My thanks to Erin for hosting my random scribbling. My name is Jesse V Coffey and I'm here to promote my latest release, The Brothers Cameron: An Opportunity for Resentment—officially out for the public as of September 15th by Edin Road Press. It's available through my publisher, as well as Amazon's Kindle bookstore. It will also be available through iTunes/iBookstore, Barnes & Noble's Nook bookstore, Sony's bookstore, and others at the end of the month.
Actually, the publisher is me. I am Edin Road Press. I choose to join a growing number of authors who have published both as indie and legacy, with small to large publishing companies. Well, actually, I was in a very small group long ago, publishing as an indie author before the term was even coined. At that time, we were called "self-published" and the companies we used were referred to as "POD publishers" or "publish on demand" and "vanity presses." These days POD, or DP as it's called now, is a technology that everyone in the industry uses. And being an indie means getting in on the ground floor of something amazing in the publishing world.
Once upon a time, everyone really could get published—whether they deserved to be or not. Oh, you had some top notch authors and poets publishing their own—Jim Morrison of The Doors, Edgar Allen Poe, and James Redfield (if that last name eludes you, he's the gent that wrote The Celestine Prophecy. It was originally self-pubbed until it became extremely popular and then it got snapped up by a legacy publisher). But there was a lot of wanna-be types trying to get shoddy stories into the stream with little to no editing, terrible covers, and quickly forgotten results. Indie publishing got the reputation for being full of crap from writers who couldn't cut it in the traditional field.
But quite a few brave souls yearned for the control of their product in an industry that might let you pick the title of your own book—if you were lucky enough to pick one that the marketing department liked and thought they could sell. Otherwise, if you were lucky to write something that made it past a gatekeeper and a publisher's marketing department thought they might be able to sell, you submitted to an editor who gave strong suggestions about how to "fix" your story — which you were not allowed to refuse or lose your contract—then off to marketing where they picked your title, your cover, your genre. You had precious little of a voice in whether or not that same publisher tried to get international rights for you, submitted to reviewers for you, and maybe even tried to secure a movie deal on your behalf. And all of that for only a 10 – 12% royalty rate—which, by the way, if you did get an advance, you were expected to make that back in sales before you even saw one penny of royalty.
And yet, we all craved and wanted that contract. It meant an air of legitimacy, even if the vast majority of us would never see the sales of a Stephen King, Diana Gabaldon, James Patterson, or fill in the name here. And if you find an indie author now who wouldn't give an arm and a leg to get that contract, they're lying to you.
But the truth is, those of us that choose to be indie published aren't going for the brass ring because we couldn't cut it in the traditional/legacy world. We choose this path because it became more important for us to sell a good story that we had control of, not a gatekeeper. We wanted to choose that title, pick out that cover art. We wanted to choose the genre we write in and if one day, we write a romance and then the next day, write a science fiction title, then it was because that's where the story took us and not because some guy sitting in an office somewhere decided that we needed to fit that market and too bad about that really great story. We decided that the real gatekeeper isn't someone somewhere that we won't see; it's the person who pays the money to buy the book. We decided that we wanted the readers to decide if we're good enough or not, if the stories were good enough or not.
So, like our brothers and sisters in the film industry and the recording industry, we began to bypass the traditional methods and make our own. We embraced companies like Smashwords and iUniverse and Amazon.com who gave us a market place and promotion. We started caring about what story we were writing, about the craft of writing. We hired professional editors and cover artists, or traded services with each other—as professionals—and the revolution began in earnest.
The reason you know names like Amanda Hocking or John Locke is because both of them started as indie authors and have sold a million ebooks to date. They've also been picked up by legacy publishers—Locke just signed a ground breaking deal with Simon & Schuster to publish only the hard cover and paperback versions of his books. He's keeping the electronic rights because that's where he started and that's where he sells. Trad authors like J. A. Konrath and Jenna Petersen have decided that they want to publish their own work—as indie authors. And so far, they are cleaning up.
So, don't let the name Edin Road Press fool you. Yes, it's a publisher but it's my publisher, my company, and I am publishing my own work as an indie author. And you, the readers, are my gatekeepers. If it stinks, you'll tell me. And I will learn from what you say and I will grow to improve at my craft. Because I trust you. And I believe in my story.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.
Jesse V Coffey, who also writes as J. W. Coffey and Meggie Chase, is the author of short story collection Illusions & Reality (J. W. Coffey) and new release The Brothers Cameron: An Opportunity for Resentment. She writes a literary column and a writing column for the Lexington KY affiliate of Examiner.com, as well as a National Indie Romance Novel column. She also is the on air hostess of Edin Road Radio, an internet radio show that introduces new authors reading excerpts from their work. She is a member of ASCAP and the Erotic Authors Association.
Stephan Cameron is impetuous and lusty; William Cameron is measured and romantic. Only one thing can divide the brothers--an attraction to the Lady Jessica Chynoweth, a flirty redhead who seems to have eyes for both--and the baron besides. Only one thing can bring them together again--bringing the murderer of their father to justice. If it doesn't kill them first, they will!
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