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Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Journey As An Indie Author

This is a guest post by Mari Brown.
In March 2012 I decided to “play” with a short story I wrote in high school and posted it on Wattpad. It gained a few readers and inspired me to do more. It was expanded from the original 8k words to just under 20k. It was a test to see what I could do writing seriously. Based on that responses I began a second story on Wattpad, this story gained quite a few more readers and I had begun networking with other authors on Wattpad and I started learning more about Self-Publishing. In Nov 2012 I participated in NaNo (National Novel Writing Month), and surprisingly I found myself writing a 60k word novel in less than 30 days.  
By this time I knew I wanted to publish and began exploring options. I looked up many traditional publishers, and I read article after article on whether to publish traditionally or self-publish. I created a Facebook profile for my penname and from that moment on, I was determined to publish my book Destiny’s Detour, written during NaNo12. It took a long year of networking, becoming a fan girl of many other Indie authors, talking to them and supporting them on their journeys. Through these contacts I met my would-be-editor (sadly she is retired now). In November 2013, a year after it was written, Destiny’s Detour went to the editor. While she had the manuscript I participated once again in NaNo13. This time I wrote a full-length novel, On the Edge.  If you are a writer and need help with time management or keeping you on track, NaNo is an excellent way to do so.  
It takes a lot of self-discipline to be an Indie author, but I knew I could do it.  Because of my slight issue with authority, I didn’t want someone telling me what to write, how to write, or even when to write. I wanted free creative reign over my work. That was how I determined self-publishing was for me.  I would be responsible for more, and everything hinged on my goals and me.
Jan 31, 2014, Destiny’s Detour went live on Amazon. It was a momentous day for me.  All the hard work I had put into the last two years had finally paid off.  Seeing my eBook on my kindle was surreal in so many ways. When On The Edge was published June 24, 2014, I felt I had reached my dream.  Now I had two books--my babies--sitting on my kindle, as well as on a few hundred others in the world.
In addition to my online presence, I began attending author signing/events around the southeast to meet new readers and learn even more about the Indie World.
It’s funny how when you are flying high something always brings you back down to earth. In the midst of writing my third book Over the Edge, book two in the Knight Series, life happened. Due to family circumstances I had to step away from the Indie World for almost six months. I missed writing, I missed my peers, and I missed my readers, but I wasn’t completely forgotten.  I had many people message me via social media or text me to check in throughout that time.  Do you think a big named publisher would care enough to do that?
In March 2015, I was back in the Indie World full speed ahead. I completed Over the Edge and sent it off for editing, and it was published June 24, 2015. How awesome it was to be publishing again! To be talking to peers. Talking to readers. I am back! I have several manuscripts I am working on right now: a short story, two full-length novels.
I have not made a bestseller list yet, but that’s okay. Each book has paid for itself as well as given me payment for the blood, sweat, and tears put into it.  Hearing how others love my characters--because let’s face I love my characters like they are members of my family--has more value to me than any amount of money.
The number one reason I have found success as an Indie author can be found in my own home. My husband has been a fabulous support system. Even if he doesn’t understand something completely, he’s always got my back. The crowning moment of all this fabulousness was talking to my three teenage children and having each one of them tell me, “Mom, I’m so proud of you for living your dream”
I’m an Indie author because it’s fulfilling a childhood dream and showing my children that through hard work and perseverance, dreams can come true.

Mari Brown lives on the gulf Coast of Alabama with her husband and three teenagers.  She has enjoyed reading and writing since her elementary school years. She is author of YA,NA, and Erotica Novel