Strange & Beautiful – The Hybrid Author

 

It’s the first Thursday of the month. I always spend this Thursday of every month, in particular, thinking about writing and the business of writing.

I love to plan. I dream about all the what-ifs. A lot.

I’ve been up early today, off to do a segment on behalf of the Cisco Writers Club at the 97.7 KATX studio with Dr. Stace Gaddy. An accomplished playwright, he’s been great to offer us a regular spot on Good Morning, Texas!

And, of course, tonight 7:00 PM at the Mobley Hilton, we’ll have our May CWC meeting. Topic for discussion is “Publishing.” It’s a broad topic. My associate, A.R. Draeger, has written a series of four articles covering the pros/cons of self publishing and traditional publishing for the CWC Column, Rendezvous with Writing, published each Thursday in Eastland County Today. Throughout the process, she’s been feeding me information.

I, also, recently attended an online workshop by Jeff Goins. He offered two free workshops related to Art of Work. One was a general workshop, the other – the one I attended – was for want-to-be-so-bad-it-hurts writers.

During the session, he received lots of great questions. Many of them were related to the query “Which path is better?” The short answer, as always, is whichever one works best for you.

However, Jeff Goins recommends the hybrid approach. He said that his first book, self published (You Are a Writer – which I embraced after 25 years of dreaming), sold about $50,000 worth. His second book, published traditionally, sold about $6,000 – thanks to the standard royalties contracts offered through traditional publishing. In short, he likes the hybrid idea.

It’s like this:

When you say, “I write books,” people automatically assume that you must have a publisher. If you don’t, most people think you aren’t a “real writer.” Recently, I was talking with a friend about my upcoming novella release. I had been in discussion with a small press, considering contracts and the like. Her words were “Congratulations, that is the next step to becoming a ‘real writer.'” I expect it, so it’s not bothersome to my ego. What they don’t know is that the climate is changing – the way to make a living as an author is changing.

In the writing world speaking to the non-writing-is-my-business world, traditionally published is the regular colored peacock. When I say, “I’m an author,” people expect me to be able to tell them which press bought my words. When I say, “I love peacocks,” people automatically assume I mean the blue/green ones. But those blue/green ones typically only pay newbies around 20% of earned royalties.

But that white peacock of the publishing world – or self publishing – is quickly overshadowing the traditional method. If I – as an author – want to pay my bills ASAP and have some left over, self publishing is appealing. The expenses are mine, but the royalties are mine 100%, not to mention that word I’m in love with – “control.”

I want to be a piebald writer – little bit of this one and a little bit of that other one.

The benefits of self-publishing include the higher royalty rate. The benefit of traditional publishing is that it can quickly grow that platform. As writers, we all need “platform.” Self published authors work for years to accomplish what a half-hearted attempt by a large, reputable publishing house can accomplish within six months.

As I rush forward (hoping desperately that my skill catches up to my intentions – arriving in decent condition at the same opportunity at the same time), I am learning the self publishing method from a great bunch of authors this year.

And since I am winding down production on my self published novella, Cold Water Bridegroom, due out August 4, 2015, I am currently writing a suspense romance to pitch to Love Inspired (a Christian imprint of Harlequin) later this year. I might not get any traction on that – competition is fierce and their selection process is specific – but it’s enough of a dream to keep me writing. It’s a great way to pursue my piebald / hybrid dream. (:

Thanks to Erin HayesMelanie Karsak, Pauline Creeden, AW Exley and Margo Bond Collins, to name a few. As well as we three building our own road through the jungle – my girls! A. R. Draeger and Anna Albergucci

 

P.S. I’m only a control freak when it comes to my work. Mostly.

P.P.S. I do prefer the blue/green peacock variety (just ask my hair). Kung Fu Panda 2 sort of cemented that for me.

P.P.P.S. You can blame my friend for today’s shameless exploitation of peacocks. She surprised me with a drive-by visit this morning, and she brought new peacock goodies for my makes-me-ridiculously-happy collection (a peacock nightlight and a peacock fridge magnet).

Happy Star Wars Day!

This is a few hours late, but I’m a mom.  Moms are always happy to arrive anywhere in one piece, fully dressed, and no one left behind.  Late is something we happily endure.

Happy Star Wars Day!

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I’m reading an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) from a new book coming May 26.  I’ve already pre-ordered it.  It’s called Scales. Pauline Creeden.  I’m hoping to do a review and interview with her later this month.

Check it out Scales: A Falling in Deep Collection Novella.  I love her work.

Until tomorrow,

~B

CWC Book Look – WIN a Kindle Fire!

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Cisco Writers Club Working Beside Cisco Civic League

First annual CWC Book Look held adjacent to the 42nd Annual Cisco Civic League FolkLife Festival

April 25 – April 26, 2015 (Cisco, Texas) – The Cisco Writers Club is proud to offer Book Look 2015 alongside the Cisco Civic League’s 42nd Annual Folklife Festival.  Located on Cisco College Hill in Cisco, Texas, these family friendly events are held Saturday, April 25, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 26, 2015, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission to the FolkLife Festival is only $3 with free admittance to CWC Book Look 2015.

