Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Author Kim Cox



Today, it is my absolute pleasure to host a fellow member of Rave Reviews Book Club, Kim Cox.  I thoroughly enjoy her writing, and if you're a fan of romance, you ought to give her work a try.

Today, Kim is sharing with us her thoughts on being an indie author, as opposed to a traditionally published writer.


Doesn’t everyone dream of finding an agent and a publisher handle all the details? Don’t know. I did once. So how did I end up where I am now, an Indie Author?

I did everything I thought an aspiring author was supposed to do. I joined clubs, all the RWAs that I could join, and I went to virtual meetings. I joined critique groups. I even worked for a few clubs and groups as treasurer, contest coordinator, etc. I entered a few contest to get feedback.

I wrote a romantic suspense book and rewrote it until I felt it was publishable. I researched what to do next, and I purchased Writer’s Digest’s book, Writer’s Market which lists agents and publishers, their addresses, and their guidelines.

I queried a publisher that I liked, that had authors I loved to read. They requested a synopsis and the first three chapters within a month. After, I received a rejection but it told me what didn’t work for them. So I rewrote the book and sent a query to Harlequin Intrigue.

Harlequin sent for the synopsis and first three chapters. Then they sent for the whole manuscript. I thought this could be it. I tried to work on other writing, even started writing another book. I wrote some articles for a website and some short stories while waiting to hear if they’d publish my book. Eighteen months later, I received their rejection letter.

I was devastated. Because it was taking so long to hear something, I just knew they would accept my baby as one of their own. I had heard from a source that it had gotten to the last round before deciding to publish. While the rejection letter was a good one, it didn’t tell me why Harlequin decided to pass on it.

One of the clubs I belonged to had a workshop where an ex-editor was the guest speaker. I attended. During the workshop, she said she would give a FREE edit a manuscript to the first three aspiring authors to send her an email. I was one of those.

She told me why my manuscript was most-likely turned down for publication. I followed her advice and rewrote the book again, but I didn’t want to wait over a year to find out if it would be accepted or not.

By this time, small online publishers were starting to open their doors and publishing books in a new format, ebooks. Hey guys, this was before Amazon became to being. Anyway, I thought it was a great idea, and I knew a few authors who’d already gone that route. I did some research and found a publisher who had a good reputation.

One thing I loved, things moved very quickly. There weren’t the months or even years of waiting for an answer about publication. It was almost instantaneous when compared to my experience thus far. Did I say I loved it? I loved the speed.

You heard me say, I found a publisher who had a good reputation, right? Well, they did, up and until after I signed the contract. Then I started hearing stuff about non-payment to their authors, editors, cover artist, etc. Many were leaving the company. But I took the "wait and see" attitude. Some of the authors I knew still stood by them, and so I would too for the time being.

At that time, my contract said I had to keep my book with them for one year of publishing and that’s what I did. I know I sold quite a few when the book first released but my book had to make $100 in royalties before I receive any money from them. Not sure if it did or not but I never saw a dime.

During the next exodus, many of those authors and editors who'd stood by them the first time left, and the ones I knew well started their own publishing company. So as soon as my year was up, I left too.

My second online publisher, Amber Quill Press, was great. They knew exactly what not to do from the old company which went out of business within the next couple of years. I’d had a couple of other online publishers too but none as good as Amber Quill. But I had lost faith in making any money. I had a few sales here and there over the years but not much. Sales became almost nonexistent.

By this time Amazon was selling electronic and print books. I talked to other authors I knew who'd gone the self-publishing route. Then I read everything I could get on the subject. Something happened. I was excited about writing again. I pulled my books from one publisher and eventually from Amber Quill. I had to wait a while to get my rights back though. A few months before my rights were returned from Amber Quill, they announced they were closing business like so many before them already had.

So that’s how I became an Indie Author and I love it. I love the control over pricing and sales, and I love the creative and technical process of creating covers and formatting my own books. The promotion, though, I don’t love so much but that’s something I'd had to do with a small publisher anyway. From what I hear, unless you’re and author who already has a big-name, you’re not promoted by the publisher very much anyway.

