Why I’m Releasing a Print Version of My Self-Published Book

 

Boss

Because I want to, that’s why.

It’s much more cost efficient to simply release an Ebook because it is very unlikely that you will sell many print books. Still, it’s not about that. I’m not sure if I will ever publish a print version of any of my future books. But this one? This one’s gonna be a book that I can hold in my hands.

For the most part, I’m working hard to think like a businesswoman. When you self-publish, you are both the author and the publisher. You’re the creative talent and the business owner. The author is the one with the creative fire and passion. She’s the one that writes with her heart and fights for her characters and her story. She wants to love the cover. She wants to publish the book the way she always dreamed it would be.

The publisher’s job is to publish a book that readers will want to buy and read. She demands that the story be perfectly edited and that it will have a marketable concept. The cover should grab attention, yet still be easily identifiable by genre. Her job is to be analytical and to make solid business decisions.

Releasing a self-published print book is probably not a wise business decision. Very few books are likely to sell, and it costs far more to pay a printer than it does to simply publish an Ebook.

Right now, I’ve got the businesswoman side tied up and gagged in the closet. She can come out once I have a print copy of Queen Henry. I know it’s a business decision that I’m making with my heart instead of my head, but I don’t care!

I’m the boss.

I make the rules.

I’ve been a writer for almost two decades.

This is my favorite book and i want to see it in print.

Any questions, businesswoman??

I didn’t think so.

I promise I won’t always make poor business decisions, but they say pick your battles and I chose this one.

I promise that seeing Queen Henry in print and being able to flip through the pages will be worth it, whatever the cost.

So there.

–          Linda Fausnet

P.S. Since writing this article, I’ve decided to publish ALL of my books in paperback. Because I want to. So Nyahhh.

 

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Queen Henry Cover Reveal!

This article is part of my ongoing Wannabe Pride Self-Publishing blog series in preparation for publishing my novel, QUEEN HENRY, in July of 2014. Proceeds from this novel will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation. My author page is www.facebook.com/lindafausnet

 

25 Weeks Until Publication 

Here it is!!!!

Queen Henry - blk border

This beautiful cover was designed by Evan Lerman – www.empossiblesports.com .

What do you think??

– Linda Fausnet

Balance – Under Construction

Today, please welcome guest blogger, Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell – Speaker, Wife, and Mother to the Sweetest & Stickiest-fingered Daughter in the Land!

Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell is the Author of Leading Through Living: A Guide for Women Seeking Growth Through Leadership and CEO of the Leading Through Living Community.  An Attorney & CPA, Entrepreneur & Coach, Lynita has utilized her expertise, experience, and network to train and coach people to be capable, equipped, and empowered leaders personally, professionally, and within their communities.

Follow Lynita on Twitter @lynitamb.

Join the Leading Through Living Community at www.LynitaMitchellBlackwell.com

 

Lynita

Wife. Mother. Daughter. Lawyer. Speaker. Activist. Politico. Friend.  I hold all these titles, and sometimes they hold me – binding me up like a car in gridlocked traffic.  But unlike the car that is trapped and powerless to move through the endless sea of brake lights, I am empowered to get off the freeway and pull over when I feel overwhelmed.  I know how to create an exit, disentangle myself from the traffic, and reset my course so that I may concentrate on the task at hand that requires my immediate attention.  Many reading this would say, “Well, of course, that would be your role as wife.” Or mother. Or careerist. Everyone has an opinion as to where attention should be placed when things spin out of control.  But the truth is, the focus shifts depending on the situation, and it is the person who understands that who will be the most successful in maintaining true family/work/life balance.

How can I say that?  Let us examine for a moment one day in the life of Lynita the Writer:  Up at 5am to work for 2 hours uninterrupted on my writing (which includes my books, workshops, blogs, website content updates); stop at 7am to waken my husband and daughter, and get them ready and out the house to work and school, respectively; 8am, exercise, then get ready for work with my first legal client; 6pm, come home to work on homework with my daughter and enjoy a meal prepared by my awesome mother; 9pm spend time with hubby and work on my community leadership responsibilities.

