Making Your Own Magic

This past summer, I listened to the audiobook version of Felicia Day’s memoir, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). Listened, rather than read, because I saw her in person on a panel at Denver ComicCon and thought she was a delightful and engaging speaker.

Almost anyone who considers themselves a geek is familiar with Felicia Day. Along with recurring roles on Supernatural and Eureka, and co-starring in Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, and being a consummate gamer, she created and starred in that seminal Internet video series, the Guild. In her memoir, she tells the story of how she pulled together this show using spit and chicken wire, inspiration and perspiration, and a whole lot of caffeine. Her budget was whatever she could beg, borrow or steal. In other words, she made her own magic and the result was a phenomenon.

Felicia Day’s memoir spoke to me. It said you can make your own magic happen, too. Coincidentally (or was it?), while I was listening, I received a conditional resubmit letter from a publisher. It basically stated that they were interested in my novel, Fake, but wanted me to submit a rewrite with some substantial edits, including changing the point of view. This isn’t the first time this has happened. A few years ago, I submitted another book to a publisher and got a similar request. I did the rewrite and didn’t much like the results. It altered the story and characters too much. I resubmitted and was rejected. All that work for nothing. Or was it?

During that time, I was living in Colorado, and after receiving the rejection I had a bit of a meltdown and went to stay with a friend in San Francisco. While there, I wandered the streets and came up with the idea for Fake and the world of the Crossroads.

The offer from this latest publisher brought me to my own crossroads. Do I take that chance again? Do I send the manuscript to another publisher? Or, like Felicia Day, do I make my own magic?

I chose magic. I put myself on the path, and steep learning curve, of indie publishing, which I’ll blog about in future posts. I’ve submitted Fake to Amazon’s KDP program. It’s now available for pre-order and will launch on November 1, 2016.

Hitting the button that submitted my final draft was the hardest part. I wondered why and then realized it was the final step in saying farewell to my dream of being traditionally published. Making your own magic means discovering and owning your own power. Wish me well on this journey. May you discover and make your own magic and dreams come true.

Get Rich Quick – Not!

Back in August, I posted a mini-rant about the slew of get-rich-quick-through-self-publishing books that were cropping up on Amazon. These books promised to make you the next Amanda Hocking or John Locke. Mr. Locke even published such a book, revealing his secret to success.

It’s no surprise to me that this turned out to be a lot of hooey. Sadly, some writers were sucked in, even seasoned professionals. Holly Lisle, a much-published author, admits to being fooled by the lure of easy money that John Locke offered. She recently blogged about her experience and I think it is well worth the read.

You can find the article here: Do I still recommend John Locke? No.

She also includes a link to an article about the issue in the New York Times.

The issue has to do with Mr. Locke and other authors paying for rave reviews on Amazon and other book sites. Irreparable harm is caused by this phenomenon. How can a reader trust a review if she isn’t sure if it was written by another reader or by someone part of a review mill, who probably didn’t read past the first chapter, if at all?

Answer: reviews are great, but let the buyer, even the freebie buyer, beware. It’s easy enough to read the first few pages of most books available on Amazon and elsewhere.

I also want to note that I don’t count as part of this reviewers who were given free copies of a book and then asked to post an honest review. Authors have to get the word out somehow and they are taking a chance the review will be unflattering.

Any writers reading this, published or not, let’s all agree here and now that we will never pay for a flattering review. After all, no amount of money can repair a damaged reputation.