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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Guest Author Nancy Brophy: Why Are There Always a Few Bumps in the Road?



Nancy Brophy
I am indie-pubbed.

With that being stated, let’s clear up a couple of misconceptions.

To date I am not wealthy or particularly well known. I have a website, which I forced myself to produce about four months ago, when I shifted my focus from New York publishing to Amazon. As far as I can tell several members of my family like the site but I’m not getting enough hits to think anybody else is enraptured.

 In short, I am not the it-girl, but I’ve chosen the it-packaging and hope that one will help the other. To paraphrase a Zac Brown Band song, indie-pubbed has got whatever it is. It’s the flavor of the month and the chef’s special all rolled up into one tasty little bundle.

Currently I have four books on-line and hope to have one more out before Halloween. “They” tell me it’s a number’s game. “They” tell me that book reviewing blogs will help sell it, if you can find a reviewer not overwhelmed by the hundreds of authors begging for attention. “They” tell me I must learn to utilize Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. I need to befriend strangers, linked to me through a host of other non-familiar faces.

When I google my name, there are pages and pages of me. How can anyone not know me? I’m everywhere. The value that I placed on my privacy only a short six-months ago has vanished in the face of selling my stories.

Why do I continue? Because pride fills my soul when I see my book covers or read a good review. I can sense this is so close - it’s almost the real thing.

Yet, everyday as I think of a new way to market myself, I know what goes up must come down. Please don’t let self-publishing become the pet rock or beanie baby of the second decade of this century.

Currently it looks like it has legs. Could it just walk in my direction? Or is that too much to ask?

The good news is that I can break every rule in romance. No one cares if the hero has a career that is frowned upon, or the hero and heroine don’t meet in the first chapter, or the couple is too old. I can be published for years, never sell a single book, and no one wants a return of the advance. There are no deadlines. No all-nighters. No tears from rejection letters.
There are also no second opinions to strengthen the story line, no copywriter to point out how many times I’ve used dangling body parts (Her eyes were glued to his chest.) No marketing department to help with back-cover blubs or cover art.
Knowing what I know now, would I chance it again if I started over?

Absolutely.

I am directing my life and my career. No one else is in charge or making decisions for me that won’t work with my personality. If I succeed it will be because others helped, but if I fail I will have no one to blame but myself.

Since we’ve all become BFF in the few minutes you’ve taken to read this, I hope in the future you are able to say, “Nancy Brophy? Oh, yeah. I knew her when…” 

*Posted by Nancy Brophy
www.nancybrophy.com
 Visit Nancy on Facebook

16 comments:

Sarah Raplee said...

Thank you for this honest, thoughtful post, Nancy. As someone considering Indie publishing, I found your assessment of your experience refreshingly helpful.

No evasions. No embellishment. Just the pros and cons served up with a bit of humor.

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for sharing, Nancy. Self and indie-publishing is the 'hot topic' for many writers and authors and I appreciate your unvarnished view.

October is a great month at RTG with our Saturday guests all talking about self and indie publishing. Thanks for starting the conversation!

Susan said...

Nancy! I always love your take on life. It's honest, funny and real. What's that quote? "Never give up. Never die." Or something like that, lol. That's what being an indie author is all about. The joy of telling stories that move us most profoundly, and never giving up on them.

Go girl!

Cassiel Knight said...

I'm so glad you've found your niche and other readers get to enjoy the stories I've had the pleasure of reading for years. Congratulations and way to go on taking the leap.

Jessa Slade said...

We'll say "We knew her when" when you walk us around you new lake house writing retreat. That'll be a good day :) But as you said, going your own way has its own rewards even if it takes the rest of the world a little longer to catch up.

Jessie said...

Thanks for sharing Nancy. Since I'm your friend now, I need you to be a break out star so I can have my moment of I "knew you when"..... :-)

Karen Duvall said...

Thanks for this great post, Nancy. It takes a lot of courage to do what you and other indie authors have done. I wish you all the greatest luck in the world! Knock 'em dead!

nancyCB said...

Thank you for your encouragement. This was fun writing for someone else. Thank you for asking me.

Bron said...

I'm on the fence about self-publishing. I think if you have a known name it's great. If not making money/selling is just as hard as getting a traditional contract.

I have read some 99cent self published books and enjoyed them, and then others that should never have been published!

Self-publishing does not guaranee quality. That to me is the biggest problem with it.

Let's face it. Earning money off publishing is about writing a fabulous story. A great story will sell. If readers can find it. Around 80,000 books get added to Amazon every month. You do the maths.

Nancy Crampton-Brophy said...

I think you're correct. People under rate the work that goes into making yourself known. Quality is another can of worms, combined with formatting issues. You do everything the books say to do and still your formatting looks like a 4th grader did it.

But remember also romance writers don't really establish a name for themselves whether they are traditionally published or self-pubbed until they've written close to ten books - or so I've been told. Certainly I never hear anyone saying they are making decent money until around that number.

Either way I think writers have a fantasy of how their books will sell/establish themselves (see JK Rowlings life for my fantasy)and yet each of us are on a different path.

Paty Jager said...

I agree, Nancy! I enjoy the fact with self-publishing that I can write the story I want to write and by my sales that people want to read. But the NY publishers said no one would be interested in my books they weren't edgy or different. Or were to a small niche they didn't believe would bring them enough money. With no middle man I can write to small niche markets and make money and not have anyone telling me no one buys those stories.

ElaineCharton said...

Wonderful Post! I agree with no middle man. Hubby and I are both self published. One major talking point among my friends is the freedom it brings to your writing. One of my friends tell me, "Ilove writing again."

B. A. Binns said...

I've been considering going Indie for some of my stories. It always helps to hear from people who have made it work.

Diana Mcc. said...

Interesting post, I liked that you told both pros and cons for self publishing. Since anyone can self publish, you really do have to do something publicity wise to make your story stand out. And of course write a really great story to begin with.

I have only purchased three self published books. Two were great and one was a waste of my money and time that I spent giving it a chance to get better. There was no editing, tons of fragments & misspelled words. Enjoyed your post!

Vonnie Alto said...

Nancy--
I love your sense of humor. Like you, I value my privacy but know that some of it will be sacrificed when I get published. I think the Indie madness is here to stay. If a writer doesn't go out on that limb, you'll never know how far you can reach. I'm rooting for you!

Delilah Marvelle said...

Nancy,
You *are* the IT girl!!! And I'm already proud to say I knew you when. Can't wait to have a chance to dig into all your stories!