As you can see, this is not just the life of Lynita the Writer.  It is Lynita’s Life Period.  There is no separating one thing from another, they are all intertwined and although I have a schedule, that schedule can change at the drop of a dime: snow days, date night with hubby, girls afternoon with my mom or girlfriend, emergency with a client, illness, project deadlines… Life happens, will happen, and is happening.  And all the things that make up Life are important and must be faced – will be faced – as they come.  One thing at a time, one instance at a time.  That is true life balance.

But what to do when time must be taken from one place and plugged into another?  How do I decide where it should come from?  That depends on what is on the horizon.  Many writers who have full time jobs and family responsibilities – like yours truly – deduct the time from their writing schedule and hope to catch up later.  Speaking from experience, you never really catch up, you “rob Peter to pay Paul” and take the time catching up on your writing from some other area of your life – time with your family, working out, relaxing.  When deadlines are approaching, that cannot be helped.  If a deadline can be extended, by all means, take the reprieve.  But sometimes that is not possible, and the project must be completed.  When that happens, I make a mental note of the quantity of time I “stole” from its appropriate place and work hard to ensure the quality of said time makes up for it.  So if I miss a blog post, I make sure the next post is more thoughtful and introspective, packed with “goodies” for the reader.   If I work through the night and miss “family time”, we have movie night at home the following weekend.  And when I am exhausted, I rest, knowing that when I wake, I will be rejuvenated and ready to take whatever comes my way.

Balance is your personal road and it is always under construction.  It changes as you and your circumstances change.  It is entirely of your own making.  Make it work for you, taking the turns and curves along the road with the knowledge that you are the chief engineer and in control.

Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell, Esq. & CPA

Author of Leading Through Living

President – GA Chapter

American Association of Attorney CPAs

http://www.lynitamitchellblackwell.com/

When You Can Hear the Silence…The Road to Self-Publishing

This article is part of my ongoing Wannabe Pride Self-Publishing blog series in preparation for publishing my novel, QUEEN HENRY, in July of 2014. Proceeds from this novel will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation. My author page is www.facebook.com/lindafausnet 

 

 26 Weeks Until Publication 

As I mentioned in my blog last week, I’m hard at work on a middle-grade novel while I’m waiting on final edits to come back for QUEEN HENRY. Still, I’d like to give you an update on what’s going on with QUEEN HENRY.

Nothing.

Nothing is going on.

A while back, I sent out packets of information on my novel to celebrities and groups who are LGBT allies in the hopes that they would provide an endorsement for my book to help me sell more books and donate more money to the Harvey Milk Foundation.

And Now a Word from this Celebrity Sponsor…Hopefully…

Celebrity Campaign Launched. And Now We Wait…

So far I have received exactly three responses. A very nice email from author Patricia Nell Warren, a sweet note from whoever answers the mail for Mackelmore, and a form rejection from the Born This Way Foundation. To be honest, I really never expected that any of the celebrities – even the C- and D-List ones – would actually read my book and provide a quote. Still, I guess I expected a better rejection rate. I had hoped that, at least, I would get some nice responses from people who, at the very least, appreciated what I was trying to do as a straight ally. It may sound naive that I expected some responses, but if you check out the Celebrities page on www.wannabepride.com, you’ll be amazed at the cool responses I got from my Great Wannabe Autograph Project. I sent out my Wannabe flyer and asked celebrities to autograph it with a personal, “don’t give up” type of messages for all the Wannabe artists out there trying to make it. I got some AMAZING responses, the best being a real NCIS script autographed by the whole cast that Mark Harmon’s assistant sent to me.

I had hoped that, if absolutely nothing else, I would get some nice responses from celebrity assistants saying they liked what I was doing (the Mackelmore note did say that) and that maybe they would even buy the book when it came out!

Not only have I not received much at all from celebrities, guess who else I haven’t heard from?

Yep. Crickets from the Harvey Milk Foundation.

I shipped a copy of the entire novel, as well as a synopsis, blog articles, other background information on my project, and a SASE to the Harvey Milk Foundation. Radio silence. Though I didn’t expect them to hop on board and necessarily endorse the project (that could be risky for them) some kind of response would have been nice. I obviously worked very hard on the book and it cost me $18 to ship it, so a quick response in the pre-paid response envelope would have been nice.

