Break through the walls…

Breakthrough Authors blog hop

Breaking through into the published world has been mostly pure luck for me. Staying in that world has been a series of mistakes, hundreds of thousands of questions that have even more answers, and trial and error. I am published through a small press publisher who does not have a lot of marketing—so while I have the backing of a publisher, I’m in charge of actually getting my book to the reader. It’s a lot harder than most people think!

I knew that I wanted to be published from a very young age. My senior project in high school was about the publishing industry and all the different types of publishing. I had decided at that traditional publishing was the way to go when I was sixteen. Well, by the time I was twenty-three, I had decided that wasn’t so much the case.

I knew I didn’t want to self-publish. It might be vanity or it might just be laziness, but I did not want to ever be in charge of everything. If the publisher took money from the sales of my books for doing work I didn’t want to do, who was I to complain? But in my mind, that left me with traditional big house publishing, and finding a publisher was hard. I had a list of literary agents that I was going to send queries to.

I discovered small press publishing very much by accident and it was through twitter and fanfiction that it happened. Once I realized the world of publishers wasn’t as small as I thought, I knew that was the way I was going. However, this does leave marketing mostly to me. I’m still as clueless as I was about it when I started.

Recently, in the past two days, I’ve had almost 100 likes of my Facebook author page. I’m not saying this to brag; I’m saying this out of pure honesty. In the entire year that I’ve had the page, I’ve managed to get about 160 likes on my own—then suddenly, in the past 48 hours, I get another 100? HOW? It’s the question constantly running through my brain. I obviously did something right, but what did I do that was right? Did I join some blog hop, blog tour, blog something or another that would gain me this much popularity? I even asked the likers how they found me, and I haven’t gotten an answer.

I’m left bewildered and thankful. I’ve spent money on marketing and ads that haven’t done me much good. I’ve had a twitter and Facebook presence, that hasn’t done my much good. Building my audience is hard. Not only is it hard because I’m an independent author, but I write in a very small niche. Let’s be honest, lesbian fiction isn’t all that high up on some peoples reading lists.

Honing in on those readers is truly a hard thing to do. I’ve haven’t been in the community because I frankly find it exclusivist and purest (the community meaning the LGBT et all community). So working my way around it has been truly difficult. I don’t know where to go for certain things, and recently discovered a few websites that would have been most helpful six months ago.

All I can say about breaking through in the business of publishing is that I’m constantly breaking through. It seems to be a never ending cycle of pushing the barriers and boundaries away and making the space just a little bit bigger, inch by tedious inch.

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My second novel, Dying Embers, is to be released in five days! Oh my goodness! Five Days!! I’m not panicking at all. =P

If you would love to support an indie author who is still breaking through the business, please do so. Below you will find an excerpt of Dying Embers and a link to where you can pre-order the book. Don’t forget to participate in the Grand Prize Giveaway with the AHA Blog Hop! My first novel, Forever Burn, is listed there.

Excerpt time

Rob glanced back over to the bar.  He had made a horrible habit of looking over every thirty minutes or so to see if the curvy raven-haired woman was still seated.  Her friend, he assumed, had left a few minutes before, and he wanted to know if she was alone.

“I have an idea,” Rob started.

“No, you do not,” she responded, gritting her teeth.

“I do.”

“Rob!”

She was too late.  He swiveled out of his seat and headed to where the woman sat.  Addison’s face started to burn, and she couldn’t help the embarrassment that took over.  Her heart started to pound, first in her chest and then it moved into her throat when Rob turned and pointed to her.  Addison’s cheeks flamed red and a sudden heat came over them.  She couldn’t control her embarrassment, which only embarrassed her more.  The woman turned and gave her a look—appraisal.  She gave Addison a once over, and Addison’s stomach dropped.  She hadn’t been looked at that way since well before the jackass proposed.

She gave a small wave back upon prompting from her brother before she took a long swig of her beer to try and calm her demeanor.  She sincerely hoped that the amount of alcohol in her system would give her a smooth and composed persona.  However, knowing her, she doubted that would happen.  Addison practically choked on her beer when the woman took Rob’s proffered hand and rose off the barstool.  Her mind screamed and yelled at her, and she closed her eyes.

Focusing on her brother, she spoke so only he could hear, the words flitting around his mind.  “I hate you.”

“This is James.  She said her friend ditched her for a date, so I thought she could join us.”

Rob sat in the seat he previously occupied and left James to sit either by him or by Addison.  Addison knew the tactic from him: a test for James to determine which team the woman swung for.  Sure enough, James slid into the booth next to Addison.  Their thighs touched under the table as they each got comfortable, and Addison felt small tingles race from where they touched, the warmth began and went straight into her stomach.  She ignored it and glared at Rob.

“You’re an ass,” she whispered it in his mind.

He smiled at her and turned to James.  “We were just talking about families.  Kind of.”

“Ah.”  James bobbed her head up and down, taking a long swig of her beer.  She didn’t seem very interested in the conversation, and Addison risked a glance to her brother.

Grasping for a topic of conversation, Addison tried the only one she could think of.  “I just moved here, so we thought we’d check out the local places.”

She reached for the water that the waitress had kindly brought her.  Sucking on the straw, she savored the cold water as it slid through her burning mouth and throat.  Embarrassment still raged through her body.

James twisted so she could face Addison, skimming her gaze over Addison’s body again.  Addison’s cheeks blushed further.  She was definitely being checked out.

“Well, this is a great place to come.  It’s one of my favorites.”  James finished off her beer and nodded to the waitress to bring her another.  “I come here a lot with my friend, Max.”

Rob raised his eyebrows at Addison and mouthed the gentleman’s name.  Addison shook her head at Rob and turned back to James.

“That sounds cool.  I start my new job soon, so I doubt I’ll have much time to go out.  Not to mention, my brother will be kindly disappearing tomorrow.  No longer at my beck and call to buy me beer.”

She lifted her pint and nodded it toward him in a mock toast.

“Starting a new job is always interesting.”

James’ voice gently lilted, and Addison strained over the other patrons to hear what she said.  The combination seemed odd, a voice so mild coming from a woman who screamed physical assertiveness.  Mentally shrugging, Addison turned back to what James was saying.  She shifted in her seat and brushed against the woman again.  Her heart started to pound, and her palms began to sweat.  She wiped her hands on her jeans, leaving them there.  Closing her eyes, Addison reached for her water glass again to wet her parched tongue.  As she took a drink, she felt cool fingers slip into hers and squeeze tightly.

Addison coughed and sputtered.

She reached for her napkin to press it over her lips.  Rob gave her a funny look, which she ignored, and James rubbed a hand along her back.

“Deep breaths.”

“Uh huh.”

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Smashwords

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The AHA Blog Hop starts Nov 25 and ends Nov 29. You have five days to read all the amazing posts and participate in the best way possible (commenting, since we’re all comment whores).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Breakthrough Authors Blog Hop November 25 – 29 2013
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