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I'm sure the minute I post this dairy, I'll jinx it, but for the past 20 hours or so, I've been No. 1 on the Nook bestseller list at Barnes & Noble, oddly above such names as Bill O'Reilly, James Patterson, Stephen King, Nora Roberts, JK Rowling, the Fifty Shades of Grey woman and even Stephen Colbert. (You're currently 1,498, Stephen. Please don't hurt me.)

I say oddly because I've been publishing steadily for the past 20 years and never hit No. 1, never been close.

It's a sad, sweet romance about abandoned children needing a home at Christmas. (Yes, I write romance. If you could refrain from saying "bodice ripper" in this diary, I'd appreciate it. I'm celebrating.)

The really cool part is that after being traditionally published, as we say now, much in the way we at DK say "traditional media" or "corporate media," I walked away form my publisher last year.

They were trying to really screw authors on e-book royalties, and I was tired of it. They also did a really mean rights grab to claim ownership of books contracted before there was such a thing as an e-book -- something we're fighting them on right now in a class-action lawsuit.

So these books are Indie published. :) Makes me so damned happy. Indie pubbing has done more for me now than traditional publishing ever did, and that's a great feeling.

The book at No. 1 is part of a four-book series, and right now, all four are in the Top 100 at B&N.

Three of the books were originally published by Penguin/Putnam, or whatever they're calling themselves these days. Two are pretty much as they were originally published. One I rewrote a bit and the 4th book in the series is an original title. No big publisher ever did a thing with that one.

I wish I could say it was all my brilliant writing, but the truth is, it was a combination of luck, networking with other smart writers, professional packaging, 20 years of hard work, the talent to be a finalist for our version of the Emmy's or the Oscars with one of the books, and being in the right place at the right time.

Indie books have been on bestseller lists all year, and someone at B&N took a chance on featuring an Indie-pubbed series in one of B&N's top Promo slots earlier in the year. That author's books did well, so the B&N person was willing to feature another Indie author, and I got the slot. Just pitched the book to her, after hearing about the promo from the Indie author who got the first slot, and the B&N employee picked mine for a slot this October.

So what you're seeing, me at No. 1 and four books in the Top 100, is the work of a prime promo slot, more than anything else. Oh, I believe the books are selling very well, and that has something to do with me and my writing, plus the whole package from covers to back cover copy to reviews. But I wouldn't be there in the first place without B&N's help. (Of course, those other authors on the list got great promo slots, too, probably. Bestsellers are most always made by promotional spots from booksellers, for books pushed by big publishers.)

Anyway, I wanted to share my news.

Please consider this an open thread for any questions anyone has about publishing or writing fiction. I'll do my best to answer.

Forgot, cool DK connection: In fourth book in this series, Five Days Grace, one of the main characters is a veteran. A Navy guy. I knew he'd been in Iraq or Afghanistan. I knew he'd been hurt and was still recovering. But I just didn't have a good handle on the character until I read a dairy here: JoeSig's account of the memorial for the SEALs killed in the helicopter shot down in 2010.
Really helped me get the character.

Update: Thanks, guys. I was at a small writers' conference in Florida when the promo started, so it was one of those rare times when I had other writers all around me when good news came in. Usually, you're all alone with your computer at those times.
Oddly enough, right before my book went to No. 1, a good friend who's been writing for more than ten years sold her first book at that conference. I've never heard of that happening, not in 20 years as a published writer. She'd submitted her work ahead of time and the editor happened to be attending the same conference and, I'm sure, thought it would be so nice to give someone that news in person.
So we celebrated both things.
And then today, all four books climbed into the Top 100, and I thought about sharing the news here.
It really is crazy.
Publishing is changing so fast right now, it's no telling what will happen, and I'm so excited to be a writer right now.

Originally posted to on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 04:33 PM PDT.

Also republished by Readers and Book Lovers.


I've always wanted to write a book.

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  •  Tip Jar (333+ / 0-)
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    Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

    by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 04:33:30 PM PDT

  •  Congratulations! (41+ / 0-)

    I am sure as a writer, there is nothing more satisfying then having your work approved and consumed by so many people.

    Very few writers can boast about beating Stephen King or J.K. Rowling in the market. So you are exceptional and rare. You can add that to your resume ;)

  •  who's the intended audience, for your book? (14+ / 0-)

    ya? romance (for adults)?

    really excited for you.  sounds like you deserve this!  :)

    •  If we sell the audio rights. :) (14+ / 0-)

      Some Indie authors are selling audio rights. And Kindle will read to you, although it's a robotic voice, I think.
      You can also make the print huge on Kindles and other devices like that.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 04:54:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Have you looked into ACX for recording? (8+ / 0-) is a matching service between authors and producers/narrators. It is backed by Audible and endorsed by Neil Gaiman, and is probably one of the most cost-effective ways for an author to get their book read by a professional narrator and distributed.

        I know more about it from the voice acting side since that's what I do and teach, but it's something that you might want to look into it, especially now that you have gathered a sizable following.

        And congratulations on your success! I am sure that it's due to much more than just a fortuitously-timed promotion.

      •  How wonderful you must feel right now. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4Freedom, PinHole, MartyM

        Congratulations and may your string of good stuff continue for years to come.

        p.s. thanks for the Kindle info.  I've been thinking of getting one as my eyes are failing and larger print would be helpful.  I've resisted this long because I can't imagine cuddling in bed with technology.  

        Proud Big Bird Democrat

        by Lying eyes on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:47:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I resisted for a long time, because I love books. (9+ / 0-)

          I love the feel and the smell and just everything about them.

          But the Kindle is fabulous. So fabulous I haven't bought a printed book since I got the Kindle.

          The bigger print. The great screen for reading. Having all those books inside such a tiny device, and your books are always with you. Great prices on the books. Being able to get a book the minute it's released without looking all over town for it.

          Everyone I know who's gone to an e-readers has loved it.

          Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

          by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:59:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sold. You had me at bigger print. n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Alexandra Lynch

            Proud Big Bird Democrat

            by Lying eyes on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 10:04:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You can also adjust the brightness. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MartyM, AreDeutz

              We got a cover for ours and take it multiple places.  

              I lie on my side, prop it up on a pillow and just zip along.  When you do increase the type size, it seems as if you can read faster, because the grouping of the sentences, helps you to take things in faster.  (Probably not explaining this well.)  

              There are also classics that you can load for free.  And even libraries have some to load.  

              We have the basic older Kindle - I think it is about $100. now that new ones have come out. The Nook was just coming out when we bought the Kindle, and we weren't sure all the bugs were out yet.  

              We got a portable light, which slips into the cover, and arches over the text, and I can read without disturbing the sometimes light sleeping spouse.  

              Do you know how many books were read by poor flashlight beams as a child?   This is MUCH better!  

              Go for it!

              (We still buy regular books too.  But some like the Mark Twain autobio which was recently released are like 600 pages.  The Kindle edition is a whole lot lighter and doesn't add to the load on the basement beams of the house.  ;-)  )

          •  I am so sad to see so many bookstores go out of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            business.   I love just browsing through a store.  I could spend hours in  a bookstore.  I can't imagine having a Kindle.  To me, it would take so much away from the joy of shopping and cherishing my bookcase full of books.  

            Actually, I have books stored away.  I get a great deal of  happiness  re-introducing myself to some great books when I pull out a box and find treasures I had forgotten about.

            I guess you could say I am a book hoarder.  That is what my kids tell me!   LOL

            •  I agree, but they both have their (0+ / 0-)

              places.  Also one's needs change.  An example of which is changing eye sight, weight of books, etc.

              What I really miss is browsing card catalogs in the library.  I find the computerized cataloging very limited.  It's getting impossible to get into the stacks of larger academic libraries and public libraries.  

              I'm a bit of a book hoarder too.  Some are very dear friends.  

            •  Me, too. To all of that. But the superstores (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Damnit Janet, ellefarr

              really did in most bookstores, and then the distribution system and publishing practices cut down so much on the number of titles that got any real space to sell in bookstores.

              Most books, if they made it to stores, got about 6 weeks on display before they were pulled. That's all the time you had to sell before you were pulled off to make room for new books.

              And now we're hearing about books available for order through bookstores, but not on the shelves. So you have to know the book is coming out and go ask the store to order it for you. New authors don't have a prayer of selling that way.

              So much as I've always loved bookstores, they're a model that just isn't serving most authors and a lot of readers well anymore.

              Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

              by teresahill on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:42:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Have Crashing Vor contracted to read it for the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        Have you heard his voice on the web-ads he creates and posts here at DailyKos?

        "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.''
        -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr
        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"
        -- Angie in WA State

        by Angie in WA State on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 09:09:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Congratulations! (12+ / 0-)

    I write songs myself, but I have a fair number of author friends (it happens when you spend 25+ years at science fiction conventions).  Many, many kudos for getting to the top of the list!

    Tom Smith Online
    I want a leader who shoots for the moon. The last time we had one, we got to the moon.

    by filkertom on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 04:51:27 PM PDT

  •  Cool. Congratulations! :) nt (7+ / 0-)

    Just Win, Baby. -- Al Rodgers, Feb. 24, 2012

    by OLinda on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 04:53:01 PM PDT

  •  Excellent! (20+ / 0-)

    I do believe that I've read at least 2 of your books!

    I will make sure to order your Christmas story!

    Congratulations and it's an honor to see you here on DKos!

    •  Oh, fun. That you've read my stuff. (18+ / 0-)

      I've been hanging out at DK since just before the 2004 election. I was a newspaper reporter before I started writing fiction. (I'm asking for jokes on that line.)
      Anyway, always liked politics. Covered a bit of it, local, some state issues.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 04:58:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I just bought it myself on Amazon (10+ / 0-)

      (I have a Kindle) it was only .99

      Can't wait to get started!

