Indie Author

The Trials and Tribulations of Publishing

This post was originally posted on our Blogger account back on May 11th. I thought I’d share it with our friends on Word Press. Enjoy and be inspired!

This was a very eventful week, the release of the second novel, The Body Hunters: Paradise Denied in our series. It’s been an exciting week and I feel like a little kid who got what the wanted for Christmas. One of our Superfans is nearly done with the novel and she is loving every bit of it. She’s started a chain reaction with our other fans who are just as excited to get their hands on the book and I can’t wait for their reactions as well. There is nothing better as an author when someone loves your work and is as enthusiastic about the characters as you are.

Though we anticipated a release of maybe January or February 2013 initially, due to a few challenges, it was released a bit later then expected.

After our editor sent us her final changes, my co-author, Von did her final read through before sending it on to me last Thursday. I started on Thursday after work, with my personal deadline of Monday at the latest. I had a pretty normal weekend, all the while going on with my final edit. I was two-thirds of the way through in the wee hours of Monday morning, when I had the brilliant idea to close my laptop and move to another room.  Big mistake.

When I got to the other room and started my laptop again, the screen was completely black. No problem, I told myself, I had this little issue before. Like I learned when I had this issue over a year ago, you just hold down the power button, pop out the battery, pop it back in, turn on your computer again and voila! Wait a minute. Let me try it again. Hold the button down, take out battery, put it back in, hit the button, and….

Okay, what the heck is going on here?

Needless to say, my laptop monitor was completely dead to the world. Nearing panic mode, I decided to put my computer repair class knowledge to the test. I open up the thing, take a look around, and still can’t get the monitor to work. Ready to throw the dang thing out the window, I put all 1,099 screws back where they belong and decided to just hook the computer up to my tv and use that as my monitor. But I must have rearranged something when I put it back together because now the power button isn’t even working.

I’m tempted to text Von and rant to her, but I remember that it’s not even 8 o’clock and she has to work today. Borrowing my mother’s laptop which has none of my work stored on it, I start looking for computer repair places in my neighborhood. I can’t do anything until the computer place opens so I decide to take a nap.

My rest is kind of broken because the computer is on my mind and that’s what’s plaguing my dreams. How am I gonna get the book out without my computer?

I wake up a few hours later and text Von since it’s now a decent hour. I tell her the devil is messing with us, since when you’re close to your breakthrough, he has a tendency to throw a few road blocks and spike strips in your path. For some reason, someone was conspiring against us getting this book published. I call my mother and tell her the same thing, she tells me not to give the devil any power and put him under my feet.

I get to the computer store and whine about the issue I’m having and what I’m trying to do today. The clerk sells me a little box that holds my laptop’s hard drive and allows me to continue my work while my computer is in the shop. Ecstatic, I spend the rest of the day finishing my edit.

I did have some other internet issues, but late that evening or early the next morning, whichever you prefer, I was able to finally submit our book to Amazon. Exhausted and giddy at the same time, I finally crawl into bed while the digital book and paperback novel are being published by Amazon.

Whenever I decided to get out of bed the next day, the first thing I do is check on our books progress as far as Amazon. The first thing I notice is the size of the file. Take a wild guess as to how many KB made up our file. Go ahead, take a guess. No, go on and guess. Nope, you got it wrong.

Our book was exactly 666 KB. No, I’m not lying. A story this crazy you cannot make up. I told Von and she had the same reaction I did. Somehow weirdness has a way of following us. Knowing there was no way in the world I was going to live with that number, I republished the novel, throwing in a few of our blog short stories for good measure. Now our story is at a robust and healthy 706 KB.

When somebody throws road blocks and road hazards in front of you, just push on through. You never know what’s on the other side.

Author, Fiction, Indie Author, Uncategorized

Divine Order

One of our readers and coworkers, Veronica came to me last week. She’s also a fellow artist, a poet and a vocalist. To accommodate a growing team at our office, her smaller team had been moved to a windowless room we call the ‘dungeon’. Without outside light or windows, she was feeling kind of claustrophobic and down in the dumps. She visited me at my desk last week rationalizing if she should leave and wondering why after all these years she still at the same job. I explained to her how things played out for me over the past few years and the reason things happened the way they did.

When I think about how things fell in place for me, I get the picture of one of those convoluted mouse traps from the old Bugs Bunny cartoons, or better yet the invention Pee Wee Herman used to make his breakfast in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. No I’m not rambling, I’ve got a point here. If you can picture either one in your mind, the boot kicks the marble, which falls on the dominoes which set off a whole chain reaction of events which gets you to the desired end result. The same thing sort of happened for me, but in real world terms.

