Self-publishing and why I chose this path — Lillian Archer


Bonjour! I am Lillian Archer, and I am tres excited to be posting on Magical Words today. Merci beaucoup to the MW team, and go buy some of their books.

My book, Prodigal Spell, is a historical fantasy set in 1790s London and the Caribbean at the height of British colonial expansion. It is the story of Julia Richmond, a London society wife, who is hiding her witchcraft from her husband, her friends, and the church. She must choose between the man she loves or a heritage she detests before a demon kills her father. It is a story about severely fractured people and relationships hiding in a historical fantasy.


I began my publishing journey like many others- I procured an agent, and then waited for a contract from a publishing house. Not a single house wanted to purchase the book. Several houses expressed interest, and I [...]

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It’s Hip to Be Square: The Modern Merchant-Author


I feel like I entered the publishing business at a tumultuous time; and if it was not tumultuous, it was definitely on the cusp of major change. In 2002, when I had my first novel published with a small Canadian press, I was regarded “not ready for prime time” and instructed to keep my mouth shut while the adults held court on the panels at conventions. (No, not everyone was like this; but it was implied. Often.) I was also growing accustomed to shouldering the responsibility of providing my own books at events, something that many authors turned a nose up at. Whether it is at conventions or special events, some authors expect their books to be there. I remember at one event paying a visit to the bookseller’s booth in the off-chance my books were there. (My publisher could be stocked by booksellers, an advantage Dragon Moon had over [...]

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Free for All: Collateral Goods

Mindy KlaskyMindy Klasky

Once upon a time, musicians used to make their money on the albums that they sold. Now, though, most musicians make their money on concerts. Some make substantial money on “collateral goods” — T-shirts, belt buckles, other physical goods sold at concerts or elsewhere. Some musicians have found it financially wise to give away their music, so that more people attend their concerts and buy their collateral goods.

And authors might be heading in the same direction…

Okay. Not exactly. While some authors give away books (or sell them at super-discounted prices), we generally do so to introduce readers to our series. We still charge for the other books in the series. For example, the first book in my Diamond Brides series, Perfect Pitch, debuted at $0.99, a $2.00 discount off its standard price. (To date, the price has not reverted.) Catching Hell, the second book, debuted at its full [...]

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On the Writing Life (Nine Novels in Eight Months, or Insanity)

Mindy KlaskyMindy Klasky

Several months ago, I told folks here on Magical Words that I was going to write nine novels for publication in 2014, publishing one a month from April through December.

I lied. I’m writing nine novels for publication in 2014, publishing them all in eight months. Perfect Pitch debuted on March 31, and the ninth novel, Always Right will appear on November 4, 2014. The second Diamond Brides novel, Catching Hell, debuted on April 13. That “double dip” — two books in one month — was designed to bolster sales for the series, to let readers who liked the first one know that there’s more where that came from, and to keep them looking on the first Sunday of every month till the series ends.

I’ve talked elsewhere about how I alternate writing days and administrative-task (including household task) days. And I’ve explained my strategies for writing fast. Today, I’m [...]

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Faith Hunter — Hit Me with Your Best One

Faith HunterFaith Hunter

Hi all. This is my third week on, under the new format. It’s also both confession time and two weeks to the day that my most recent book came out (BLACK ARTS, Jan. 7th release day). Let’s start with the book.

Last Wednesday, on the 15th, (if you are doing the math, that’s eight days after release day) BLACK ARTS came in at 56 or 57 (I honestly forgot which) on the USA Today list of all books. It’s a hard list to make at any position, because every book (hardback, fiction, non-fiction, e-book, trade and massmarket paperback and maybe e-books, I’m not sure) are vying for the list all at once. Just making this list is difficult and I was delighted when I hit in the 70s two books ago. So, yes, 56 or 57 is fabulous!

More importantly, from my publisher’s bragging rights perspective, BLACK ARTS [...]

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Alethea Kontis — The Year Without A Book


On January 11th, I had a birthday. (It was wonderful and surreal, thank you!)

Less than a week earlier, my editor at Harcourt made it known to me that Book Three in the Woodcutter Sisters Series–now called Dearest–would be releasing on February 3, 2015. It seems that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has only two publishing “seasons.” They call these seasons “Spring” and “Fall.” So when I was told that Dearest would be releasing in “Fall of 2014,” what HMH actually meant was Winter of 2015.

My deepest apologies to all the fans I’ve misled for over a year.

Sneaky stuff, this is. Very, very sneaky and mind-bending stuff. For me, the toughest thing to wrap my brain around has been the realization that between the discovery of Dearest’s release date and the books actual release, Enchanted will have been distributed to roughly 50,000 people on World Book Night, and I [...]

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Faith Hunter — Release Week

Faith HunterFaith Hunter

Hi all. This is my second week on, under the new system. If you have been away from MW this year, and this is your first time back, you are seeing something new. MW has entered a new format, one with more guest speakers and some new emphases—on readers and the business of writing and the life of being a writer, as much as on writing tips, writing toolbox, and methodology.

One of the most important parts in the life of a writer—traditionally published or self-published—is release week. Jan. 7, Tuesday of last week, was release day for BLACK ARTS.

I have to tell you, this feels weird, but I’m game. After some thought, (and two false starts) I decided to make this a post about the business of writing, as much as a PR post about release week, weaving in book blurbs and art and working with the [...]

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