Oh well.

I will say that whoever manages the Harvey Milk Foundation twitter account has been very good at rockin’ the retweets whenever I mention my novel and the fact that the proceeds will go to them. I’m hopeful that they will continue that when the book comes out and help to get the word out. A mention from them on Facebook would be even better. Their twitter account has 5900. The Facebook page has 56,000…

I also sent a copy of the novel to Club Hippo, a popular gay bar in Baltimore where a lot of my story takes place. I took the time to highlight and flag each reference to the bar for them and I asked permission if I could use their bar in the book.

More silence.

It’s been about four months since I sent out the info to all these people. That whooshing noise you hear is me no longer holding my breath, waiting for any responses.

Okay, enough self-pity. I wrote this book because I’m passionate about the subject of equal rights. I didn’t do it for a pat on the back (though, to be fair, I really was contacting these people to promote the book because it’s all about equality and it will go to a good cause. I’m also still pissed at the literary agents who told me a “gay book” won’t sell. I want to prove them wrong!)

At the end of the day, it will be the regular readers who will make or break this book. People like you who are reading this blog. The book is for you anyway, not for famous celebrities.

Only 26 weeks until I can finally share this book with you.

I can’t wait.

-Linda Fausnet

 

From FanFiction to Original Fiction

Today, Wannabe Pride welcomes guest blogger, Breanna Lee Brown!

I’ve loved to read and write for as long as I can remember. My teachers and family have always told me that I had a talent for writing. But it wasn’t until early 2012 that I started working on my first novel.  Before that, I hadn’t given it serious consideration. What changed? Well, you can thank J. K. Rowling for that. Just for fun, I started writing a Harry Potter fanfiction. It became really addicting. I eventually wrote stories based in the Hunger Games and Divergent worlds as well.  I loved getting feedback. Most reviews were positive, people asking me to write more. It gave me the confidence boost I needed. If you really want to be an author, I think fanfiction’s the perfect place to start. You can put yourself in a familiar fictional world and play around with it anyway you want to. Thanks to the kindness of readers, I decided to begin brainstorming my own original world. Once the ideas flowed out, I couldn’t stop. I realized soon that I had the makings of a trilogy in my hands.

How did it happen, you might ask? I was once told that I should write the kind of book I want to read. The first thing I came up with was the concept. At the risk of having no copyright yet, I can’t disclose much, but I can say that it’s a mix of genres. It’s young adult, science fiction, and historical fiction all in one.

A crucial part of my writing process was influenced by the workshop classes I took in college.  I had to write a few short stories, and as a group, my classmates and professor would critique one another, gaining extremely helpful advice along the way. Not just about our own writing, but the writing world.  Above all, I make sure that I’m always reading. Always learning what kinds of things make a book great or bad. It also tells me the types of books that are bestsellers.

I’m still hard at work on my first book- the third draft, to be exact- and I haven’t begun searching for an agent. Why? I firmly believe that all good things take time. I can thank my workshop teachers for that tidbit. Any amount of work I put into it now will benefit me later. It can mean fewer rejections from agents, and, especially, publishers.

My writing career has only just begun, so bring on 2014!

–          Breanna Lee Brown

When You Can’t Self-Publish Your Book….

This article is part of my ongoing Wannabe Pride Self-Publishing blog series in preparation for publishing my novel, QUEEN HENRY, in July of 2014. Proceeds from this novel will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation. My author page is www.facebook.com/lindafausnet 

 

27 Weeks Until Publication 

I’m still waiting on one final edit of QUEEN HENRY before I can move on and work on formatting and so forth. I’m very happy to announce that I will be doing a cover reveal on this blog very soon! I’m thrilled with the way the cover turned out, and I can’t wait to share it.

In the meantime, I’m working on other writing projects. Right now, I’m working on another draft of a middle-grade (for ages 9-12) book that I first wrote last summer. Back in the days when I would only consider traditional publishing, I wrote both adult fiction and kids fiction. Unfortunately, there really is no effective way to market middle-grade books online, so it’s pretty much traditional publishing or nothing for the book.

