sure if that would serve Ms Mayberry.

    Among the writers I’ve worked with are Dana Stabenow, Harry Turtledove, Peter Beagle, Graham Masterton, Guy Gavriel Kay, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, R.A. Salvatore, Anne Bishop, Caitlin R. Kiernan, S.M. Stirling, and Shiloh Walker. Best-selling, award-winning authors from all genres, from suspense to romance, from mystery to horror, with a specialization in science fiction and fantasy.

    So if you’re serious about wanting to publish – not just a good book, but the very best book you can write – let’s talk.

  33. sarah Mayberry
    May 30, 2012 @ 17:22:14

    @Estara Swanberg: Thanks for the referral, Estara. I’ll check her out. I LOVE Guy Gavriel Kay.

  34. Kris Bock
    May 30, 2012 @ 19:09:04

    I love stories like this! Writing success in any form is wonderful, and you’ve shown how a willingness to learn new things and take chances can bring rewards. Best of luck on both your publishing paths (or is it one path with different stops along the way?).

  35. Fiona Lowe
    May 30, 2012 @ 21:14:40

    Sarah, thanks for sharing and congratulations!
    Ridley, thank you! Great advice for authors I would like to share more widely!

  36. Blogs for self-publishers May 27 – June 2, 2012
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