I thought it would be nice, in celebration of 'Indie Life' Wednesday, to have a guest poster today.
Nhys Glover has led an extraordinarily distinctive life and, as a writer, pens characters who do the same. She has been kind enough to share her indie experience, inspiration, and life philosophy with us today. And -speaking as someone who has read her work- Nhys Glover is definitely a voice to listen to.
Thank you, Nhys, for sharing your thoughts on indie life today!
ON ‘BEING HEARD’ VIA INDIE PUBLISHING
In my career I’ve worked with many people during and after times of crisis and challenge. Through that work I learned the power of sharing those times with others as a way of validating those experiences. The term usually employed for this sharing, and the feeling of validation that follows, is ‘Being Heard’. Indie Publishing is a powerful means of Being Heard.
There is a subtle but significant difference between writing for oneself and writing with the purpose of being read. (I was very careful to not say ‘writing for an audience’ as that’s another aspect again.) For years, and I do mean years – as I have been writing since I could write and I’m now approaching retirement age – I wrote for myself because I never wanted to face the rejection slips. My writing was my escape from the mundane, often difficult world I inhabited, and it gave me hope. I didn’t require a reader, especially one that I knew would be judging me and measuring me against a standard that I didn’t understand – a criteria that a publishing company had laid down and used to cull all manuscripts that crossed their desks. I knew I didn’t fit their criteria and so I opted out and was happy to write only for me. Until…
I got cancer. Then I wrote a fantasy past life novel that needed to be heard – needed to be shared with others – for my symbolic struggle to be validated and made real. I didn’t even consider going through mainstream publishers because, even IF they’d picked it up, which was unlikely given the subject matter, I might not live long enough to see it in print. And I needed to see it in print. So I decided to self-publish. But because of the negative image of ‘vanity press’ at that stage (10 years ago), and because I didn’t want to foist some 2nd rate garbage on the world, I got it professionally assessed first.
I can still remember reading that assessment. I cried. Everything I’d put into the story the reviewer had ‘got’ and she loved it. I suddenly felt ‘heard’ and given a kind of freedom I’d never experienced before.
When the whole Indie book industry sprang up to challenge the big boys, shortly thereafter, I started writing in a different way. I no longer wrote just for me, because there was no longer a barrier in place to limit my creative communication. I didn’t have to conform to someone else’s requirements, and as long as one person read my stories I got ‘heard’ and that little part of my Soul that I was sharing with the world felt validated.
For several years I just published my books and ebooks and left it to the Universe to find my readers. I sold maybe a handful of books. Then a good friend started hassling me about marketing my stuff and pointed me in the direction of an excellent book that showed me how to do just that. It led me to the inexpensive services of a PR person called ‘desertgirl’ on Fiverr.com. I gave her the job of letting the world know about my free days for ‘Barbarian’s Mistress’, which was a historical romance I’d just finished.
With her help it had 16,500 downloads in 5 days. I can’t describe the feeling that gave me. But it was the second time I’d cried for joy. And when the reviews started coming in, and they were mostly glowing, I got my ‘being heard’, big time. And when sales started following, it was another kind of validation.
Indie Publishing gave me a voice after a lifetime of silence. That voice uses fiction to proclaim the redemptive power of love. When the world presents us with the harsh ‘realities’ of life, my stories remind me and my readers that the most damaged of us can be reclaimed, and that there are a lot of good people out there who can find happiness. That’s my world-view and I’m over the moon to now be able to share it.
For more on Nhys Glover, you can drop by her website or visit her on Goodreads for a list of titles. There seems to be a love story for every heart, whether it be pining for werewolves on the moor, a chase involving Vesuvius and the Roman Empire, or for someone on the ill-fated Titanic.
And please don't forget to hop to other blogs celebrating 'Indie Life' today!