Tomorrow is when everything changes.

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Tomorrow, Iron will be released across multiple platforms.

This is it. My first book will be live; published and ready for reader consumption. Reading those words–typing those words–is an incredible mix of emotions. Its surreal and it terrifying, but more than anything it is absolutely fucking amazing. I cannot even begin to put in to words how I feel right now, and how this whole whirlwind crash course in the world of indie publishing all together has made me feel… But I’ve got some thoughts swirling around in my brainpan right now, so I’m going to try.

This is probably going to be long and rambling, because… Well, I feel a bit rambley today.

Let me start by saying that this whole endeavor has really been a split-down-the-middle venture. Half the time I’ve been bouncing off the walls with excitement, but just as often I was tearing my hair out or beating my head against the desk in frustration. It has also been an incredibly harrowing time for me, over all. I suffer from some pretty intense anxiety, some of it generalized but a good deal of it socially based. So doing this–pouring bits of my soul into writing this book, publishing it, selling it (and thus myself) to strangers? All of that is freaking terrifying for me. Stomach churning, sweat-inducing, terrifying. Just the thought of answering the most basic of questions (“So, what’s your book about?”) threatens to send me into a babbling panic attack.

But I did it anyway, and I continue to do it, pushing forward, every day. Because this is my dream. This is what I want, and that desire is so much stronger than any fear. Iron is important to me; its the culmination of three years of hard work, being written and re-written again and again–and there was no way in hell I was letting a little thing like anxiety keep it from ever seeing the light of day.

Don’t get me wrong. Many, many times, that dark, judge-y little voice in my head has told me to give up; that its too hard, that I’m going to make a fool of myself, blah blah blah. And just as many times, I’ve politely told that voice where it can shove its negativity and soldiered on. Sure, there were times where I laid down and wondered if I’d have the strength to get back up again–but I did, and I continue to.

So, just remember that. If you’re afraid; remember that it doesn’t have to rule you. It doesn’t have to put the brakes on your dreams. Don’t let fear win.

Okay?

Okay. Moving along.

I chose the indie publishing route for Iron for two reasons. One, I’m a bit of a control freak. (An anxiety-ridden, neurotic one, at that. Imagine how much fun it must be to be my husband, right?) I wanted to control the creation of this book from top to bottom. I wanted to choose and work with my cover artist (and was blessed to discover the skills of the wonderfully talented Fiona Jayde). I wanted to keep my title. I wanted to set my prices.

Oh! Let me take a little narrative break here for a small price rant! Very few things in this world piss me off more than a $9.99 eBook, especially when that is often equal to or sometimes more expensive that the paperback version. (And don’t even get me started on the ones that cost even more than that!) I’m a voracious reader. I can take down a book a day, in the off season, and often read roughly two to three books a week even when busy. I’m also hardcore Kindle girl, which means–at those aforementioned prices–the series I’m currently reading is costing me $30.00 per week, pre tax. For files. Digital, non-tangible items.

I mean–really? That’s just disgusting. That’s corporate greed, plain and simple. I can’t imagine the Big Five are paying their authors *that* much higher of a royalty on eBooks vs. print. By their very nature, eBooks should always cost less than a printed version. Having done one myself now, I can say with all certainty that they don’t take much work to create (from the original file that a print version uses) and there is no good reason to charge such a high fee for a digital file. Nu-uh; no way. If I wasn’t so damn addicted to the series I’m currently paying out the nose for… Grrr. Anyhow.

::hops off soapbox::

So, I wanted to make sure Iron came out the way I wanted it to. Thus, indie publishing was the most logical fit. It was a lot more work that I had originally anticipated, true–but a lot of that was my own damn fault. I thought too highly of my skills and really didn’t give myself enough time to learn the ropes. Next time, I know to give myself a much broader lead time so I’m not locking myself in a room for weeks, struggling to get everything finished on time. Now that I’ve created a book–in multiple formats–from top to bottom, I enjoy the process and am prepared to do it again.

The second reason I chose the indie route was, plain and simple, Iron is likely not best-seller material. And if a genre fiction book (and a fantasy book, at that) is not best-seller material? Ain’t no traditional publisher out there gonna touch it. I tried. For a year, I shopped Iron around to different agents and found the whole process incredibly disheartening and frustrating.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my book. I love Caitlin and I love her story. That’s why I continued on, on my own path. I think there are others out there who will love it too… I just don’t have any unrealistic expectations. As an unknown, first time author, I will have to struggle to get my voice heard–to get Caitlin’s voice heard. Her tale is a faerie-full urban fantasy story, being told first person in her smart ass fashion. At its core, its the story of a woman who is trying to find herself at a time when she should have had life all figured out already… And I think that there are people out there who will connect that. With her. If you don’t like Caitlin (or her penchant for creative cursing), you probably won’t like this book–but that’s okay too. We can’t all be everyone’s cup of tea.

I hope Iron finds its way into the hands of the people who need it. People who are feeling a bit downtrodden by life. People who need a little escape from reality. People who need a much-needed laugh from some brash and ballsy humor.

I’m committed to completing The Warding trilogy. Book 2–Faster–is currently being written, with an anticipated release of late fall 2016. Book 3 (yet unnamed) is outlined and ready to be written as well. While, of course, I hope Iron will do well and the next two installments will be eagerly anticipated, I’m going to write and publish them whether they are being read by 1 person or 1,000. If so much as a single soul out there resonates with Caitlin and her story, and wants to know how it ends, that’s good enough for me. And if its better received? Even better. I do have ideas beyond these three books. We’ll just have to see where it goes and where this wild world of indie publishing takes us!

For better or for worse, I’d love to hear all your thoughts on Iron if you pick up a copy! Comments are always welcome here on the blog, and reviews at the place of purchase are also greatly appreciated.

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