Monday 21 February 2011

The Fool

I'm taking the leap. Jumping off the cliff and onto the e-revolution bandwagon.

I'm following in the succesful footsteps of Michelle Argyle Davidson and independently publishing my novel.

I've had such good responses to my novel from agents and publishers, both local and international. Why then did I choose to independently publish this story? Because, despite all the praise ringing in my ears, nothing but rejections have came my way.  I became tired of hearing the same refrain (with variations) from publishing professionals, whose choices are understandably governed by their bottom lines.

And so I finally decided to go the independent publishing route. I explored a local  company that provides all services, proofreading, cover design, distribution, printing etc. Their work is of a high quality, but they are expensive. So I've decided to go the e-book route. I've had a professional designer draw up my cover and an external proof-read is in progress.

I don't expect to make money at this point; it's more a "test-the-waters" exercise. If I can sell more than 500 copies in the first 6 months, then I'll consider the expense of print copies.

Why did I finally take this massive step?

I believe in my story. I got fed-up with the long wait periods in the traditional route. The e-book revolution offers an exciting new path to authors.  The reasons go on and on.

The Fool,
from the Rider-Waite tarot
In the Tarot, the first card of the Major Arcana is THE FOOL. A free-spirited (or some might say foolish) young man is about to leap into an unknown abyss. He knows not the difference between possibility and reality, and so believes all things are possible. The Fool archtype (for all the tarot represent collective symbols or archetypes) is innocence; a freedom and a willingness to embrace the unknown.

The Fool can, negatively, also represent the idiot, the harmless madman, who lives outside the limitations of accepted society.

Right now, on my writing journey, I am The Complete Fool. As I leap into the unknown of independent publishing, I move away from the validation and mighty power of traditional publishing society. I do so with my heart as full of fear as it is full of hope, and with the belief - perhaps naive - that anything is possible for my story.

If my book is as good as some professionals say it is, it will sell. If it's not good enough, it won't sell. It's as simple as that. But at least I'll have closure on this writing project that is so dear to my heart.

Watch this space for the release date and more exciting news!


Yvonne Osborne said...

Congragulations on taking a huge step. I, too have thought of the same. I,too, am a complete fool. Closure is necessary. And if this is the only way to achieve closure, then we have to do it. I've told many I would do this before I let the novel so dear to my heart go moldy in a box under the bed. Keep us posted!

Lisa said...

Congratulations Judy. I have not ventured into buying e-books. Do you know of a website that sells and discusses e-books? I used to buy books online at and they had a wonderful forum page that could help you buy what books you want. I have stumbled upon through google, is this the place to go?

Bish Denham said...

Oh JUDY! SQUEEEEEE! Your leap may lead the way. I am SO rooting for you. When the time comes for promotion, let me know.

Claire Robyns said...

Congrats Judy, I look forward to being able to buy this wonderful book. LOL about the fool, but you could also see this as a leap of faith in yourself and, rather than abandoning traditional publishing, as opening alternative doors because no door has been closed on future books.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Oh, Judy, best of luck to you!! I do so love your writing. I hope that you gain a large following.
All the best~

Sophie Playle said...

Sounds like you're being very sensible about it. Best of luck!

lotusgirl said...

Best of luck with publishing the book. I'd love to read it when it's ready, so be sure and let me know when it's out.

Judith Mercado said...

I await eagerly your announcement that the e-book is ready for downloading. Good luck.

Glynis Jolly said...

Bravo! I look forward to any updates you give on the progress of this venture.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Judy, I applaud you for your decision! I KNOW how hard of a decision it is. Trust me. I KNOW. I also want to tell you that one thing I have learned in this industry - indie or traditional - it often does not matter how GOOD a book is, but how WELL you sell it. I have no doubt your book is phenomenal, but nobody will know that if you don't get out there and sell it so people know about it. It's hard. I thought Cinders would have sold 500 copies by now. It hasn't. Some of that is my fault, some of it isn't. However, it has paid off in so many more ways than book sales that I would never, ever even think about regretting my decision. Not once. It has been the single most successful thing I have done in my career - the first step, so to say. I have no doubt yours will be just as successful in many ways, even sales.

