Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Is Indie Right for You? by Kimberli Buffaloe

Kimberli Buffaloe
You settle in your writing spot day after day and type out the scenes playing in your head. It’s a compelling story—you know it and know someone will benefit from the character’s journey. Revisions are next, followed by final edits, contests, conferences, perhaps a request for full. And then...rejection, rejection, followed by more rejection.

You’re to the point where you hide your tears. You’ve been at this for years. What should you do? Is this really meant to be?

There are options, you remind yourself. In just a few minutes, you can have that story up on Amazon for the entire world to see. You can post a link to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and more. Thanks to a network of friends and handy little hashtags, you can extend your reach. You’ll finally be a published author. It’s tempting. So tempting....

But is it moving in the direction you should go, or, like Sarah with the promise of Abraham’s son, are you acting prematurely?

I played around with the idea of independent publishing for years, but began looking into it as a serious option last January. My writing is good; published crit partners had said as much, though there is always room for improvement. In the past few years, I’d won first, second, and third place awards in various contests and advanced to the semifinals in national contests three times. One multi-published author point blank asked what was holding me back.

So what was the problem?

I wasn’t writing to the market. The majority of my stories have a strong romantic element, but they’re Contemporary, not Romance (which often led to confusion with judges, who kept attempting to correct my technical elements.) They don’t have the happy-ever-after ending many readers want, though they do have the right ending for the story. And instead of the overall Christian worldview agents and publishers are looking for, most of my stories involve Christians struggling to figure out how their faith applies to a particular problem, and to their daily lives.

Indie publishing may have been right for my debut novel, but as it turns out, I was unprepared for the launch. There are so many aspects to publishing I didn’t know to know, even after ten years of writing for eventual publication, and even after I took a class on publishing through KDP. If not for assistance from others, the boat may have sunk before it cast off.

If you’re thinking of going indie, is it out of frustration or because your story doesn’t fit the market? If you’re writing genres with the worldview publishers want, I urge you to stick with it for a while longer. You may be on the verge of a breakthrough. If you do decide to go indie, step into the publisher role and make sure you’re prepared to publish a well-edited story with a professional cover and a marketing plan.

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About the Author
Kimberli Buffaloe combines her passion for the faith and the Carolinas in her stories, which she calls Lessons from the Landscape. Her debut novel, Learning to Live Again (writing as Kimberli McKay) was released on Amazon in June, and her short stories have appeared on Christian Fiction Online Magazine. She is a member of Christian Writers Guild and American Christian Fiction Writers, where she has served as the Carolinas Area Coordinator and Genesis category coordinator. A pastor’s wife who enjoys photography, her photos have appeared on Carolina nature organization websites and Clash Entertainment's Verse of the Day, Kimberli and her husband live in North Carolina with their rescue dog, Gracie.

Connect with Kimberli
Twitter: @KimberliSMcKay, @CarolinaTrails 
Website: http://www.carolinatownsandtrails.com

Learning to Live Again
A year after a botched carjacking turned her into a widow at the age of twenty-five, Vicky Morgan
Learning to Live Again
by Kimberli McKay
meets a former police officer with connections to the crime that wrecked lives and sent her into hiding. She not only learns the fate of the officer injured in the attack, she has support from the only person who can understand what she suffered and lost that fateful night.

Clay Waters faces an uncertain future after his wife takes an extended vacation from their marriage. Unwilling to risk leaving their son without a parent, he quits his job at the police department. A decision that leaves him feeling useless until he meets the petite recluse who barely survived a face-off with a murderer.

Vicky gives Clay the sense of purpose he wants, and he provides her with protection she needs as she gradually expands her world and renews a faith she once tossed aside for a man. But when friendship turns to love, will the faith teaching them to forgive now keep them apart?

If you'd like to read my review of Learning to Live Again, click here - Angie

6 comments:

  1. So proud of your courage in taking this step! Many blessings as the journey continues for you. <3 <3 <3

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    1. Kimberli's ISP is not playing nice with Blogger today. Here's her reply:

      Thanks, Shannon! It was definitely the right choice at the right time for this particular story. I thank God for the results and for the help He provided without my having asked. What a mighty confirmation!

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  2. Hi. Kimberli, I love reading authors' writing journeys! Indie pub kind of intimidates me so I am very excited that it works out so well for you. We always hear, write the book of your heart...but like you said, when it comes right down to it you gotta write for the market. I wish you continued blessings with this book, and the others to come. Ps. Give Gracie a hug from me. Rescue animals rock.

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    1. Hey, Tanya! I agree, rescue animals really rock! :) Here's Kimberli's reply:

      Hi Tanya, going indie intimidated me as well, but it was the only way I could share this story. Once the decision was made, I immediately learned what I didn't know! I'm so thankful several indie authors, as well as a few traditionally published, stepped in to guide me. The Christian writing community is awesome. That said, I don't regret going indie. I may miss out on the guidance a traditional publisher can offer, but I love the independence and the opportunity to share stories that aren't necessarily written to the market.

      I'll give Gracie that hug. She deserves all she can get. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Indie isn't as intimidating to me as it used to be. I have friends who've done exceptionally well in the indie market. Definitely something to consider.

    I have two rescue Westies and can't imagine owning a dog that isn't a rescue.

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    1. Hi Terri, it was a learning experience for sure, but I released the novel last month, and I haven't had one moment of regret since. I love that this story can finally be told.

      Gracie is a Westie as well. She's our second Westie and our first rescue dog (we bought our first one, Abby, the namesake of one of my characters, in 1993 before the internet helped showcase these animals in need) I debated about adding the fact that she was a rescue in the bio, but just saying "Westie" didn't do justice to everything she has suffered and overcome in her eleven years. We love her so much and are very proud of her for pushing forward despite her fear.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Kimberli

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