      Since when is the party that embraces all the top tenets of Satan allowed to call the God shots?--wyvern

      by voracious on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:30:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pricing is an important weapon for new authors! (6+ / 0-)

        Kudos for pricing it so reasonably!

        Not voting is NOT an option this time around.

        by AreDeutz on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:33:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, it is. The promo is to get customers (6+ / 0-)

        hooked on a series that's already established. So they price the first book at 99 cents and then feature all the other books in the series, as well.
        Hopefully, you hook a lot of new readers.

        Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

        by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:35:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Congrats! I got it on my Nook Color for 0.99 too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PinHole, ellefarr

        I love my Kindle and my Nook - I'm always shopping the "Steals and Deals" - you never know when you will find a little gold nugget for free or less than $2 that will lead to a new author that you want to collect and read.  

        I generally wait for paperbacks to come out - very rarely buy hardbacks and now that I have my two e-book readers, I still wait for the paperbacks to come out, because when they do the e-book price drops from the hardback price to the paperback price.  

        There are only two authors I "splurge" on for full price - either hardbacks or as newly published e-books - those are all keepers, I never give them away and re-read them frequently - Nora Roberts & Janet Evanovich.  Used to also get Elizabeth Peters, but I think she's either retired or just really slowed down - haven't seen a new Amelia Peabody in a couple of years.  

        Looking forward to a new read / new author (you are new to me!) and maybe a new series I can latch on to :)  

        Remind your readers to write a review on the B&N / Kindle pages so others can find it, too!  

        "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

        by Ricochet67 on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:43:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hi, I'm really curious. Which do you prefer? (0+ / 0-)

          Your Kindle or your Nook?

          Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

          by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 08:45:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  From someone who's had both (0+ / 0-)

            Now I just use my android phone. I can get Amazon and Nook, in addition to google books, and library apps all on one device. Since I decided to switch to one device for everything, I've been a lot happier. I spent birthday money* and got a Samsung S3. Fantastic device! Large enough screen size to do everything, yet small enough to be comfortable.

            *Yes, I'm 29 and my aunt is still giving me money. She <3's me and if I say I don't want it she sneaks it somewhere in my purse which has led to me dropping cash on the ground in public. Now I just figure I'll pay her back one day in other ways :)

            •  I keep hearing about people reading on (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              their phones, and it just seems like the screen would be so small. But whatever works for you. :)

              And I think it's so cute that your aunt slips you birthday cash. I'm sure it makes her very happy.

              Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

              by teresahill on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:45:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Kindle v. Nook (0+ / 0-)

            For books, I generally prefer my old Kindle.  The no-glare screen & the " next page" button make it easier to read in bed (my sleeping aid of choice).  

            I get all of my mags on my Nook Color though - Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Time, Newsweek, Consumer Reports & a handful of others.  

            Also like that my Nook does several things on the web that my iPad can't do - I read DK on my iPad but sometimes I have to grab the nook to see embedded videos.  I can check email on both - Nook has an android OS like my phone.  

            My "big" books are on my Kindle Nora Roberts stand alone non-series books are there.  I still get her series in paperback.  The books I have on my Nook are either new authors I'm trying out from their Free Fridays or their steals & deals.  If I find somebody I like & they have other books out sometimes I get them on the Kindle, even though I started out with them on the Nook.

            I guess it's not a matter of preferring one over the other!  The Kindle & iPad were gifts, I bought the Nook to change from print mags to digital & eliminate clutter & a huge recycling pile very month :)

            Just finished your book - enjoyed it very much - downloaded the sample of the next one to check it out (on that note Kindle is better - the nook samples always include cover, end pages, contents & maybe one or two pages of chapter one... Kindle generally gives about 15 pages without all the stuff that precede the actual chapter so you can decide better if you like it before you buy it.  Just like you would look at in the bookstore.)

            "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

            by Ricochet67 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:16:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So you have every device. :) I have a (0+ / 0-)

              Kindle Touch coming -- won it at a conference. It was the door prize. But I have a Kindle DX that I use.
              Thinking with Christmas coming, one kid might get the DX and one the Touch, and I might buy myself a new one. But I don't know which one I want.

              Those sample chapters are the best. Especially at hardcover prices. A chapter will usually tell you if you really want.

              Glad you liked my book. :)

              Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

              by teresahill on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:12:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Wonderful news! (8+ / 0-)

    I'm so happy for you!  :-)

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:01:07 PM PDT

  •  This is wonderful news.... (11+ / 0-)

    I have completed one children's book and working on an
    autigiography but keep putting it off.
    Romance novels, I love.   Congratulations !!!!!

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:05:08 PM PDT

    •  Vetwife, Keep writing. There's never been a better (16+ / 0-)

      time to be a writer.
      All the traditional gatekeepers are gone. You can take your work directly to readers now. (Okay, with Amazon or B&N as a merchant.)
      But it's a great feeling to be able to do that. We've never really had that power before.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:08:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Very true, this. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife, 4Freedom

        I'm halfway through writing novel #4, the 2nd part of my Berlin series. Know any good, affordable editors for hire? I'm looking for one who can be absolutely brutal, to get my book past the 'slush pile', even though I have no intention of submitting it to trad publishing houses.

        Not voting is NOT an option this time around.

        by AreDeutz on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:26:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I do know a few editors. Unfortunately, you (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mnemosyne, 4Freedom, AreDeutz

          tend to get what you pay for with editors. What I'd suggest you do is send about 10 pages of your work to the editor, let her see what your writing is like and how much work it needs, and then you can see what she'd do with your work, and then have her quote you a price.

          I can give you a couple of names, if you like.

          Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

          by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:47:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  possibly dumb question about editors/editing... (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not in this business at all but I'm thinking about taking the plunge. I have a manuscript I wrote years ago, and the idea of using an indie publisher and/or e-publishing is really attractive...

            In the meantime, I am working on a book translation for another author (from Dutch to English, non-fiction) and I find myself doing a whole lot of what I think is editing. The subject matter is very interesting to me, and the writer is a charming person, but her writing is a bit haphazard. I've been recasting sentences, moving sentences around within paragraphs, moving paragraphs around within chapters, adding transition elements, and so forth. I don't think this is really part of my job description as translator, but I'm enjoying it and the author is very happy with my suggestions.

            Is this editing? Could I be (or become) an editor? How does that work (if you know...)? I'm rather resistant to the idea of getting hooked up with a big publishing company (for all the reasons you've mentioned) but maybe I don't have to.  I got the translation job (even though I have no "training" as a translator) via a friend on facebook. The author asked me and four professional translators to do a sample translation, and she liked mine the best. And here I am.

            Thanks for any advice you can give!

            •  Yes, you've been editing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Averblue: You're doing the work an editor does when you recast sentences, reorganize for clarity, etc. (on top of the translation effort). As the diarist's success in the indie pub world indicates, there is a growing need for editor "guns for hire," and the trick is to find the places where writers go to find work.

              That said, you should bone up on what I'll call "editor speak," to improve your ability to communicate why you're recommending certain changes. "It feels dense" is less convincing than "you have 6 thoughts in this paragraph and studies show that readers usually can't juggle more than about 3."

              I'd also recommend networking with other freelance editors, to find out the perqs and pitfalls of running such a business, and for developing referrals. I'm a technical writer, among other things, and when I can't take on a particular project, I make it a point to give out the names of others who might be able to.

              + + + That crazy neighbor, you know, the one with all those cats

              by cvannatta on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:37:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Sounds like editing to me. And I would think (0+ / 0-)

              the ability to both translate and edit would be a more lucrative skill than just editing.

              I have no idea how you'd get that work, but it seems there would be work.

              Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

              by teresahill on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:47:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  thanks! (0+ / 0-)

                I kind of have the feeling that work will find me (the way the first job did) because apparently the author I'm working for now is very active on facebook, and lots of her fans/friends here are also writing in the alternative health field. I'll just need to work on being more efficient in my communication (re: what cvannatta said) and come up with a new tarief zodat ik me niet in de vingers snij. So that I don't cut myself in the fingers, literally, that is, give my work away for basically nothing.

          •  Yes, that would be very helpful. (0+ / 0-)

            Then I can start saving up for the editor fees...

            Not voting is NOT an option this time around.

            by AreDeutz on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:05:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you teresahill, My problem (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mnemosyne, 4Freedom

        is I know little about publishing other than something like authorhouse and once I do the manuscript I just don't know how to get it out there.  My Hooty Hoot book
        still needs illustration.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:35:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Children's books are really hard to sell. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          4Freedom, Vetwife

          Probably harder than anything.

          If it's editing and polishing you're worried about, it's just plain work. Really hard work. And a learned skill that comes to you with time.

          Then it's querying agents, hoping you can get one, and then sending it out to publishers.

          Or now, you can bypass all that. Still, hard to know when something is ready to go out into the world or when it needs more work.

          Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

          by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:22:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  FWIW, at a recent writer's conference... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

 of the agents on a panel said she won't look at a children's book manuscript unless there are already illustrations. The other agent on the panel said he preferred the manuscript NOT have illustrations because so often, either the writing was better than the art, or the art was better than the writing. They both agreed with what teresahill said, that children's books are REALLY hard to sell.

          Most agents try to keep their websites current with what they're buying or specialize in, so that's the place to look if you want to go the traditional route. If you're selling the indie route, I'd recommend finding an illustrator and working out a profit sharing deal, then figuring out how to get your book on an iPad or a Kindle Fire.

          + + + That crazy neighbor, you know, the one with all those cats

          by cvannatta on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:43:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Congratulations! (5+ / 0-)

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:12:35 PM PDT

  •  Congrats! (8+ / 0-)

    Hey, you're even outselling Nora Roberts -- for a romance author, that's pretty damned impressive!

    (I like romance novels. So do a lot of other women who read.)


