Linda Cassidy Lewis talks

Today, I have the pleasure of hosting guest blogger, Linda Cassidy Lewis. Linda’s one of my first (if not my very first!) blogger friend, and through her blog I’ve shared in her process of editing and self-publishing her wonderful book, The Brevity of Roses, which is for sale in e-format and hard copy. If you haven’t read it, you should: it’s a wonderful tale that takes us into three lives. We live with them as they explore themselves, and the people around them, coming to terms with their own demons, and finding peace.

Linda Cassidy Lewis was born and raised in Indiana and now lives with her husband in California where she writes versions of the stories she only held in her head during the years their four sons were growing up. She blogs about her writing experience—typos and all. The Brevity of Roses is her debut novel.

Welcome, Linda!

Once self-published, always self-published?

When Jennifer invited me to write this guest post, I asked her if she had any topic suggestions. She did, but at the end, she also posed a question: Would I ever query agents again? This is my response.

I did not plan to self-publish The Brevity of Roses. I made a serious effort to obtain a traditional publishing contract. Over a period of thirteen months, I queried eighty agents. Unfortunately, I was offering literary women’s fiction when YA was the genre du jour. I heard the death knell for my dream of seeing Brevity published by a major NY house.

My querying experience chipped away at my confidence in The Brevity of Roses, but in my heart, I believed it was a good book. My beta readers confirmed that opinion, but I needed to know what the reading public would think. I published it in April this year. At the time of this writing, my novel has received twenty-one reviews and ratings online with an average of 4.9 stars. I feel validated.

Now that I know there are readers for my work, I’m not satisfied with reaching only a small part of them. This is where promotion and marketing comes into play. My book is one of millions sold at Amazon. Consider those odds!

Though it’s true that all authors are required to do some promotion, and debut authors like me would do it mostly on their own, I still believe your book gets a boost from being traditionally published. There are some avenues of promotion simply not open to self-published authors.

I love to write. WRITE. I don’t love publishing or marketing. Would I consider letting someone else do the publishing and help with the marketing of my next novel? I have to say yes. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I need an agent. I’m not part of the segment of indie authors who vilify agents across the board.  I very well might query agents again. Or I might self-publish with a larger marketing budget. Another option for me is to query a small press.

It’s too soon to for me to say I’ll definitely self-publish my next novel. I can say that I’ll consider all my options. And I’ll do the same for the novel after that because once self-published doesn’t have to mean always self-published.

Thanks, Linda, for sharing with us today!! 

You can visit Linda at her blog, Out of my Mind, and on her Facebook page.

30 thoughts on “Linda Cassidy Lewis talks

  1. Linda, having been through the same experience, I was interested to read your thoughts about staying self-published. It’s a trade off between the creative freedom offered by self-publishing versus the support system offered by a traditional marketing house. A difficult choice, and one I haven’t decided on yet as I feel it’s too soon to make a knowledgeable call. My biggest challenge now is to find the balance between marketing my first novel and getting that second one out of my head onto paper – if I can’t do that, than I’ll have to go back to the the traditional route as what’s the use of being a writer who only markets and doesn’t write??

    It’s exciting, adventurous times we live in – I think each of us will eventually settle in to whatever path suits us best and (as you correctly say) one of the advantages is the flexibility. Once self (or traditionally) published, doesn’t mean *always* self (or traditionally) published. We, as authors, have choices we never had before and that’s great news.

    Judy, South Africa

    1. Not being able to find that balance between marketing and writing is a big concern to me also, Judy. Of course, promotion is the responsibility of the authors of traditionally published books as well, yet I’m certain that’s not to the same degree that falls to self-published authors. Doing a blog tour is not the same as setting up and doing a blog tour, for instance.

      But yes, we have flexibility and that is good news. 🙂

      1. Judy, LInda, maybe I’m naive, but do you think that this freedom of creativity has to be squiched going the traditional route.
        I haven’t much ecperience with traditional publishing, and none with self-publishing, but the editors I’ve worked with have always wanted to maintian the originiality behind the piece. I suppose maybe it’s about lucky, and also in choosing your representation and the people to work with. When I see it that way, not so eay to make all the pieces fall into place…

      2. I’m so new to all this, Jennifer, that I can’t say. I believe that’s a fear of mine though … especially with the Big Publishers. A friend who is being published with a small press says they’ve given her a great deal of input in all steps of the process. But I don’t think I would be happy if a publisher wanted me to change my work to fit into some predetermined slot.

