A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

I’ll Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

For years the South Carolina Lowcountry RWA chapter has hosted a Masterclass at an Isle of Palms mansion. I’ve come home from previous weeks re-energized, my head bursting with new craft knowledge and insights, renewed after spending time with friends who share a passion for writing.

This year, the focus of the week was on the business of writing. Sometimes as authors we get caught up in our love of words and fail to acknowledge that what we do is also a small business, just like a company producing widgets or a bakery making the most beautiful, custom wedding cakes.

Most of the participants in this year’s Masterclass are published, many are multi-published, some New York Times Best Selling authors. And every one generously shared her experience, from developing a business plan to sitting with me, surrounding by a Nook, Kindle and Kindle Fire, patiently determining if one of the conversion programs would get rid of the annoying tab addition to the dedication page of my novella.

The theme of the week, as you might have guessed, was summed up by CJ Lyon: you are the CEO of You, Inc. In short, CJ said you, and only you, decide what is the correct path for your writing career: Traditional, Digital, Small Press or Indie—or a combination of the above. But you also bear the responsibility for your decision.

With the encouragement of this group of friends, I made the first toe-dipping foray into Indie publishing with a novella. HONOR CODE officially releases on Friday, November 9, 2012. While I’m excited about the story’s theme—honor and personal integrity—and characters, I still initially hesitated to publish the story. While I think my editor at Carina is terrific and learned a lot through a traditional, digital press with my first book, I made the “CEO” decision to go Indie with this story. I want to thank all the friends who made that happen. You know who you are. J

In anticipation of HONOR CODE’s release, I’ll give away an ARC of the novella to a commenter. The Blurb: In a small southern town where everyone knows each other’s business, veteran detective Larry Robbins must solve the disappearance of eighty-year-old widower George Beason.
When evidence arises that Beason may have left town on his own, it would be easy for Robbins to close the case, but his gut instinct tells him more’s at stake. As he uncovers clues about Beason’s deceased wife and his estranged daughter, Robbins must untangle conflicting motives and hidden agendas to bring Beason home alive.

So what about you? Have you accepted the position of CEO in your career? Set up a business plan? Are there friends who reached back or pushed you up to give you a little help?





Clare London said...

Well done Cathy, and a great post :). I haven't taken the step of full indie publishing just yet - though I intend to - but I think it's so important to realise that we're all CEOs, even if we're published through someone else. We still have to sort out the way we want our career to go, the places we want to be seen - and handling the royalty money properly! :)

Rita said...

Congrats Cathy! I know how you feel. I LOVE my Carina editor but...
How are we to know which publishing model suits us best if we don’t test the waters? Wishing you much success.

Teri Anne Stanley said...

The creative aspect of this business is scary enough for me! I am not good at self-promotion, so that's going to be a big factor when I decide which route to take.

Cathy Perkins said...

@Clare - Thanks :)
The recognition that you make your choices based on what's right for you is empowering

Cathy Perkins said...


Exactly! How do you know what works for you if you don't try it?

I suspect I'll continue with a mixture (my ahem, executive decision) of traditional and indie. I enjoyed the flexibility Indie offered, but there are advantages to the traditional route as well.

Cathy Perkins said...

@ Teri Anne

Ah, but you've inched your way out to sharing your writing with others.
You'll move into the marketing aspects as well. And not to terrify you, but promo is the author's responsibility 99% of the time with any publisher

Anne Marie Becker said...

Congratulations on the upcoming release, Cathy, and plunging into those waters.

I love the idea of being my own CEO. (Seriously, who else gets to set their own hours and work at their own pace...then again, most CEO's make tons more money, but I think the freedoms/control we have is priceless.) Haven't yet dipped my toe into the indie waters, but I like to keep my options open. ;)

Toni Anderson said...

I have a book I hope to self pub next year, depending on a million other things that I need to do :)
Congratulations, Cathy. Being a CEO sounds awesome :)

Maureen A. Miller said...

Congratulations, Cathy! I like the idea of being CEO of your writing career. If my writing career is my company, why am I stuck in janitorial duty?! :)

jblynn said...

Thanks for sharing, Cathy. I'd love to see a post about a writer's business plan from someone!

Cathy Perkins said...

@Anne Marie - The control associated with being "CEO" is great. Like I said, it's an experiment, but so far I like it.

Cathy Perkins said...

@Toni - let us know what you decide to do. And we can all sympathize with the million spinning plates in the air.

Cathy Perkins said...

@Maureen LOL - an executive decision to delegate that duty?

Cathy Perkins said...

@JB - If no one else does one first, I'll make a business plan my next post

Marcelle Dubé said...

Cathy, great post! Congratulations on taking charge of your career and congratulations on the release of Honor Code. I've been moving more and more into indie publishing, especially for those odd novels of mine that straddle genres.

Cathy Perkins said...

@Marcelle - exactly! I also look at Indie-pubbing as an opportunity to experiment with new forms or new themes that might not 'fit' elsewhere.

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