Author Connie Suttle

Author Connie Suttle:
Urban Fantasy/ Young Adult

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Writer* Writes

I published Blood Wager (according to Amazon) on June 27, 2011. Since then, I've published 24 more books. That's 25 books in 29 months. I'm working on #26, #27 and #28 now, with several others just waiting for me to do something about them.
Yes, Blood Finale is getting the lion's share of attention.
What I'm writing about today deals with publishing, though.
I self-publish. Most of the people who will read this blog know that already. For those of you who haven't gone back to read the early blogs, however, I'll say this: I didn't always intend to be a writer. It was a fantasy I considered from time to time, and I even wrote a few things down through the years. I never really intended to publish them.
Really.
I always was a reader, though. I loved stories. I still do.
How and when did I start writing, then?
I started writing seriously in 2007, when my husband almost died. I sat in his hospital room in ICU and handwrote a story that had been floating through my mind for several years. No, you haven't read that story yet. Hope and Vengeance (book #28), will appear early next year if all goes according to plan.
That's when I became addicted to writing. In a hospital room in 2007. At first, it was just an escape—from the fear of what I faced at that time. After all, I'd been told by doctors that my husband might not live.
I worried that he'd die.
I worried that he'd never be the same.
I worried about the bills and a multitude of other things that tend to rear their ugly head in the midst of trouble.
If you think I'm kidding, consider this—imagine that you're there with me, after a doctor tells me that my husband is bleeding internally and if they have to do surgery to make repairs, he'll die. No chance of survival—he'll die.
Then comes one of the worst ice storms the area has seen in years, and you find yourself having to find an electrician because the weight of the ice on the power lines outside one of our rent houses has caused the electric meter to pull away from the house, resulting in an emergency for everybody involved. I was looking for an electrician to fix it while people were pretty much expecting my husband to die.
Yes, I kept writing.
Because I couldn't sleep—even after my husband came home, went through therapy and eventually went back to work. As a result of getting maybe three or four hours of sleep a night, I wrote A LOT.
Several writers have said in the past (some in the present) that you have to write a million words before writing anything worthwhile.
I wrote my million words.
Actually, I wrote more than that (12+ books) before I decided that the next one I wrote (Blood Wager) was good enough (by my standards) to publish. That was in 2011.
Since then, I've read a truckload of stuff on publishing, mostly on the self or indie variety.
If you've paid any attention to the publishing industry, you've probably read some of the same stuff.
A lot of people—including those who have self-published some of their work, often get on a soapbox and announce that most (if not all) self-published books are CRAP.
Thatit'stooeasytohitthepublishbuttonanduploadstuffthatnobodyshouldeverhavetoseebecauseit'slikewatchingsexormurderorpoodleabuseinpublic.
Indie authors are often viewed as being at the same level of appreciation as ax murderers. That we're just not smart enough—or good enough—to get published by traditional means. Therefore, anything we publish must be CRAP.
Oh, and did I say that indie authors aren't REAL authors? I've read that, too. That we're not real, bona fide authors. The most we can claim (and it may be a stretch) is that we're writers.
Maybe we ought to start putting an asterisk next to the word writer* when we describe ourselves. Sort of like in baseball, when they're trying to indicate that a record may have been affected by performance-enhancing drugs or something.
June 27, 2011
Since then, I've published 25 books.
Sold more than 250,000 of them.
And I'm not an author.
No agent has ever contacted me.
For the past two years, I've paid more in taxes than I used to make at Borders in an entire year as a manager (see previous statement).
So many people think I (and other indie writers*) will just throw up our hands and quit writing. Some of us may.
I don't intend to.
Writing is in my blood, now. I am infected and it's likely to be a terminal disease. That means (for those of you who might worry about things like that) that as long as I have a brain and hands that work, I'll be writing.
Nobody may read it after a while, but that doesn't mean the disease will go away.
I have too many things to write before I die.

I'm just sorry I didn't get started on it sooner.

