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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am posting this in hopes that if anyone is ever feeling down about their work, or life in general, that maybe my story will inspire them. I started out in 2005 with Penguin. They put nine of my mysteries out. All of the books have had multiple printings. I took a second mortgage on my home (stupidly) and put all of it into marketing my books. You can imagine how that worked out for my family and me. I sold our home of eleven years a few months ago and moved into a new home, which has actually turned out better for us in many ways. I sponsored contests that included a B&B spa weekend in Napa Valley. I signed books at umpteenth book stores where at the most I think I signed two dozen books. I got a publicist. I did everything that I thought was right in getting books out there. I was on 4-6 month deadlines, churning out books at a rapid clip that combined with all of the marketing and raising three children nearly sent me over the edge. There were a lot of personal painful issues as well during the past few years, along with really trying to succeed as an author. I lost my ex-husband who was still a friend and parent to my sons to suicide (if anyone is ever facing suicide with a family member, I wrote an article for the NY Times that may help http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/04/a-fathers-suicide/), I lost my best friend to cancer, and am now the primary caregiver for my dad who has Parkinsons. I nearly gave up my writing all together when Penguin decided to not publish the 10th book. I really had reached a rock bottom place and found myself pretty depressed. I kept that hidden from everyone because people know me as "the happy nice girl," but being a successful writer had always been my dream since I was nine-years-old, and I felt that I not only had failed at that (even though books sold), but that I had also jeopardized my family's financial stability based on this dream. I went back to a day job with my family's business in hopes of paying back the debt I had accrued by risking everything on my writing career. Then, I found Konrath's blog. I also read what others were saying about e-publishing. I followed their advice. I had already gotten back rights on 3 of my mysteries. I also had three books I had written from the past that had never been published, but they are thrillers, so I chose a pen name from my kids' names never realizing at first the symbolism in the name: A.K. Alexander. I took those 3 books and had them edited and had good covers done. I took the three mysteries and had new covers done and looked at reviews on the books from when penguin put them out, making tweaks where the past reviews said there was a flaw in the book. I put them on Kindle and nothing much happened. I sold maybe a half a dozen for a few months, then a little more, and finally about 300 on average a month at the .99 cent price.

Then something happened this past month. My thriller "Daddy's Home" started climbing the U.K. charts It climbed steadily each day and hit #1 thriller, #1 romantic suspense, #1 psychological drama, and finally # 1 in paid Kindle sales! I am selling 1000 of those books a day right now! I raised my price to the $2.99 price point wondering if sales would change at all. They did not. The book has been on the top 10 Kindle Paid sales for a month now. My other thriller "Mommy, May I?" is now in the top 10 and selling as many books as "Daddy's Home." My third book is just beginning to catch on ("The Cartel") and averaging 100 a day. It is my favorite book of all of the books that I have ever written, so my fingers crossed it takes off like the other two. Oddly enough, I am not seeing much change in my US sales. On average those are still about 300 a month in total for the 6 books that I have up. I am currently finishing the next thriller and have outlined three more. I am also writing a new mystery. I feel good again. I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I remembered how good it feels to write a book and discover readers enjoy it. I have just made more in a month than any advance that I have ever received from Penguin.
I guess my point is, keep at it, even when it seems like everything is a bit dark and it all kind of sucks. Just keep writing. As writers, it's what we do best and it's what makes us happy. Do it because you love it and you want readers to find joy in it. It only took me twenty years to get to this point. Who knew it would be due to e-books? I certainly didn't.
 

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That is great news! I am so happy that things ended up going so well after years of trials and tribulations!
I hope you have many more successful months and years to come!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank You. I hope I am. There are plenty of readers out there and there is a lot of room in this space for us to all be writing books for them.  :)
 

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Hi Michele,

What a wonderful post! I actually have tears in my eyes writing this because your story is so very inspirational. Thank you for opening yourself up like that to make the rest of us feel better. May your success keep growing, as it is obviously well deserved.

~Heidi
 

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Awesome post, thank you! I will publishing my first book soon and this was very inspiring. I'm so glad things are going well for you, hopefully the trend continues long into the future!
 

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An inspirational post.  I'm happy for you, nothing
succeeds like persistence and you've got it.  Congratulations
and may your sales continue to do well.
 

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Thank you for sharing your story.  I do think that there is room for success for many, many people in indie publishing and it's wonderful that it's happening for you!
 

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Thank you so much for sharing that inspirational story.  I'm so happy for you.  I'm hearing that Wizard of Oz song in my head now.  The one where they come out of the forest. :)  We're out of the woods, we're out of the dark..etc.  :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank You to everyone who posted here tonight. I have always felt it is important to give back and it is my hope to give back to people who are as passionate as I am about writing. We all have a story to tell on a personal level, and we all have many other great stories to tell. This is a magical and wonderful time to be a writer. Indie pubbing scared me at first, but once I gave into the changes, good things have happened in my career.

I appreciate the kudos and support.

Cheers,
Michele
 

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That's an inspirational story Michele, wishing you continued success.

BTW, I one clicked Daddy's Home yesterday, looking forward to reading it. ;)
 
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