I'm always happy to help, too. Let me know if you'd like a review, an interview, etc. :)

Anne R. Allen said...

Congratulations on making the leap. I think good writers are going to be doing this more and more, as traditional publishers spend all their time chasing fads and catering to a younger and younger demographic. (The movie deal is always uppermost in their minds.) So may the literary gods be with you. This is very exciting. I'll be watching this space.

C. N. Nevets said...

Best luck, Judy!

The best part about this?

I can't wait for the chance to read your book! :-D

Damaria Senne said...

Congratulations Judy, on taking the leap. And best of luck.

As a writer who has almost sometimes been on that edge, I can empathise with your reasons for finally taking the leap.

I look forward to reading it. I'm also emailing you a document, which I hope will help with your PR efforts.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

YVONNE: I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels like this! And, yes, closure is so necessary. I can see that I won’t settle into my new stories (and I have three bouncing around in my head, pushing to get written!) until I can draw a line under this one. It’ll be such a relief to say goodbye to this particular novel!

OCEAN GIRL: Thanks! I buy my ebooks from Amazon. Before I had my Kindle (my beloved Kindle!) I had “Amazon’s Kindle for PC” programme which is a free download to your computer. Worst disadvantage of that is it’s not too comfortable reading in bed! At this stage I haven’t bought e-books from many other places, but I think most on-line bookstores are selling ebooks in a variety of formats. The few I’ve bought I’ve chosen .pdf format as I can then transfer them to my Kindle to read at my convenience. Right now, it’s a whole new playground out there, I get overexcited at the thought!!!

BISH: I needed that SQUEEEEEE! Made me feel really good after all the nerves! And I’ll take you up on your kind offer of promotion when it finally comes out! (((HUGS)))

CLAIRE: Yes, in one way it is as much a leap of faith as it is a leap into the unknown! I’m not sure about the door to traditional publishing remaining open – a huge plus to this venture is that I get to choose my title, my cover art and so on…quite an advantage for someone who tries very hard not to be a control freak (but doesn’t always succeed!)and I'll lose that advantage with traditional publishing.

NANCY: Oh dear! Now I’m feeling the pressure. You may hate my writing after this book because it’s not to everyone’s taste. Thanks for the good wishes – much appreciated!

SOPHIE: I’m trying hard to be sensible and realisitic in my expectation! I’m being optimistically pessimistic!

LOIS: Thanks for the wishes. At the moment, the plan is to have it ready for distribution by end March 2011. Still a lot to do though and, as I’m learning as I go along, I’m keeping that date highly flexible. I’ll keep you posted on the journey.

JUDITH: With your interest in faith, I think you may like this book, Judy. Anyway, I hope you will and I’ll keep you up to date on the progress.

GLYNIS: Thanks for the cheers! Helps drown out the inner moans of fear…! (only kidding. Sort of.)

MICHELLE: What can I say? Your progress was inspiring and has helped me form a realistic expectation of this venture. My core goal for taking the leap is to get closure so I can move on with my writing. I’ll consider anything more than that, no matter how small, a bonus (although, of course, I do hope it’ll be the start of a lot of exciting things) I’ll be in touch once the book is up and ready for consumption – your help will be very much appreciated!

ANNE: I do hope the literary gods are listening to you! You make an excellent point – I agree that the e-revolution is going to allow writers whose work doesn’t fit into the marketing trends of traditional publishers to have the opportunity of getting their work out there. It’s a great way to get experience as a writer and to start seeing how readers react to one’s work. And it is exciting – nerve wracking, but exciting!

CN NEVETS: Thanks for the wishes! But, oh dear! The pressure of thinking about real people actually (finally) reading it is creating a “must-have-a-chocolate” moment!

DAMARIA: I’ve been teetering on the edge of independent publishing for about a year now. I think I finally just got tired of hanging there and so finally did it! And thanks so much for your ebook – it’s in my in-box and I’ll be devouring it when the time comes for me to market my book properly (end March/April). I’ll get back to you with those comments once I’ve used it!

Along These Lines ... said...

Happy Presidents’ Pets Day - the day after Presidents' Day, as I like to call it. See my blog for a good ol' howl.

Rebecca A Emrich said...

well done, you have given me hope on that front, I to have decided to take that big step with self-publishing...

