Reaching the Point of No Longer Caring (A Perspective on Being an Indie Author)

I don’t know if this is something every author who has been publishing long enough eventually reaches, but I have now reached this point.

When you’re starting out on this author thing, you obsess over every little criticism someone throws your way. Every thing, no matter how small and insignificant, is a huge deal. I mean, authors will argue over just about anything. I’ve seen threads of arguments devoted to word usage (ex. “walk” or “stride”), active or passive voice, plotting or going by the seat of one’s pants, how often to publish a book, whether to use white or cream paper in a paperback, buying ISBNs vs using the retailer’s identification number for a book, and uploading books directly to every retailer or using a distributor to send the book out to multiple channels for you. Back in 2010, authors had heated debates over paperbacks vs. ebooks. This largely went away because of the popularity of ebooks, but back then, it was all, “You can feel and smell the pages of a paperback. Therefore, ebooks aren’t ‘real’ books.” Today the big debate has become, “You need a human narrator for an audiobook. Using AI narration will ruin the listener’s experience.” I already know how the human narration vs AI narration will go. We still have paperbacks, but ebooks are accepted. Likewise, human-narrated books will still be around in the future, but AI narration will become accepted as a whole. It’s the same stupid argument. It’s just a different format we’re talking about. There’s a place for both, but authors will devote a ridiculous amount of time arguing over it. And some authors are not making AI narrated books in order to appease the critic, even though they really want to.

When you’re a new author, acceptance is everything. You want everyone to love you. You want to be accepted by every author and every reader on the planet. You might logically know you can’t please everyone, but your heart wants to please everyone. Feelings are delicate things. I’m sure they’re more delicate in some personalities than in others. I happen to be “softer” in the emotional area than others. I feel things deeply. It doesn’t take much to get to me. But, over time, I have noticed that I’ve been developing that tough shell experienced authors once advised me to get ASAP. I think it was back in 2010 or 2011 when one author said the only way I was going to survive long term in this business was by letting all of the criticisms I was facing roll right off my back. Her exact expression was, “Let it roll off your back like water rolls off a duck.” It was good advice, and it’s advice I’m offering to anyone struggling with the critic today.

Recently, I posted something in a group where I upset a lot of authors. I knew I was planting something unpopular in the group but felt it had to be said because everyone was ganging up on this poor author who didn’t have the experience under her belt that I do. This author wanted to do something a certain way, and everyone was criticizing her. Her idea was just fine, so I spoke up and said something. I don’t believe in engaging with authors in these arguments anymore, so I didn’t engage any of the critics. I just posted my opinion directly to her in the thread. I had a gut feeling other authors agreed with me but were too scared to say anything.

The purpose of indie authorship is to do things your way. If you’re right, you’ll find an audience. If you’re wrong, you won’t find an audience. If you’re wrong, you can change your course and do things the other way. This business is composed of trial and error. You’ll succeed in some areas; you’ll fail in others. But failure is okay. Failure is a learning opportunity. You’re not strapped down to your failure. You can rise above it. Just change course. Simple as that.

If you have it in your heart to do something a certain way, go for it. Why let someone else make decisions about your books for you? They’re not paying your bills. They’re not dealing with your readers. They’re not stuck with your books in their library. I understand wanting to get advice, but you need to take that advice and tailor it to your specific situation and your specific interests. We are not all the same. We are not all meant to do things the same way. Being indie means you are the owner of your business. It means you have to ultimately make the decisions that are best for you and your business. Your business is not meant to be run by these other authors. Too many authors run their business by committee.

It takes time to get to the point where you will do things your way, and you don’t care what some other author out there thinks about it. It took me 14 years to get here. I’m sure if I wasn’t so emotionally wired, it would have taken me less time. The only way to arrive at this point is to make a decision best for you and stick with it. (Like I said, if you turn out to be wrong, change course, but if you’re right, stick with it.) At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what those authors think. The only thing that matters is that you are free to do what you want with your books without the need for someone else’s approval.

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Daisy’s Prince Charming is Now Available!

This is the last book in the Husbands for the Larson Sisters Series.

And I’m going to miss writing about this particular family. These sisters were so much fun to work with. Sometimes the dynamic between characters just sparks, and this is one of those series. For the Regencies, I feel that spark with Ethan and Christopher, which is why I keep bringing them back whenever possible. For historical westerns, Tom and Joel were my two personal favorite characters to bring together in the Nebraska Series. In this series, all of the sisters were equally fun to work with. I can honestly say that this is one my personal favorite series.

