Thx

I seriously need one of those things that you speak into and it types for you.  After pre-Christmas, Christmas Eve, Christmas, the girl’s birthday parts 1-3, and finishing Rebellion, I have an awesome case of carpal tunnel. 

Dear Toy Manufacturers:  Enough with the impossible tape and 75 twist ties per item in each hard to get into box.  Enough with the miniscule parts that “click” together (only when I stand on top of them) and the picture directions with confusing arrows that don’t actually tell me how or what order to put things together in. 

 I have enough toys in my house to start a daycare.  My kids are very happy with everything they got, but I’m pretty sure they would have been happy with half as much.

Next year we’re going to give our money to Matt Damon and let him build some wells on our behalf in Africa. 🙂

Of course, all my kindle “next page” clicking could be contributing to my owie wrists.  This is the time of year when I read a lot.  As you may have gathered, December stresses me the fuck out, so escaping in a book for several hours each evening is a must.

Last year I got my kindle for Christmas and by the 29th was probably on the second Outlander book.  I straight abandoned my family for a month reading those.  I needed extra escape last year, I was pretty bummed.  I’d rewritten Glimpse and received about 40 rejections at that point.  I was going into 2010 asking myself, “What happens when you write a decent book and you can’t get anyone to read it?”

After I finished the Outlander books I was on the lookout for other things like it-something with romance and adventure that was kind of sci-fi/fantasy.  I didn’t realize this was an actual genre.  I delved into the House of Night books and Vampire Academy.  Great books, but YA and at $10, kind of expensive for e-books. (To her publisher’s credit, the Outlander books are all about $5 for an 1,000 “page” e-book, a more reasonable price I think.)  That’s when I found Kept by Zoe Winters.  It was 99 cents.  Devoured it.  Loved it.  Needed more. 

But who published her books?  I couldn’t figure it out.  I stumbled on e-publishers and submitted Glimpse to a couple of them. Met a great author named Ashlynn Monroe who helped me navigate the submission process.  More rejections, but nicer ones and this time with notes!  Apparently, Glimpse was a YA novel in the making, not a family saga like I’d thought.  Query redo!  More submissions!  More nice rejections with contradictory suggestions!  I started writing Glimmer to get my mind off the madness.  Then, yay! A publisher requested specific rewrites for resubmission…and then turned it down.  By this time I’d figured out that Kept was self-published.  Really?  But self-published books supposedly sucked and Kept most definitely didn’t.

I started reading Zoe’s blog posts (I caught her at a time when she was super rah rah indie and on the internet constantly) and gleaned everything I could from what she was saying.  Damn.  I was inspired.  So, I took my 8 times revised Glimpse and I self-published it as an e-book.  A month later I put out the paperback with Createspace and I waited.

Twelve people bought my book.

I could not effing believe it.

I started posting the blurb on the kindle message boards (only in the appropriate places!!) and got a Goodreads account.  A writer named Jess C Scott and I traded review copies.  This one chick, Amanda Hocking, and I did the same. (How funny to think that there was a time when either of them had to ask for reviews!) V.J. Chambers randomly found my blog and liked Glimpse-I geeked out on her books. I signed up for Twitter and met Susan Bischoff, who knew my roomate from college, Christel, who knew Zoe Winters and Kait Nolan, who knew Claire Farrell, and Belinda Kroll, and Lauralynn Elliott, and Reena Jacobs, and Imogen Rose.  It just keeps spiraling, I’m meeting and reading more awesome authors, like, every freaking day.

So, this December 29th is a lot more hopeful.  I published two novels and a short story this year.  Wrote another short story that will be out next week.  Signed up to be a sponsor in ROW80. Met a ton of wonderful writers and book bloggers that I now consider friends.  Found a community.  And as of this morning, I’ve sold nearly 2,500 books.  Sure, other writers sold more, in some cases A LOT more, but when I think of myself at this time last year, having not sold a single book, 2,500 is a great figure.  (This sentence is dedicated to Sarah for my extreme and probably inappropriate use of commas.)

When my husband gave a long rambling toast at our wedding, my first duty as his wife was to interrupt him and say, “What he’s trying to say people, is, thank you!”

Readers, writers, bloggers: What I’m trying to say people, is, thank you.