Anita said...

I'm so excited for you! Please keep me posted on teh progress!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Judy .. how fantastic - and that leap of faith .. definitely not a fool. Have fun - and I look forward to following you on your journey ..

Happy days .. Hilary

Helen Ginger said...

How exciting! And scary. I'm so looking forward to future posts on the steps you're taking. I feel like I want to know everything. This is definitely more exciting than scary. Congratulations and You Go Girl!

Marilyn Brant said...

Judy, I am SO EXCITED for you!! I think there is a hidden power in committing to taking a big step, and that by making this choice (an informed decision) and by jumping into the unknown (having faith in the uniqueness of our voice), we get rewarded for our daring. I greatly look forward to reading your story!

Frances Garrood said...

I think tht all of us who set out to write are Complete Fools. If we succeed, that's great, but we're still all mad. Every new book or venture is a big risk. If we were sane, why would we choose to do it at all?

Very god luck with the e-book!

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

NICK: Theodorable will be jealous that the President’s Pet has a special day and she doesn’t!

REBECCA: Oh well done! Good luck with your own leap! :)

ANITA: I’ll keep you up-to-date!

HILARY: Thanks so much for the faith – the enthusiasm is making me so excited, I can hardly wait to jump!

HELEN: I’ll be putting my cover up soon – going away for a week, but will put it up on my return!

MARILYN: Oh yes, you’re so right! Once one definitely commits to something (I mean a real commitment, deep in the most secret corners of the heart) hidden powers do kick into being and anything can happen. I’m hoping for an April release date, so not too long to wait!

FRANCES: Welcome! It’s lovely to have you here! And, oh yes, I agree whole-heartedly that all writers are mad creatures! Just sitting down and writing that first word on that first blank page is a daunting risk but, as you say, we chose to do it so how can we be sane???? :)

Robyn Campbell said...

Judy, I am enthralled. I too am a fool. Because I believe that writing is the ONLY thing I can do. I hope to be published someday. Who knows? I might be headed down your path. I'll support you in every way. Christopher too. We love you. :)

Paul Greci said...

Congrats Judy!! I wish you the best of luck in this new phase of your writer-journey!! :-)

CA Heaven said...

Yes, why not try the e-book way. I wish you good luck, and I hope your book sells like ice cream in Hell >:)

Cold As Heaven

Rebecca A Emrich said...

thanks jusy, it is a challenge isn't it? but it is a fun challenge

Stephanie Faris said...

That's awesome! I've heard stories of people who went that route and made good money doing it. Sometimes in life we have to take a chance and go for it. Let us know when it's available.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

I’m back from holiday! Did you miss me? From all the unanswered comments I can see that I’ve been a way too long.

ROBYN: An excellent observation. That was in part why I made this leap. I’m so tired of struggling with the obstacles to traditional publishing and my choice was give up writing or self-publish. When I asked myself what else I would do with my life if I gave up writing, the answer was zip, zilch, de nada, nothing and niks! All I can do and all I want to do is write. So here I am. On a new, exciting writing path! Love to you and Christopher too! ((((Hugs)))

PAUL: Thanks so much! Hope your writing is going well!

COLD: That’s what I thought. Why not? I hope my e-book sells like ice-cream in hell too (but, in all honesty, I don’t think you should read it!)

REBECCA: Very much a fun challenge!

STEPHANIE: I’m realistic enough to realise that I don’t think I’ll make oodels of money with this book, but I’ll be happy to get some readers who like my voice and start building a fan base. If I don’t start somewhere, I won’t get anywhere and sometimes chances pay off! Release date looks like early May, but I will keep the blog updated once I have a definite release date from the professional e-book designer I’m using.

Susan Oloier said...

You are so brave! And I write that with the utmost respect. I so want to take the leap you are taking, but am too afraid right now. Congrats to you!!!! I hope you sell more book than you ever imagined!

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

SUSAN: It's been a roller coaster ride, but I'm very glad I've done it. I've learnt so much about the publishing game and about myself as both a writer and a person. I've realised I do have the personality to be an indie author, but also that it's not a route everyone will be happy with, so think carefully before you make the leap. If this is the path for will take the leap when you're ready! Good Luck and let us know what you decided to do! :)