Thursday Updates: Indie Publishing’s Reputation, and more.

Lately, I feel like I don’t have time to get anything done. I’ve been doing a lot of vet stuff for my cat–she ended up going to the animal ER because the antibiotics she was on a couple weeks ago didn’t work. She’ll need to be on special food for the rest of her life and that is going to be a long, hard road (especially since she’s only three years old). She’s on pain medication now and another round of antibiotics, but time will only tell if the special diet will take care of her bladder issues. It’s been a little time-consuming, and I haven’t gotten much done on my next project as I’d like.

Here’s a picture of her sleeping after a dose of pain medication. She matches our couch almost perfectly.

In other news, I did start a new project, and I chose the “fake fiancee” trope. He needs a fake fiancee to win a bet, and we’ll see what happens. I’m 10k into it. I wanted to try a fresh take on the trope and tried to think outside the box. I didn’t want my hero to need a fiancee to inherit a boat-load of money, or to appease a dying parent. A bet may not be that original, but with his backstory, and why my heroine needs the cash he’ll pay her, I’m hoping this story will be something new that readers will enjoy.

I’m still not sure if this will be the cover for my ugly duckling romance–I need to work shop it in a covers group on FB and see what people think. I like it, though it’s not exactly what’s out there right now. (Mostly a single guy in a suit looking ticked off with a bold font.) I’ve shown it off before on the blog, but this time I’ve zoomed in on the couple a little more. I love the font, but maybe going with something more easily read will be the end result. Or I could be trolling Deposit Photos and find a completely different couple. Who knows?

While I’m doing that, I sent it to my (paid) beta reader, and she’s going to do her thing. I’ll format it myself in Canva, and I still need to learn MailerLite. I know, I know.

If you want a list of fake relationship books, BookBub put one together, and you can find it here.

I finished reading another billionaire romance the other day, and I have noticed some things that bother me while I’ve been reading through the top 100 on Amazon. For one thing, the characters are really young, and I touched on that subject in a previous blog post. In the book I finished reading, the hero was 28 and the heroine was 21. The book takes place over the time span of a year and a half, which makes the heroine roughly 23 by the end of the book, and at the end, she’s having a baby. I don’t know about you, but at twenty-three, I wasn’t thinking about babies, and the end of the book felt false to me. A happily ever after doesn’t always have to include children. In fact, because of their histories, some of my couples have agreed not to have children, even though they are old enough to want them and afford them. I’ve been guilty of giving my couples pregnancies–she ends up pregnant at the end of The Years Between Us and All of Nothing. There is a lot of baby talk among my characters in my Rocky Point Wedding series, but for the most part, they are agreeing they don’t want (biological) children. I’m not saying couples who want kids at the end of romance books are not to my liking, but when the characters are that young, I’m almost wincing with dismay. Live a little first, figure out who you are as a couple without kids. Sound advice, even in real life. This is only an opinion, but if an author wants their characters to start a family right away, it would be simple to age them up to an appropriate age for that.

My characters fall between 35-45 years of age, for the most part. In The Years Between Us, she was younger, only because the trope was younger woman/older man. The first person present series I finished that I’ve been sitting on for the past few months, they are younger, but they don’t talk about babies. It’s been a bit of resting for me with that story, but if I remember correctly, they don’t talk about babies at all. I like babies, in real life, and in books, but I think it helps the relatability and realistic factors if the characters are actually old enough to want to have them. What do you think?

Just one last thing I’m going to touch on in this blog post. I was on Twitter the other day and came upon this Wall Street Journal article: An Epidemic of Memoir-Writing. The lockdowns have spread of virus of non-memorable life stories, by Peter Funt. It wasn’t that this is ground-breaking news. Even in the fiction community, output of authors rose exponentially during the pandemic and saturated indie publishing. But what I found interesting was this grab from the article: “Andy Ross, an Oakland, Calif., agent, says, ‘I get multiple proposals for memoirs every day of the year, including Christmas. Most of the stuff is terrible, so it ends up with Kindle.'”

Guys, we’re never going to get past the stigma of indie publishing if we don’t start putting some effort into the things we publish. Indie publishing will always look like a last resort for people who don’t take the time to polish what they have before publishing. This is really disheartening to read because most authors I know do put 110% of effort into everything they publish. Writing is hard, and you can’t do it alone. You need critique partners, beta readers, editors. You have be willing to ask for and process feedback, whether it’s negative or positive.