43 comments:

  1. To hell with all the nae Sayers just keep doing you and moving forward and waving at the haters as u go by

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  2. You are an amazing writer and I have read literally thousands of books and you will always be in my top 5 favorite writers. Your writing is clear, concise, and eventful, leading ever on to the next crazy event in the worlds you write of. Keep on keeping on lady and I will keep on reading.

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    1. thank you--that means more to me than I can say :)

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  3. Love this post. :) And by my estimation with so many people calling you their favorite author, you MUST be real. :) I know you are mine!

    Keep the love. Ignore the haters, they're just jealous.

    One of the things that I appreciate most about your writing is that you're not lazy--you don't ignore the details like editing and grammar. ;-) You're as real as it gets. :)

    Elizabeth from Indiana!

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    1. Thank you so much! We really need to go for ice cream again sometime :)

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  4. Wow, I beg you to listen to your fans...you are a wonderful author. I love how creative your mind is. Your stories are awesome! I have read almost every book you have on Amazon. From the very first book of yours I read I have been hooked. Thank you for being an author.

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    1. The most wonderful news any author can hear is that someone enjoys their work. Thank you so much for that :)

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  5. Good post. You can't please everyone, and the folks that look down on independent publishing are generally people I would not want to associate with anyway. They tend to be intellectual snobs and general elitists.

    If you are a conservative and a sci fi writer, (and I know you are not, Connie :) ) my understanding is that there is only one publisher that you can get a call back from. For them, independent publishing is a real alternative.

    Hang in there. As long as you push the publish button, I will keep reading. :)

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    1. Thank you. You know how much I appreciate your support!

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  6. The first couple of your books (Blood wager was my first) I was really upset at your writing and how you depicted your characters. I thought they were so depressing! But I was hooked! It is a testament to your writing skills that I identified with your characters so much that to me they were real. Your writing let me feel like I really knew these people. I have read everything you have done since and am sitting here now biting my nails waiting on the next fix. I have read many books in the last couple of years, I actually have over 2 thousand on my tablet. But yours I read over and over again. I have actually gone back and reread each book in the series just before each new one is published I enjoy then that much. So you let the snobs and others flap their lips and don't pay them any attention. You keep writing and I will certainly keep reading. We deal with our mutual addiction to your stories together!

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    1. Wow--thank you. I will definitely keep writing!

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  7. I loved this. Thank you. From one who knew you when. -- George.

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    1. Thanks, George! Hope all is well with you and yours. Would love to catch up with you sometime :)

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  8. I have read and loved your books since Blood Wager and intend to read anything you write in the future. Remember, there are always people saying you can't do something standing in the way of those who are doing that something! Just brush all the pessimistic critics out of the way keep on writing! Your fans love you!!

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    1. Thank you so much. I think about you often and hope you're doing well. I'll be writing--never fear--for as long as I can :)

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  9. Connie,
    you know what I think on this. You are an incredible writer but an even more incredible woman. Not only are you a great Author but you are also an inspiration to others. If not for you I would have never written Dianthe Rising. I wish I could keep up with your pace.. but then I stop myself and say... Its like Connie said, I have three young kids, she dosent. For you to take the time out of your crazy hectic life... and I've seen how hectic it is, to spend time with fans and help your friends. well Lady that is just amazing. You are the definition of AWESOME! I dare anyone to tell me you are not an author.. i will take every one of the print books i own and shove them down their throats.. (I may be asking you for more signed copies though!)
    Love you
    Brandy

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    1. I will be happy to send more books, lol! Thank you for the support you've always given me--that means more than I can say :)

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  10. Well, whenever anyone asks who my favourite Author is i find your name popping out of my mouth....So, I'm fairly sure that makes you an Author.

    And usually the ones making these kind of claims are the ones who lack talent to call themselves Authors so choose the life of a critic instead.

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    1. Word of mouth is the best endorsement any author can get. I can't tell you how much it means when someone tells me they've recommended me to others. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for that!