  •  My answer to your poll.... (12+ / 0-)

    No, but I'm a librarian, and gosh darn, we have a bunch of your books in my library. Ok, not my library, the community's library, but I've been there so long it feels like mine.

    Congratulations, Teresa!

  •  How wonderful! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AreDeutz, 4Freedom, PinHole

    Congrats, Teresa!

  •  Bodice Ripper! (10+ / 0-)

    Just 'cause no one else has said it yet  ;)

    Actually, congratulations!  That is something truly worth celebrating.

    "Put your big-girl panties on and deal with it." -- Stolen from homogenius, who in turn stole it from a coffee mug.

    by Mother of Zeus on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:21:59 PM PDT

  •  Congratulations. (5+ / 0-)

    It's nice that books from indie publishers are making it on to best-seller lists. Probably, the internet has had something to do with that, if nothing else, in giving would-be writers a forum to practice writing online for others' consumption. In all cases, this is excellent practice, and builds skill and confidence; in some cases, it segues naturally into careers in traditional print.

    Now, I have been to numerous "creative writing" workshops over the years. The problem I run into is always the same: people don't recognize that they have to work at it to write competently. The stuff they end up writing for class, thinking it's all but ready to publish, is really rough and ill-focused. The teacher feels constrained in telling the student so, for fear of being discouraging. Maybe this is an understandable fear. Maybe I'm finding writing teachers far too "nice," and I should look for more advanced writing courses.

    Partly--I hate to say it--I think this has to do with the influence of how-to-write self-help author Natalie Goldberg. She was all the rage there for a while in the 90s, and is still pretty big, as far as I know. Her emphasis was "unblocking" the writer's unconscious, enabling them to produce creative first drafts. There may well be a place for that. But, when you're writing for others' consumption, you are generally re-working drafts. Probably, that's what most of your work as a writer consists of. I don't think this fact is done adequate justice in many popular how-to books on writing.

    Got going longer than I meant to--sorry. Congratulations, again.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:25:35 PM PDT

    •  Well, I think the more you write, the better (7+ / 0-)

      your first drafts tend to be. That's not to say you aren't always rewriting. Just that I think the more we write, the better we get at a lot of aspects of writing.

      But yes, a lot of people who want to write don't seem to want to actually sit down and write.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:44:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The "not wanting to sit down and write," (0+ / 0-)

        not wanting to start in, Natalie Goldberg is supposed to help writers with. She probably does. What she helps much less with, in my view, is the extensive intentional crafting and refining that has to figure in any writing you do for others' consumption. This is 60% or more of the writing process. It gets short shrift in the popular culture, including especially "creative writing" training that's available.

        It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

        by karmsy on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 02:23:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Truth is, writing is one of those things where (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          you can take a ton of courses and read a ton of how-to books, but it really comes down to you and a blank screen. You have to do it to figure it out.
          You can learn all the technique in the world and still not be able to tell a good story. There's an element of magic to it all that can't be taught.

          Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

          by teresahill on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:50:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Congrats (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AreDeutz, 4Freedom

    Quite a feat. I'm still trying to get a literary agent for my fiction.

  •  Congratulations (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, DianeNYS

    Yes, I stared at mine for a looong time before I decided it sucked.


  •  Congratulations!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AreDeutz, 4Freedom

    Here's a quick question.  My husband is going through an indie publisher and is uncertain if he should use their ISBN service or have a custom ISBN. Any suggestions?

    Not being able to do everything is no excuse for not doing everything you can. - Ashleigh Brilliant

    by dmac on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:26:54 PM PDT

    •  Congrats to him. You can buy ISBNs. Anyone can. (5+ / 0-)

      But it's pricey to buy them in small quantities. But you say custom ISBN and that makes me wonder what he's getting. Every ISBN should be unique to the book. It's how sales are tracked.

      If you want to have him e-mail me and run the terms  of the Indie publisher by me, I'd be happy to give him my opinion. A lot of writers get taken advantage of by so-called publishers.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:39:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congratulations teresahill! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AreDeutz, 4Freedom

    How awesome.

  •  congrats... any politics in it? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AreDeutz, old wobbly, 4Freedom

    Well done, I think it's neat for a kossack to get such good news. May your reign atop the list be a long one.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:27:51 PM PDT

  •  I was just finishing up my latest Nook book (6+ / 0-)

    "A Fist Full of Collars" (Bernie & Chet Series - love it!), and was contemplating the next book to read.

    I'll order yours.

  •  congratulations! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, Angie in WA State

    i've long wanted to be a writer (actually have a full length novel done, just have done nothign with it yet sadly), so seeing someone i'm tangentially connected to #1 on any best seller list is awesome!!!

    Blessed are the cheese-makers?!

    by pholkhero on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:39:39 PM PDT

    •  If you finished a book, you've done more than (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HudsonValleyMark, 4Freedom

      most people ever do.

      Did you show it to anyone? Ever query agents?

      I tell new writers in your spot that no editor is ever going to show up at your door and say, "Hi, I understand you have a manuscript gathering dust in a box somewhere. I'd like to read it."

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:24:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i have query letters written (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        just in case the editor does show up, but i know that's the next step to take...just having trouble finding the right agents to query, getting the letter Just Exactly Perfect, etc.  My book is sci-fi-esque (a "futuristic tragedy" in my words), and i'm just not sure where to begin.

        Blessed are the cheese-makers?!

        by pholkhero on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:28:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Okay. Go to your keeper shelf. Pull out books (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          4Freedom, not a cent

          by your favorite authors. We often dedicate books to our agents. Or mention who our agents are on our websites.

          Find out who reps some of your favorite authors and query them. Say you love to read their client, XX. They'll at least know you read and took the time to figure out who reps your favorite authors.

          Yes, it's scary. You can do it.

          Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

          by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:36:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I always wanted to be a writer too. But I don't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      really like to write.

      Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

      by ZenTrainer on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:29:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congratulations! (8+ / 0-)

    I am a reviewer for our county library for ebooks, so I'll add it to the list to review.

    Congratulations again!

  •  Congratulations! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer, 4Freedom

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

    by slouching on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:42:41 PM PDT

  •  BRAVO! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer, 4Freedom

    I applaud the success of all creative people cutting out the big media companies.  I will buy your books.

    •  It does feel great to cut them out of the picture. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZenTrainer, 4Freedom, SadieSue

      Thanks to Amazon, of course.

      I'm warning everyone that Amazon is our friend now, in trying to cut publishers out of the picture. But once Amazon does that, Amazon will come after us and choke us of revenue.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:25:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congrats, Teresa! (5+ / 0-)

    I have to go check out your book :)
    I am currently searching for a new, believable romance writer as I have read almost everything from Ms Balogh.
    Off to check...

  •  Amazing news. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer, 4Freedom, betson08


    I'm "THE" Troubadour," and not "Troubadour" without the article. We're different people here at DK :)

    by David Harris Gershon on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:50:16 PM PDT

  •  Shameless plug of my book (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    linkage, melo

    Here's a recent review:

       “Reality Check" is a thought-provoking, unconventional work…examining how we’ve taken Mother Earth to the breaking point. This sometimes dark work, is also at the same time enlightening… filled with important insights into society’s imperfections. The author, going by the pen name of “Pivot”, examine’s  America’s shortcomings in a disturbing account of corporate greed and human selfishness. The author contends that America has a  penchant for a “long and violent abuse of power....The cause of America, in great measure, is the cause of all mankind." (Paine)
        Offering a dismal portrait of American society, “Reality Check” has been penned as a “wake-up” call for all thoughtful inhabitants of planet Earth. Indeed, a gut-check for all those willing to think hard, the book speaks to the frailty of the human condition. Pivot contends society is spinning out of control…. assails bad parenting…how we are failing the children. How as trusted stewards of the planet, we have been negligent. How we allow the “prosperous few to dominate and take advantage of the restless many” (Chomsky).  Filled with interesting quotes from A to Z…this book  is different and unforgettable.
         If you're looking for a light-hearted, quick read, then don’t buy "Reality Check." On the other hand, if you can stomach a sometimes-bitter pill, "Reality Check" can be food for the soul. This eye-opening account exposes injustices rife in America today…contending we must come to grips with our problems, in order to find solutions!

    P.P.S. Here are some excerpts:

              “Mr. Pivot,” said young Johnny Appleseed, “I think I understand what you’re saying. When people are ignorant and confused they make themselves scared; and vice versa; and so on. So now, we kids have to pay for all your fucked up shit. But there’s one thing that I still don’t get. I have an uncle who has a boyfriend instead of a girlfriend; the government says that they can’t get married and have the same rights as a couple of the opposite sex; plus, sometimes they get beat up because they can’t make babies. So, then, shouldn’t we be beating up old heterosexual couples?"
            “Well, Johnny, everyone gets scared when they see someone living a different lifestyle because it could mean that their own way isn’t as good, or could even possibly be wrong. But their fear would vanish if they understood that a different way of living isn’t necessarily better or worse, but just weird, uhm, I mean, different.”
             “But, Mr. Pivot,” queried some kid on the right side of the room, “why do you say that they should be allowed to get married and thus be entitled to all of the legal benefits that go along with that?"
              “I should ask you why you say that they should be denied that, especially in light of the fourteenth amendment which says that ‘No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.’ What is it exactly that you hope to accomplish or avoid with that denial, anyway? Perhaps if you could provide some rationale for that, then we could come to a meeting of the minds on this.”
              “Because it says in the Bible—”
              “According to the first amendment it is unconstitutional to base legislation on the Bible. The government can only maintain laws pertaining to citizens between each other, not between citizens and God.”
             “But, still, Mr. Pivot, you have to admit, it’s kind of disgusting behavior, ya know? Do you really think that society should formally condone such onerous behavior?”
              “Just because the government doesn’t prohibit something, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is condoning it. Besides, who are you or I to call it disgusting? ‘Disgusting’ is in the eye of the beholder. You may find some people’s styles of expressing love repulsive, or certain forms of entertainment infantile, crude, shocking and offensive, such as that Howard Stern fella, but, right or wrong, obnoxious or enlightening, people have a right to live according to their heart and conscience as long as they don’t undermine the happiness and long-term survival of others. Moreover, people have to make a living; and you can’t very well expect people to voluntarily curtail less than noble standards as long as we’re living under the auspices of to-the-victor-goes-the-spoils/to-the-loser-goes-the-shaft capitalism.


