I have decided to join a weekly feature called Saturday Spotilght hosted by Tina’s Book Reviews as a way of shining the light on Indie/Debut/Self Published authors. Each week I’ll have a guest post written by a featured author.
I can’t read & review every book I would like to these days (I am in fact – NOT a super human reading machine despite my best efforts) but I hope this feature helps introduce you to new books and authors.
When I decided to do this feature I knew I wanted my first author spotlight to be Tammara Webber, author of the Between the Lines trilogy.
Indie & self published authors often get a bad rap but it is my experience with Tammara that convinced me to continue accepting books from indie/self pub authors. Tammara was the first self published author I ever accepted a book from for review. She has always been extremely professional in our correspondence, always aware that my reviews would be honest (luckily I adore her books) & her finished books match the quality of any traditionally published book I’ve purchased.
To me Tammara represents all that can go right with dealing with self published authors.
So without further ado I would like to join me in welcoming Tamarra to For What It’s Worth!
In May 2011, I did something I never thought I would do: I self-published a novel.
Years ago, I bought into conventional assumptions about vanity presses and writers who paid to have their rejected manuscripts made into “books,” skirting the established literary Gatekeepers (agents, editors and publishers). This choice seemed delusional at best, blindly arrogant at worst. Those would-be authors ended up “selling” a few books to friends and family, and were left with boxes of unsold novels in their garages, attics or guest bedrooms.
After spending months writing and revising my novel, I did the expected thing: I queried a few targeted agents, and I pitched the storyline to agents at two conferences. Aaaaand they all passed. I felt like a zombie pounding on the side of a building—no windows, no doors, just a solid brick wall. I knew in my frustrated gut that the book would sell. That it was timely. That readers would relate to it. But not if they could never get to it.
Just before I attended my second conference, my best friend forwarded an article about Amanda Hocking, who self-pubbed on Amazon in early 2010, and was doing quite well a year later. In my friend’s mind, I could “just do that.” I explained how the publishing world maligns writers who self-pub, and how readers prefer traditionally published books. I all but patted her pretty, non-writer head. Undeterred, she kept nagging me, convinced that e-publishing and print-on-demand had changed the rules of the game.
Finally, the decision came down to this: (1) All I wanted to do was write, but I was wasting a boatload of time and energy trying to sell that novel to agents. I was ready to move on. (2) I wondered if those agents’ instincts were so much better than mine that I should give up on that book, along with the first draft of the sequel I’d already written.
Indie-publishing on Amazon and Barnes & Noble was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. The book wasn’t revised and corrected by a publishing house editor, and I made the cover myself. It had the world’s shyest marketing department, and no advertising budget at all. (My only advertising: I emailed twenty book bloggers to offer a copy of the book and request a review; eight said yes, including Karen.)
By the end of its first year, that rejected novel sold 21,114 copies and spawned two sequels.
Before you rush to pull out the rejected-thirty-times manuscript gathering metaphorical dust in the back of your hard drive, know this: the Gatekeepers are alive and well. Indie authors call them readers. They will buy your book… or they won’t. They will leave you good reviews... or they won’t. They will support you as an author… or they won’t.
If the quality of what I write falls off, or I don’t continue to produce, I have no doubt that my writing career will disappear. How is that different than what a traditionally published author faces? It isn’t—because the real Gatekeepers have always been the readers.
Thank you for kicking off Saturday Spotlight Tammara!
Find Tammara: Blog | Facebook | Twitter
Tammara’s next book, Easy, will be available on 5/25
A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be broken, and loyalty is an illusion.
A boy who believes truth is relative, lies can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal.
Will what they find in each other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all?
When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she’s single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, stalked by her ex’s frat brother, and failing a class for the first time in her life.
Her econ professor gives her an email address for Landon, the class tutor, who shows her that she’s still the same intelligent girl she’s always been. As Jacqueline becomes interested in more from her tutor than a better grade, his teasing responses make the feeling seem mutual. There’s just one problem—their only interactions are through email.
Meanwhile, a guy in her econ class proves his worth the first night she meets him. Nothing like her popular ex or her brainy tutor, Lucas sits on the back row, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. At a downtown club, he disappears after several dances that leave her on fire. When he asks if he can sketch her, alone in her room, she agrees—hoping for more.
Then Jacqueline discovers a withheld connection between her supportive tutor and her seductive classmate, her ex comes back into the picture, and her stalker escalates his attention by spreading rumors that they’ve hooked up. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.
Young Adult - Mature (language, drinking, sexual situations)
~ Read my reviews for the Between the Lines series: Between the Lines #1, Where You Are #2, Good for You #3