What this book is about:

This is a cute romantic comedy that was partially inspired by the “frog turns into a prince” fairy tale. This story starts with a trip to Lewistown, Montana. Remember the Montana Collection?

Mitch's Win new ebook cover boazswagerebookcover pattys-gamble-new-ebook-cover shanesdealebookcover

I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked if I ever wrote about Rachel Larson or Eva Connealy, but I have. Since I bring these two characters back in Daisy’s Prince Charming, I’m making a special mention of it in this post. Eva and Rachel get their happily ever afters in Boaz’s Wager.

Daisy’s Prince Charming happens shortly after Boaz’s Wager in my “historical western” timeline. So if you haven’t read Boaz’s Wager yet and want some backstory on Eva and Rachel, that’s the book to pick up.

Daisy’s Prince Charming starts with Daisy, her mother Jessica, her aunt Mary Larson, and Eva’s mother Margaret going to Lewistown to pay Eva and Rachel a visit. Daisy and Eva are best friends; hence why Daisy is tagging along for the ride. Jessica is there because she’s best friends with Margaret and friends with Mary. (If you’ve read all of my books, Mary is from Eye of the Beholder, To Have and To Hold, and Forever Yours. Jessica is from A Bride for Tom, and Margaret is from A Husband for Margaret. So there is some overlap between the series at play.)

Anyway, while they are in Montana, there’s this ranch hand names Otis Mills who takes an immediate liking to Daisy. (I did briefly introduce Otis in Boaz’s Wager. He almost won the race that would have allowed him to marry Eva. Boaz won the race instead. I always felt sorry for poor Otis, so I thought I’d give him his happy ending in Daisy’s story since the timeline happens to match up.)

Daisy has her idea of the ideal man, and Otis doesn’t fit it. If you read Suitable for Marriage, you’ll know what I mean. Daisy does her best to gently let all of the men in Lewistown know she’s not interested in them, but Otis is a bit clueless, though he’s very sweet. He ends up believing she wants to marry him, so after she returns to Nebraska, he shows up at her door, ready for marriage.

I’m not going to say any more than that because I’ll spoil the book. It’s a cute romantic comedy.

If this sounds like your kind of book, you can find it at these retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo (also in Kobo Plus)

Apple

Google Play

Smashwords

Payhip

Scribd

Radish

Audiobook version: Google Play

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Finished Two Books

I finally did it. 😀 I finished the first draft for Heiress of Misfortune and Secret Admirer.

I’m currently editing Heiress of Misfortune.

This book finishes the Marriage by Necessity Series.

A Perilous Marriage new cover 4 the-cursed-earl-mbn-2 Heiress of Misfortune MBN 3 ebook cover

My goal is to have this edited by August 1. After that, I’ll send it to my editor. My plan is to release this in October. I don’t have a date yet.

When I started this book, I expected it to be a comedy, but it didn’t turn out that way. I also expected it to be more suspenseful than it turned out to be. While there’s a glimmer of suspense, it’s not the focal point. I thought the father was going to be doting on his daughter, but he was more interested in how she could help him look good in the Ton. I expected the hero and heroine to end up marrying about halfway into the book, but that didn’t happen, either.

So this is a book that pretty much took everything I thought it was going to be and flipped it on its head. I might not know what is going to happen in any book I start, but this was one of the hardest ones I’ve had to write because of how it kept going off in a completely different direction from what I had planned. This is probably why it took me so long to write it. Would you believe I started this in November? In that time, I have completed The Cursed Earl, The Loner’s Bride, Suitable for Marriage, and Daisy’s Prince Charming. I’m used to a first draft taking me about 3-4 months to write.

Secret Admirer is done too!

This is the first book in the Marriage by Obligation Series. (Below is the order I’ve decided on for this series. I intend to stop the series with Worth the Risk.)

Secret Admirer ebook cover Midnight Wedding ebook cover The Earl's Jilted Bride ebook cover Worth the Risk ebook cover

I’m waiting until I finish my initial edits on Heiress of Misfortune before I do them for this book. I might be able to write more than one book at a time, but I can only edit one book at a time. When I edit, it takes me about two weeks per book.

I’m planning this one for January. I have no desire to publish even Book 1 in a series unless I’m confident I can finish the entire series. Any time I start a series, I want to complete it. I hate loose ends. I’m hoping I can finish the next three books in this series by the time January comes. At that time, I should have a good idea if it’s worth getting this series out there into the world or not. We’ll just have to see what the future brings.

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