MaryLu Tyndall joins us today as part of the Excellence in Indie Publishing MEGA Giveaway going on this week to talk about her indie publishing journey.
My Incredible, Wonderful, Indie Journey!
Conferences, book-signings, contracts, oh my! The beginning of my publishing journey was quite exciting. I remember the day I got the call from my agent that a well-known publisher (Barbour) was offering me a contract for, not just one, but three books. I ran into my backyard, stared up into heaven, and shouted my praises to God. (The neighbors already think I’m weird) My impossible dream had become a possibility with God. Eleven books later, I was on a roll. My sales were fairly good and I loved what I was doing. Barbour was very good to me. But the market changed, things got tighter, contracts didn’t flow as easily, some publishers shut down or joined others, and suddenly I found myself without a book contract. The problem was, I still had lots of books inside me longing to get out. So, I prayed, I sought God’s will, and I kept writing.
At first it was a huge learning curve for me. When I was with Barbour, I had an entire company helping to produce and market my book. Suddenly I was alone and having to learn how to hire a good editor, format a book for both digital and print, create a cover, get an ISBN number, copyrights, marketing…etc. It’s amazing how much a publisher does! But step by step, piece by piece, I learned and I wrote, and I finally published my very first Indie novel, The Ransom. Since that time, I’ve published six more books and a devotional, and I’m having the time of my life.
Yes, there have been struggles. My biggest struggle is marketing. I’m NOT a sales person. My mind doesn’t think like a sales person. Though I’ve tried various marketing schemes, nothing seems to dramatically increase my sales. A publisher has the money and contacts to advertise in national magazines and online sites. They also can get professional reviews for a book and get that book into physical bookstores. As an independent author, I don’t have the ability to do any of that, so that leaves me with the frustrating task of trying to let people know about my book amid a host of other authors’ books! So far, by the grace of God, my books are still selling.
The best thing about being an Indie is that I can write what I want, when I want, how I want, and release it whenever I want. I can choose my own cover and editor (Yes, most publishers may let you have a say, but the cover and editor are their choice) Also, many people don’t realize that publishers often dictate what type of books authors write. In other words, if I had wanted to continue with Barbour, I could have written a western-style or Amish romance and submitted it to them. They weren’t looking for anything else.
It’s truly a wonderful sense of freedom to be in control of my own writing. Yet at the same time, I have to treat it as if I was running my own company. I have to be disciplined and work hard and be willing to learn new things. Some authors may not be up to that challenge. They may prefer just to write and have a publisher handle everything else. I get that. It’s a very sweet deal. But there’s always a price to pay. You give up your rights to your book, your choice in cover, price, editor, and most of the profits.
For me, making the choice to Indie publish was a no-brainer. My books are not your typical Christian Fiction and definitely not what the Christian market was looking for. So, this was a way to get all the stories God gave me out into the hands of readers who would enjoy them. In a book market that seems to be growing narrower every day, it’s great that authors finally have a choice.
Award-winning author MaryLu Tyndall dreamt of pirates and sea-faring adventures during her childhood days on Florida’s Coast. With more than seventeen books published, she makes no excuses for the spiritual themes embedded within her romantic adventures. Her hope is that readers will not only be entertained but will be brought closer to the Creator who loves them beyond measure. In a culture that accepts the occult, wizards, zombies, and vampires without batting an eye, MaryLu hopes to show the awesome present and powerful acts of God in a dying world. A Christy award nominee and Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award winner, MaryLu makes her home with her husband, six children, two grandchildren and several stray cats on the California coast.
As part of the Historical Fiction Excellence in Indie Publishing giveaway, you can win a prize pack of books, including The Ransom (2015 RWA Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award Winner) by MaryLu Tyndall
Can a woman run a business and provide for a family in Jamaica in1692? Juliana Dutton intends to find out. With an ailing father and a wastrel for a brother, she has no choice. But she must keep her activities a secret or face destitution. When a nosey suitor threatens everything, she spurns him and instead becomes engaged to the town idiot, Lord Munthrope. But is he an idiot? The more her problems push her closer to the man, the more she realizes he is not who he seems.
Alexander Hyde, the Pirate Earl, is the most feared pirate in the Caribbean—feared, successful, wealthy, handsome, and bored, so terribly bored. When an unexpected event allows him to get close to Juliana, a woman he has loved from afar for years, he takes it. But leading a double life causes more problems than it’s worth. A restless crew and a long-time enemy out to capture and hang Alex, put Juliana in grave danger.
As tremors rock the city of Port Royal, Juliana’s faith in God is equally shaken. Not only have things gotten worse, but she is confused by her feelings for both Munthrope and the Pirate Earl. Deception, intrigue, mutiny, death, betrayal, all attempt to tear the lovers apart. But the final blow comes when a massive earthquake strikes the city and threatens to sink it into the sea.
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