            A current example of contention revolves around a Supreme Court ruling made in 1976 (Buckley vs. Valeo) in which the court struck down the limits on citizens’ expenditures towards politicians. They ruled that it would be an infringement on the first amendment to set such limits. But, by the very nature of what it means to achieve balance, it should be clear that a ruling that allows for unrestricted…expression must inherently be lopsided, and, therefore, not balanced, nor just. Because, again, by definition, balance requires restriction, or limitation. Yet Sean Parnell of the Center for Competitive Politics would have us believe that “Money enables free speech; and if you’re going to limit the ability of money to be spent to promote political speech, then you are necessarily limiting political speech.”
             Actually, Sean, since it is called FREE speech one doesn’t need any money for one’s speech to be enabled. Hence, if we are going to limit the amount of money that can be spent on political speech, it does not necessarily limit political speech. It merely limits the medium by which (every)one can express it. Because if you really think about it, the right to not have our speech abridged refers to the content of our speech, not the medium by which we express it. And, if you think about it a little more, since Bill Gates et al. have no political spending limits on their speech the amount of speech that I have IS necessarily limited, by comparison. Moreover, thanks to highly duplicitous Supreme Court rulings, the right of so-called corporate personhoods to invoke Constitutional protections has lead to corporations overriding the protections that individuals are supposed to have. For example, although pleading guilty to causing deaths due to fraudulent marketing, Pfizer pharmaceuticals merely had to pay a steep fine—but nobody in the decision-making process actually had to go to jail the way normal citizens do when held accountable for murder, ironically.
                     EXCERPT BREAK

           I also pointed out that we need to examine where the line should be drawn between cost/profit and discretionary income; which you do by categorizing professions/salaries in a hierarchy of the most productive at the top, and the most counterproductive at the bottom; a.k.a. prioritizing. For example, presently, C.E.O.s of major banks and insurance companies, and folks such as Wolf Blitzer and Matt Laur and Brian Williams and Drew Carey and Al Roker and Piers Morgan and Ryan Seacrest and Anderson Cooper and Glenn Fucking Beck and John Paulson and the Koch brothers are paid obscenely exorbitant salaries, yet their occupations add no actual value to the universe. Teachers, however, are obscenely underpaid, yet they’re the most valuable resource that a society has.
            To wit: “In 2009, the worst economic year for working people since the Great Depression, the top 25 hedge fund managers walked off with an average of $1 billion each. With the money those 25 people ‘earned,’ we could have hired 658,000 entry-level teachers. Those educators could have brought along over 13 million young people, assuming a class size of 20. That's some value. …The wealthy will have placed an estimated $2 trillion into hedge funds by the end of this year.” Not to mention that in 2010 Goldman Sachs bankers received $15.3 billion in bonuses alone.

    “waste”: any human activity which  absorbs resources, but creates no value    ~Taiichi Ohno

    “What we want and what we need has been confused.”                               ~Michael Stipe

    “We can have a democratic society or we can have a great concentrated wealth in the hands of a few. We cannot have both.”
                                                                                                          ~Justice Louis Brandeis

    “Every empirical study of both historic and contemporary cultures finds that the ‘leisure time’ state of ‘freedom’ is enjoyed by only a very small class of people within the city/state: its economic and political rulers.”
                                                ~from Thom Hartmann’s The Last Days of Ancient Sunlight

    “Free enterprise and the market economy mean war; socialism and planned economy mean peace. We must plan our civilization or we must perish.”                    ~Harold Laski

    “Capitalism….is not intelligent, it is not beautiful, it is not just, it is not virtuous—and it doesn’t deliver the goods.”
                                                                                                          ~John Maynard Keynes


                 I’ll spare you any details from David C. Korten’s “devastating” book, When Corporations Rule the World. Suffice it to say, such a book exists. However, I can’t afford to leave out a portion of John Ralston Saul’s international bestseller The Unconscious Civilization, copyright 1995:  “The acceptance of corporatism causes us to deny and undermine the legitimacy of the individual as citizen in a democracy. The result of such a denial is a growing imbalance which leads to our adoration of self-interest and our denial of the public good. Corporatism is an ideology which claims rationality as its central quality. The overall effects on the individual are passivity and conformity in those areas which matter and non-conformism in those which don’t.
             “Economics as a prescriptive science is actually a minor area of speculative investigation. Econometrics, the statistical, narrow, unthinking, lower form of economics, is passive tinkering, less reliable and less useful than car mechanics. The only part of this domain which has some reliable utility is economic history, and it is being downgraded in most universities, even eliminated because, tied as it is to events, it is an unfortunate reminder of reality.
             “Over the last quarter-century economics has raised itself to the level of a scientific profession and more or less foisted a Nobel Prize in its own honor onto the Nobel committee thanks to annual financing from a bank. Yet, over the same 25 years, economics has been spectacularly unsuccessful in its attempt to apply its models and theories to the reality of our civilization. It’s not that the economists’ advice hasn’t been taken. It has, in great detail, with great reverence. And, in general, it has failed. [(“I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organisations, specifically banks and others, were such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms.” --Alan Greenspan/FAILURE)]
             “A ‘profession’ implies both real parameters and professionals who bear some responsibility for the effects of their advice. If economists were doctors, they would, today, be mired in malpractice suits.
             “Many are surprised that this management elite continues to expand and prosper at a time when society as a whole is clearly blocked by a long-term economic crisis. There is no reason to be surprised. The reaction of sophisticated elites, when confronted by their own failure to lead society, is almost invariably the same.
             “To be precise: we live in a corporatist society with soft pretensions to democracy.
             “A simple test of our situation would involve examining the health of the public good. For example, there has never been so much money—actual money—disposable cash—in circulation as there is today. I am measuring this quantity both in absolute terms and on a per capita basis. Look at the growth of the banking industry and the even more explosive growth of the money markets.
             “There has never been so much disposable money, yet there is no money for the public good. In a democracy this would not be the case, because the society would be centered, by general agreement, on disinterest. In a corporatist system there is never any money for the public good because the society is reduced to the sum of the interests. It is therefore limited to measurable self-interest.
             “I would argue that confronting reality—no matter how negative and depressing the process—is the first step towards coming to terms with it.
             “[It is] my right as a citizen—my Socratic right—to criticize, to reject conformity, passivity and inevitability.
             “It is worth trying to do better.”

             To simplify: we’ve designed a system which allows inordinate amounts of wealth to be held in the private sector while the government is left with its hands tied to actually effect noticeable change because they’ve got hardly any money to pay for anything.
             The point: THE HOARDING OF WEALTH DIRECTLY CONTRIBUTES TO THE DECAY OF SOCIETY. Anyone with the slightest understanding of economics knows that the foremost rule to a healthy economy, society, is CIRCULATION. We all “know” this, yet those of you at the top 2 percent with all of the money and control seem to think that the rules of cause and effect don’t apply to you.
             But instant karma IS going to get you, eventually.

    “Property is theft. Nobody owns anything. When you die, it stays here. I read about these billionaires: Sam Walton, 20 billion; Daniel Ludwig, 15 billion. They’re both dead. They’re gone, and the money is still here. It wasn’t their money to begin with. Property is theft.”
                                                                                                                 ~George Carlin

    “He who dies with the most toys still dies.”

    “During the fifty years preceding 1914 a host of brilliant, eloquent, and desperate artists sought to wake the ruling European bourgeoisie out of its deadly lethargy. The bourgeoisie did not at first believe it was lethargic, because it was so busy making money. ‘Making money is not heroic action!’ cried the artists. ‘Making money is boring you to death!’”
                                                                                                             ~Charles Van Doren

    “It was the end of the fifties, and most young people were disillusioned with what was called the Establishment. There seemed nothing to look forward to but affluence and more affluence. The Conservatives had just won their third election victory with the slogan, ‘You’ve never had it so good.’ I and most of my contemporaries were bored with life.”
                                                                                                              ~Stephen Hawking

    “They debated the NAFTA trade bill for a long time; should we sign it or not? Either way, the people get fucked. Trade always exists for the traders. Anytime you hear businessmen debating ‘which policy is better for America,’ don’t bend over.”

                                                                                                                 ~George Carlin

  •  Congrats! (4+ / 0-)

    BTW, pretty sure we know each other. Glad to see you're doing well :)

    "Well, the problem here is that you're out of candy. You're gonna need more candy." Rachel Maddow on the Big Bailout

    by cishart on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:57:08 PM PDT

  •  Most excellent! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, linkage, ZenTrainer, 4Freedom

    Many congratulations.

    I'm doing a book-in-a-month loop this month, so your good news is added incentive to get going and BICHOK*.

    *"butt in chair, hands on keyboard"  

    "There are no Americans at the airport!" -- Baghdad Bob
    "I’ve got a very effective campaign." -- Mitt Romney

    by Mnemosyne on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:03:41 PM PDT

    •  That's a great way to write. Too many people, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4Freedom, betson08, Mnemosyne

      especially people who write a lot already, just not in fiction, freak out when they start trying to write fiction.

      Just write the book.

      Nora Roberts says, "I can fix anything but a blank page."

      It's true. Just move forward with the story.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:29:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would love to turn my diary on rec into a book (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer, 4Freedom

    There are so many stories to tell.  

