Monday, September 24, 2012

The Journey of Self-Publishing: You asked; they answered!

Thoughts At One In The Morning is proud to present a blog post series for unpublished writers on the self-publishing world. I have asked four indie authors to share with you the different steps they have taken on their journey. They will discuss the writing process itself, the steps in between, and publishing itself. Please join us every week for a new topic on the journey to becoming an indie author!

~*~ You guys asked the questions and they answered them for you in this special bonus edition of The Journey of Self-Publishing. Enjoy the answers to your questions and thank you so much for reading and sharing this series! ^_^ ~* ~

Our Indie Author panel:
Marie Landry, author of Blue Sky Days
You can find her on her blog Ramblings Of A Daydreamer.

A.M. Hargrove, author of The Guardians Of The Vesteron series
You can find her on her blog A.M. Hargrove.

Avery Sawyer, author of Notes To Self
You can find her on her website The Teashop Girls.

Michelle Flick, author of The Owens Legacy: Revelations
You can find her on her blog Oh! For the LOVE of BOOKS!.

This week on The Journey of Self-Publishing:

~You asked; they answered!~

Did you consider possibly using a pen name for any reason? If so, why? If not, why not?

Michelle Flick:  I did consider one, but thought Hey, the world should know me *says* dramatically* But I have toyed with the idea of writing in another age range, like adult contemporary, and then I would pick a different name. And that's because I would want to make it in the different age range because of the writing not because of my name, plus wouldn't it be fun to have a different persona?

A.M. Hargrove:  Never considered a pseudonym. I used initials because when I put my whole name--Anne Marie Hargrove (but as you know I go by Annie) on the book, it was just TOOOOO long! I thought about just using Annie, but then I thought it appeared too informal. I asked for opinions from friends and family and ended up with A.M. Hargrove.

Marie Landry:  I didn’t consider it for Blue Sky Days, but a few years ago when I started writing erotica I thought I’d use a pen name because I didn’t want people to know I wrote those types of stories. Now it’s becoming such a popular genre that when I do finally get together a book of short erotic stories, I’ll be using my own name.

I had a pen name when I wrote with a partner several years ago - it was a combination of our names - partly because she didn’t want to use her real name for personal reasons, and partly because she had a very common first and last name. I know some authors who go by different pen names if they do different genres, but I just think that would get too confusing, so at this point I think I’ll be sticking with my real name for the long haul. 

Avery Sawyer:  I use the pseudonym Avery Sawyer for my edgy YA titles because my real name, Laura Schaefer, is associated with the sweet middle grade series The Teashop Girls and my travel guides for kids, Planet Explorers. It makes promotion a bit more difficult, but I thought it was a good idea to signal to readers that I was moving in a very different direction when I release Notes to Self and The Forever Contract (both Sawyer titles). There are some swear words in my Avery Sawyer books and I didn't want any (very) young readers getting in to them.

Why did you choose to go with self-publishing? Did you consider going with a traditional publisher before that? Would you consider going the traditional route if the right offer comes?

Michelle Flick:  I did both at the same time. I pursued agents and traditional publishing and at the same time was reading everything I could about self-publishing. There's a lot out there and a lot of good information about things I wouldn't think about. When the traditional route didn't pan out, I went down the self-pub route. I would definitely go the traditional route if I could, I think the marketing would be the biggest benefit from that.

A.M. Hargrove:  Never considered traditional publishing for one huge reason. Everything I've read about it all pointed to one thing and that is you sign all rights to your work away. I decided since I was writing a series, I did not want to do that. I also did not want to work for anyone but myself. If I wanted to have a deadline, I wanted it to be a self imposed one. I worked for corporate America for over 20 years so now I wanted to work for Annie!

I would consider going traditional if, and only if, they would meet all of my criteria. And I must say I am quite picky!

Marie Landry:  My former writing partner and I attempted to find an agent and go the traditional route. We looked into self-publishing, but at the time (3-4 years ago), it didn’t seem like an option - all the research we did basically brought us to the conclusion that self-publishing was for hacks, wannabes, and people who either couldn’t cut it or didn’t have the patience for traditional publishing.

