Are there any authors out there still hesitating to take the self-publishing route? You take some convincing, don’t you? There’s Amanda Hocking, JA Konrath, L J Sellers, John Lock and countless others, earning excellent money and making tremendous sales and still you’re not taking the same path. There’s even ME!
I was slow to follow in their footsteps only because I’d never heard of kindle until the summer of 2010. But once I knew of it it didn’t take long – only until September – for me to follow in the footsteps of the intrepid advance guard.
Well, my early sales weren’t great. Seven actually in that first month. But I persevered. I put more titles up. I currently have five with more in the burner waiting to go. I’ve got two – Absolute Poison and Kith and Kill in the process of being eformatted and having covers made for them. I have a third – Dying For You – which is ready to send off for eformatting.
Do you think I’d carry on with the labour involved if it wasn’t worth my while? This is how much worth my while it is. In June 2011 I earned a thousand pounds. That around fifteen hundred US Dollars. This is so much better than I ever earned with mytraditional or legacy publisher that it’s like two different worlds. If you’re still hesitating, I hope that figure will convince you to go forth and increase your earnings and your audience. You know it makes sense. Or youshould.
My guest blogger today is author Susan Fleet to whom I must apologise as my computer ate her blog post! Darn computer. Anyway, here’s Susan.
Why I stopped trumpeting and started killing people!
It began innocently enough. My mother wanted me to play an instrument. Her brother played trumpet and I began studying with him when I was eight. I took to trumpet right away. At fifteen I joined the musicians’ union and later studied with two Boston Symphony trumpeters. For more than three decades I played an eclectic mix of gigs in the Boston area ranging from solo trumpet recitals to symphonies and operas, even the Ringling Brothers Circus.
There were heart-stopping moments. Would the trapeze artist make that quadruple summersault or would he fall? And nothing beats the drama of an operatic diva in all her glory, interrupting a dress rehearsal of La Traviata to demand a cup of hot tea.
The mayhem began after I took a scriptwriting course and fell in love with fiction writing. And discovered my dark side. For that, I thank my print-journalist father. When I was a teenager he would tell me stories about the murder cases he covered. He even taught me how to play pool at the police station. How cool is that?
Between 1990 and 2000, while I was gigging and teaching part time at Brown University and Berklee College of Music, I managed to write three crime novels. I threw them away. They weren’t ready for prime time. In 2001, I stopped teaching and gigging and moved to New Orleans to focus on writing. Hey, killing people takes time! All those messy details. Who to kill, and when, and how. In my latest thriller, DIVA, I killed two of my favorite characters. My heart said No, but my head said Yes. To write a good thriller, you’ve gotta be ruthless.
Both of mine are set in New Orleans. My first was inspired by a serial killer who was terrorizing women in the Baton Rouge area when I arrived in New Orleans. I’m happy to say the Premier Book Awards named ABSOLUTION Best Mystery-Suspense-Thriller of 2009. In 2010, I moved back to Boston, but the mayhem continued.
DIVA is set in storm-ravaged post-Katrina New Orleans and reflects my experience with the music business. It was inspired by the ordeal a woman brass player friend suffered thanks to the unwanted attention of a creepy stalker. She eventually escaped. But will the DIVA?
Beautiful, talented and ambitious, flute soloist Belinda Scully wants to be a star. But fame can be dangerous. Someone is stalking her. Rejection stokes the fires of his lust. Her manager dies suddenly. NOPD Detective Frank Renzi believes he was murdered. But murder may not be the worst thing Belinda must face.
DIVA is not a cozy mystery, it’s a gritty thriller. Some dismiss crime fiction as cheap entertainment. I disagree. Crime fiction reflects real life, with its moral dilemmas and hard choices. Many women read crime fiction to manage their fear of real-life violence. It’s only a book. In real life, violent criminals often go unpunished. But not in my novels.
I admire Margaret Thatcher. There. I’ve said it. No matter whether your politics are true Tory blue or socialist red, you must surely admit, in her heyday, Margaret Thatcher stood for something. Values. As a politician, she stuck to her principles. She was loyal. She believed in things. She had convictions. And even if they weren’t your convictions, you could value the fact that she had them and wasn’t ‘slippery’ in the way that so many of today’s politicians are slippery with their belief in hype over substance.
Sure, if you’re a miner or the friend or family of a miner who suffered during the Miners’ Strike, you might have reasons to feel differently. I won’t argue with that. What I will argue is that if Britain had more people like Margaret Thatcher, who believed in standing up and being counted, then the UK would be a much better place.
And if you have trouble finding people you can admire in today’s Britain, maybe you should look for them in the pages of fiction. That is partly the reason why we read novels and short stories, after all. To read about people we can admire. About people who give us courage and help us through the day. Maybe even just people who will give us a laugh when we’re feeling down.
That’s what I wanted to do when I wrote my first Rafferty novel. I wanted to write about a decent copper and I wanted just to entertain people. My motives weren’t a great deal higher than that. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Entertaining people in this vale of tears is a worthy calling. It’s better than lying to them. Better than cheating them. Better than being a politician without values.
My DI Joseph Aloysius Rafferty was brought up with old-fashioned values. He didn’t cheat people. He didn’t lie to them – unless it was for their own good, though occasionally he might tell a little white lie. Probably mostly for his own good!. He’s loyal and he’s honest. The honesty can be a bit of a trial to him when he comes from a family who have their own views on honesty. And having a Ma with a love of dubious ‘bargains’ and a slippery estate agent for a cousin, doesn’t make for an altogether smooth life. To add to the brew, we have Father Kelly whose mission it isto bring the lapsed Catholic Rafferty back to the fold and Jailhouse Jack ‘the world’s most incompetent criminal’, another ,more distant cousin, who occasionally puts in an appearance.
But Rafferty gets by. He has a solid partner. And although Sergeant Dafyd Llewellyn’s own honesty can be a bit trying occasionally in its rigidity, he can be relied upon and has shown himself a staunch ally.
You can read excerpts of all of Rafferty’s adventures on my website: http://www.geraldineevans.com Just click on ‘Rafferty’ at the top and it will linkto all my books in the series. There are fourteen so far. I’ve just finished Kith and Kill, number fifteen in the series and will be epublishing it as soon as possible. Probably some time in August. I also hope to bring out the rest of my backlist as soon as I can. And in the Rafferty series, that means, Absolute Poison, Dying For You., Bad Blood, Love Lies Bleeding, Blood on the Bones, A Thrust to the Vitals and Death Dues.
My next three books in the series: All the Lonely People, Death Dance and Deadly Reunion depend on my publisher bringing them out as ebooks as they have the erights.
I know Margaret Thatcher’s not in the best of health, so say three cheers for her and wish her well.