I was working for a big box craft store, I won’t say which, but I’ll never set foot in that dang store again. Anyway, I was there from the ground floor, hired to set up the store; building displays, shelving, and all that jazz. We were working seven days a week, twelve hour days getting this store ready for the opening. In the meantime I was also working my part time cleaning job, which was only like 3-4 hours every other day. I put it in my mind that I wanted to work the front end, cash registers, customer service, all that. As it got closer to opening, my other coworkers are getting in their heads where they want to be when the store opens. A wonderful woman, Carla, who was a vet with the company heard about what I wanted to do and took me under her wing. She trained me in how to run the front of the store in a management position and I in turn trained everyone else in the store on how to run registers.

The store opens and I’m unofficially in this supervisory position. Things are busy in the first few few weeks and the hours are plentiful. As the hype of the opening dies down, the store manager pairs me with a coworker who will be working alongside me. I teach her what Carla taught me and as the weeks go on, I see my work hours dwindle and hers stay at the same forty plus hours. I’m kind of upset about it and I talk to my friend who’s also in a supervisory position. She’s now an assistant manager and she tells me to hang in there. We both know the boss is a jerk; he’s the type to belittle an underling in front of the whole team. He was known for leaving some of the women employees in tears after a tongue lashing. She tells me to go the extra mile and show him that I’m worthy of the job. I follow her advice, even coming in on a Sunday, the day the store is closed. Hint, Hint ; )

A few weeks later he replaces the other supervisor I trained with another woman and my hours continue to dwindle under twenty hours a week. I’m the type to not think the worst of people or situations until its staring me in the face. I’m the only one of my persuasion working at the store and I’m watching everyone around me move up the food chain. Feeling used and abused, I decide its time to go somewhere else and I can’t just up and quit. This is Michigan and if you’ve got a job you’d better not leave one until you find another one.

I heard that a big retailer was building a super center in my area and I jumped at the chance. The crowd was so huge they had news cameras everywhere and I find myself on the twelve o’clock news that day. Gee, I hope no one at work sees. Despite the hours I spent in line I didn’t get the job. So I’m still in a funky mood and working for this peon. About a month later, I’m driving with mom in the passenger’s seat and I get a call from the HR lady from another location of that same retailer. She offers me a part time position in the deli which I politely decline since I’m working part time anyway. Mom yells at me ‘Girl you better take that job! You can always pick up hours! All you need is your foot in the door!’. I politely call back and accept the position.

I don’t just burn my bridge with that craft store; I douse it in gasoline and throw a Molotov cocktail at it. I have the satisfaction of calling that store manager as I’m walking into the doors of my new job for training and telling him he won’t have me to kick around anymore. I also left him a parting gift, a state investigation for discrimination. I don’t want the next brown girl going through what I did trying to advance with the company.

The new job goes fine and I meet Suzanne, who introduces me, an avid reader to books from Sandra Brown, David Baldacci, and Michael Connelly. Though it’s not a full time job, I’m making more money than with the craft store and finally able to buy a car. I’m there almost two years when a coworker from the bakery asks me if I’m looking for something with a solid forty hours. She gives me the info, I go in for the interview and they try to recruit me so fast they scare me off. It was just too good to be true. I accept the job for what is now my current job a couple months down the line.

See, now my story is starting to make sense. With my current employer I tried to move up the ladder twice as a trainer to no avail. The job was posted again, but I said forget it. I’m not interested in being told ‘no’ for a third time. Another totally different position opens up and I go for it and get it.

One day two of my coworkers in this department are talking. Liz is a writer and is working on her own young adult thing. Von is explaining to her this concept she has for a story, but needs help fleshing it out. Having loved creative writing in school and being the type to always have a story playing in an endless loop in the back of my head but never getting it down on paper, I offer to help her.

Now over a year later, we are close to completing the third book in our series, with many more series and fresh ideas to come. If things had not played out for me in the exact manner it did, I would still be day dreaming and procrastinating about writing and would have never met Von. It took a few bumps along the road and a few detours and closed roads, but I’m finally doing what I was born to do.

I explained this to Veronica. You may think that you’re being held back and things are unfair, but everything happens for a reason. It may be that you’re not be ready to move forward yet or there are people that God wants you to meet, but everything happens in Divine Order.