I’m still here

Sorry, world, for my absence. Life has thrown me a few curve balls this year, so I’ve been dealing with life things.

I just started a new kids book yesterday. Yay.


Getting Disconnected

I’m seeing a trend or what appears to be a trend: a lot of young people are breaking up with social media and their phones. They’re tired of always being on, of living their life in snapchat, instagram, and twitter moments. They feel as if they’ve lost a part of themselves by having this constant connection. If this becomes a thing, how will it affect indie publishing which is primarily digital?

That question is why it’s important to think beyond ebooks.

Corporations Are Not Your Friends

Once every month, right after our KDP reports come out, indie authors everywhere go a little crazy. Rightfully so. A lot of indie authors have chosen to go into the Select program with Amazon which allows their books to be in Kindle Unlimited, KU for short. KU pays for pages read instead of a flat percentage of your book. I’ve been in and out of the program over the past few years. It was really good for me until it wasn’t. Just like a lot of others. Some are still doing well. KU loves some authors, some genres more than others, it seems.

This month, the KU payout for pages read dropped to its lowest since the program was introduced. In fact, over the past five months (maybe) the payout has gone down. Some are blaming scammers. Some are blaming the very faulty program itself. Others are blaming Amazon. It’s getting harder and harder to gain traction as a published writer and most seem to believe that being exclusive with Amazon is the only way to survive and thrive as an author. I have many thoughts on that, but I’ll save that for a future rant.

So, anyway…

I lurk on a few writer message boards and follow the discussions each month. If there is one thing that makes me want to come out of the shadows of lurkerdom it is this: (to paraphrase some sentiments, not direct quotes) Indie authors made Amazon, we bring customers to the storefront, why are they doing this to us?, they’re treating us like we don’t matter, and etc. Now, that’s how I interpreted the tone, and it’s something I want to address briefly. Because it’s morning and I got shit to do.

First: Amazon existed long before self-published authors ever showed up on the scene. They’ll exist long after.  Indies are only one thing to Amazon: vendors. That’s it. You’re not special. You’re not important. If you take your toys and go home, the zon won’t notice. Maybe you think I’m harsh for saying so, but it’s always a good idea to keep your ego in check (that includes me, yo).

Second: My uneducated guess is that Prime brings all the boys to the yard, not indie authors. But, hey, while I’m here, let’s look at some books. Convenience, kindles, shipping, all that keeps customers returning. The zon is customer focused, not vendor focused (something I find puzzling because in places I’ve worked, vendors were the customers). Think about this: if they really cared about writers and publishing, do you think they would have taken on the Big 5 publishing companies like they did over book pricing? If they were willing to let Harper Collins or Penguin Random House walk, why do you think they care about a single author publisher like yourself, myself?

Third: Why are they doing this to indies? *shrugs* Are they doing this specifically to indies or are they just doing business, thinking of their bottom line, their customer satisfaction? Maybe it looks like a bait and switch (and that’s how it looks to me, but I’m naturally cynical) but maybe it’s because indies are just a minuscule slice of the Amazon pie and don’t matter to them as much as we like to think.

Look, I’m not trying to be a hard ass. I’m only trying to be a hard ass. Because I care. I want all of us to succeed, traditional or indie. It’s unfortunate that the other vendors, I’m looking at you Barnes and Noble, oh, and Apple, you have what it takes to topple these guys…what are you waiting for? aren’t stepping up their game. I’d love to have an even playing field. But, until then, let’s be realistic: Amazon isn’t your friend. And that’s not to disparage them in any way. Even if it sounds like I’m coming down on them, I’m not. I’m really just trying to give some straight talk to indies. Corporations have to think of their business practices first. We, as content providers (because let’s be honest, that’s what we are), are just a small blip to a corporation the size of Amazon. The minute you get comfortable with that is the minute you set yourself free and adjust your business plan accordingly. Matter to yourself first. Make your books, your work matter. Think of Amazon as part of your business plan, not your entire plan. It’s becoming a costly mistake to rely on one vendor, even while the other ones suck. Amazon isn’t the enemy but it’s not your friend either.

Publish long and prosper.

I’m so wishy-washy

There’s no denying that I needed to take a step back from the self-publishing world to get a better sense of what I want from this writing career of mine. The time away has made me feel better about writing again, helped me to figure out what I really want to write, and has given me confidence to say, f*ck it to all the mantras out there.

Yes, I’ll write to market, but first I’ll write for myself. If I’m going spend so much time on a book, why would I want to slog through something I’m only marginally interested in writing, holding the belief that I’m only doing it for the money.

No, I don’t want to write a book a month or any more than two books a year. I know it can be done, but I’m just not that kind of writer. That mentality has brought me to the burnt-out state I’m in right now.

No, I’m not going to play Amazon’s game. They’re not the only store in town. (Although, if these other guys don’t get their shit together, that’s how it’s going to be, and I don’t want that.)

All that being said, I’m gathering my thoughts, coming up with a production schedule, and story ideas. Of course, I’ve said this before so many times and that leaves me with a belly full of lulz. *cough* I’ll continue searching for an agent for the middle-grade book, but I’m leaving my options wide open for that. There are many things I love about being indie. Control is one of them. So, we’ll see.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some ass to kick today.

July goals

It’s time to put some stuff out there, yo. I believe in setting goals. Some do yearly. Some do quarterly. I like to do monthly goals. So, with all that said, here are a few things I have in mind for this month.

*puts finger to earpiece*

I have just been informed that the month is half over.  Oops.

No worries. Because even if I didn’t write my goals on this scrappy little blog, I’ve written them elsewhere. In this case, it was in my brain. *cough*


  1. Tighten query. I was waiting on a query critique and it ended up taking a bit longer than I had hoped. My goal was to start querying shortly after the holiday but I just got my critique yesterday.
  2. Finish one last pass on manuscript. Achieved. Just finished it yesterday as a matter of fact.
  3. Write synopsis. Ugh.
  4. Start querying. I already have my list of agents ready to go. Back in the trenches for me.

And that’s pretty much it for this month.  Maybe next month, I’ll actually list them at the beginning. Or not at all. We’ll see.

Happy Independence

Long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away, I used to be an active blogger. Back in the day, when LiveJournal was where everyone was at, I blogged almost daily. There was an awesome kidlit author community there, and I loved it. Things have changed. So have I.

I’m not going to lie. I miss it. I miss the community of up and coming writers seeking agents, getting deals, celebrating debut books. The thrill of reading from the sidelines about their process and living vicariously through their efforts. It gave me hope.

Something happened. Not sure what. I left LJ, got fed up with the rejections, the lack of progress, and constantly feeling like I never really fit in. (That’s a pervasive feeling and has more to do with me than any writing community.) Eventually, I chose a different path and tried my hand at self-publishing. Perhaps not the smartest decision when it comes to writing for kids. But lessons learned. I’m all the better for it. (I have lots of thoughts about that path but sometimes I feel we’re not allowed to talk negatively about indie publishing. People only want to hear the success stories, not the failures.) Anyway, I’m back to writing for kids where I feel I belong. My voice, writing style, interests are suited for younger audiences. And knowing that feels liberating.

Blogging again?

Hey, how you doin’? It’s been a while, but I guess I’m back to blogging. And writing for kids. And searching for an agent. And crossing my fingers that my dream of reaching the audience I love writing for comes true. So, you know, nothing big.