When I decided to publish Blue Sky Days, I spent ages researching self-publishing, and realized that a lot had changed, and it was becoming a viable option. I saw writers taking their careers into their own hands, and I wanted to be one of them. I liked the idea of the freedom and control. I had no doubt that if I really wanted to I could be traditionally published eventually, but ‘eventually’ didn’t work for me. It’s not that I was impatient, it’s just that I wanted people to read my work, and I wanted to be doing what I love best. I didn’t want to spend years finding an agent, finding a publisher, going through the editing process, and then waiting for my book to hit the shelves. I didn’t want to have to wait a year or two between books if the book was ready and polished now. I didn’t want someone telling me that my cover had to look a certain way or that I had to cut a favourite scene, or that my book wouldn’t see the light of day for two years. I have absolutely nothing against traditional publishing - how could I when I’m such a bibliophile, and almost all my favourite authors are traditionally published? And although that’s the route I always thought I would take (because there were no other options when I was a kid and decided I wanted to be a writer), I’m extremely happy with my decision to self-publish.

Avery Sawyer:  I worked with a traditional publisher, Simon & Schuster, on my middle grade titles The Teashop Girls and The Secret Ingredient, and I hope to work with them again on future MG books. However, I wanted to write in a different genre and self-publishing allowed me to do that without delay. Self-publishing was also the best way to release my travel guides for kids, because there isn't a huge market for the series. It will survive and grow the best with a small overhead.

I believe that in the future many talented authors will both self- and traditionally publish their work, as both systems have advantages. I feel so lucky to be an author with all these magnificent choices.

What books and authors have you read that have inspired your writing career?

Michelle Flick:  Arthur Miller's The Crucible was the first classic that I read that I saw really emotional characters. I saw motives and betrayal and love. Neal Shusterman is a big impact on me. Amanda Hocking really pushed the self-publishing thought in my head. Colleen Houck also is wonderful to read. I re-read her Tiger's Saga a lot.

A.M. Hargrove:  Almost every romance author I've ever read from Janet Evanovich to J.R Ward has inspired me. But I would be remiss if I didn't add this--I love books…all genres from mystery to paranormal to thrillers to suspense. I can't read a book without finishing it, no matter how bad. I will struggle with it until the bitter end. I love to read. I used to tell my girlfriends that I wanted to write books. They would laugh. I would tell my mom the same thing. I even love to read non-fiction. I love to read history too. Reading the last words of a good book is like taking the last bite of that homemade chocolate chip cookie. You want it to last forever.

Marie Landry:  For years I’ve said I want to be Nora Roberts when I grow up. I love her books - not only is she a prolific writer, she’s an incredibly talented one. Her books have everything - romance, mystery, action, memorable characters, fascinating settings, and tightly woven plot lines. I’m also a great admirer of Lucy Maud Montgomery, JK Rowling, and Sarah Dessen - they all have that ‘it’ factor that I hope to have someday.

Avery Sawyer:  I love fact I am getting very, very little work done today because I'm currently buried in The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I have also been inspired by Lauren Oliver, Madeleine L'Engle, Betty Smith, Nicholas Christopher, Suzanne Collins, Sarah Vowell, and countless others. I love books!

Thank you for answering these last minute questions!

Okay, now we have really come to an end with this series. A huge thank you to everyone who has made this a success: all of the wonderful followers who have read and commented and shared on various sites, and all of my lovely indie authors--Michelle Flick, A.M. Hargrove, Marie Landry, and Avery Sawyer. You guys are the best and I appreciate all the hard work you have done to make this series into what it is, a great start for the rest of us aspiring to be authors just like you.

Be sure to check out the AWESOME TIMES A MILLION GIVEAWAY that is going on where you can win FOUR BOOKS by our INDIE AUTHOR PANEL. It ends in a week so ENTER NOW before it is too late!!!


~If you liked this, check out the earlier editions


  1. Aww I'm sad that it's come to an end. I've learned so much from this segment. It's interesting to learn why some people choose to or choose not to use a pseudonym. I've always been against using one mysel but the more I write and the more I read about authors who go on rampages when they get a bad review the more I feel like a paeudonym might not be a bad idea. If only to keep your private life private.

    1. Me too! I wish it could go on longer. :) I like the idea of one because it would be fun to have a different name, but part of me wants people I know to know that it's me. :P You do have a good point about keeping your private life private though!


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