I’ve been a writer for decades. It began after I absconded with my Mum’s portable typewriter at the age of 12. I set up an “office” and began writing short stories and poetry, which segued into a journalism career after attending university.
In 2001, I co-authored a book with my husband, Lance Van Auken, and launched my freelance writing career. Although we published “Play Ball!” with a traditional, small press (Penn State University Press), I acted as my own agent, negotiating the contract. We received a $10,000 advance, and that was the end of the royalties. The book never earned the advance we received.
We actually believed the book would soar to the bestseller list, but the publisher was small (academic) and it did not have the capital to sustain a massive promotional campaign.
Our editor was honest with me when he said, “Robin, the average book has the shelf-life of a tomato.”
I was floored! The publisher was already moving on to its next big book launch, and our book was already out of sight, out of mind. We enjoyed the experience of working with a stellar team and brilliant people, but we learned an important lesson: We needed control of our books.
I’ve authored (and co-authored) 10 books of regional history, and five novels (the sixth novel is a work in progress, but it’s close!). I’ve published with traditional presses, as well as local presses, yet I choose to be an indie author.
My books are going to live forever, now that the digital press has come of age. My books will continue to be promoted and sold, and if they succeed or fail, it’s not because my hands are tied, but because I didn’t try hard enough.
I embrace the challenge of learning how to market with today’s Internet marketing challenges. The rules change quickly, new opportunities arise, and what worked yesterday may not work today. It can be frustrating, but it also keeps me on my toes and in a state of active learning.
My passion is to learn new things and share what works, and that’s what Wholehearted Author is about — learning and sharing the things that work for indie authors writing, publishing and marketing books today.
You’re welcome to enjoy my library of blog posts, download all of my FREE guides and workbooks, and enroll in my classes.