If you want to learn more about writing a memoir, you can look here. Reedsy just happened to pop something into my email today and I’ll share it with you: What is a Memoir? True Life Stories, Minus the Boring Parts.

That’s all I have for today! Enjoy the rest of your week, and have a wonderful weekend!

13 thoughts on “Thursday Updates: Indie Publishing’s Reputation, and more.

  1. An agent whose entire reason for existence is the legacy, dying book publishing industry makes disparaging remarks about independent publishing. Shocking. How about we stop giving anyone in that entire industry any oxygen at all? Agents are parasites. PR flacks are parasites. Publishers are parasites. Nobody cares what record labels think any more. It’s widely understood that they produce popular garbage and the great music is all indie. We need books to get to that same place, the sooner the better.

    Liked by 3 people

      • I took his remark for what it is: people want to see their stuff in print, and turn to KDP without regard to the fact that they are putting out work the whole world can see. Then they wonder why they get one star reviews and readers angry they wasted their money (and on the flip side, authors wondering why they are spending so much on ads and then don’t work.) Some indies take their freedom too seriously, I’m afraid. And this is where I’ll insert my own eye roll. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

    • I agree, but as long as people keep querying, hoping for that “big break” and treating agents like they’re gods, they’ll always feel above indie publishing. I was just in a FB group this morning and a writer with a PhD in English was tearing down this writer for wanting to write in different POVs and tenses in the same novel. I don’t know why this industry has to bring out the snobs, but they are everywhere. I wanted to tell her she was in the wrong group with an attitude like that.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh sure, Andy, because all the traditionally published books are perfect bestsellers in every way. *Dramatic eye-roll*

    I wholeheartedly agree indie authors should make every effort to publish quality work, but the elitist attitudes in the industry are a huge part of what’s wrong with the industry.

    Hope your kitty is better!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I agree Vania, a lot of indies are working really hard to produce quality work. However indie also allows vanity publishing and there is nothing we can do about that. The likelihood is the people taking your comment about producing quality work to heart are already doing so. While the people more interested in being authors not writers will not even think the criticism applies to them.
    Like I said above Trad publishers do publish crap and they do jump on bangwagons. They also hold a huge amount of power and resources to get their authors out to readers. But even with all their resources I have read some good novels recently from at-one-time favourite authors of mine, which I did not even know they had written. So while publishers have a head start (if not the monopoly) of promoting their authors, don’t hit home !00% of the time. Coz if I knew these folks had written the books I have only recently read -some were like over a decade old- I would have read them when they were new.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Publishers promoting authors? That’s so last century. Unless you’re in the top 20 names, publishers do no promotion whatsoever. It’s up to the authors to do their own promotion. Yet another reason I cannot fathom why people bother to query. So someone can take 90% of the royalties and give you nothing in return? OOOH! Take my money!

      Liked by 2 people

    • I know what you mean. I listened to a podcast interview with Marie Force and she was traditionally published for a while, and she was disappointed they didn’t do anything with her backlist. She said it was just money sitting on the table, and when she went indie, she promotes her backlist all the time now. I’m with Joshua–I’m not even sure what you get if you go (or try to go) trad anymore. Other than a big advance you probably won’t earn out, and that’s only if you’re writing in the right genre that garners any attention, there’s nothing in it for the author anymore. Just by chance if you want to listen to Marie I’ll link it here. She’s a romance author, but the way she approaches her business, I think anyone can appreciate. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I came across someone on Twitter who claimed to be a “Publisher” or a “Book Publisher” (he keeps changing that). I had a small conversation with him. I won’t detail it all now here, maybe in another post, but it was obvious he hated indie publishing. From what he tweets, I also realised he’s one of those people who rejects stories without having a proper look – something querying authors regularly complain about.

    I tend to think this is common among publishers because they lose a lot of market and possible deals to indie publishing, which messes them up. Well, I say they made their own bed, let them lie in it.

    I personally don’t think it’s us indie authors who are doing this. I mean, we’re only part of the problem. The traditional publishers and indie haters probably add a lot to it, especially since they’re more established. So, no matter how much better we become, people see only what they want to see. If one thing is fixed, they’ll find fault with something else. It may or may not be reasonable.

    Liked by 2 people

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