Thursday, April 30, 2015

How I Transitioned from Working with Publishers to Becoming an Indie Author




How I Transitioned from Working with Publishers to Becoming an Indie Author

I’ve published over twenty-five books with publishers, plus bunches of short fiction, over the past few years. I had a few complaints with my various publishing houses—well, more than a few—but I feared the stigma of going out on my own. Another consideration was that writing is a fairly solitary pursuit. At least with publishers, I had a group of editors, cover artists, acquisitions staff, etc. to create the illusion I wasn’t alone.

Last summer, my contracts came due on my first three novels with a very small press. I was given a choice: maintain the status quo, reduce the prices to .99, or take my rights back. I took a good hard look at those three novels—and winced. Actually, it was worse than that. I wanted to cry and apologize to everyone who read them. My writing was pretty bad, and I knew the books needed gutting and rewriting. Goodness, but I was a wordy little thing back then. Worse, I had a favorite type of sentence that I used over. And over. And over. Big sigh.

Anyway, I inquired about rewriting the books, was told no, and subsequently requested my rights back. I took my time rewriting the books that turned into my Soul Storm Series. The original books were so bad, I didn’t bother keeping the original titles, blurbs, covers, or anything. Nor did I worry about reviews transferring. I decided I’d start from bedrock.

Did it pay off? You bet. Via intensive marketing, I’ve sold over 5000 of the Soul Storm books since the first one released 12/5/14. I have lots of good reviews back up, and I learned a lot about formatting and uploading and which vendors I needed to use.

Roll the clock forward to 2/20/15, two weeks before my book, Earth’s Hope, was due to release from Musa Publishing. I’d inquired about my galleys and was stunned when the email I got back told me they were closing on 2/28.

Someone must’ve been watching over me—a beneficent angel or a goddess—because suddenly I needed every shred of that hard-earned knowledge about formatting and uploading to make certain Earth’s Requiem and Earth’s Blood were back online in time for my 3/6 release date for Earth’s Hope. It was a crazy few days, but I actually managed to do a round of edits on the books that had already been published. First one needed it; second was okay. My cover artist stepped up to the plate like a champ, and voila! The Earth Reclaimed Series is available for purchase, and selling much better than when the first two were with Musa.

My take home message is this: At least for me, self-publishing works. I wouldn’t have been a good candidate for it at the front end of my writing career because I didn’t know enough. I’m still learning, but having access to a dashboard with real time sales numbers is invaluable as I plot which of my promotional activities worked—and which didn’t. Also, I know enough other authors, editors, cover artists, and others in the field that the isolation that worried me isn’t a consideration.

I’d love to hear from all of you. Writers and readers alike. Writers, are you Indie, did you stick with publishers, or are you a hybrid? Why’d you make the choice you did. Readers, do you differentiate between Indie books and those with publishers? Can you tell a difference?



Earth’s Requiem
Earth Reclaimed
Book 1
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press
107K words

Release Date: 3/1/15

Genre: Dystopian Urban Fantasy

Resilient, kickass, and determined, Aislinn's walled herself off from anything that might make her feel again. Until a wolf picks her for a bondmate, and a Celtic god rises out of legend to claim her for his own.

Book Description:

Aislinn Lenear lost her anthropologist father high in the Bolivian Andes. Her mother, crazy with grief that muted her magic, was marched into a radioactive vortex by dark creatures and killed. Three years later, stripped of every illusion that ever comforted her, twenty-two year old Aislinn is one resilient, kickass woman with a take no prisoners attitude. In a world turned upside down, where virtually nothing familiar is left, she’s conscripted to fight the dark gods responsible for her father’s death. Battling evil on her own terms, Aislinn walls herself off from anything that might make her feel again in this compelling dystopian urban fantasy.

Fionn MacCumhaill, Celtic god of wisdom, protection, and divination has been laying low since the dark gods stormed Earth. He and his fellow Celts decided to wait them out. After all, three years is nothing compared to their long lives. On a clear winter day, Aislinn walks into his life and suddenly all bets are off. Awed by her courage, he stakes his claim to her and to an Earth he's willing to fight for.


Aislinn’s not so easily convinced. Fionn’s one gorgeous man, but she has a world to save. Emotional entanglements will only get in her way. Letting a wolf into her life was hard. Letting love in may well prove impossible.

Available at Amazon


Earth’s Blood
Earth Reclaimed
Book 2
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press
105K words

Release Date: 3/1/15

Genre: Dystopian Urban Fantasy

Clinging to their courage in a crumbling world, Aislinn and Fionn vow to save Earth, no matter what it takes.

Book Description:

In a post-apocalyptic world where most people have been slaughtered, the Celtic gods and a few humans with magic are all that stand between survival and Earth falling into chaos. The combination of dark sorcery leveraged by the enemy is daunting. Destruction is all but certain if the small enclaves of humans who are left can’t get past their distrust of the Celts.

Captured by the enemy, Aislinn Lenear wonders if she’ll ever see her bond wolf or Fionn, a Celtic god, again. She’s had nothing but her wits to rely on for years. They haven’t failed her yet, but escape from her current predicament seems remote.

An enticing blend of dystopian urban fantasy and romance, this second volume of the Earth Reclaimed Series provides fertile ground for Aislinn and Fionn’s relationship to deepen. Headstrong and independent, the pair run up against each other’s demands time and time again. Fireworks spark. In the end, they learn to savor every moment in a bittersweet world where each day may well be the last.

Available at Amazon

Earth’s Hope
Earth Reclaimed
Book 3
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press
95K words

Release Date: 3/6/15

Genre: Dystopian Urban Fantasy

Power so old, deep, and chilling it hurts to think about it will overrun Earth if nothing changes. Targeted, furious, and fighting back, Aislinn runs wide open, gathering allies and putting her life on the line.

Book Description:

Aislinn Lenear has traveled a long road since the dark gods invaded Earth better than three years ago. After seeing her father slaughtered in front of her, and her mother sink into madness, Aislinn built strong walls around her heart. First her bond wolf, and then Fionn MacCumhaill, changed all that, but she and Fionn are far from home free. 

Four of the six dark gods are still sowing destruction, and they’ve joined forces with Lemurians, a desperate lot, running just ahead of the tide of their own mortality. In a bold move, they try to coopt a group of young dragons, and very nearly succeed. Dewi, the Celtic dragon god, and Nidhogg, the Norse dragon god, banish their brood to the dragons’ home world, but they refuse to stay put.

In a fast-paced, tension-riddled closure to this dystopian, urban fantasy series, Earth's Hope sweeps from Ireland to the Greek Islands to the Pacific Northwest to borderworlds where the dark gods live. Fionn’s and Aislinn’s relationship is strained to the breaking point as they struggle to work together without tearing one another to bits. Fionn is used to being obeyed without question, but Aislinn won’t dance to his tune. If they can find their way, there may be hope for a ravaged Earth.

Available at Amazon

About the Author:

Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.

Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.

In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.





@AnnGimpel

1 comment:

Ann Gimpel said...

Thanks so very much for hosting me, Roxanne! I always love being on your blog.

 
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