out of the ashes

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Guest Blog Appearance

The world is a big place. The reading public is vast. I've been crazy curious lately about how others in the indie market are doing. Their experiences, successes and failures, dreams and dashings of hope.

I invited Nadine Hays Pisani to visit my blog and tell you about her particular, phenomenal success. Congratulations, Nadine...take it away.

Never, Never, Never Give In
I repeated Winston Churchill’s speech after each rejection I received from a publisher. Sometimes I screamed it; sometimes I softly repeated it under my breath. But I said it, again and again…because I knew they were wrong.
Deciding to put your work out there, without the guidance of a publisher is daunting. Just learning how to convert your Word file to an e-format (which inevitably transforms the manuscript into Egyptian hieroglyphics) can send one cowering in a dark closet. But this is when one must dig deep, and this is where I repeated Churchill’s speech over and over again in my head.
When I released Happier Than A Billionaire: Quitting My Job, Moving to Costa Rica, & Living the Zero Hour Work Week, I was happy if I sold a few a month. I wanted someone to read my work, laugh at it, and make someone’s commute on the subway a little lighter. Technology had made it possible for me to get my work out so why wouldn’t I want to try this avenue? It seemed ridiculous that I should follow a publishing model that was slowly becoming obsolete. Either I was going to be ahead of the curve, or fall behind. So I took the leap and uploaded it to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.
After a couple months, I realized I was selling a lot. It was nice, but still had no expectations of anything more than that. Then CNN called (okay, they emailed me, but for dramatic purposes pretend I have a receiver to my ear). A reporter loved the book, and wanted to profile me on CNN.com.
Yes…it happened. I know because I quickly collapsed on my bed and started to dry heave. Apparently, I respond to good news like one does after a night of Jagermeister shots.
After that article, my book shot up to number one in three Amazon categories. It was a dizzying time for me, since I was never number one in anything. It seemed as if overnight I became a writer, something I was sure I was all along. The people decided it, not a literary agent overloaded with 300 query letters in their inbox.
However, there were bumps in the road. I had to take down the book and hire an editor to proofread it. No matter how many times you read your manuscript, or have your friends look for errors, nothing replaces a professional. Trust me on this. I ignored this advice and felt horrible that I sold copies that were not given the 100% attention it deserved.
I often wonder if I bought into the old model and waited for a publisher to decide whether I was worthy. It’s a good thing I didn’t and it’s a good thing I never gave in. I’m already working on my second book, this time with links to pictures and videos.
Technology opened a door for me, and I walked through it. It’s pretty good on the other side, perhaps you should join me.
Nadine was born in Elizabeth New Jersey and attended Rutgers University. She lives in Costa Rica with her husband and dog, Clementine. When not writing, you can find her at the beach, on the back of a scooter, or frantically tossing scorpions out of her bed. She shares her weekly adventures on her blog: www.happierthanabillionaire.com


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