Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Guest post with attending author A.L. Kessler

A.L. Kessler’s My Indie Journey: Just the Beginning

When I first started chasing my dream of writing, I swore that I would go no other route than traditional publishing. Many years later, here I am an independent author. What changed between now and then? When I got my first short story accepted into an anthology I had people in boxing me asking when my next story would be out, if I had anything else for them to read, and if I’d continue Kheelan and Aubrey’s story? I didn’t want people to have to wait long for my stuff, which they obviously wanted. It occurred to me that I had a choice to make, either make my small fan base wait months, years, or forever for me to get traditionally published, or go the indie way.

After a long talk with my husband, his parting words on the matter were, “make a plan and stick to it.” So I did. I got a group of friends together, my now dear beta readers, and sent them all a copy of the project I chose to start with, Midnight Symphony. They all had their own strengths and weaknesses when helping me out and it all worked out in my favor. I wouldn’t be anywhere without their wonderful and honest feedback. Why they were doing their job, I was working on things from my side. My Chief Minion would tell you how often I took down time from research and planning. I read a great book that helped me out called Quit Your Day Job my H.P. Mallory that gave me some fantastic ideas on marketing and reaching out to readers. I worked with my wonderful cover artist on what I wanted for the cover, she’s amazing by the way. But really, a month before I released my novella is really what changed my life as an indie author.

I attended a convention as a regular attendee, and one of my artist friends pulled me into an event to meet all the local authors. From there I was invited to a celebration with them (one of their comic books had been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award). That night, after talking to all of them, who are either published small press or indie, I knew that I had made the right choice and that this journey would be a lot of fun. One author asked me, “Are you actually an author? I know your Facebook says such, but have you published anything?” I remember being slightly stunned by the question and I it was my first time admitting out loud, “Yes, I am an author.” It was exhilarating!

Fast-forward the crazy month of prepping. I learned that formatting is a pain in the ass first time around, but it’s doable by yourself if you have the knowledge of the program and patience. I breezed through Createspace, Kindle and Smashwords, but little did I know that putting it up was the easy part. Marketing on social networks always get me, because I don’t want to feel like I’m shoving my book down people’s throats. I needed to try to generate reviews, and that meant contacting people who reviewed.

I’ve sent out, and still do, a review request a day to bloggers. Some I’ve heard back on, some I haven’t, but either way I keep moving forward. When I got my first blogger review by Naomi I was blown away. I expected the worse, of course my friends told me that my book was fantastic, but to hear it from a stranger and get 4.5 stars just blew me out of the water.
Sometime during the adventure of releasing Midnight Symphony, I submitted another short story, this time Steampunk to another small press. When I got the e-mail saying I got in, I danced around the house with your daughter. This was the point where I felt like everything was falling into place.

Fast forward again, I got brave and sent a message to the Indie Romance Convention and asked to be an attending author, and the answer I got back was a yes. I was ecstatic and that falling into place feeling grew! The same day I found out that there would be a mass book signing at AnomalyCon for the anthology my second short had been accepted into. After attending that convention, I’m preparing for the Indie Romance Convention. Bouncing ideas back and forth on how many books I should be taking, while I plan on releasing my second book in June. Thinking about what swag items to bring, while I edit a short story.

Really, my journey is just beginning, but that’s how I got started. Hope to see you guys in TN!

Midnight Symphony:

The legend of the Gypsy Lady had been passed down for centuries, and now it is Cora's turn to dance in the square. Giving people hope and taunting the Demon King is what she lives for, until she catches the attention of Darius, prince of the demons. Hidden behind her mask, she keeps her identity from him until she is captured by the king. With her magic on the verge of waking and the village on the brink of war can Cora tame Darius' heart before it's too late?

Darius became obsessed with the Gypsy Lady the first time he had seen her dance and play in the market place. The night he kissed her became his undoing. When his father captures the woman people believed to be a spirit, Darius takes the chance to observe her. His obsession with her grows into something more, he knows that together they can stop the war and set things right, but can he accept it? 

Penny Dread Volume III:

In this tome, the third installment of the Penny Dread Tales series, we explore not only the darker side of steampunk but also the black, sullied underbelly of the human condition. The nightmare of Jack the Ripper stalks these pages… drenching them in blood… twice. Slavery, the murder of the weak and helpless, dire choices of life and death: these tragedies and more become fodder for the mind, where the possessed and dispossessed steal men’s lives, and in some cases, their souls. 

This volume is rich with shadowy settings shrouded in fog, and the ensuing brutality is glimpsed piecemeal through windows of moonlight where dark shadows hide nefarious villains plotting murder and mayhem upon unsuspecting victims. 

PDT3 carries the reader to the four corners of the Earth and beyond. It traverses the centuries, from the Victorian era all the way into a future 40,000 years distant. It is an exploration of mankind’s darkest dreams and nightmares, and in its reading you too may experience nightmares where might In Darkness Clockwork Shine.

Evernight Volume II:

As children, we feared the boogeyman… Our parents comforted us when the monster under the bed or in the dark depths of our slightly opened closet threatened our safety. We cried when those evil creatures invaded our nightmares and stole us from peaceful sleep, but what if those monsters truly existed? What if they lived in a world not unlike our own, where all they wanted was the same basic needs that every human being spends their lives searching for? What if the things that go bump in the night only wanted to be loved? In the next twelve stories, you will read about vampires and werewolves, angels and demons, and monsters of all kinds overcoming some of the most difficult hurdles simply to find their one true love, to find their happiness. You’ll read of heated, salacious trysts beneath the moonlight and of lovers doomed before they even have a chance to find the one person who completes their soul. Join us as we wander through a dark world where nothing is what it seems, where rainbows after a storm are a rare miracle, where the boogeyman captures your heart and fulfills your sweetest dreams.

(Buying links are on my website)

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  1. Love hearing how authors make their choices. Congrats on being an AUTHOR

  2. Looking forward to meeting you at the convention!

  3. Thank Dolly! And Jackie, I'm looking forward to it!

  4. I loved reading about your journey. I must admit, I read all different genres. Your novel, Midnight Symphony has caught my eye. It will definitely be on my tbr list. Enjoyed finding out more about you. :)

  5. I just saw your comment Suzanne! I'm so sorry! I hope you enjoy Midnight Symphony when you get to it on your list! I'm glad you enjoyed getting to know more about me. Hope to meet you at the convention!