You know you’re not going to make it, right?

A writer’s life…

I’ve got a five year plan.

Lately, I’ve become more and more realistic about writing and publishing in this brave new world of authorship. I read a great deal about the self-publishing world and the immense effort it takes for an indie author to stay afloat in this vast sea of writers and self publishers. I watch my fellow writers blog about their Amazon marketing strategies, their Twitter blitzes, their visits to independent bookshops, courting their email subscribers, and writing up monthly or biweekly newsletters. Imagine all the time and energy that takes and it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Frankly, it’s discouraging. Gone are the days when a writer could concentrate on their craft. Poring over their manuscripts by the light of a candle or an oil lamp, gaslight, even. I want to be F. Scott Fitzgerald banging away on the typewriter at the beach house with a ubiquitous glass of whisky. The modern author is expected to self promote, market and network. That’s what agents used to be for. I don’t want to spend 90% of my time promoting myself and 10% working wearily on my next project. All the while worrying whether it has the right hook, the perfect opening lines so that it will sell. Because that is what even the traditional publishing route is looking for —a self-motivated author with mass market appeal. Oh, and don’t forget, a unique and compelling story that has never been told before. Sigh…

Since I’ve been here on WordPress, I have met so many talented people, some really exceptional writers and storytellers. I’ve seen them blog enthusiastically, begin projects, slow down and eventually run out of steam. Then, poof, they disappear. We’re not all going to make it. That’s the cold truth. All the talent in the world does not guarantee you commercial success. Only guts, determination and massive self confidence is going to win you the seat at the publishing table.

Look, I think I’m a pretty good writer, but I don’t like saying it out loud. That sentence even made me cringe. The little bit of promotion I’ve done on my blog makes me uncomfortable. I hate the idea of constantly barraging my followers with posts screaming: “BUY MY BOOKS!” I don’t want to write a biweekly email newsletter and beg everyone to sign up for it. I’m not even on Twitter! I don’t have the stomach for that. I get nauseated thinking about it. But this is the climate we live and work in today. Is there any hope for a writer like me?

Back to the five year plan. I am writing a new novel, separate from my previous series. I may even publish under a pen name. When it is complete, I will try to shop it around to an agent. Five years. That’s how long it took John Grisham to find someone to publish “A Time To Kill.” If, after five years, and no success, I will hang it up. Throw in the towel. Listen to the voices around me saying “you’re not going to make it” and move on. Let’s get real. I’ll be ok. And…

I will always be a writer, even if I am writing for an audience of one.

Paperback Writer…

This won’t be news to the indie authors who’ve published their books in print version within the last year or so. But for those of you following along with me as I went through the process with my latest novel: Breaking Break, here’s an update.

Recently (I’m not exactly sure when) Kindle Direct Publishing began offering its authors a means to create a paperback version of their e-books directly from the Kindle publishing site. Prior to this, authors who wanted to create a print version of their books, needed to use the Amazon subsidiary, CreateSpace. For Breaking Bread I decided to try using the new Kindle tool. Mind you, it is still in ‘beta’ version so obviously they haven’t worked out all the glitches with it just yet.

I probably wouldn’t have even taken note of any problems had I not used a custom book cover. I have a friend with a graphic design business who creates my covers for me (per my direction) and sends me the print ready pdf file to upload to the site. When I uploaded the cover file to the Kindle publisher it gave me the error message that the file was not the right size (as in the actual dimensions of the book) BUT nowhere could I determine what size the cover needed to be! Without that information, I was dead in the water.

And so I reverted to CreateSpace and started the process all over again. CreateSpace adjusted the pdf file to the correct size without any fuss and the paper version is now ready for publishing. Find it here!


Breaking Bread – Available on Kindle

My latest novel in The Bucks County series is now available in e-book format on Amazon! And within a few days, after working out the kinks with formatting, the print edition will follow.

You can find all the Bucks County Novels in both print and e-book on Amazon. If you have read and enjoyed the books, one of the best ways to support an independent author is to 1) spread the word and 2) leave a good review of the book.

Thank you all for your kindness, honest feedback and friendship during this process.

Breaking Bread:

Maya Kaminsky has finally realized her dream of owning a French bakery cafe, despite the opposition of her rigid, narrow-minded family. But as the business grows and thrives, Maya discovers she has an enemy. Beginning with petty mischief, the cafe becomes targeted by vandals who quickly escalate to dangerous sabotage. To complicate matters, Maya’s childhood friend, Brad Logan, moves back into town and with his recent inheritance, buys her building, intending to help her out. However, Maya’s fierce independence makes it a struggle to accept help from anyone, let alone a man with whom she finds herself falling in love. Nevertheless, Maya will need all the help she can get to save both her business and her life.

About the author:

My name is Margaret but everyone calls me Meg. I am a Pennsylvania native and a Bucks County resident since 1992. I write because I love books. I want to crawl inside them and live among the characters, solve their mysteries, fight their villains, love their heroes… You get the idea! I hope you enjoy The Bucks County novels: a series of romantic suspense stories set in the region where I live.