A Time for Change

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Resolutions. Endings and beginnings. Doors opening while others close. These are the things that make up winters: this feeling of new things blossoming up from the frost, and new dreams rising out of the cold. I’ve been thinking a lot about this as the year’s end draws closer and closer.

Back in September, I spoke a bit about wanting change. In fact, I anticipated it, and urged you to do the same. I’ve taken the last few months to step back and to think quite seriously about what I want to do next. The truth is, I’ve been feeling uneasy for a while now. The past year has been long, yes, but it has also. been full of lessons. I don’t know if I understand them all yet, but I do think I’m ready to listen to the bits and pieces I’ve been able to fit together.

This is all to say that I am changing my self-publishing methods in 2019.

As of January, I will be pulling my books from Amazon and stepping away from print-on-demand production. I will instead be printing books in small batches and selling directly from my online shop. I have thought long and hard about this, and had even considered these options prior to the CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing merger that ultimately pushed me to take this leap of faith. These changes will put me back in the driver’s seat. It will put me in control of my own prices, of my own content, and of my own earnings.

What does this mean for my current books? A lot, actually.

Ready Aim Fire, Basket Case, and Exit Ghost will be leaving Amazon, but I assure you that they will not be gone for good. Instead, I have been working on extended editions of each of these titles. So, yes, they’ll be gone for a time. But then they’ll come back! And they’ll be even better!

(Also, the ebook version of Ready Aim Fire will remain available through Kindle while I figure out ebook options moving forward. So I’m not stepping too far away from Amazon just yet.)

And what does this mean for all of you? Will this change pricing? Shipping?

The short answer is: Yes. Because this new method of publishing will be more costly on my end, it may result in a slight increase in cost on yours. I am doing my best not to hike up prices, and I can promise there will be no astronomical changes. But there will be changes. I can’t avoid that. Which is a good segue into the thing I always feel awkward promoting…

PATREON! Here’s the sales pitch: Teirs are currently set at $1, $2, and $3 levels with rewards including early access to blog posts and book reviews, monthly discounts to my shop, and exclusive poems and stories that are only shared on Patreon. Funds from Patreon will help me cover production costs, which will help me produce more content at a quicker pace, and will also help keep book prices lower for everyone. Okay? Okay.

And, finally, I want to touch a little something that’s been dragged out for far too long.

What does this all mean for Fictitious?

I have not forgotten about this book. I could never forget about this book. It has not been scrapped. This book is my heart and soul and I’m so frustrated that it is not yet in your hands. One of the reasons I postponed the book even further was the changes Amazon chose to spring in its independent authors. Now that I’m taking steps away from Amazon, I’m excited to finally - finally, finally, finally, finally - release Fictitious.

I don’t feel comfortable announcing a release date just yet. I have a date in mind, but as I’m navigating this new process, I anticipate some bumpy roads and don’t want to make another promise I cannot keep regarding this book. But I do feel comfortable announcing that Fictitious will be part of a poetry duology called POP POETRY. And if that’s not exciting enough for you, the two full-length POP POETRY collections will be accompanied by two limited edition chapbooks!

The series will be laid out as such:

  • Fictitious (POP POETRY NO. 1)

    • Director’s Cut (LIMITED CHAPBOOK)

  • Rhapsody (POP POETRY NO. 2)

    • B-Side (LIMITED CHAPBOOK)

I’ll be laying out more information regarding how this will all work shortly, along with announcing official release dates. For now, just know that these books are all slated for 2019/2020 releases, that this series is essentially my heart on a platter, and that I am so overwhelmingly excited to share them with you.

I have learned so much over the past year alone, and even more in the three years I have been in this self-publishing game. I am anxious about these changes, of course. But I’m also excited, and I think that excitement is occupying the majority of my nerve-endings.

Thank you all for being on this journey with me. Thank you all for your support, for your kindness, for your patience. You are the reason I am able to do all of this, and you are the reason I will always press forward.

Be brave and take risks. You don't have to have it all figured out to move forward.
- Roy T. Bennett -

National Poetry Month

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It feels like April has barely begun, but just like that National Poetry Month 2018 is over.

The month did not turn out exactly the way I expected. Between mental health and home renovations, I've hardly found a place to plant my feet on the ground. I feel like all I've been doing is going through the motions - constantly, endlessly, in looping repetition. And while the month didn't go quite as I had hoped, it was still a great one. Exciting things happened, and mundane things happened, and inspiring things happened. All in all, while I might not have written as much poetry throughout the month as I had wanted to, I feel like I'm walking away from this celebratory month refreshed and truly ready to take on whatever might come next.

To touch on the exciting things that happened this month: on April 5, I was interviewed by the always lovely Amber of YA Indulgences as part of her month-long Poetic Justice series and on April 15, my poem "White Knuckles and Broken Cars" was published in Issue 2 of Cagibi Lit. This marks both my first interview, and my first piece published in a literary journal!

Moving forward, I've mapped out a plan to catch up on and continue the Year in Poetry series. You will be seeing frequent poetry posts over the next couple of weeks until we find ourselves all caught up and back in the groove. I'm very excited to get back on this particular horse, as the project is something I'm very determined to completed and absolutely thrilled to share with you.

I've also pushed back the release date of Fictitious to allow more time to work out a few technical kinks and to ensure that this little book is the absolutely best in can be. I touched on this in a bit more depth in the latest Power of Fiction guest post, so be sure to check that out! The new release date for Fictitious will be May 15, 2018.

Over the past month, I have reached from a deep emotional low into something of a creative revival. Seeing other poets posting content throughout the month, being able to read and absorbed their words, has invigorated me. I have a lot of plans for the rest of this year, and some exciting announcements to throw at you over the next couple of weeks. 

One last thing: Ready Aim Fire is currently on sale in honor of National Poetry Month, and today is the LAST DAY to get it at this special reduced price!

I hope this month and the poetry it birthed as sparked in you hope, and courage, and empowerment - I hope that it has shown you the world through a new lens, and that you walk away from it feeling greater, and bigger, and stronger. Wishing you all the best on this last day of National Poetry Month 2018! I'm so very grateful to be on this ride with you.

Indie Author Day!

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Saturday, October 14, 2017 is INDIE AUTHOR DAY! A time to celebrate independent literary artists. In honor of this, I'm offering $5 OFF of Ready Aim Fire and Basket Case at the CreateSpace eStore. Simply use the code ARG987UE at checkout. 

I also wanted to take a moment to talk about how you can help your favorite independent authors today. The publishing world is a rough one, and indie and self publishing is no different. There are a lot of challenges that come with it, and authors can use the help we can get!

1. Buy their books. This one goes without saying, but it's one of the most important things you can do help an author. If you can spare the money, buy multiple copies. You can always give the extra copies to friends as gifts. Just be sure to buy books!

2. Review their books. Drop a review on Amazon, GoodReads, or even your personal blog. Write a review on social media. There's truly nothing that makes an indie author happier than a good review. 

3. Talk about their books. Tell your friends about them, post about them on social media, recommend them to book bloggers. Shout from the rooftops! If you're an artist, consider making fan art for their book. (It'll make their heart full!)

4. Engage with the author. Reply to them on Twitter, comment on their Instagram and Facebook posts, share their blog posts, retweet them, send them emails. Talk to them! Let them know that you enjoy their work!