Celebrating Independence

Here we are in July, and it is a month for celebration in the United States.  In Utah, it is also the celebration of Pioneer Day, so it is fireworks all month long.  But for me, I share the 4th of July as an important day in my life.  It was the day that, in 2012, I became independent and self-published my very first book.

For me, it was the beginning of an entire new life.  When I could no longer physically work in the career I had trained for, it was difficult.  I attempted to find some sort of job I could do, but things continued going downhill.  Then I decided to take my daughter’s advice, just please do not tell her, or I will never hear the end of her “I told you so”.  I had posted the first book on A Happy Assembly in May and June.  The reception of my writing was like a balm.  To be honest, I thought that I would publish the book to have copies for Catie and my kids by heart.  If I sold a dozen copies I would be excited.

Low and behold, I did not sell a dozen copies…I sold many more.  I was shocked.  So I continued to write, and publish.  The world began opening to me in a way I never would have expected.  The old phrase “when one door closes, another opens” was more like “when one door closes, the whole side of the house opens”.

People began contacting me.  I was invited to join DarcyandLizzy.com.  More books were written and published.  My first royalty check allowed me to adopt my service dog and a year old cat (Darcy and Lizzy, of course).  More people contacted me.  I became friends on Facebook with authors I whose stories I had read and loved.  I had readers contacting me, telling me how my writing had been enjoyed.  New friends from all over the world entered my life.  To say my life has become truly blessed is an understatement. And even more exciting, it gave a few others the encouragement to post or publish their work, and they encouraged others. More JAFF stories, more enjoyment.

Now I am learning how to grow and perfect my abilities.  Thank you to the many who have become my “go-to” people with questions.  There are blogs, websites, Facebook pages, all the different programs out there, and it is overwhelming, so having people willing to help teach me new things is awesome.

In this ever evolving world, the independent publishers are finding more and more resources available to them.  Amazon came out with the first program I worked with, and still work with, and it continues to improve.  Nook is a smaller reach, but they are there, as are Apple store, Kobo, and a few other, newer groups reaching more and more customers throughout the world.  I am currently learning to use Adobe Photoshop to create my covers, so hopefully, in the near future, you will see a change in my covers.

And now, the introvert in me is allowing me to reach out further.  Going to the JASNA-AGM in October is a huge step for me, as I am truly introverted.  And I am so excited to go there, to meet people I have only known on line or through phone calls, and to learn more of the amazing world of Jane Austen and Regency England.

I am also planning to work on audio books later in the year, and continue to learn and grow in the fast advancing world of self-publishing.  And I look forward to reading the MANY stories written by the other authors of this genre.  Keep them coming, there can never be enough JAFF.  And there can never be enough of the kindness and caring, the love, which can be found in abundance in the many people in the amazing world built around Jane Austen’s legacy.  And thank you all, for giving me the most amazing life I could have ever imagined.

18 Responses to Celebrating Independence

  1. I share your excitement Melanie. More writers mean more books, and that means more buying and sharing Jane Austen and a bigger audience. Our little pond is getting bigger and bigger.

    Like you, I had to find a way to make a living after losing a job and I wanted to work from home. I had no intentions of publishing before then, but once I did, there was no going back. And, I love it.

    I had no idea you did not start publishing until 2012, but you have done well very quickly, my friend. We are so proud to have you at DarcyandLizzy.com. 🙂

  2. Melanie, you certainly have had a whirlwind experience since publishing. I’m glad that writing has enriched your life in so many ways, and thanks again for sharing your work with all of us. Best wishes in your new endeavors and keep writing! Jen Red

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