Indie or Not Indie? That Is the Question—Kurt Chambers

This is the hottest discussion in the publishing industrytoday, that there is no doubt. Should I, or shouldn’t I? There are many, manyarguments for and against independent publishing. Is it a good thing, or is itan act of defeat? Today, my mission isn’t about discussing the pros & conson the subject, because at the end of the day, it’s a personal decision forevery author, and for some people it’s the ideal solution, and for others it isnot. What I want to talk about today is the reasons why I decided to go downthis route with my first novel, Truth Teller.
I’m not even sure if this is going to make any sense toanyone else but me, but I will try my best to explain my train of thoughts. Ispent many years writing a middle grade fantasy series, three books in totaland a fourth book in the pipeline. This series is my baby. I went down thetraditional route of trying to find an agent or publisher only to discoverafter many years and a lot of heartache that my novels just didn’t suit themarket. This was thrown in my face time and time again, market, market, MARKET!I started to really hate that word. Not to be put off, I continued to takeadvice onboard and wrote a whole new novel, Unknown Reality, that I consideredmarket friendly.
Now, this left me with a dilemma. I had a choice to make;what do I do with my baby? I love this series. I had put my heart and soul intothis story, literally. It meant more to me than any other book I had written,or would write in the future. It was my first novel, my acorn, and it hadbloomed into a beautiful tree. Everyone that read it also loved it. I had neverhad a single bad review. The choice I had was to shelve it and wait until Ibecame a successful author before I stood any chance of introducing it to theworld. That was a choice I really struggled with. It was good enough for themarket, it had gone through the whole process a published book goes through, butthe people controlling that market simple wouldn’t take the risk to give it achance.
I had tried plan A and Plan B and got nowhere, and I wasdesperately looking for a plan C. I was browsing the internet looking foranswers, randomly surfing and waiting for that spark of inspiration. I stumbledupon this article that explained in great detail how and why it is almostimpossible to break into the children’s book market. This wasn’t what I wantedto hear. This wasn’t the kind of inspiration I was looking for. My hopes for aplan C were fading fast. I continued looking, reading articles with a heavyheart. Then I found this article that explained the changing roles of agentsthroughout the years. I never realised that in years gone by, an agent wouldhave never considered telling and author how they should practice the art ofwriting, where these days it is common practice. That was my greatest fear. Ididn’t want an editor to destroy my novel by telling me how it should bewritten. Not this novel, it meant too much to me. I wouldn’t have a problemdoing it to any other novel I wrote as I wasn’t so attached to them.
Then, like a lightbulb switching on in my head, plan Cfinally began to emerge. I didn’t want to shelve my wonderful novel, I wantedthe world to read it! I didn’t want an editor or agent to destroy what I had createdjust so that I could become a published author. I wasn’t worried about beingthe next J.K Rowling, I just wanted to share my story and give children achance to read it for themselves. After all, that’s who I wrote it for, not theadults who were judging it to see how much profit it would make. Maybe I shouldconsider publishing this myself?
While these thoughts were running through my head, an advertcame on the telly. It was an advert I had seen many times before in the run upto Christmas. Amazon Kindle. These things are selling like hot cakes this year.It’s the start of a new revolution, the next big thing. How many thousands ofthese things were going to be sold this year? This band-wagon was comingscreaming towards me and I just wanted to jump on and cling to it witheverything I had. Okay, that might sound a little over dramatic, but that’s theway it felt. The answer seemed so clear to me now. I grabbed this opportunity withboth hands and I will hold on until I have no breath left in me.
My time is now!

Debut Novel Release – Truth Teller by Kurt Chambers

I am delighted to announce the release of my first novel, Truth Teller. Wow! Did I just really say that? I never thought I would hear myself say those words, but it’s true. Truth Teller is due for release on Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble on 25th January 2012 in e-book format. I’m planning to bring it out in paperback a little later in the year if all goes well. I will be announcing more information about this release as soon as I have any news. I will no doubt be planning to do a blog tour and such things.

Let me tell you a little bit about my story. Truth Teller is the first book in a series, and the beginning of Charlotte’s adventure. There are currently three books in the series: Truth Teller, The Wrath of Siren and Favian’s Law. A fourth book in the series, Lost magic, is currently under development.

Truth Teller Reviews:

Editor, Illustrator, and Published Author, Dawné Dominique

Take a delightful, mesmerizing journey into Charlotte’s world, where life is routine until she discovers a hidden curio shop and an even stranger shopkeeper who gives her a magical snow dome. But this is not an ordinary globe…it’s a magical gateway into another realm. The world Charlotte has always known disappears as she’s spirited away into a mystical land on the brink of war between elves, dwarves, and an evil that has lain dormant for far too long.

Terrified by what’s happened to her, Charlotte is befriended by Elderfield an elf, and his parents, Middleton and Swallow. In order to find a way back home for Charlotte, they must embark on a journey to find a man named Goffer, a powerful elf who may be able to help her return to her own world. Not everything is at it seems, however, for there’s a reason why this special globe was given to this unassuming little girl.

As Charlotte, Elderfield and Middleton travel through dangerous lands, encountering heart-stopping dangers along the way, they are unaware of the dark stranger that follows them. Finally arriving at the Stronghold, a safe haven for the people of lands trying to seek safety from an impending war, Charlotte meets Goffer, and is shocked to discover that he’s the same shop keeper who’d given her the magic dome in the first place.

Will Charlotte find her way back home, or is her presence in Elderfield’s world the final unbalancing that will plunge the lands into war?