On my own, I've sold more books than I ever have. I have also spent more money even with doing almost everything myself, mostly on editing and promotion. Keep in mind that finding a good editor is a must, and you should research for the one who is right for you, because there are those out there who say they’re editors who aren’t that great. So be careful.

I understand that there are authors who just don’t want to deal with all the other stuff that comes with self-publishing. There are companies who offer these services for authors, designing covers and formatting books. Some prices are reasonable and some aren’t. Some are reputable and some aren’t. So look around and make the right connections.

Like in all things, if you’re paying for a service, research and talk to others who have already used the services.



Thanks for your insights, Kim!  Did her story resonate with you?  What thoughts do you have to share about your own publishing experiences?

Kim is hosting a giveaway, where FIVE lucky winners will receive one of the following prizes: (1) ebook copy of "ALL THIS TIME" and a $10 Amazon Gift Card or (4) ebook copy of ALL THIS TIME. To enter Kim's giveaway, simply leave a comment anywhere along the tour!



This tour is sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.

42 comments:

  1. Kim, we hope you are having a fabulous time along your tour this week! A. M. is a great host!

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    1. As, shucks. Thanks, Nonnie. You make it easy. Kim deserves an amazing week!

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    2. Thank you, Nonnie! I having fun. Love Anne's blog. It's gorgeous.

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  2. Hi Kim, your journey to becoming an Indie author is so similar to mine, and I believe to most of us. I received so many rejections I couldn’t count. In the end, to be sure, I allowed my book to be published by one of those Publishing Agents. Even those became a disappointment. They seem to be set up only to rip off gullible authors. I have finally ditched them. If I have to go Indie, I want to be fully Indie. :D

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    1. It's good to embrace it, I think. :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

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    2. Me too, on going full Indie. It took me a while to get all my books self-published but I eventually got there. The trick is to be careful while also diligent.

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  3. What a beautiful post! Thank you, A.M. for welcoming Kim in your lovely "home" and sharing her with us.

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    1. My pleasure, as always. Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Thank you, Anne, for hosting me today. I appreciate your support. And thank you for the kind introduction.

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    3. Hi Gwen! So happy to see you here.

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. Glad you enjoyed it. I'm finally home from work. So replying isn't as hard.

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  5. Hi Anne! Thanks for hosting Kim. Also, thank you Kim for sharing your journey. I'm glad that you got excited about writing again after you discovered indie publishing. The world would've missed an exceptional talent.

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    1. Thank you, Linda You're so nice. I appreciate you.

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    2. Thank you, too, Anne! Hope I'm spelling your name correctly.

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  6. Kim, thank you for sharing your journey to becoming an Indie Author. Lots of the stories are the same and thankfully, in this publishing climate, it is feasible to do well as a self-published author. Well-done! Thanks, Anne Margaret for hosting!

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    1. Thanks, Jan! I'm still struggling sales wise. I was on vacation last week and worked the whole time on promotion and taking a book marketing course. Planning to try out some of what I learned soon.

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  7. I'm thoroughly enjoying your tour, Kim! A.M., thanks so much for sharing your site with us. :)

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    1. Thanks, Marlena. I'm happy you're enjoying it.

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  8. Kim, it was great hearing about your journey to Indie land. I think most of us can relate.
    A. M., thanks for hosting today.

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  9. You brought back some memories of sending out manuscripts and waiting and waiting...although, I do have many nice rejections. It's a lot to learn self-publishing, but so worth it! Thanks for sharing your story!

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    1. Thank you and my pleasure, DL!

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    2. Ah, yes, the memories of flush letters . . . Thanks for coming by!

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  10. Hi Kim,
    Thanks for sharing your publishing journey, I so related to your experiences!
    A.M. -great blog site.

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  11. Kim, you've gone through where most of us Indie Authors have been. If you are not famous, you won't have much luck with a publisher. I almost got taken a couple of times. You can quickly spend a lot of money making mistakes. But eventually you get something right. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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    1. It's sad how many people take advantage of the hopes and dreams of writers. Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Thank you, Shirley! It's such a trial and error process even with all the how-to information that's available.

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    3. It is sad, Anne, and it never seems to stop.

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  12. Thanks for sharing your publishing journey, Kim!

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  13. Again, thank you, Anne, for hosting me on this tour. It's been a lot of fun.

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