    Any tips would be appreciated.

    Follow on twitter @progressiveelec -

    by alpolitics on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:05:06 PM PDT

  •  So many congrats! I know we are all REALLY (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer, 4Freedom

    proud of you!

    And as to luck having anything to do with it, it sounds as though a lot of talent and work had a lot MORE to do with it!

    Yeah for you!

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:06:28 PM PDT

  •  Well I think you might get a sales bump.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    linkage, ZenTrainer, anafreeka

    from this diary, because I just bought your book too. It looks good.

    Huge congratulations - for the great news and also for having the courage to leave the traditional publishing world after having found success in it.

    Apparently I am in good company with many other Kossacks who have considered writing a novel someday.

    Two questions:
    1. I am considered a good writer in the professional world (science), but fiction is a whole other ballgame. I am wondering how one goes about learning to write a novel? A seminar? A book you'd recommend? Or "just do it"?

    2. Do you think that the quality of literature will be affected by the loss of the gatekeepers? Were they helpful to keep literature good, or just commercially viable? Do you think "crowd sourcing" the reviews will do the same thing?

    I am really happy for you and looking forward to your book!

    "Never separate the life you live from the words you speak." - Paul Wellstone

    by isabel on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:08:39 PM PDT

    •  Well, people are definitely manipulating (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4Freedom, isabel, kir, melo

      reviews, which makes it hard to get an unbiased opinion.
      And there have been a couple of big deals done by established publishers recently on Indie ebooks that I don't think are well-written at all.

      But that sort of thing happens. There are NYTimes bestsellers whose work sparked something in readers and became bestsellers for reasons I will never understand.

      But the thing about bestsellers is that they're not made by the people we consider "readers." They're made by people who buy one or two books a year.

      I've learned you will never understand what makes some books bestsellers. Never.

      I do think we'll see much more variety offered and people will find niche markets, and that's good for readers. Good for writers, too.

      You don't have to sell nearly as many books to earn decent money if you publish yourself. So lots more writers will make a living. Not a great one, but a living. I like that for readers and writers.

      Now, about your writing. I think any kind of writing we do helps us when we turn to fiction. You're comfortable putting words on a page. Yes, fiction is different, but it's still words on a page. Remember that you know how to write and try not to freak out when you sit down to write fiction.

      I would study writers you know and love. We all imitate other writers when we start. It's fine. It's a way of learning.
      Try to read analytically. Where are they describing people or places. Where's the dialogue. Where's the plot moving forward. Try to figure out how they do it.

      There are a million how-to-write books. My favorite for plotting/characterization for genre fiction is Goal Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon. She's a friend, a brilliant women, former author and is publisher and part owner of a publishing house now: Belle Books. My favorite for what it's like to be a writer and how crazy it makes us is Anne LaMott's Bird By Bird.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:52:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great advice, thanks. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Now the biggest issue is how to clone myself so I can give it a shot without neglecting my kids, spouse and day job.

        Diana Gabaldon has an interesting story, scientist and mom by day, writer and insomniac by night. I'm not sure I have her stamina, though.

        "Never separate the life you live from the words you speak." - Paul Wellstone

        by isabel on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 09:27:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Forgot, I'd love a sales bump, and I'm not (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4Freedom, alpolitics, isabel

      really bragging, just trying to show people what a great, big, wonderful marketplace there is out there for even Indie pubbed books.

      Yesterday, at B&N alone, the four titles in my series sold a total of a little more than 4,000 copies. :)

      It's a great world, publishing, right now in this new marketplace.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:39:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I love when people share their good news. (0+ / 0-)

        It is also really interesting to read an insiders view of publishing, so no disclaimer necessary.

        "Never separate the life you live from the words you speak." - Paul Wellstone

        by isabel on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 09:24:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Rock on! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    linkage, ZenTrainer

    Self-publishing is where it's at today, for authors and artists who know the game and can be a self-directed team of one.

    Lover, fighter, dreamer

    by kate mckinnon on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:14:23 PM PDT

    •  It is. We're so lucky now. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wendy in FL, kate mckinnon

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:53:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I love this diary (0+ / 0-)

        I have two book ideas but not for fiction. I think I would rather write fiction, but I've read that it is harder to get the numbers of people to buy fiction books simply because there are so many more of them.

        I have also heard that the royalties for publishing directly with Kindle and Nook are much, MUCH better than with a traditional publisher. I don't know if you mentioned it, but can you offer a basic comparison on percentages?

        "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

        by Wendy in FL on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 08:20:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OMG, much, much better. Traditional publishers (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cvannatta, kate mckinnon

          would pay you 8-12% royalties.
          Amazon will pay you 70%, B&N 65% on books priced at $2.99 and above.

          It's a wonderful thing.

          You're generally going to price indie books better. $2.99-$4.99, but we don't really care, because we still get more than a traditional publisher would pay us.

          Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

          by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 08:51:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Zactly. (0+ / 0-)

            I'm doing a paper version of my upcoming book more as a souvenir than anything else. I consider the ebook the lasting product, because I can keep it alive, updated, and sell the updates as well as the initial download.

            The paper version is going to be the Artist's Edition, a small run, just enough to get paid about the same as if I had a bestselling book for a publisher and got a dollar a copy.

            It's a LOT of work to replace a publishing house and an art team, but with the right kind of help, it can be done and done well.

            Lover, fighter, dreamer

            by kate mckinnon on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:31:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Congratulations! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That's wonderful!  I hope you stay at the top!

    How do you get a manuscript published as an e-book?  Does it cost a lot?

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:18:51 PM PDT

    •  No, it doesn't. I paid about $250 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4Freedom, cvannatta

      to have someone scan older books in book form, do a cover and code them so they're ready for uploading to sell. You can get someone to do it cheaper, a lot cheaper, but I wanted a really polished package.

      Some people do their own coding. Supposedly it's not hard, just tedious.

      And on the new work, I hired an editor who charges about $1,000 for a 100,000 word manuscript, although it varies depending on how much work your book needs.

      You could get that done cheaper, too. The person I hired has worked as a newspaper editor for 30 years.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:10:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sweet! Congratulations. And may indie (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    pubbing become the norm.

    Hugs, Una.

  •  So many congratulations, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer, 4Freedom, Damnit Janet

    they will not fit in this comment. Own it. Grab every second the spotlight will yield, then choke another two out of it. Give every interview, brag at every chance.

    Fate does not smile often. Make it beam.

    We've been wondering how to get through the clutter and reach low-information voters. Mitt haz it.

    by Crashing Vor on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:21:41 PM PDT

  •  Love to hear this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer, 4Freedom

    Congrats to you- all that hard work finally pays off!

    With the rise of indie publishing, self publishing, etc.  it makes me more than ever want to write a book.  I have a great concept for a nonfiction on how to get more women elected to higher office- directed at women who are interested in getting in and the political staffers who will work those campaigns.  I've always got fiction stories rolling around my head, but I've never gotten down to the real business of fiction writing.  I am so impressed with your dedication and work ethic- this is not easy as many people think.  Take a screenshot of the BN list while it's still there and keep it for memories!

  •  Rock On! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm a relationship counselor and have written two booklets and a workbook for a relationship seminar: Men Are Stupid! Women Are Crazy! Stop Fighting--Start Loving.  In the past two weeks, have generated an idea to write a third booklet about how to pick a partner.  I've self-published my booklets, sell a few, but mostly give them away to my clients.  I plan on combining them into a book one day.

    Writing is difficulty and yet very gratifying.  I'm pretty good at my non-fiction writing and don't have the kind of creativity to write fiction.  Yet, I do have a bit of an understanding of the process and offer my utmost congrats!!


  •  A friend of mine has been working on her (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    first book and we've talked about it often. What a thrill it was when she brought in the first draft in a very spiffy notebook with a cover and everything. She started out envisioning holding that book in her hands and by george she did it!

    American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

    by glitterscale on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:32:17 PM PDT

    •  It is a great feeling to hold that book (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in your hands for the first time. And I don't want to make her feel bad, but she knows if she submits to an editor or publisher, it's plain, unbound pages, right? Print them out, put a big rubber band around them and mail them. Or send them as an e-mail attachment. Most people take submissions that way now, I believe.

      (Just checking. Don't want her to look like she doesn't know, if it's going to an agent or editor.)

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:19:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wonderful! Congratulations! (0+ / 0-)
  •  So cool, (0+ / 0-)

    we should all buy it!

  •  Congratulations!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This gives me hope.

    I'm a journalist by profession, but I always wanted to become a novelist. I've written a few short stories, and started two manuscripts but got sidetracked with breaking news.

    After writing hard news for so long, I lost the desire for contemporary fiction. Reading your diary has stirred something in my soul. Maybe this is what I needed.

    Do you mind if I message you offline? I'd really appreciate this. Let me know.

  •  Many congratulations! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My husband is in the same profession and I know how hard it is.  How wonderful for you, after 20 years, to realize such terrific success.

    •  Thanks. What does your husband write? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanbrooker, 4Freedom

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:20:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mysteries/Thrillers. (0+ / 0-)

        He had a book a while back that did okay, 'Dangerous Behavior', but the good news was he was able to get a movie deal out of it.  This one is taking more time, but he's definitely setting his sites on ebooks.  I just shot a small video promo for the book, which was a blast.  Normally, I make docs, but I loved doing mini-narrative, which was a scene near the opening.  We've heard that many authors are starting to make small videos promoting their books and putting them on youtube.  Have you heard of this?  I'm curious because I hadn't until just recently.

        •  Yes, authors are making mini videos. Usually with (0+ / 0-)

          stock video footage, I think, (Didn't even know such a thing existed.)

          If you had fun doing it, you might go online and search authors and videos and see what's out there. You might have fun doing more.

          And good luck with his movie deal. I've had nibbles. Really cool nibbles before. But nothing ever came of it.

