Monthly Archives: March 2012

on becoming an indie author

I must have been the only author in the world who didn’t know about Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) – that is until a friend told me to publish my novel myself. This was after coming excruciatingly close with agents and publishers, who liked my work but were being mega cautious.

After a spate of emails to agents and the odd letter here and there to publishers (with replies varying from not for us or you write well, we liked it but aren’t taking on new clients to the more promising couple of agents who wanted to read the complete manuscript of my novel, one of whom said she would be interested in reading it again subject to certain revisions), I got rather demoralised. Then I was massively side tracked by learning to play Gaelic wire strung harp, and more recently guitar.

So back to my friend Leah Whitehorse, herself a writer of considerable talent. I had done a lot of the revisions on my novel, as suggested by the agent and was getting ready to approach agents and publishers again. I happened to ask Leah for a tarot reading about the book. The reading was fairly positive but suggested self publishing. But, I reasoned, everything I’d read advised against vanity publishing: it’s expensive and doesn’t guarantee you sales, and, besides, I’ve had five books published with a bona fide publisher with varying success – enough success anyway to have afforded to rewire my house and convert the loft, not to mention being able to put best selling author in the bio on my Amazon author page. But no, Leah wasn’t talking about vanity publishing, she was talking about publishing the book myself for free through the KDP program.

So that’s what I’ve done, though the book I’ve just published isn’t the one I’ve recently submitted to agents: this one was written some time ago and I’ve uploaded it under my published author name Elen Hawke, as it has mystical and spiritual elements in common with some of my previously published work. Though the hoops to be jumped through to get a Word doc converted to Kindle format so that it shows without gaps and errors will be the subject of another blog entry, I suspect. I also enrolled in the Kindle Select program, which allows me to offer the book free on Amazon for five days in any three months as long as it isn’t published elsewhere within that period. I used three of those days to give the book a kick start so that it acquired an Amazon ranking which helped to make it stand out from the several hundred thousand other books on there. I was thrilled to see it appear in the top 100 in its category. Since it’s been put back on paid status again, it’s still reasonably high in the ranking system, so I think it was worth doing the free period.

So here is a link to the book

The Sacred Marriage by Elen Hawke

And the US Amazon site:

And my Amazon author profile:

And lastly the product description:

As she has done since childhood, Sophie spends the summer with family friend Rory Ballantyne in his old stone longhouse in the heart of Celtic Brittany – a ravishingly beautiful region filled with ancient customs and steeped in the mystery and romance of Arthurian legend. But this year things are changed: her family are involved with their own lives, so she stays there without them. At first she is troubled by tension and quarrels between Rory and his wife, but she is soon distracted by the arrival of gorgeous artist Jason Ryder. Sophie becomes increasingly drawn to Jason but she also realises that Rory is not the older brother figure she had thought him, but a fascinating and attractive man. Then a series of strange dreams opens her to the energies of the land there, forces that seem to want something from her. At eighteen, Sophie is no longer a child, and she sees the local area and people through different eyes. Gradually she realises that the energies she senses, along with her dreams, emanate from a holy spring dedicated to Sainte Nicole, a Christianisation of a Celtic deity whom locals refer to as the Lady. The spirit of the land is reaching out and Sophie’s quest to fathom its message brings her, through love and loss, to an understanding of herself that helps her cross the threshold into maturity and gives her the strength to follow her own truth. 


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