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  11. I've found that your books are a whole lot better than some of them so called real authors. It seems like some of the series I've read that are published have a lot of filler books were the other has to get a book out but there isn't a plot to the story at all and I hate that, if I'm going to spend sometimes $12 on a book I want my money's worth not just something to hold me over until the next book comes out. Guess that's my rant for the day just keep writing Connie and we will keep reading.

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    1. Thank you so much--I will keep writing! Happy weekend :)

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  12. I started reading your work this summer, and flew through everything that you had written up to that point. I loved it. It made me cranky and happy and snarly all at the same time, but I really enjoyed what you had written and the worlds that you had created. Since this summer I have told everyone that I talk about books with about you and gotten all of them to be as addicted to your work as I am.
    As for being a self-published "fake author" I will tell you this. "Real Authors" tend to lose my interest after 10 books; they can't seem to continue to make the stories fresh. ( I generally read between 5-10 books a week) And the wait is so long between books that I forget about them in my hunger for new and exciting worlds to visit. Since you publish every couple of months I have it marked on my calendar and can't wait for your next installment. My best friend and I are constantly talking about your books and how excited we are for the next one. I love your work, and think it is amazing that after 25 books I still can't get enough of your writing. Please never take to heart what self-important snobs think of when talking about Authors. You are one of the best, and obviously take the time and effort to edit your work.
    Thank you for writing. Thank you for introducing an amazing universe. Thank you for continuing. As long as you keep writing I will keep reading.

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  13. Thank you so much--you just made my day :)
    Happy weekend!

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  14. Not that my opinion matters but, I like your books. I'm grateful that you publish them and keep them coming frequently. I like that you make money off your books and I pay a reasonable price. So keep doing it and I'll keep reading them. Which make you one of my favorite authors in my mind.

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    1. Thank you! I'll keep them coming, I promise :)

      p.s.--I like reasonable prices, too!
      happy weekend :)

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  15. Sorry for the long blurb here, but this topic just gets my goat. In my opinion, anyone who writes is an author. However, true Authors are few and far between. It makes no difference how they choose to publish. That said, the books published by the big publishing houses have professional editing and marketing which usually gives them an edge. There are still many "duds" among those. Indie authors only have a few venues open to them regardless of their quality. A lot of the good ones are in a niche that the big houses don't publish. Many Indies have a level of editing which makes many readers cringe and give up on the book before they finish it. The indie market is flooded with that type of writing. A reader has to wade through the "not ready to publish" works and authors to get to the gems. You however, are a true Professional Author. Your level of editing and the cohesive story lines are excellent and exceed many of the publishing houses books. We wouldn't even have most of your stories if you were dependent on a big corporate house. Your work would have to conform to their schedule not yours. Two books a year, three at most would be released. I am so thankful that I found a gem of a Professional Author in the Indie eBook market. I've eagerly awaited each book and you haven't produced a "dud" of uninspired filler for the deadline. Ever!
    I saw "Blood Wager" on Amazon and tried it just before your second book came out. I've been hooked from the start. I always know when your next book is due and start hitting "refresh" on Amazon a few days before. I don't do that with any other author. I read 7 to 10 books a week depending on other life demands! I've reread all of your work many times. Because they are so rich in detail I find new things that relate to both new work and all of the ones you've already published. Each new book is consistent with the others with only the tiny irrelevant detail occasionally not matching previous work. You’ve created an amazingly complete world for your characters to inhabit. There are no "oops" in the series to make earlier works compatible with newer books. Bravo! It's a joy to read your work. I will always follow you and recommend your work even if you change genres or publishing method. If a critic bothers you, just remember that You are an amazing Professional Author publishing in a difficult market. That’s a challenge most other “Professional Authors” couldn’t survive much less thrive in.
    Best Wishes,
    Laura

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    1. Thank you, Laura, for your support and thoughtful response. I agree--editing is vital to writing. That doesn't mean my work is flawless (or even close), it only means Joe and I work as hard as we can to make it the best we can.

      I am stunned at the outpouring of support after my post--I thank you so much for that!