          Have had a few friends who had books turned into movies. Movie money is lovely. Screenwriters have a guild and a minimum terms agreement. Their minimum terms are so nice.

          Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

          by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 08:56:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  OT, my book would be non-fiction (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, xhale

    Limited audience, limited need.

    Bigger and more urgent writing need I'm working on is GOTV person-to-person letter-writing campaign.

  •  Good for you! Just passed this on to my (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    writer/daughter, who is a senior in college and trying to decide what to do. This is great news!!!!

    Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed...

    by langstonhughesfan on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:42:41 PM PDT

  •  Many, many congratulations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I hope your happy feeling and place on the list lasts a good long time.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:43:30 PM PDT

  •  Wonderful news! (0+ / 0-)

    Congratulations on a job well done! I need to buy your books.

  •  Stupid Question: If I download to my Kindle, do (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davehouck, 4Freedom

    you still get credit??? Looks like a great read!

    Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed...

    by langstonhughesfan on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:45:23 PM PDT

  •  Champagne toast to you! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:51:54 PM PDT

  •  I've self published since 1996. But I did it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, melo

    when the only "smart" way to self publish was to write a book targeted to a small, easy to reach market.

    So, I wrote a law book. Oklahoma Automobile Ins. Law and Practice. Yawn.

    I'm lucky because I'm in a field where consumers are used to paying big prices. My production cost (through Amazon's Createspace) is about $12 per book (with annual supplement). It sells for $210. So, there's that. Of course, that profit margin does not count the hundreds of hours of writing and research time...and 35 years of law practice. Heh.

    But, I love Createspace. I take orders on my website, then take the customer's information to my Createspace dashboard, order the book on a print-on-demand basis, and Createspace drop ships it directly to the customer.

    I've now got ideas for a whole new series of law books and am in writing mode.

    But, I would so love to write fiction. I'm good at coming up with setting, situation and characters - I'm not good at putting them in motion and creating a story. I think part of it is 35 years of doing legal writing, where I had my "story" given to me in a case file. My brain still seems to think I'll get disbarred if I "make up facts." :)

    I love self publishing and very much want to get into the ebook revolution. Congratulations on your hard work and SUCCESS!

    Liberals: Taking crap for being right since before you were born. - Driftglass (and the amazing Professional Left Podcast at

    by briefer on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:52:57 PM PDT

    •  Hey, you made it work. That's great. And I've (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      briefer, 4Freedom

      heard Createspace is a wonderful way to get print books out there.

      On your fiction, sounds like you need a plot. Sadly, no one hands them to us. :(

      Can you think of it as a problem to solve? One with many steps to solving the problem? Because all plots are problems to solve.

      Or maybe a quest? A quest that takes multiple steps to solve? Sometimes we can play games with our brain and a problem or a quest sounds so much easier than a plot.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:29:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. I've always looked at it as if I'm (0+ / 0-)

        starting off with a situation, at the beginning, and I'm trying to peer into the future to see what happens with these people. If I do that, it all looks vague and foggy. It sounds like I'm looking at it wrong.

        So, I guess I should take my initial situation and a few characters, but then give them a series of problems to solve. Or one big problem to solve. Make an A and then a Z, and then figure out how you're gonna get from A to Z.

        Thanks...that helps.

        I've been working with Scrivener, and playing with the note card concept. But I always try to go A, B, C, etc.... I guess I'll go back and create a few Z's, and then try to envision how I'm going to get there.

        Liberals: Taking crap for being right since before you were born. - Driftglass (and the amazing Professional Left Podcast at

        by briefer on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 08:00:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've heard good things about Scrivener. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And I have to warn you, if you're waiting for the whole plot to magically appear before you, it's probably not going to happen.

          I use the headlight thing. It's dark and maybe a little scary, but you can see as far ahead in the story as the headlights on a car. It's not always comfortable, but you can get to where you're going with just those headlights.

          Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

          by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 08:58:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Yay!! teresa! (0+ / 0-)

    You go! Too, many exclamation points?....Nah !!!!

    "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

    by high uintas on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:53:28 PM PDT

  •  I would like to write a non-fiction book about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a child abuse case that I took care of in 1994 as a pediatrician in the Army. The family had had 2 children. The first child had died at age 4 months at a US Naval hospital in Japan. The second child was the one I took care of. She was a 4 month old with a very unusual fracture of the left thigh bone. We also discovered there was an older rib fracture. With 2 unexplained fractures of different ages we were able to diagnose child abuse. The perpetrator had to be one of the 2 parents, since they were the only caretakers. Both parents denied it. We requested the medical records of their first child from the naval hospital in Japan and discovered it was a case of whiplash shaken baby syndrome that the US Navy doctors in Japan had not diagnosed. We had that baby's body exhumed.  It had been buried in the United States. The skeleton showed that 14 of 24 ribs were broken and both arms and legs had been broken. The Naval Investigative Service confronted the father, whom they considered to be to likely perpetrator, and he fled and disappeared. He resurfaced years later in another state and confessed to torturing and killing the first daughter and to abusing the second daughter and breaking her leg. It turned out he could not be prosecuted for killing the first daughter because he committed that crime as a civilian on Japanese soil and the Japanese did not want to prosecute. I have been told that there is now a US law that would allow prosecution of this law in the US. My purpose in writing the book would be to highlight the made in diagnosis of the first baby, and the difficulty, but eventual diagnosis in the second baby, and ultimately a goal of bringing the father to prosecution for his crimes against these 2 children. I still have all of the notes and hospital records on the 2 children, and anything I don't have I can get through a Freedom of Information Act request. Should I publish this as an Indie? How do you do that?

    "@MittRomney spent five interviews last night whining. Time to buck up. This is politics after all, not Horse Ballet." Brad Woodhouse @woodhouseb 7-14-2012

    by surfermom on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:54:35 PM PDT

    •  I forgot to say "Congratulations" on your book! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It must be very gratifying to know your work is appreciated by so many people.

      "@MittRomney spent five interviews last night whining. Time to buck up. This is politics after all, not Horse Ballet." Brad Woodhouse @woodhouseb 7-14-2012

      by surfermom on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:05:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, tough case. If you treated them, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is there a way around privacy issues? Between you and a patient? Is enough of it public record?

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:30:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This may have to be a 2 step process. (0+ / 0-)

        1. Assemble enough data for a US Attorney to prosecute for the death of the 1st baby.
        2.  Then that becomes public record.

        There is already a 26 page confession that the father gave to a police station. Is that a public record?

        Thank you for bringing this up. I think I would be wise to talk to a lawyer about this before publishing anything. Right?
        As you can see, I am a complete newbie at this.

        "@MittRomney spent five interviews last night whining. Time to buck up. This is politics after all, not Horse Ballet." Brad Woodhouse @woodhouseb 7-14-2012

        by surfermom on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 09:17:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I would think privacy laws apply to (0+ / 0-)

          anything you learned by treating them.

          The confession... I think that's only public record if the case comes to trial and the confession is entered into the police record.

          Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

          by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 09:40:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  That's absolutely fantastic! (0+ / 0-)

    Congratulations and well done to you for striking out on your own.  The satisfaction must be all the greater.  So thrilled for you!

  •  Awesome news! Congrats. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I am giving my e-book away to Kossaks for free this week.  Perhaps you would like it.  

  •  Well how awesome for YOU!!! (0+ / 0-)

    nice to see people's dreams come true and hard work manifest
    your good news is good news for all!

  •  Terrific! It must be quite the life-changer (0+ / 0-)

    hitting the #1 spot, props to you:)  

    I have always wanted to write, and even had the passion when I was 16, when I started my first novel...but never got past the first chapter.  I'm just now formulating the outline for a book for my now 4-y-o daughter, geared for 7-8 year old's.  I hope to get it to publishing by next summer.

    As for that novel, what is the best "How to start.." book, in your opinion, and if you have a favorite book or article on how to go from writing to publishing Indie-style, I and possibly others would be grateful to hear.

    Republicans...What a nice club...of liars, cheaters, adulterers, exaggerators, hypocrites and ignoramuses. Der Spiegel -6.62, -6.92

    by CanyonWren on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:15:53 PM PDT

    •  I know so little about writing for that age group. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CanyonWren, Damnit Janet

      For a good overview of one author's journey in Indie pubbing -- a successful Indie author -- try Julie Ortolon's blog.

      Great up-to-date information. There's a box about half-way down on the left side of the page to follow her blog from the beginning of her Indie pubbing experience.

      Good luck. And don't tell me you don't have time to write because you have kids. I have kids. 20 and 23, and I've been publishing for 20 years. So you know I've been writing with kids. Not easy, but it can be done.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:49:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congrats! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, Ignacio Magaloni

    I don't read romances, but I have read some of your posts on DKos in the past offering advice on writing and getting published to others; advice that I found helpful.

    You wrote that publishing is changing fast.  I'm wondering, are people reading more books now; and if so, is that to some degree attributable to ebooks?

    Love one another

    by davehouck on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:23:20 PM PDT

    •  Yes, they are. Book sales are up. Ebooks are (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4Freedom, davehouck, Ignacio Magaloni

      making up a higher percentage of books all the time.

      Experts in the industry say the tipping point was the Kindle. From the time the first one was introduced, every projection any expert made about how fast sales of e-books would grow, fell short. Sales have grown much faster than anyone expected and continues to grow much faster than anyone expected.

      I don't know where it's going to shake out in the end, the percentage of e-books to print books.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:51:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Awesome! Congratulations! (0+ / 0-)

    so long and thanks for all the fish

    by Anton Bursch on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:23:39 PM PDT

  •  Congratulations! (0+ / 0-)

    I'm so happy to read about your deserved success.  I'm also a writer, but of musicals, so getting produced is my obstacle.  It is always encouraging, inspiring and heartening to hear about people who have invested so much time, energy and passion into their writing to finally get some recognition.  I have a Nook and will try and check out your book soon!