Which means it probably won’t get published.

I don’t mean to be negative, but I’ve been doing this long enough to know how this whole scenario is likely to play out : I’ll work really hard on this book, edit it, perfect it, send out query letters to agents and publishers, a handful of them will request a few chapters- maybe the whole manuscript – they’ll ultimately reject it, and I’ll put it on the shelf to gather dust forever.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that I no longer have to accept that as the final answer – for the most part. For any subsequent books I write, I can query first, and if/when they all reject them, I can and will self-publish the books myself. I just can’t do that with middle-grade books. It’s hard, because I really like this one. It’s another baseball novel, but quite different from QUEEN HENRY. It’s called THE JOYVILLE SWEAT SOX, and it’s the story of Konstance MacDonald (or Konnie Mack), a woman who breaks Joyville’s “no anger” law and has to coach the town’s Little League team as penance. I think it’s fun, sweet, and has a good message. It will be hard when the day comes when I run out of people to send it to and I have to give up on it.

But for today, I’m writing and editing, and I’m proud of my work.

We’ll see what happens.

– Linda Fausnet

Publishing and Love: It’s all About Who You Get Into Bed With

Today, Wannabe Pride welcomes guest blogger, Isobel Irons! Isobel is an indie film director and TV producer with a serious writing addiction. Her debut novel of contemporary romantic suspense, WAKE FOR ME, is available now on Amazon.com. To find out more, please visit her website or follow her on Twitter.

IsobelIrons

I recently read a post on Penelope Trunk’s blog about how the biggest decision people can make that will impact their career is who they marry. (Note: Penelope is not only one of many inspirations for an upcoming character, she’s also one of my favorite bloggers because she tells it EXACTLY like it is, at least according to her.)

Because I am so fond of likening publishing to dating, (something you’ll soon find out, for…reasons) this article seemed like it was telling the story of my life. Except, instead of applying it to my real life husband, I applied what she was saying to the people I’ve “married” (i.e. partnered with, in various forms) throughout my career, on the pathway to becoming an author. And guess what? The rules are still 100% true.

“If you marry a breadwinner who expects their career to come first, then things will probably only work if you can support that. Even if you have a career of your own.” – Penelope Trunk

Let’s say you have a friend who is also trying to publish their work. This could be someone you met on the internet and began a relationship with based on your shared experiences, or it could be a real life friend. After a while, you think it’s a good idea to take your relationship to the next level. One of you starts by giving the other a sample of your work, and suddenly your acquaintance is your beta reader. Or maybe you take things a step further and become CPs, or “critique partners.”

Everything seems to be going well, for a while, and you’re so happy to have finally found someone you trust enough to share your goals and worries with, and your rough drafts. Until…something happens. And it will happen. That’s just statistics. One day, one of you will inevitably become more successful than the other. It might be because one of you is more talented than the other, or one of you wants it just a little bit more. Or maybe one of you will give up and simply quit writing. It doesn’t really matter how, because it will happen. And when it does, you’ll have to figure out what is more important: your relationship, or your writing career.

I’m sure we would all like to think that we’re altruistic enough, or secure enough, to not begrudge our friends the success they deserve. And when you’re still in the honeymoon phase, it seems like nothing will ever be more important than the things you share. But history has taught us otherwise, and if you think the divorce rate is bad, try asking a bestselling author how many of their writer friends stuck with them all the way through the journey.

“If you marry someone who is terrible at earning money, or someone who is good at earning money but doesn’t want to, then you will have to take responsibility for earning the money. In each of these cases, your career decisions are largely determined by who you choose as your mate.” – Penelope Trunk

Mate, agent, editor. They’re all in the same category when it comes to publishing. If beta readers and critique partners are the people you date, professional publishing types are the marrying kind. Is it because they’re more trustworthy or respectable, and therefore make better long-term partners? Not necessarily. It’s because there are contracts involved. An agency contract or a publishing deal is like a prenuptial agreement. Great if you’re the one being protected, if you’re the one with the assets. Not so great if you’re the one whose potential future career is on the line.

