Welcome to the final installment in the Bumps in the Night Series. You’ve experienced nine weeks of my own paranormal experiences. I’m going to finish up by telling you about my first book, The Fine Line (TFL hereafter) and how it got published.
If you remember from the posts in the beginning of the series, I talked about how I was told that things were going to happen very fast and how I submitted the book to multiple publishers. I also touched on how disappointed I was when I kept getting rejection letter after rejection letter. By October/November I’d all but given up on having the book published. A friend of mine on Facebook suggested I look into publishing it as an ebook. So I started shopping around.
I found BookLocker, a POD company. In case some of you aren’t familiar with this, it means “print on demand.” Because I believe in conserving resources and saving trees this looked like an acceptable way to go. They offered an option to make payments. Rather, when the book sold, the sales went toward the balance owed. Included was a guide on promoting and marketing the book. The cost seemed reasonable, too. However, I really didn’t want to go this route. Nonetheless, I didn’t see any other way at that time. I sent the manuscript and they accepted immediately. Looking back on it I wonder if they even read it.
Anyway, I signed the contract. As I did, the still small voice told me to be patient. I didn’t have peace as I signed on the dotted line. But, I did it anyway. Nevertheless, there were positives that came out of the situation. The marketing guide helped me tremendously in preparing to market my book. That is why I established a blog and a website. Without that guide, I would have been completely lost.
So, I didn’t have an editor. I didn’t have a proofreader. I didn’t have an illustrator. I was working with nothing and very limited funds. I took the cheap way out. I got a plain cover. I proofread myself, which didn’t turn out so great, and I paid extra for the book to be converted in to ebook format. If I wanted a full color book over it was an extra $299 and I just didn’t have it.
All the while, I kept feeling like was heading down a road of no return and one that wouldn’t end up anywhere. Something just didn’t feel right. In December, I got final confirmation on everything and the book came out on January 7th. In order to go on with the publication I had to purchase at least ten books myself. The cost: over $125. Now that I have networked with other authors, I realize how overpriced this was.
I contacted everyone known to God and man once my book came out. I was fortunate enough to be featured in local papers, on a local radio show, and spoke to countless people about stocking the book. Still, the book just wasn’t moving. Then I received emails and people telling me that there were mistakes in the book and they’d proof read for me anytime. I was embarrassed, humiliated, and my desire to market the book died. So, by February I was ready to throw my hands up.
I was glad to make community connections, however. So, as I said, there are positives that came out of it. As I trudged along with little to no sales for the book, I felt very responsible. I felt like if I had listened to my gut I wouldn’t have made such a costly mistake. Granted, I wasn’t really out any money, but I wasn’t making anything either. Don’t get me wrong; I write because I love to. I don’t care about being a millionaire. I’m realistic.
Another positive that came out of the publication was I learned to use VistaPrint. I learned how to network. I learned how to promote myself as well as other authors. I learned how to navigate through a website and build one. I learned how to blog and tweet. I felt like I was on a crash course in technology and networking from late December to late February. I was worn out!
I focused on my second title, now known as Idolum: Visions of the Undone. That wasn’t the original name, however. It was simply Undone. I worked on finishing it. I’d started it years before and then just didn’t finish it. It was way past time. So, I sent a blanket status across Facebook asking if anyone knew of any publishers looking for material. I already started sending the manuscript and was already getting rejections letters. I thought, “Here we go again.”
Virginia Jennings, a PDMI author, contacted me and told me a little about PDMI Direct Publishing. After the experience with BookLocker and realizing that I completely jumped the gun, I was going to research my brains out before doing anything with any other POD publisher. And I wanted someone traditional. I didn’t mind sharing royalties because I wanted my books edited and I wanted an attractive cover. So, that’s what I did; I researched. Then I got in touch with them. It was the best decision I ever made and I have no doubt that there was a spiritual component involved.
I talked to the co-owner and presented my idea. I send a copy of the incomplete manuscript for Undone after I was told about their options. I could have gone freelance if I chose to. They were also POD, but explained the difference in the barcode for BL and their barcode. First off, I was shocked to even speak to a person. Everyone else communicated via email. In fact, BL had a voicemail message making it clear they weren’t likely to return my call.
I received a phone call the next day from PDMI and they offered a contract for the title. I talked to Tc about The Fine Line and my experiences with BL. We talked about cost and other formalities associated with my first title. As I talked to Tc I felt peace. I knew that there was a relationship there that was meant to be. I knew I had gotten in touch with the right person/company. I knew that the Creator led me to them and they to me. I even told my husband, “This company is on the edge of something big. All it’s going to take is one author to send them soaring. Or several great authors to send them to the top. I want in on this. The ground floor.”
I got to now Tc and Nessa. They took time to talk to me. To learn about my vision and I theirs. We were certainly on the same page. I immediately paid off the balance with BL. The vision for TFL was born. Idolum was also named and I’d finally found a home for my books.
People ask me now if I’m self publishing again. The answer is “no.” PDMI offered a traditional route for me. They have been so good to me. I respect their opinion and creative vision for all of their authors. They have taught me so much and what’s better, is spiritually, we’re on the same page. We share much of the same beliefs and we agree that our meeting was no accident. They were meant to be a part of my life, my work, my books, and my forever.
PDMI was sent to me straight from the divine. I found an editor for TFL at no charge! Idolum is being edited under their traditional contract conditions, but because I wanted TFL to be under their imprint fast, they agreed to work with me to get it re-released. So here we are. It was officially re-released as of yesterday with a gorgeous cover. It’s been available in ebook form for a few weeks now. They have promoted their hearts out over this book. Idolum should be out by the fall and I’m working on the second installment of TFL. In fact, Nessa came up with the series name: Between Worlds, The Fine Line, Book 1. The second book is Between Worlds, Through Glass Darkly, Book 2. I can keep writing forever and my books will have a place in the world thanks to PDMI.
I guess this isn’t much of a paranormal tell, but I’m telling you that I watched the Creator make the best of a mess. I jumped ahead of the plan by enlisting with BL and then I regretted it. However, as the Creator often does, the pieces were picked up, dusted off, and then the best came strolling down the pike. It’s been like breathing with PDMI. I was always told that if a situation is in the perfect will of the Creator it will be easy and it has been. Terminating with BL rendered no drama. Things have literally fallen into place all because the hand of the Creator moved.
My motto is “Dream big.” I truly believe that. I have wanted to be a published author since the age of sixteen. Once I decided to take a more positive turn in my life, everything changed. I saw things happening and that positive outlook, I believe, had a direct impact on the end results.
So, I want to say “thank you” to all of those who’ve followed this series. I hope you enjoyed the series. If there’s more in the future, more paranormal investigations, more paranormal activity, more paranormal anything, I will share it. Until then, thanks again and don’t let the bumps in the night scare you. The paranormal is not to be feared. It’s to be researched and embraced. Happy haunting everyone!