    Congratulations again on your great accomplishment.  I hope it's a sign of even more great things to come!

    •  Wow. I'm sure that's one of the few markets (0+ / 0-)

      that's even harder to sell in than books. Not a lot of musicals produced, I guess?

      I cringe just thinking about trying to do something harder than write and sell a book.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:53:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bravo. Congratulations to you. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Congrats, am (0+ / 0-)

    Off to buy the book!  Someday would love to write a book, if I can organize my thoughts into a story lol

  •  Congratulations! (0+ / 0-)

    I love that self-publishing is tearing down the walls that the big NYC publishers put up between readers and writers.

    Not only is it a great time to be a writer, it is also a great time to be an avid reader.   The hardest part of course is getting noticed without the publisher's marketing.

    It sounds like you were fortunate to catch a featured spot on B&N, I'd be curious how you think it best for new authors who are self-publishing to get noticed?

    Best wishes for continued dominance on the best sellers list!

    •  Honestly, the vast majority of writers get (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      practically no promo from traditional publishers. At least as an indie, you can do the work yourself.

      I tell people to network with other writers. We're sharing what we're trying and what's working. The market is changing all the time, so what works now won't work in the future, I bet.

      Present a very professional package. That means a great cover, good back cover copy and a well-edited book.

      I got the B&N slot by networking with other writers. Someone I know made a contact at B&N and pitched the idea of an indie series in the slot. She got it. Her books did well. She told her friends about the contact and the promo slot. We all pitched our books. B&N picked me. I've never had a promo like this from a traditional publisher.

      There are some lists that are moving a lot of books right now. and

      DCR is the biggest. You can use theirPfeedback address to ask them to feature you, but I don't know how they pick books. But the books they feature sell like crazy. I have an ereadernewstoday spot coming up Oct. 22, so I'll know more about what they can do after that. PixelofInk is new to me. Not sure about them.

      Tons of people will take your money for a paid slot, but I don't know any site that moves more books than DCR and they're a free site, as far as I know.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 09:06:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well done! (0+ / 0-)

    Congratulations, and best wishes for the future.

  •  Congratulations and Felicitations! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Damnit Janet

    I'm delighted to be able to read of your good fortune.  I hope that it continues.

    My own books went up on Kindle, Createspace, and (which indirectly reaches bunches of people), with one book on Kindle premium to reach that market. I also have a bunch of books at; Third Millennium has been in the business since the start of the millennium.  The nice fellow who created Smashwords has an extensive discussion on his site of ISBNs and many other things; readers interested in following this path will find that Kindle and Smashwords both come with excellent, well-written sets of how-to instructions.  And if you look at Mistress of the Waves on Kindle, you will see my endorsement of the Waterstone's doctrine that cover quality is important.
           ...George Phillies

    We can have change for the better.

    by phillies on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 08:00:10 PM PDT

  •  Congrats congrats congrats! (0+ / 0-)

    So good to see some success in other writers! It gives me heart.

    I have a short story soon to be published and a novel I am polishing off before sending to agents. (so I sorta fudged the poll)

    I too write romance. No bodices were ripped in the pursuit of the story. :o)

    It's a super competitive field but I love writing!

    Again- congrats!
    It is good to hear!

  •  Congratulations!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sister Havana

    This is heartening!

    After 18 years my own book finally got accepted by a publishing house, so I can only wish to be as prolific as you are.

    Good on you!!!

    Helping a food pantry on the Cheyenne River Reservation,Okiciyap." ><"

    by betson08 on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 08:01:04 PM PDT

  •  I write songs. Do you recommend (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sister Havana

    writing about things you know personnally about?  For example, do you have experience with foster care, adoption, etc?  (I read the first few paragraphs of 12 Days)
    Oh, congratulation!s!

  •  W00t! Congrats!! And many, many more sales! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 08:19:17 PM PDT

  •  Most Excellent! Congratulations (0+ / 0-)
  •  reading it right now (0+ / 0-)

    Wow, the sample with engaging story and strong writing really drew me in, and I had to keep reading. So I bought it, too. Congratulations, Teresa Hill, bestselling writer.

    I like the attention to Veterans, thank you for including them.

    Thanks also for sharing the useful details on your experiences in writing and publishing.

    Best wishes. Back to the developing story.

    •  Thanks. My neighbors adopted through (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      social services as foster parents. I used their situation as an opening one for my characters.

      They had a child in their home that they had to give back, got their hearts broken, had given up, when a social worker called at Christmas one year, begging them to take a little girl.

      She ended up being my daughter's best friend for many years.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 09:12:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  congratulations!!! (0+ / 0-)

    It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. ~ Thoreau

    by newpioneer on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 08:27:51 PM PDT

  •  Fantastic! So great. (0+ / 0-)

    Love romances - big (huge, really - strange politics, but man alive, she can really write good chemistry) fan of early Sandra Brown before she went into mystery and always a Nora Roberts fan - and as a lit major and writer, I frequently think about taking some of my ideas and trying to write a romance. Even bought two books for guidance on the topic, just never started.

    It just never seemed like there was a market for magic and faery and time shifting in the romance arena, although I can't think why. Seems like there should be....  Maybe I should think again.

    We don't have enough love stories in the world.  No such thing.  Thanks for giving us more!

    "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

    by Unduna on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 08:28:24 PM PDT

  •  Congrats too. (0+ / 0-)

    I have a story that I WANT to work on that my daughter started a year ago for NaMoRMo.  She did a couple of chapters and posted them on Fiction Post...

    "Death is the winner in any war." - Nightwish/Imaginareum/Song of myself.

    by doingbusinessas on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 08:33:56 PM PDT

  •  Congrats (0+ / 0-)

    always wanted to be a writer, even used to do freelance. sold a lot of bad stuff. i wouldn't mind being a writer if I didn't have to write that much....

  •  Wonderful news! Congratulations! (0+ / 0-)

    Reading this diary is a great way to end a great day.

    :  )

    The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. Clayton Act, Section 6.

    by Ignacio Magaloni on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 09:15:16 PM PDT

  •  Congrats, Teresa! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AkaEnragedGoddess, alpolitics

    I see a lot of questions from budding or #wanttobe authors in the diary.

    Here's something different.

    Any advice on someone who would like to be an Independent Author Editor? I'm specifically interested in working with first time authors who and those who are already self-publishing, via Amazon and other online marketing outlets.

    I'm aiming at the lower end of Editing, starting out with grammar and spelling read through with options/corrections for under $50 per book (350 pgs or less equivalent).

    I've seen only a single independent online source who provides this type of service, and wonder if you had any advice on where I might advertise or look for clients.

    "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.''
    -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr
    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"
    -- Angie in WA State

    by Angie in WA State on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 09:19:24 PM PDT

    •  Well, a lot of people need free-lance editors. (2+ / 0-)

      More and more as time goes by, I'm sure.

      Have you done any kind of work like this before? Because people are going to ask about references and experience.

      If you don't have anyone to vouch for your services as an editor, particularly a book editor, you'll probably need to do some work for very little -- although I'd say $50 is way too little. It's a lot of work. Particularly with some writers.

      I would offer to do 10 pages or so as a try-out. So you know what kind of work needs to be done. Send the 10 pages back with a price quote. That way both you and the writer know what you're getting into.

      Writers' groups often have magazines and websites where you can advertize. Romance Writers of America. Novelists Inc. The Author's Guild. Try those and look up ad rates. Build a website, so people can contact you.

      It is going to be a growing field. Getting in early is good in any growing field.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 09:47:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  $50 is too less (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Don't beat yourself down to get an entry. You will not be able to sustain also not helping the other editors out there. Price yourself on how you value your time and the service provided. Offer to do a few small manuscripts free of charge to  get your time studies done. Say, you are able to edit 50 pages in an hour and you value yourself at $25/hour, then 350 pages should actually be priced at $175 not $50.  Have a quick effort estimation based on the quality of the manuscript and have a range between $20 - $30 (based on your original valuation) for easy to difficult manuscripts. Offer additional services like synonym finder, suggestions for improvement, plagiarism check, historical fact-check  etc. to boost your earning potential. All the best..

      If you are for the death penalty, you do not deserve to be called a "pro-lifer". You are anti-choice. Just to make sure, did you support the war on Iraq?

      by Mysoreback on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 10:58:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Looks like I'm going to start writing (0+ / 0-)

      I have no idea where to start.  Keep in touch.

      Follow on twitter @progressiveelec -

      by alpolitics on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:04:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congrats from a fellow indie! (0+ / 0-)

    I love hearing when one of us does well. Congratulations!

  •  Congratulations! (0+ / 0-)

    My online sales on B&N for some reason are rather meh (the paper copies sold better), but the books do OK at other online retailers.

    •  I've heard Amazon is about 70% of sales (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for most people, B&N maybe 25% and the rest, the other five.
      But we really need competition for Amazon. We don't want them controlling everything.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:38:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congrats!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful news with a new writer, your accomplishment is very inspiring  to me =)

  •  Congrats and need some advice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have started to put together some personal narratives/short stories which on a A4 sized sheet on font size 12 double spaced come to about 4-5 pages (1000-1500 words ea). I have selected about 25 topics and aiming for about 15-20 more. Narratives which are completed are - a letter of advice to my son as he enters college, marrying my first cousin, 5 Democratic women whom I admire, Immigration hassles, a best friend's early struggles, 50 things to do before I die etc. I am planning to self publish and promote it. What self publishing service would you recommend for this kind of book and whether the size of each narrative is long enough to elicit interest amongst possible readers?