      Happy weekend :)
      cs

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  16. Connie, you rock girl. Like several people above, I have many hundred e-books on my Kindle, but yours are the only ones that have been read more than once. Blood Wager changed what I expect a book to be. I wasn't sure I would like SciFi mixed with Urban Fantasy or how you were going to pull it off, but the first books were so well written I believed if anyone could mix the two, it was yout. You most definitely pulled it off. I'm still not convinced that multiple mates is a good idea even in fantasy, but you made it work. Keep writing and I will keep reading.

    FYI, I'm a 49 year old guy, so your reader demographics seems vast indeed.

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    1. Thank you! I was worried about mixing genres, but it was calling my name and I couldn't help myself, lol!

      happy weekend :)
      cs

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  17. Just as you are a writer, I am a reader. As a 41 year old woman, I've read many books over the years, amongst them some of my all time favourites by David and Leigh Eddings, J. R. R. Tolkien, Robin Hobbs and Terry Goodkind (to name but a few!) and you are RIGHT up there as one of my top favourites! The only books I've awaited as anxiously for as yours are Robert Jordan's (and Brandon Sanderson's) Wheel of Time. I don't care what anyone says, I THANK you for giving us all your stories, and I'm exceptionally glad that you chose to self-publish and share them with the world :)

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  18. Connie, you already know that I love your books, and you are my favourite fiction writer. I want to thank you for giving us fans so much enjoyment. Your characters are so real, I can feel their emotions, share their experiences. Not many writers can do that, I can only think of Charlaine Harris and Patricia Briggs who are nearly as good as you. Yes, you chose the right time to self-publish, just when e-readers became popular. "Just keep on doing what you're doing, what you're doing suits me just fine."

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    1. Thank you, Sandra! Hope you are doing well.
      Happy weekend :)

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  19. What is the difference between self published to having a publishing house publish your books?
    You did not wait around for someone to validate your work, you knew of your worth and your stories worth and shared it with the world and we are grateful.
    Of course I'm not an author so may be wrong, but if you have a agent , publishing house etc, you have to write with in their deadlines/ pay their fees and percentages for your hard work all the while still having the headaches of getting it all done...... You just cut out the middle man and kept your prices reasonable for your fan base
    I LOVE your stories and the worlds you create. I spend thousands of dollars every year on books, reading is my favorite past time and I would buy yours first before any others. Never doubt your talent ...... your fans sure dont

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    1. Thanks, Stephanie--I feel the same way about release schedules for traditionally published authors. I love getting to set all that for myself. It may be the best perk of being an Indie :)

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  20. Well, I am sure a lot of "Publishing" houses would like this kind of drivel to be perpetuated … it would keep a rather large chunk of an "author's" earnings in the "Publisher's" pocket. … Ye Gods that's a lot of quotes.

    Let's take a look at a few of these statements … shall we?

    1 -- A lot of people—including those who have self-published some of their work, often get on a soapbox and announce that most (if not all) self-published books are CRAP.

    Of the thousands of books I have read most of the current ones I follow are Indies … while I would say SOME of them are crap (or in dire need of an Editor) … I would also say the same of some "professionally" published works as well. Since most Indies place their prices in the reasonable range I have no problem buying from (and thereby supporting) more Indie authors (err … *writers) than not. Those that live in glass houses should not throw stones.

    2 -- Thatit'stooeasytohitthepublishbuttonanduploadstuffthatnobodyshouldeverhavetoseebecauseit'slikewatchingsexormurderorpoodleabuseinpublic.

    Which Publishing house shill spouted that?? Porn … murder … and public animal cruelty … Sounds like any number of dime store novels to me.

    3 -- Indie authors are often viewed as being at the same level of appreciation as ax murderers. That we're just not smart enough—or good enough—to get published by traditional means. Therefore, anything we publish must be CRAP.

    Well … I don't know any Ax murderers but I am 100% certain that I would not support them nor start a fan site about them. Good enough … hmmm … over 10,000 people buying 25 books from 1 author … in 29 months … personally I would not call that good … I'd call it PHENOMENAL!!