Maybe you think you have one of those fairy tale, too good to be true relationships, like Westley and Buttercup from William Goldman’s The Princess Bride. (BTW, have you ever actually read that book? Because there’s a little known epilogue about what happens after they finally get together, and it’s actually pretty shocking how condescending Westley becomes toward Buttercup at the end. Sorry if I crushed someone’s childhood just now.) No matter who you are, even if you have the perfect marriage, things are going to change. Launching your first book is like having a kid. Contracts are all hunky-dory in theory, but what happens when actual money gets involved? What happens when your book doesn’t sell, or maybe it sells better than either you or your partner ever dreamed? Success complicates things even more than failure does, in most respects. Can you honestly say that won’t take a toll on your relationship?

“It’s true that who you marry is your most important career decision. But it’s also your most important financial decision, your most important parenting decision, and on and on. No one ever says that they knew what they were getting when they picked their spouseTwenty years down the line, everyone is surprised.

So the choice is impossible to perfect because the information you have about your options is so poor. People change, and people don’t know who they are so they can’t disclose who they are. And life before kids does not resemble life with kids, so how do you even know how the person will react when the kids come? It’s hubris to say this does not apply to you.” – Penelope Trunk

If you think about it, the publisher/author relationship is the ultimate example of a “classic” marriage. The publisher is the Don Draper-style bread winner, who promises to love (when it’s convenient for him), honor (unless someone better comes along) and obey (hahahaha, not) his wife, or in other words, the author. In return, the author promises to do everything that the publisher asks of him/her, including producing creative content on demand and marketing him/herself whenever the publisher decides that parading their author around at the company Christmas party (or whatever) is beneficial to the publisher’s image and financial goals.

At this point, I realize a lot of you are thinking I’m coming from a jaded, feministic and/or “traditional pub”-hating place. But I assure you, I’m only using these oversimplified (and yes, okay, kind of pejorative) examples to illustrate the fact that publishing IS A BUSINESS. Agents, editors and publishers are business people. They’re not in it because they love you–no matter what they tend to blog. They’re in it to make money, and support themselves. If they don’t make more from you as an author than they invest in you, that’s bad business. Once you understand how the balance of power works, you can expect that a publisher will always act in their own best interest.

Which, in a way, is actually super refreshing. Liberating, even. Because if you go into any kind of publishing relationship, knowing full well that the other person will only support you as far as it benefits them, the whole process becomes a lot less complicated. It’s not love, it’s not marriage. It’s not even a meaningful connection. It’s just sex–I mean, business.

Publishing. It’s publishing.

 

By Isobel Irons

Filmmaker, Professional, Hipster, Publishing Badass

http://isobelirons.com

@IsobelIrons

Hopes for the New Year – The Road to Self-Publishing

This article is part of my ongoing Wannabe Pride Self-Publishing blog series in preparation for publishing my novel, QUEEN HENRY, in July of 2014. Proceeds from this novel will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation. My author page is www.facebook.com/lindafausnet

Jan 2

 

28 Weeks Until Publication

The year 2014 has been burned into my mind for a long time. It’s kind of like when you’re a freshman in high school and you have your graduation date in mind for years (class of ’93 here!). I’ve been a writer for a long time, but it’s been about two years since I decided that I would publish my first novel in 2014. It’s been a long wait and I can hardly believe that 2014 is finally here!

I’m hopeful that it’s going to be an exciting year, no matter what happens. I’m starting my own publishing business. I don’t know what will happen. I don’t know if it will be a successful business. I don’t know if I will sell many books, but I’m sure gonna try.

So.

God willin’ and the creek don’t rise, the following things are going to happen in 2014:

* I’m going to launch my Wannabe Pride publishing company;

* I’m going to publish my favorite book and donate the proceeds to a very worthy cause;

* I’m going to finally be able to hold my book in my hands;

* I will probably cry when that last one happens.

It’s a scary prospect to finally publish my writing after all these years, but I’m really excited about it.

2014.

Wow.

It’s finally go time. Thanks for being on this ride with me.

Happy New Year!

–       Linda Fausnet