  2. I’m sure many people might think that once an Indie author always an Indie author as a great deal of thought obviously went into your decision to self-publish in the first place. I like your attitude, Linda, and the fact that that you’re willing to keep other options open. I also admire your determination to play an active roll in creating your own dream…. We really never know where life will take us. Glad that your book is collecting so many stars on good reads. (I’ll have to check out this site a bit see what it’s all about.) Although we don’t always like to admit it, hearing that people really like our work is the only form of validation we get for all those months of work. Wishing you continued success.

    1. I believe the needed validation was what most influenced me to self-publish, Laura. It’s so early in my career, I can’t help but keep options open. Talk to me in a year, I may be more set in my ways. 😉

      You should check out Goodreads; I’m still learning my way around there. But the total reviews I mentioned for my book was compiled from Amazon and B&N as well as Goodreads.

  3. I think small presses are sort of a happy medium. You get freedom along with support. But what do I know? Whatever it is you decide, I’m sure you’ll do well.

  4. I really enjoyed your post Linda. I, too, have let things simmer while I raised my boys and am now attempting to write in earnest. The self-doubt is the worst for me…who would like this? I think it’s good. Is it really good? The most important part of what you said, to me, is that you followed your dream through to fruition. The publishing and marketing aspect goes with the territory, unfortunately, but is an end to a means. If you don’t write, there will be nothing to publish or market…so there you go! LOL I’m impressed with your tenacity, flexibility and finding a solution that worked for you. When the next book is ready, you will no doubt walk the best path for you. Congratulations on your book and I look forward to giving it a read.

    1. writernubbin, I came to say goodbye on your blog, but it was already gone.
      If you receive this message, I wish you all the best!!!
      The great thing about the blogosphere is that it’s always here!

  5. Thank you, writernubbin. I’ve seen your face around the blogosphere. I visited your blog. I wish you well in your writing journey. I was writing a blog post when I saw your comment. Now, I’m questioning whether I should finish because it wasn’t very positive. Yet I’ve always aimed to be truthful about this writing journey I’m on. Sometimes life is just unreal. Ah, well, that’s no way to thank someone for a thoughtful comment, is it?

    Write your heart out, writernubbin. 🙂

    1. writternubin, Linda, I’m raising my kids now, and they’re young stiil. (1,5,8). I’ve often asked myself if I should stop writing, and give them all my time. I haven’t yet, and possibly never will. Recently I decided to stop wiriting. I’ve never done that, but it was on my mind for some months. I finally said, I’m done writing. One day, maybe I’ll come back. It lasted maybe 10 minutes. I was overtaken with sorrow. I was shocked, I really didn’t realize how much writing was a part of me, a part I really didn’t want to give up yet. When I read comments like both of yours, I’m taken to wondering about that time when you gave yourself so wholy to your children. It also makes me want to write, to find stories that are similar to yours.
      I’m really glad your both writing now!!!

      1. Oh, Jennifer, don’t misunderstand my experience. I was not ready to write when my children were small. I didn’t have the “chops” to do it. I needed to read, and read I did. I’m sure I spent just as much time, or more, with my nose in a book as you spend on your writing. From what you reveal here, I believe you are a wonderful mother.

      2. thanks, Linda 🙂 🙂

        In my opinion reading is the best teaching tool for a writer. The more you do it, I believe, the better you’ll write.

  6. I’m with you all the way. I think we are all in the same boat. However, I agree with your conclusions. My story is too long to relate here, but there are a million ways out there to accomplish my goals. I hope I am gaining on them. I keep plugging away. I love to write, but, like you, I hate marketing.

    1. Hi JJ – I have to say I have not yet come accross a writer who likes marketing! I suppose some detest it less than others, though. lol
      I think no matter which we route we go, it’s all part of it, if we decide to share what we’ve created!

    2. In the last few days, JJ, I’ve relaxed a bit on the marketing aspect. I’m just going to be me, in as many places and as often as I can manage. I believe readers will find me, probably not as quickly as I’d like, but it will happen.

  7. Really great article, Linda. I’ve weighed up these issues several times and am waiting to hear back from someone regarding a novel I wrote…..nerve wracking.

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