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18 thoughts on “Thx

  1. Stacey, one of the best things that’s happened to me since I published my ebooks was meeting all the authors. I can’t believe how supportive and giving these people are. Even though we are all in competition for book sales, it seems that everyone’s willing to help each other get more sales. Honestly, if I never sold another book, I would say it was all worth it just to get to know some of the great people I’ve met both on the internet and in real life.

  2. That Zoe Winters gal. Who does she think she is putting ideas of self-publishing into folks head? All her crazy talk about not curing cancer and stuff. 🙂 Just changing writers’ lives.

    I love reading stories of how people fell into self-publishing. Very inspirational. Congratulations on your success.

  3. What’s really amazing is how hopeful and excited writers are right now. I haven’t seen this level of encouragement and optimism before.

    I also haven’t seen a Kindle in real life yet, how crazy is that?

    1. For all of my sarcasm, I’m really a very optimistic person and I love it that so many of us are jazzed about the future and our writing careers! Yeah!!

      What kind of e-reader do you have? I don’t believe they are as crazy for the kindle in Ireland as they are in the States. I have an old white one, it’s not much to look at but I love it. My sister got a new, fancy black one for Christmas and I covet it sooooo much.

      1. I have a sony, it was ridiculously expensive and my OH bought it as a surprise. I turned my nose up at it, ebooks? I have to PAY for them? LOL.

        Would love a Kindle but the Sony does the job. I suppose. I also use Kindle to PC and my android phone to read books on. That’s why it sometimes takes me ages to finish books, I’ve switched to another device.

        But yeah, ebooks haven’t taken off here yet. We’ll get there in about ten years or so, and my mother will make everyone who knows her buy a copy of my book. 😉

        Seriously though, on the Irish writer forums I sometimes pop in to, the people who were scoffing us back in the Spring are now considering ordering Kindles and trying to find out more about self-publishing.

  4. I love what Claire said about encouragement and optimism. Several years ago I had a subscription to Writer’s Digest which I had to cancel because every issue was packed with pieces written from the standpoint of: this is incredibly hard and you’re probably not going to hack it. Why did I need to hear that message over and over? And hanging out in the writing community on the internet was so much the same thing…until the whole rah rah indie ebook revolution came along. And suddenly it didn’t seem like writing was working toward another shit job with impossible bosses anymore (which, really, people had been so negative up to that point that’s how I was thinking of it). I love all the awesome friends I’ve made this year. I like you. And I love Glimpse, and if all those rejections don’t prove what a bunch of dunderheads there are out there, I don’t know what does.

    And at the risk of sounding like I’m lovin’ way too much shit right now, I have to say that I also love this post.

    1. Dude, I have never been so happy to pay bills with money I made in my entire life-how’s that for loving my job? LOL
      Aw, I love you too. 🙂

      The girl got her first Barbie for Christmas this year (Ballerina Barbie with hinged feet for pointe.) I’ve got a great picture of her opening it. I’ll have to send it to you-I knew you’d appreciate it!

  5. Great blog stacey! Congrats lady, I love glimpse and I’m so impressed with your sales! This has been a great year to be in eBooks and I think 2011 will be even better. I can’t wait to see how far you go next year. Thanks for being you, I love you attitude!

  6. I almost forgot. If you have windows 7 just search speech to text and buy a inexpensive headset and you can teach your computer to type as you talk. My laptop does that an I’ve used it while on my stair machine, I have writer’s butt from all the time I spent at the pc this year lol!

  7. @Claire, it amused me when you said with a population of 4million, it wouldn’t make much sales difference. Possibly true, but it amused. In response to what you said about attitudes about ebooks and self-pub’ing possibly changing, I wanted to drop in and say that UK sales seem to have picked up lately for authors I know. I mean, compared to US sales it’s gone from piddly to slightly less piddly, but an increase is an increase.

    1. Yep, the UK seem to be embracing ebooks right now – they like the prices. It will be interesting to see if the publishers compete with indies on low pricing in the long-term. The difference in reviews is interesting – tastes and standards can be very, very different. Also fascinating is how the forums are developing almost exactly like the US ones did.

      I would love to see an Amazon.ie (for Ireland) – it would be nice to buy books in euro not dollars for a change. 🙂 Although, I’ve noticed most of my sales from Apple have been non-US, some Irish.

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