Last fall, against the advice (and some pleas) of my friends and family, I quit a job I didn't love to follow the path less traveled. I packed up my life in New York City, said good-bye to the friends I didn't want to leave behind and moved into my parents' house.
Why, you ask?
To write this story.
In New York, I began something that I'd always wanted to do but had never attempted: writing a book. I knew in order for the book to become a book, I would have to give it my undivided attention. Since I made the decision, I haven't stopped writing. I had intended to develop a two-book series, but it has now grown to three books.
I treat this process like a full-time job, weekends too (inspiration knows no schedule, I soon found!). Ask any Starbucks barista within a ten-mile radius - they'll tell you.
The Self-Publishing Process
Recently, I self-published the first book, Come Undone, and kept my fingers to the keyboard in hopes of releasing the second book soon after. My series will be available globally for Kindle and Nook, and in paperback form through Amazon. Eventually, I plan to offer the books via more platforms such as iBooks & Kobo.
The self-publishing process is fascinating. Anyone I've told about my project has asked, why not shop your book to publishers? For now, I love the creative freedom that self-pubbing allows me - over my story and my product. I get to decide about price, promotion, marketing, formatting, covers and more.
There is a flip side to this too, which I cover in the Risks & Challenges section.
(If you are familiar with Kickstarter, you may skip this paragraph.) Kickstarter helps realize creative projects through crowdfunding. This means anyone may contribute toward someone's monetary goal and in turn, you can receive unique, one-of-a-kind rewards. The funding is all or nothing so if I don't meet my goal, I don't see a dime. So whether you are rich in dollars or rich in friends, please support me by clicking "Back This Project" above, and sharing this with your friends.
My goal is to release Come Alive (book two) in late spring, and the entire series by early Fall 2013 - this means forging full speed ahead. When I'm not writing, I am editing the other books, learning the publishing process, designing and creating the covers for each book and marketing the series (which I've only just started and which will be my biggest expense).
Kickstarter will enable me to market my hard work and compete fairly against publishers. The funding will go toward the following (x3 for three books!):
- Cover design (stock photography, Adobe InDesign)
- Direct marketing/advertising (Google AdWords, Goodreads campaigns, Facebook, etc.)
- Promotion (NetGalley, promotional paperback copies, etc.)
- Professional editing
- Proof copies & shipping (to review cover & formatting)
- General publishing costs (CreateSpace fees, research, subscriptions, etc.)
All backers will be acknowledged on my website if the project is funded, no matter your contribution. Those who pledge $150 or more will receive a mention in the acknowledgements section of the final book. Everyone has my eternal gratitude & bragging rights that you've helped out with someone's dream.
Digital copies are for the Kindle, but can be provided in other forms by request.
I am elated by your support. Keep in mind that Kickstarter funding is all or nothing - please help me out by sharing this campaign with your friends via Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, shouting it into your neighborhood - every little bit helps.
Now on to the actual product....
About the Series
The Cityscape Series tells a story about the boundaries of devotion and deception; a story of passion, choices and ultimately, love. There will be a total of three books in the series: Come Undone, Come Alive, and yet-to-be-titled.
Here is a synopsis of Come Undone, the first book:
Olivia Germaine has already found love. Devoted wife, loyal friend, determined career woman - she’s created the life she always envisioned.
But when Olivia locks eyes with a handsome stranger across a crowded room, he peers a little too closely and sees emotions she thought she’d buried long ago.
David Dylan, alleged playboy and eternal bachelor, challenges Olivia to confront the life she’s built and to make decisions that could either lead to happiness . . . or regret.
Will Olivia be able to draw the line between lust and love?
And can David respect that line?
What About Inspiration?
There remains a void in women's literature, so I wrote the book I wanted to read. It's a contemporary love story grounded in reality, but with a touch of fantasy. The characters are relatable and the plot original.
The recent success of novels such as Fifty Shades of Grey,Twilight and Bared to You has confirmed the demand for contemporary fiction. However, the genre is yet to be defined, and there is room for stories like mine that combine passion and romance with depth and authenticity.
My books are/will be racy, with mature content (18+) but also with a substantial and original plot.
The Stats So Far
But why take my word for it? I've already self-published the first book of the series, Come Undone, and it (along with the first two chapters) can be found here.
Since publishing Come Undone, my focus has gone to writing the second and third books in the series. I aim to have them both written and ready for publishing by June-Oct of 2013. Because of this tight timeline, I have done virtually no marketing whatsoever for the first book, but here's what I've got thus far:
- 4.8 star rating on Amazon here
- 4.5 stars, and marked as 'to-read' by 220+ people on Goodreads here
- 4-star blog book review here
- advanced to the second round for the Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Award (one of 2,000 chosen from 10k)
Thank you for your support, and don't forget to share this page with your friends!
eBook price: $4.99/each book
Paperback price: $12.99/ea
Average word count per book: ~70,000 or 260 pages
Facebook (just published - help me out with a Like!)
Risks and challenges
Not having a publisher is appealing because I am in complete control of my work; I select the cover, the formatting, the price, etc. However, I lose out on the reader base.
There is a good deal of social media-based support out there for indie authors, from blogs, to Facebook pages, to Twitter accounts. I intend to utilize these to capitalize on word-of-mouth in addition to purchasing advertising on Google, Goodreads, and other indie publishing sites. Word-of-mouth is crucial.
I attended Arizona State University and graduated with a B.S. in International Business and an emphasis in marketing. I am excited and eager to make my degree work for me.
Challenge #2: Content
Another obvious risk is the quality of the content. On Amazon, there is a 10% preview available, and I encourage all potential backers to read this before committing - that way you can decide for yourself (link is under the Project Description).
- (25 days)