Truth Teller is an absolutely delightful, exciting read from start to finish. Mr. Chambers has created a fantastical world where magic is very much alive. His characters are vivid and so real that you can’t help but fall in love with them. Immerse yourself in a read that will guarantee not to disappoint.

~~Dawné Dominique

Assistant Editor, Allicia C. Rose

There is a lot of good humor in the Truth Teller, things that actually made me laugh out loud. I especially enjoyed watching the bond of friendship between Elder and Charlotte continually strengthen until they had become like family – that’s one of my favorite concepts in fantasy, and the author did a wonderful job of bringing it to life. He has got the skill to make the reader care about his characters, the most important and most difficult task an author must undertake. I really enjoyed the story, and look forward to working on the next book in the series.

~~Allicia. C. Rose

I have so many people to thank for this release. I have received so much help and support from my friends in the writing community. I couldn’t have done it without them. I will never be able to return the kindness they have shown me, but I want you all to know how eternally grateful I am to all of you.

I am especially grateful to published author, Anastasia V. Pergakis, who took me under her wing and made my book release possible. Please show this wonderfully supportive lady some of your support by visiting her website, and better still, by buying her wonderful book, Cleanse Fire.

Best Social Networking Sites For Writers–Kurt Chambers

This post was inspired by a writer friend of mine who asked for my advice on networking, so I decided to write a blog post that would hopefully answer all your networking questions and provide the best recourses to all the top writers networking sites.

Networking is important to any person who is looking to promote themselves to the general public. But networking is so much more than just self promotion. It is especially important to us writers because it is somewhere to get the support we need to take us along this perilous journey. Becoming a successful writer is no easy task. In order for us writers to grow and learn to become the best we can be, and to be a success in the publishing business, we need to be around like-minded people. Fortunately, the writing community is a thriving place where there is plenty of help for any budding authors who wish to try their hand at being the next J.K Rowling.

So, what is networking? The idea is to make yourself as visible as possible. You want to get your name out there in the world and tell them all about your wonderful, shiny new novel and how awesome it is. You don’t need to be a published author to network. You may not have even finished writing your story, but that doesn’t stop you from telling the world about it and what progress you are making. Eventually, you are going to need a fan base, so it’s best to get started straight away.

Your aim is to show up on the world’s number one search engine, Google, to give you maximum exposure. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to use the most popular network sites. Below is a list of the top five that will make you score well on Google.

Main Network Sites

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/

GooglePlus: https://plus.google.com/

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/

Blogger: http://www.blogger.com/

There is an easy way to check your progress once you start networking. It’s called ‘ego surfing’. You simply go to Google and type in your name followed by your profession and see how much of your stuff is showing up. The more you network, the more chance you have of getting on the front page of Google. That’s where you want to be, on the first page of results. As an example, here is my Google score when I ego surf with the key words, Kurt Chambers Author. When you just type in your name and fill the first page, you know you’ve made it. lol

So you want to be a writer? The best advice I can give you, and this is sound advice, is to join a writing community and go and mingle with other writers. Any publisher or agent will suggest this to you, and I recommend it through personal experience. It’s the ideal place to present your work to other writers and get good critique advice. I now run the Young Adult Novel Workshop on writing.com that I joined about seven years ago. They taught me everything I know today. And more importantly, I met some of the best friends I’ve ever had. These communities are where you will learn your trade and make contacts. Here is a list of the most popular places.

Most Popular Network Communities For Writers

Writing. com: http://writing.com

Writers Cafe: http://www.writerscafe.org/

Story Link: http://www.storylink.com/

The Writing Room: http://www.writingroom.com/

My Good ebook: http://www.mygoodebook.com/login.aspx

Urbis: http://www.urbis.com/

Writertopia: http://www.writertopia.com/

My Creative Content: http://www.mycreativeintent.com/

Another good recourse to seek advice and to talk to other writers is a message board. These cover about every subject related to writing that you can think of. I use message boards all the time as they contain so much useful information.

Message Boards for Writers

Writer’s Digest Forum: http://forum.writersdigest.com/category-view.asp

Freelance Writing Message Boards: http://www.freelancewriting.com/forums/index.php

Absolute Write: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/index.php

National Novel Writing Month Forum: http://www.nanowrimo.org/forum

Message Boards for Writers: http://www.mywriterscircle.com/

Writers.net Message Boards: http://www.writers.net/forum/

Writers Weekly Message Boards: http://forums.writersweekly.com/

EWR’s: http://www.everywritersresource.com/writersmessageboards/index.php

If you consider yourself to be a more seasoned writer and ready to take on the world with your new novel, you may want to make more connections with professional bodies. You can do this by joining an organisation that deals in these circles. Here are two examples of reputable organisations and a list of others.

Organisations

For Children’s Writers: http://www.scbwi.org/

American Christian Fiction Writers: http://www.acfw.com/

List Of Organisations: http://www.writersservices.com/res/r_links_write_orgs.htm

And last but not least, here are a few more links where writers gather. I think that about covers all the major network sites.


Other Book Related Sites For Writers

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/

WriteOnCon Annual Conference: http://writeoncon.com/

Fiction Press: http://www.fictionpress.com/

Zoetrope: http://www.zoetrope.com/

Ning: http://www.ning.com/

So, what are you waiting for? Go out there and network to your heart’s desire. Meet cool writer people and see if you can knock J.K Rowling from the top spot. Hehe!! Good luck with that!

If you’ve read my blog and found it useful, please return the favour by leaving a comment. I love to hear from my readers. Thank you.