    Traditional means … hmm … so how many scribes do they employ?

    4 -- Oh, and did I say that indie authors aren't REAL authors? I've read that, too. That we're not real, bona fide authors. The most we can claim (and it may be a stretch) is that we're writers.

    Real enough for me … 'nuff said.

    "He'd forgotten the first rule of attempted homicide--never bring a gun to a vampire fight." - Connie Suttle

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    1. Thanks Larry! As always, I appreciate your support and everything you do at Leathveronis.net :)
      Happy Saturday!
      Connie

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  22. Connie: I bought my 1st Kindle in Aug.'11 and bought Blood Wager the day it arrived. You were my first ebook! I am still amazed at the amount of "product" that you have produced since that day. I bought every book usually the day it was available on Amazon and admit to being "irked" in having to wait until Dec. for the next book to be published. OK, I admit you spoiled us all by releasing a new book nearly every month but I am not the only fan who is waiting impatiently to read how you resolve the mess that you created for your characters. I owe you many thanks, not just for the enjoyment your books have given me, but for introducing me to the whole world of ebooks. I have found many authors with amazing stories to tell that I would never have discovered were it not for the lucky chance that led me to you. I worked with a close friend for years in an independent book store and over the many years of my life have accumulated quite a large library of books, mostly hardbacks. I admit to being slow to embrace the ebook and scoffed at the very idea of ever owning a device for reading books. I was hooked the first month of owning that Kindle--which is now 1 of 4 that I own. I love being able to buy a book and immediately start reading it, although in the case of your books this has led me to many all-nighters because once I start one of your books it seems impossible to put it down. So, thank you for writing all these amazing books, for those sleepless nights and for opening my eyes to a world of writers that I never would have found if it weren't for ebooks and self-published authors. So, hold your head high and laugh at those snobs who look down on self-published authors, laugh all the way to the bank because you don't have to split your earnings with agents and you don't have publishers who keep the lion's share of your books' earnings.And, please, please!! get that next book out for us to read.

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    1. Andra, I'm working on Blood Finale and putting the finishing touches on Other Worldly Ways, an anthology of short stories (the anthology will be out very soon!) I can't believe I'm actually somebody's first download :) That makes me feel really good! Thank you so much for writing--you made my day!

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  23. Connie, I have to tell you most of my favorite authors are self published and you are definitely my #1 favorite. Your books are original, fun, and realistic in emotions, the thinking of characters and their actions. I find that authors who have editors lose their creativity overtime. Trying to please an editor they lose their sense of self, their self confidence, and the start questioning if they really know what the fans want to read or if they are even good authors. Authors only need the freedom to write what they want. Only authors know what the fans want because they think only about what they would like to read not how to make more money out of the books. Self published authors learn the correct way to write all on their own because they don't have editors, so they do everything on their own. Self published authors show immense courage just by clicking the publish button, and even more strength by not letting a few mean comments bring them down. Authors need to keep an even level, they need to be strong against mean comments, listen to advices because some might be helpful, and not become too confident. Too much self confidence can be bad, not only for the author but also for their fans. That's why I think you, Connie are the best you are attentive to you're fans, very creative, and a good writer. A 5 star author, indeed. Your stories are so good we the readers lose ourselves in the magical worlds you create. For me it got so bad at one point, I didn't want to read any books by different authors because I wanted to know what happened next in your books. I couldn't concentrate enough on a different book to give it a chance. Connie, also, by not having an editor and publisher etc. you are able to get your books published much quicker and all your fans appreciate that very much. Connie, you might not be my first author but you're definitely the one who made me want to continue reading and the one who made me want to give other authors a chance when I was bored and disappointed with other authors. Thank you for sharing your wonderful stories with us and as for people who say self published authors are not 'real' authors tell them I said: " get those sticks out of your behinds and try to accomplish half the things Connie accomplished and then we'll see who's a 'real' author". Ok, I said my peace so don't quit writing Connie because you'll make a lot of people cry if you do. ;) :)

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