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the CWC, a diversity of authors will be present to sign books and meet readers. USA Today best-selling author Ophelia London, Mom’s Choice award-winning teen’s and children’s author Amanda M. Thrasher, and award-winning multi-genre author Margo Bond Collins, to name a few. Some of our local authors are Cisco’s own Dr. Duane Hale and Eastland’s own Marsha Vermillion.  Also, local authors Anna Albergucci, A.R. Draeger, and Nancy Masters. Other Texas authors include Matthew Gene, Dr. David Bedford, JoAnna Grace, David Hughes, C.A. Szarek, Emma Gingerich, Amanda Stone Norton, with more possible. All ages are welcome.  Door prizes, including a Kindle Fire, will be given away.

The FolkLife Festival boasts over 40 vendors providing—among other things—the following: special gifts, crafts, jewelry, health and beauty products, unique services, furniture, art, and one-of-a-kind treasures.  Fun events will be happening around the Folklife Festival, as well.  Friday evening, April 24, enjoy a barbeque dinner on the Folklife Festival grounds hosted by the Cisco Lion’s Club.  Later, from 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. there will be a street dance downtown featuring the Jason Ryan Band.  On Saturday downtown businesses will have sidewalk sales, quilt displays, a wildflower show, and a pet contest.

“There will be many fun things going on and so much for the family to do,” said Leeann Barron, President of the Cisco Civic League.  “We will have great food, including the legendary homemade bread, cinnamon rolls and strawberry shortcake.  Fun activities for the kids will include bouncy houses and games.  Interactive pioneer life activities and demonstrations will take us back to our Texas roots, and top-notch performances on the entertainment stage will have us smiling and singing along.”

“It’s an honor to be able to bring attention to our Texas literary community,” said Cisco Writers Club President, Anna Albergucci.  “We are celebrating our 40th year in a big way. We’re excited to offer the Book Look alongside the FolkLife Festival, working with our sister organization, the Civic League. And we greatly appreciate Cisco College and their Library staff member Elizabeth Speer for facilitating our event. We want to bring attention to Cisco, our long-standing traditions, and everything good this community has to offer. We hope that you visit with the authors, learn about their journeys, and if you, too, are interested in writing, we hope you find this helpful in your own journey. Can’t wait to see you there!”

With a variety of events that the whole family can enjoy, the weekend of April 25 and April 26, 2015, Cisco, Texas, is the place to be.

About Cisco Writers Club

The Cisco Writers Club was established in February 1975 by some twenty determined, industrious writers. The mission of the Cisco Writers Club is to encourage the development and improvement of its members through educational and informational programs, workshops, seminars and contests; to stimulate the systematic study of writing and research methods; to offer constructive criticism of individual members’ writings. Members from the Central Texas area gather the first Thursday night of each month for meetings, workshops, speakers, writing challenges, and mutual encouragement.

About Cisco Civic League

Established in 1967, the Cisco Civic League is a service group of women dedicated to helping the community.  Through their fundraisers and donations community projects of many types have been funded, from civic support and beautification efforts to assisting area social services groups.

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CWC Book Look 2015

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Cisco Writers Club Book Look 2015

First annual CWC Book Look offered by the Cisco Writers Club

April 25 – April 26, 2015 (Cisco, Texas) – The Cisco Writers Club is proud to offer the first ever CWC Book Look.  The CWC is welcoming over 15 authors to Cisco College Library in Cisco, Texas, on Saturday, April 25, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 26, 2015, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Door prizes and giveaways will be available.  $3 admission to the Cisco Civic League FolkLife Festival is applicable.

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the CWC, over fifteen authors will be present to sign books and meet readers. USA Today best-selling author Ophelia London, Mom’s Choice award-winning teen’s and children’s author Amanda M. Thrasher, and award-winning multi-genre author Margo Bond Collins, to name a few. Some of our local authors are Cisco’s own Dr. Duane Hale and Eastland’s own Marsha Vermillion.  Also, local authors Anna Albergucci, A.R. Draeger, and Nancy Masters. Other Texas authors include Matthew Gene, Dr. David Bedford, JoAnna Grace, David Hughes, C.A. Szarek, Emma Gingerich, Amanda Stone Norton, with more possible. All ages are welcome.  There will be story time and crafts for younger children. Children’s books will be available, as well as young adult.  For adults, the CWC Book Look will offer a wide array of genres – including romance, paranormal, horror, science fiction, nonfiction, autobiography, local history, inspirational, and others—to fulfill the reading interests of everyone.

“Our goal is our motto, ‘helping writers where they are,’” said Amber Draeger, CWC Programs Coordinator.  “Too often in rural Texas, we lack the resources and the support system that is found in the metroplex, so we want to be a literary hub for this area of Texas for all the writers that are willing to come and join us.  Our goal is to help as many people get to their dreams as possible.”

Come meet the authors, take a photo, snag signed copies, win prizes, and help the CWC celebrate this first annual event.

About Cisco Writers Club

The Cisco Writers Club was established in February 1975 by some twenty determined, industrious writers. For some, writing earned their daily bread. For others, it was a hobby and diversion. All wanted to learn, progress, and share the journey. Cisco Writers Club is a support group for writers. The mission of the Cisco Writers Club is to encourage the development and improvement of its members through educational and informational programs, workshops, seminars and contests; to stimulate the systematic study of writing and research methods; to offer constructive criticism of individual members’ writings. Members from the Central Texas area gather the first Thursday night of each month for meetings, workshops, speakers, writing challenges, and mutual encouragement.

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