I’d like to welcome Brigham Vaughn to my blog today for another instalment of my series on authors who self-publish.
Brigham is the author of ten short stories and four novellas, with a novel about to be released in June. One of those short stories, Pain Management, is part of the Dr. Feelgood Anthology put out by Dreamspinner Press, but the rest are self-published.
Why did you decide to self publish?
Truthfully, I fell into it. In November of 2013 I had the DSP anthology edits underway but it hadn’t been released yet. I was at a Thanksgiving celebration with friends and someone I’d gone to high school with was there. The funny thing is, Kerry and I didn’t get along in high school, but once we started catching up, we hit it off so well. I told him about my writing and he told me he was a romance writer as well. Self-published. He asked if I’d ever considered it and I said, “Nahh, I have no idea what I’m doing, I wouldn’t even know where to start.” His reply was “Well, do you have any stories ready? Once you do, I can show you.”
Oddly enough, a conversation about avocados at the dinner table that evening led to a plot bunny and I went home and write a little short called Love in the Produce Aisle. I was still a bit hesitant but Kerry talked me in to it. One evening after work, Kerry came over and we sat down at the table and he walked me through the process. I can’t say it was easy, but it was less difficult than I’d been imagining and I thought, “Hmm, maybe I can do this.”
The year and a half since has been a whirlwind and I am so glad I took the leap.
What do you like about self-publishing?
I love the freedom and flexibility it offers. It gives me more breathing room when it comes to deadlines and release dates. If I realize a story needs more work I can pause at any point in the process and make additional changes without having to worry about any deadlines except the ones I give myself and those my betas and editor give me (and they have been extraordinarily flexible and accommodating).
I love being able to choose what I write based on the plot bunnies in my head not what a publisher is looking for. I have greater flexibility about word count. I am able to make my own covers and control which blurbs and excerpt I choose. I have complete control over pricing and the ability to choose when books go on sale or what kind of promotions I want to offer.
And, of course, the larger royalty percentage can’t be ignored.
Of course, all of these advantages do come at a trade-off with a bigger time investment in the amount of non-writing related work needed. It’s certainly not for everyone, but I find so many things to like about self-publishing that it’s worth it for me.
Do you have any advice for other authors considering taking the plunge?
At first when I read this question I laughed because I feel like the furthest thing from an expert, but the more I thought about it the more I realized I do have a few things I wish I’d done differently.
My advice would be to make sure you have everything lined up before you begin. Do an insane amount of research into what you’re going to have to do outside of writing the book and publishing it. Know what promotional opportunities are out there, put together a blog, get a business plan in order, create a rough outline of what you want to accomplish in the next 3/6/12 months.
I think I dove in headfirst when I probably should have slowly walked down the steps into the pool. Honestly, I feel like I’ve spent the last year scrambling to get myself in order and I think I could have done much better with more research, better organization, and more of a plan. I don’t regret what I did, but I think I could have made life easier on myself if I hadn’t rushed in quite so fast.
To distil all of that down: know what you’re getting into. And I think these interviews about self-publishing Jay is doing is a great start.
Russ is ready to make a lifelong commitment to his partner. That means marriage to him, but Stephen grew up believing that was out of the question. With marriage equality still not recognized in Georgia, Stephen is only concerned about the legal protection available to them.
Someone from Stephen’s past reappears and drives a wedge between them as Russ and Stephen struggle to agree on their future. Russ tries to understand Stephen’s complex feelings about marriage, but the differences in their background stresses the relationship further. Can the relationship they’ve built overcome the issues they face?
Russ had been fourteen when Vermont became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. State after state joined the ranks, and in the last few years it seemed to be gaining momentum. It was only a matter of time before marriage equality swept the nation. He’d grown up with the idea that someday he’d have the right to marry the man he loved. If he wanted it—and right now, he wanted it more than anything else in the world—there would be nothing to stop him.
Except, his partner—the one he’d been so sure wanted the same thing—apparently didn’t.
“How’d you know I was up here?” he asked hoarsely.
Stephen’s gaze lifted, his smile sad. “Because I know you.”
Russ’ tongue felt thick all of a sudden, unwieldy in his mouth. “I thought I knew you.”
The look of hurt in Stephen’s gaze was shattering, but no more so than the earlier rejection. “Can we talk?”
“I’m not sure what there is to say.” Russ walked out of the pool, limbs heavy after the grueling swim and time spent floating in the water. It was almost like the feeling of being back on land after spending a day on a boat. Except that made him think of sailing with Stephen, which was too painful to consider right now. “I asked you to marry me, and it’s not something you want. There really isn’t a compromise.”
All Romance –
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Brigham Vaughn has always been a voracious reader with her own stories to tell. After many years of abandoned plots, something finally clicked. Now she’s eating, sleeping, and breathing writing and is excited to have finally figured out what she wants to be when she grows up. In the little time that isn’t spent writing or reading, she loves cooking, yoga, photography, and remodeling her ninety-year-old home. Brigham lives in Michigan with her three cats and an amazing husband who has always been her biggest champion.