    If you are for the death penalty, you do not deserve to be called a "pro-lifer". You are anti-choice. Just to make sure, did you support the war on Iraq?

    by Mysoreback on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 10:45:18 PM PDT

    •  Kossacks - pl comment on my choice of 5 Dem Women (0+ / 0-)

      Not to hijack the diary but the fab five that I have selected for my forthcoming book (!) are Nancy Pelosi, Jan Schankowsky, Barbara Lee, Amy Klobuchar & Hillary Clinton. Appreciate a comment on the choice.

      If you are for the death penalty, you do not deserve to be called a "pro-lifer". You are anti-choice. Just to make sure, did you support the war on Iraq?

      by Mysoreback on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:08:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've heard some people are selling (0+ / 0-)

      short stories through Amazon. But I don't know how short they mean. Don't really know much about the short story market. Sorry.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:39:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congrats, Teresa! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pam from Calif

    That's fabulous!!!! Heck, I was happy to make it onto the top 100 western romance list for a few heady days last spring. Yep, fellow romance writer here ;-)

    •  Hey, we have to celebrate all that stuff. (0+ / 0-)

      And I've heard Westerns are making a comeback. Everything comes back around in time. Good luck with yours.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:40:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congrats! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~ Helen Keller

    by Pam from Calif on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 11:34:59 PM PDT

  •  Congrats. (0+ / 0-)

    I need to buy a few things on Amazon tomorrow. So I just put your book into my cart. I look forward to diving into it!

    © grover

    "Are you going to go to war?" --Vice President Joe Biden to Paul Ryan, VP debate, 10/11/12.

    by grover on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:07:42 AM PDT

  •  Congratulations! (0+ / 0-)

    Gotta love serendipity--The story of your success is nothing if not timely! All the best to you, along with a tequila shot from here...

    At 59, with tons of time on my hands, I finally owned up to a buried childhood dream of "being a writer." Throughout my professional life (long story with many twists and turns) I was always told I was a good writer...but just couldn't let myself take that in. Talent? Me? You must be kidding.

    Long story short, I tested the waters by registering on some of the freelance sites, picked up a few commercial writing and editing jobs, and after 2 years of part time work, I'm able to command $50 an hour. I've ghost-written eBooks, articles, and "how to" guides...but as a ghost writer, of course it's still not "me."

    I've spent the last couple of weeks just completely stuck about being completely stuck -- unmotivated to do the commercial stuff right now and stubbornly glued to my position.

    But you've inspired me to take a look at the possibility of stepping out of the shadows. And for that I'm grateful.

    BTW, are you familiar with Amanda Hocking? She's sold over 900,000 books on Kindle (and she's only 26!) Great blog here.

    I should probably already know this, but is there a writers and authors group here on the Kos?

    "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

    by SmartRat on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:31:55 AM PDT

    •  Good for you. After a while, if you're meant (0+ / 0-)

      to be a writer, something inside you just won't leave you alone until you start to write.

      I bet you've learned a lot while editing. Now it's time to write your own stuff.

      I know there's a group for people who are writing. I usually stumble across it. Sorry, I can't remember the name.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:43:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kris Rusch has a lot of good information (0+ / 0-)

    Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes under a variety of names (hers, Kristine Grayson, Kris Nelscott and perhaps others) in a variety of genres, and she also teaches "business of writing" courses and writes extensively about it. Most recently she's been covering the incredibly rapid changes in the publishing industry and has a ton of useful information about how to not get screwed on your contracts.

    Her business-of-writing stuff is at with more than 120 articles posted over the past few years (and she has a variety of other non-business posts such as story samples, etc. on the main blog site). Some of the areas she covers are contracts, "deal breakers" on reversion clauses, how not to get screwed by "services" that "help" with e-publishing, etc.

    She's had some articles recently about contracts that strike me as something that just about any writer must read before signing anything. Two that I'll point people to as good examples of why you should read further are and - the second of which has a bit of a horror story of a published (35 million copies!) author who basically got screwed and didn't even realize it.

  •  Outstanding! (0+ / 0-)

    Congratulations, Teresa. Romances are not my style, but good writing is, so I'll have to go give this a look. I'm thrilled for you!

    Organ donors save lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate.

    Why are war casualty counts "American troops" and "others" but never "human beings"?

    by Kitsap River on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:56:01 AM PDT

  •  Congratulations! (0+ / 0-)

    You must feel fantastic right now. I'd be putting up a sign near my computer:

    I drank Stephen King's milkshake!
    Lol :) Doesn't hurt to give the ego some air every once in awhile.
  •  Wow - congrats! (0+ / 0-)

    That's great news. :)

    I've co-authored 2 books:

    Her Final Year: A Care-Giving Memoir co-authored with fellow Kossack Shadan7 and our wives. It tells of the caregiver journey of two men (myself & Shadan) and their families as the men each find themselves in the unexpected position of primary caregiver for their mother-in-laws. It has 14 five-star reviews on Amazon right now.

    And in the realm of Fantasy & Science-Fiction, I co-authored Sync with J. Lee Dunn, a friend of mine. Sync is the first novel in a series relating the tales of two friends as they attempt to stay ahead of their destiny - to keep an ancient evil from returning to our world & remaking it in his own image as he has done to countless others.

    As a quick aside: Shadan7 and I were each working on sci-fi books during our years as caregivers for our MILs. Mine was Sync, listed above. Shadan's was Communion of Dreams - a sci-fi novel in the tradition of Arthur C. Clarke. He's got a Kickstarter up to try and fund the work on a prequel called St. Cybi's Well - it could use some help. It's only 1/2way to its goal, and has just 62 hrs left at this time.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share all the above with folks, and muchas gracias on your success with Twelve Days!

    •  You all need to make your name bigger (0+ / 0-)

      on the covers. When you put your name in a tiny font like that, it's like telling the readers, "I'm nobody as a writer. No one knows my name."

      You don't want to do that. Makes yourself look like someone. You're selling your name and hoping to build on it. Make your name big.

      Love the cover for St. Cybi's Well. Great image. Great colors. The middle one is kind of murky. The memoir's cover should be redone. Put a single image there. Look at the stock art sites. Stock art is cheap. Something that says care-giving.

      Covers are the first thing people see. Make it look special.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:52:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congratulations - and I'm a little jealous (0+ / 0-)

    I've struggled with the traditional side of publishing as well.  Our books (I have a co-author) were represented by one of the best agencies in NYC, but all they managed were some tiny contracts in Greece (our novels are based on Greek mythology).  We had a teleconference with Penguin, but the editor left the company soon afterwards; we got into committee at Random House but the editor could not get it through; we had a request for a revision from GCP.  It was frustrating as all get out!  And I felt like one of my own characters, hampered by a difficult prophecy.  You see a stranger had once offered me three wishes (he really did; it was a weird experience) and at the time our manuscript was still sitting in the agency in-box, awaiting yay or nay.  So I wished for the agency.  I should have wished for publication...

    Finally we went the POD & e-book route, which is better than having the manscripts collecting dust on our hard drives.  Since then we've not made a lot of money, but we are gathering good reviews and publicity, and at least two high schools have assigned Jocasta: The Mother-Wife of Oedipus to their students ... in one case as a companion read to Sophocles' Oedipus Rex.

    I've often thought it would be nice if daily kos could feature its published authors somewhere on the site... on the other hand we are dedicated to something else so maybe that is not appropriate.

    I am really not into romance myself but I will be happy to recommend your books to those who are.  And, again, congratulations!  Especially after taking such a risk!

    For more information on our Greek mythology based novels go here.

    by chloris creator on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 05:29:56 AM PDT

    •  Chloris, you may want to consider (0+ / 0-)

      lowering the price of your books, and even making the first one of the trilogy free. One of my favorite authors, Joseph Lallo, has a very interesting article here. He talks about how he sold almost no books until he went the route of making the first of his trilogy free, and the other very cheap (2.99 I think). He is now making more money with his e-books than his day job.

    •  Oh, I wish I could say your story is unusual. (0+ / 0-)

      Publishing is just heartbreaking. My friend who sold her first book last weekend has been writing for 12 years.

      Editors leave all the time. I can't even tell you how many editors I've had. And publishers have been getting more and more conservative in buying new authors all the time. They really don't know how to handle all the changes going on in this market now.

      So you moved on. I think that's the smart thing to do. At least, it's out there and some people have noticed. Getting into those high schools is great.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:55:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is great, Teresa (0+ / 0-)

    Congratulations and thanks for sharing details of your route to accomplishment.

  •  I bought it :) (0+ / 0-)

    I saw that it was featured and it looked cool, so I picked it up. (I haven't had time to read it though, sorry).

    I have so much respect for you self-published authors. I buy only self-published at this point. You guys make more and it's still so much cheaper for us readers. Truly a win-win.

    I'll take a look at your web site!

  •  Shameless plug of my own (0+ / 0-)

    Congratulations, Teresa, on a crowning achievement. I have a deep respect for romance writers, who shine in a genre whose readers are voracious and have wildly divergent expectations, and who have to put up with an industry that thinks romances are cheap and easy.

    Since the poll invites it, I'll plug my (and my co-author's) book: Hooray for Holopticon, a science fiction comedy. We're currently throes of developing plot lines and the story arc for a steampunk trilogy, with adventure and romance.

    Sort of related, I'm doing a polishing rewrite of a screenplay for a comedy so I can take it to some producer friends who have asked to see it.

    + + + That crazy neighbor, you know, the one with all those cats

    by cvannatta on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:49:54 AM PDT

  •  Congratulations! (0+ / 0-)

    Enjoy the moment.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 12:24:07 PM PDT

  •  By the way... nothing wrong with (0+ / 0-)

    bodice rippers. It happens to be quite a bit of fun to rip a bodice every once in awhile!

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 12:32:30 PM PDT

  •  Reading it now! I'm already hooked!! (0+ / 0-)

    Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed...

    by langstonhughesfan on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:07:07 PM PDT

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