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Self-Publishing: With a Little Help From My Friends

Good morning! It’s cloudy out with the promise of rain, but it’s warm, and I’ll not complain. I spent several hours working on my flower beds yesterday, so my aching back and wrists are grateful for a day off. Winter was long this year and everything is slow growing, which makes it hard to decide how many bedding plants are needed, but it’s great to be outdoors again. We had six months of winter. I doubt we’ll have six months of summer, but whatever Mother Nature provides will be welcome. 

Some of you know I’ve lost two publishers this year, Entranced and Front Porch Romance. With the loss of a publisher, there’s also the loss of part of the dream. When a publisher closes its doors, books yet to be released no longer have a home, and books previously released are no longer available, even though you may still see them for sale by third parties on Amazon at absolutely ridiculous prices. The Captain’s Promise, for example, is selling at $45.76 for a paperback. No one would be silly enough to pay that, although it is a great book if I do say so myself. 

What’s an author to do when their publishers go belly-up for whatever reason, and they see their hopes crash and burn? They can give up, as I was tempted to do, or they can try to find their book or books new homes. Books that have never been published can be sent to other publishers, and I’m trying that, although I’m very selective about who I send to–one burned, twice shy; twice burned, well… As far as the previously published books go, that’s a different matter. While some publishers might reissue them, most publishers don’t like to do so. That leaves self-publishing. 

Self-publishing puts it all on the author–the manuscript itself, the edits, the proofreading, the formatting, and of course, the cover. Do you publish through Createspace and Amazon? Smashwords? Do you convert your books for ARe? Are you computer savvy enough to do it yourself, or do you pay someone to do it for you? Do you have friends who will help you out of the morass? Thankfully, I do. 

Christy Newton, a former FPR author, bit the bullet and re-released her books with Amazon and other e-book distributors.  

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I’ll be counting on her expertise and that of computer guru, author Meredith Daniels for their help in formatting. I’ve been blessed to have such good friends, friends I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for taking the plunge to become an author in the first place. 

ImageFor the cover, I’ve turned to my Romanian friend,  Melinda De Ross  who designs reasonablyImage priced book covers for Classy Designs. Melinda and I met as FPR authors, and we’ve kept the relationship going despite the thousands of miles separating her country from mine. She’s agreed to give The Captain’s Promise a new face, so with her help and that of the others, watch for it’s rebirth in early June.  Like Christy and Meredith, Melinda is  an accomplished author and poet. Her own books, for which she designs the beautiful covers shown, are available from Amazon. 

So, with the promise of summer in the air, a group of lavely author friends who will help me promote my work, the future is beginning to look bright once more, despite the early spring sadness of losing publishers and having to retire books.  I’m feeling hopeful that the future for Susanne Matthews, author is bright and rosy. I have not given up on traditional publishers, not by a long shot. I still have two publishers carrying my work. Crimson Romance which has Fire Angel, In Plain Sight, and Just for the Weekend, all three currently available where ebooks are sold, and Secret Cravings, which will release Echoes of the Past in July. 

And, don’t forget, if you’re looking for someway to fill an hour,  Sweet Cravings has published Grand Slam, by Misty Matthews, a novelette available wherever e-books are sold.

I’ve got my fingers crossed that the other two manuscripts currently with editors will find a home too. I’ll be sending off another manuscript with the hope it will sell later today, but  if not, well, I’m just getting into self-publishing… 





Finally retired after more than 30 years as a teacher! Now, I get to spend my time gardening, enjoying my grandchildren, and writing. I finally completed the number one item in my bucket list and Crimson Romance published my first novel, Fire Angel, in April 2013. Since then I have published 24 manuscripts to date and don't plan to quit writing for a long time yet.

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