Thank you, Samantha, for inviting me to guest post on your Blog today. I really
appreciate the offer and am very excited to share a bit about my self-publishing
journey…and my two cents about the whole kit ’n’ caboodle! And thank you, readers,
for stopping by today. Welcome! Grab a cup of coffee or tea and please enjoy!
It was just last December when I decided to take a deep breath and try my hand
at this whole self-publishing thing. I’d read the success stories of Amanda Hocking.
(And had a few sugar-plumb-fairy-like dreams about that kind of story happening to
me.) I’d read stories of how indie authors like Scott Nicholson and Zoe Winters and
J.A. Konrath—among many—were actually making a living wage writing and self-
publishing their work. Full time, self-pubbed authors!
With a lifelong dream to be a paid and published author some day, and with a
bunch of plots, short stories, poems, even some novellas and full length novels on
my various discs and in scads of notebooks I’ve collected over the years, I decided
I’d give this indie thing a shot one snowy day in my home office in Berlin, Germany.
Why not share some of the words…the stories…that I hold dear with someone else?
And, why not package them neatly, polish them up, and get a nice shiny cover with
an interesting back cover synopsis, and put them up on Amazon? Just like Amanda.
Throw up a price tag that’s less than a Starbucks cup ‘o Jo and see what happens.
My first book, a personal travelogue entitled Bumped to Berlin, was the product of
my 100% going-at-this-solo indie author stint. I knew next to nothing (alright; I knew
nothing) about the self-publishing industry. I figured out via Google and Scrivener
(the writing software that I swear by) just how to format an ebook (cried over this for
about a day), and even a trade paperback (and cried over this for about a week), and
decided to see what would happen if I just put my work out there for the world to do
whatever it wanted with it. 100% written, edited, and proofread by moi. (And I cried
over that scary endeavor, too!)
I’d written the meat of Bumped to Berlin in a journal-like manner that summer,
cataloging my experiences over the previous year of life as an American expat in
Berlin. Come Christmas time, I thought I’d put it into a travelogue form and see if
anyone wanted to read and buy it as a book. I had written the stories. People were
asking about how I liked my big move from the States to Germany. I even had a blog
going about my adventures. Why not put these snippets of every day life into a ‘book
format’ and see what happens?
I put my heart (not to mention a large chunk of my personal life) out there and
was surprised to find that I had actually found some interested readers. And a
few extra bucks, too! I figured why not try this again, and again, and try to make a
living doing what I love to do. No harm no foul. So, off I went to write another book.
Bumped was the kickstart I needed for becoming a self-pubbed lady.
Now I’ve been a consumer of chick lit, modern romances, and anything with a
soap opera touch or a highly dramatic flair for as long as I can remember. I love
reading chick lit and boy do I love writing it. When I was working on my Masters in
English Literature at The University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, I had no problem proudly
stating to my class that my goal in life as an English Lit major was to either A)
become a full time staff writer for All My Children in New York, B) head to Berlin to
become a full time staff writer for a German soap opera…perhaps Rote Rosen or
Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten… or C) become a chick lit author.
Needless to say I was alone in the room with my writing ambitions; surrounded
by James Joyce enthusiasts, Fitzgerald wannabes, and even Austen worshippers
who looked down on this “chick lit” business. (Seriously, were they really Jane
Austen worshippers?) Yup, I was alone, and I’ll admit I felt a tiny bit inferior to the
other students as my career goals had nothing to do with obtaining a doctorate or
publishing a 900 page dissertation about hidden meanings behind allegorical swords
as penises in contemporary British literature. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with
their ambitions. I respect the field and the various paths people take. And there’s
also absolutely nothing wrong with my ambitions. I simply wanted to take a different
path from the rest of my comrades.
Don’t get me wrong; I can enjoy a good “is the sword really phallic or is it just a
deadly weapon?” conversation. And I’ve used many-a-fabulous dissertations from
former English Lit students to help me finish those essays and term papers back in
grad school. But I just had my heart set on writing modern day romances, stories
of drama, creating characters with dramatic personalities and equally dramatic life
experiences. I want to write heartfelt and fun-and-fancy-free books by women, for
women…and even for men who may fancy themselves a good ‘ol chick lit! (Welcome
to the club, boys!)
I’ve had the dream of being an author for a long while, and a fervent passion for
writing, for telling stories, and for chick lit; self-publishing opened the door for me to
make a go at it! So a couple months after I had released Bumped to Berlin I decided to sit down and crank out a story of six girlfriends that I’ve had cooking in my mind for awhile
(the story has been cooking, not the girlfriends…). It was time to finally bring these
girls to life and let them lead their quirky lives on the page—digital or paperback.
This May I self-published my second work, When Girlfriends Break Hearts. It’s
got chick lit written all over it—the cover, the title, and, of course, the content. (The
book’s info is at the end of this post in case you want to scroll down quickly and find
out what this juicy chick lit is about.)
I’m very pleased with the first installment in my When Girlfriends… series and am
hard at work on its sequel right now, which I anticipate will be released early autumn.
(It’s going to be juicy-good…oh I can’t wait to share it!) I’d like to think I’ve come some way since I self-pubbed my first book, and I am excited to see where my new chick lit series will take me in this new e-reading world.
Since Bumped to Berlin I have read many how-to books, articles, and blog posts on
editing, proofreading, self-publishing, formatting, and even living the indie author life
(like how to come to terms with zero sales…or a zillion sales…and keep on writing).
I’ve put together a fabulous beta reading team, have a great editor now, and have
made some awesome connections with fellow writers and readers, just like Sam! All
who are inspirations and great cheerleaders. The self-publishing indie journey: it rocks. It rocks my socks off!
Had you asked me just a year ago if I thought anyone who wasn’t a family
member or a Facebook friend would buy one of my books I would have laughed and
laughed and laughed. Would I have believed that I’d meet some incredible readers
and writers and even fans of my books? Seriously, still laughing. I am so very
grateful to everyone and everything that makes this ability to self-publish possible
and am super excited to see where the path goes from here.
Readers, keep on reading and thank you for the support! Writers, keep on writing
(and reading—I firmly believe we ought to read just as much as we write in order to
better our craft).
Thanks again for this posting opp, Sam! Looking forward to seeing you on my
Blog for a special Meet the Author: Q&A Time tomorrow (July 10th)!
When Girlfriends Break Hearts
by Savannah Page
Then a series of events start to turn Sophie’s perfectly ordered world upside down.
After three years, her boyfriend suddenly decides to call it quits. Her close camaraderie of girlfriends is starting to fall apart. Secrets are exposed. And when she thinks things couldn’t get any worse, Sophie learns that one of her friends is fighting a devastating battle.
Now living with her best friend Claire, Sophie struggles with learning to forgive or forget those who break hearts, while trying to accept that there are some situations she cannot control. But is there still a light at the end of the tunnel? Can a girl find the “good” in the “bad”?
This is a heartfelt story about what happens when friendships take different paths and when life doesn’t exactly go according to plan. It’s a story about betrayal, forgiveness, acceptance, and letting go. About what happens when girlfriends break hearts.
Buy WHEN GIRLFRIENDS BREAK HEARTS in both paperback and ebook at