Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Self-publishing Changes

January 24th, 2014 • by Karen A. Chase • 4 Comments


Today I’m on my way to give a seminar on self-publishing at the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. I gave a similar talk last June to a smaller group, but the publishing world is in constant change, so I’m scrambling to gather new information.

I do know that self-published authors are now also called Indie Publishers or Author-publishers. Only about 32% of Indie authors were rejected by traditional publishers, and now even authors like Jackie Collins have self-published e-books. Authors who self-publish and traditionally publish are called Hybrid Authors. Hybrids are the most successful, earning four times as much as the self-published.

There used to be six big publishers, now there are five. Self-published used to mean doing it all, but now there are middle-men companies, like Booktrope and AuthorHouse. With them, authors  retain copyrights but have help with professional editing, design and book packaging. Even PR groups like Smith Publicity, provide self-published book promotion options.

Once considered lame, self-published is now considered cool. We’re like Indie film-makers. While publishers mass-produce books their distributors want to sell, we create what readers want to buy and read. More of us are paying for professional editors and book covers now, too.

What hasn’t changed is very simple. Those authors (self or otherwise) who earn the most spend more of their time writing.  They spend almost 70% more time writing, write 1/3 more, and do the least amount of marketing. They write books for readers. They don’t sell to them.

How has self-publishing changed for you?

Winter’s Eve: The Last Gift

December 20th, 2013 • by Karen A. Chase • No Comments

Below is the last chapter of Winter’s Eve–a six part holiday story.
If you have missed previous pieces:
The First Gift ~ The Second Gift ~ The Third Gift ~ The Fourth Gift ~ The Fifth Gift



It was the night before Christmas. My sniffles had receded, but my worry had deepened. Morning would bring my granddaughter one tiny doll; something to hold, but not enough to replace all she’d lost. She sat with me as I made our hot cocoa.

“Where’s the cinnamon?” I asked. A knock at our door interrupted her reply.

When I opened it, Charley bounded in. Doc Blue came holding Miss Paige’s hand and a book. Then came Mrs. Mittens carrying scarves. Miss Rose brought colorful bows. Mr. Crumb presented a cinnamon spice pie. “Thank you for bringing us together,” he said. They all looked past me to my granddaughter.

“It was you?” I saw her anew. Despite having lost the most, she had thoughtfully saved coal for weeks, ribbon for months, shared cinnamon and a story.

She nodded, “I thought it was better for all to be warm than some too hot, or too cold… Not everything cherished comes wrapped in ribbon… The green in our hands can be woven for others… Friends add spice… Books provide great adventures… Better to love another than a fairy tale.”

All night we rejoiced together, feasting and reading by the fire. Our home, once again full. As she nodded off in my lap, my granddaughter whispered, “A family isn’t given, Grandpapa. It comes from giving.”

Happy Holidays.
Wish granted.

…And so it was we all received the last gift. On this magical Christmas night, in our mountaintop village, Winter. From my granddaughter. Eve.


. . . . . .  The End . . . . . .

Happy Holidays to you all.
See you again in the New Year.


Winter’s Eve: The Fifth Gift

December 13th, 2013 • by Karen A. Chase • No Comments

Below is an installment of Winter’s Eve–a six part holiday story.
If you have missed previous pieces:
The First Gift  ~  The Second Gift  ~  The Third Gift  ~  The Fourth Gift



Miss Paige told me later that when Doc Blue and Charley came to the library, the stacks were silent “like always.” Readers often came and went with joyous tales, but books and bindings couldn’t provide what she wished for. Love. Shelves held a thousand romances with handsome princes, but honestly she hoped for just one Mr. Knightly.

One afternoon, she had been moving a towering stack of books, when her life changed. “Hello?” rang a lonely voice with the bell.

“Coming,” said Miss Paige, the volumes in her arms hiding her visitor from sight. As she peered around the pile, it wavered and tumbled to the floor. She bent to retrieve the books, and knocked her head against something just as solid. Through spinning stars, she saw him.

Illuminated. That was how she described her first sight of Doc Blue, rubbing his own head. Charley bounded between them. Miss Paige blushed as the two of them gathered the books. Their fingers grazed and the connection was energizing. Enchanting. They could not let go.

At last, Doc Blue showed her the book. “Was it you who gave me this gift, Miss Paige? Or is ‘vanity working on a weak mind?’” He quoted from Jane Austen, and gave her the typewritten card.

Happy Holidays.
Wish granted.

She gasped. “It’s you? You’re my gift.”

“Me?” Doc Blue hoped, but then he wondered, “But if my gift wasn’t from you…”

“…who requested the book?”

Miss Paige knew. Soon, all of Winter knew, too…