08/08 – Judith Ashley, Romance as Therapy

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Au Revoir

by Madelle Morgan

After seven years as a Genre-ista with the second Tuesday of every month slot on the Romancing the Genres blog, this will be my last regular post.

Over those seven years I shared my journey as I developed the craft of writing romance, ventured into indie publishing, and learned about marketing.

Before I explain why I am hanging up my hat, here’s a brief summary of my writing and publishing efforts.

Diamond Lust, my first novel, was published by Ellora’s Cave in 2010. Although EC mostly published erotica, I will always be grateful that they took a chance on a new author and published my romantic suspense. That’s when I learned the value of a good editor! When I got the rights back, I indie-published it as Diamond Hunter in 2015 in digital and print formats.

I was on a (slow) roll. I indie-published two contemporary romances in the Hollywood in Muskoka series: Caught on Camera in 2016 and Seduced by the Screenwriter in 2017.

Obviously I am a slow writer. A book a year. In this digital era, an indie author needs to invest a lot of time and money to build a backlist and a fan base in order to ultimately sell thousands of low-priced ebooks.
Prose and Cons

To create a novel that meets traditional publishing standards, indie-published authors invest in expensive professional editing, covers, and formatting for print and digital formats. At least I did. 

Audiobooks and translation are expensive options to enable authors to reach more buyers. Those costs were out of my reach.

Some authors spend thousands per year on marketing and promotion: Amazon, Twitter and Facebook ads, promo in e-newsletters such as Bookbub, and virtual assistants to organize and schedule it all. At the same time there is huge pressure to discount the books or offer the first in a series free.

To be blunt, an author who writes as slowly as I do can burn through a lot of money without significant return on that investment of time and money.

Best-selling authors aside, some traditionally and indie-published midlist authors do make a decent return on their time and monetary investment. They have multiple new releases a year plus a backlist, a fan base that buys every new release, and a winning advertising strategy, all vital to gain Amazon algorithm traction, ranking, visibility, and sales.

But what about authors who don't have deep pockets and multiple annual releases? I've heard of several midlist authors who could formerly earn their living from book sales but were dropped by their publishers and are now working at regular jobs to pay the bills.

Bottom line, my book sales do not come anywhere near paying for desired extras such as travel at this stage of my life as a "60 is the new 50" senior.

I was in the midst of planning Hollywood Hero, Book 3 of the Hollywood in Muskoka series, and then…

My Therapy Practice Took Off in 2018

Bowen Therapy is a gentle holistic bodywork, but people keep their clothes on. I discovered it in 2012 after 20 years of trying various ineffective therapies for long term back pain caused by a fall that misaligned my pelvis. I'm a retired civil engineer, and my structural engineering knowledge (tension/ compression/ torsion, etc.) and own skeletal alignment issues led me to become a certified practitioner and then take advanced training in order to specialize in musculo-skeletal alignment. Now that I am pain-free, it is very satisfying to eliminate eliminate back, neck and joint pain in clients who, like me, "tried everything" before finding Bowen Therapy.

Last year I reached a tipping point. Referrals from clients took off exponentially and I’ve been booked solid four days a week since. It’s rather exhausting to be so busy. I’m no spring chicken! But it’s worth it because my travel fund is growing.

Unfortunately my practice leaves me with too many commitments and not enough time. Something has to give…

Therefore I’m reluctantly hanging up my Genre-ista hat. From the bottom of my heart I thank Judith and Sarah who have worked so hard for many years to give me and other authors a platform.

Much love to Judith, Sarah, the Genre-istas and readers of this blog.



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Deb N said...

Madelle - I wish you the best moving forward in your "new" venture. I, too, am a slow writer. Well, confessions time, I can write fast. It is the numerous revisions that slow me WAY down. So I can relate to output of funds and little return. I know it takes 8 - 10 books to start building a fanbase. someday. But you have an incredible new occupation, helping others. And I do hope you find the time to travel, and get a bit of writing in (since, personally, I think writing is an addiction :-) ) And do stop in every once in a while to say hello and let us know how and what you are doing!

Judith Ashley said...

Madelle, You have been a blessing so it is us who Thank You for being a Genre-ista. Your creativity and perseverance in searching for and trying out various marketing or promotional avenues certainly inspired me. It is true that we indie authors financially invest in our writing beyond the computer (or paper and pen if done long hand). At some point, it is wise to stop and consider our path. Finding another road that is financially and emotionally supportive is wonderful. So glad you have Bowen Therapy both for your own personal healing but also to help people with chronic pain issues. Chronic pain has a high price tab...several billion dollars a day. And while I don't have chronic Pain, I do have chronic aches that is part and parcel of nearing my eighth decade. Will check Bowen Therapy out and see if there is a practitioner in my area. It would be worth it to see if some of those chronic aches can be eliminated.

Sending you the very best of wishes for a wonderful "life after blogging." In love and light, Judith

Diana McCollum said...

I've always enjoyed your blog posts and you will be missed! I so agree with you on the costs vs sells on self pubs. It's been four years since I've published my novella and I haven't come close to paying for the editor.

Wishing you well in your new 'career' and lots of time and money to travel. Diana

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Thanks for all the posts, Madelle. Best wishes!

Brenda Gayle said...

Good luck. It has been a pleasure following your posts. Wishing you all the best.

Maggie Lynch said...

Congratulations on finding a career that you brings you joy AND helps others. That is something to savor as one ages.

I hear you on the investment, time, energy, and often negative ROI--at least on the money side. I think there are many stages in life and we change direction all the time to fit what is best at that time.

DO enjoy your new venture. Always know that you can still write novels if they call to you. Now that you have something else to fund your travel, it may actually take pressure off of your writing and make it more enjoyable.

Like you, I am evaluating what stress I am willing to continue to endure at age 65 and beyond. This is a year of evaluation and trying a couple of new things--still on the writing side--to determine what bring me joy. I wish you the very best in all the things you choose.

Sarah Raplee said...

Madelle, you have been an outstanding Genre-ista and author. I love your voice!

I, too, am a slow writer and can relate to your situation. I need to write, but I have been unable to for the last year due to personal issues. Meanwhile I'm thinking over options for how to go forward using my writing skills in a positive way that fits with my lifestyle.

I sprained my pelvis ten years ago. Thought the excruciating pain would never go away. After much physical therapy, it finally did. Bowen Therapy sounds like an amazing practice. It's a great fit for you. Congratulations on your thriving practice! I'll be looking for a practitioner in my area as well.

Thank you for all you've done for RTG! I'll miss you.

Luanna Stewart said...

Good luck with your new career, Madelle! Do pop in when you can - I'm sure we'd all love to hear of your travel adventures.

Madelle Morgan said...

Thank you all for your kind words.

For those interested in trying Bowen Therapy,
there are more than 30,000 Bowen Therapy and NST (a variation) practitioners in 25+ countries.

To find a Bowen Therapy practitioner, here are some websites. It is better to search on a state or province because some are located in the region but out of town.

United States:


UK: 2 associations:

Australia and the rest of the world: