I would like to welcome Wendy Owens to the blog! She is author of The Guardians series. She is here today to tell us a little about herself and her books.
Wendy Owens is a 34 year old author, born in the small
college town, Oxford Ohio. After attending Miami University, Wendy went onto a career in the visual arts. For several years she created and sold her own artwork. In 2011 she gave her true love, writing, a try. Her first novel flowed from her in only two weeks time, as though it had been fighting to get out. That moment was when she knew she had found her calling. Wendy now happily spends her days writing the stories her characters guide her to tell, admitting even she doesn’t always know where that might lead. Her first series, The Guardians, will be concluded with the fifth and final book in 2013.
When she’s not writing, this dog lover can be found spending time with her tech geek husband, their three amazing kids, and two pups, lovingly nicknamed stinks and chubbs. She also loves to cook and is a film fanatic.
For more info on Wendy's young adult fiction visit her WEBSITE.If you want to follow her on social media you can visit:
Alright, now that we’ve established what I write, let’s discuss how I deliver it and why. I am the rare breed who never sought the approval of a main stream publisher. I haven’t sent a query letter and looked for an agent. Why? Because I decided early on I didn’t want that path. I was an indie writer all the way.
Prior to writing I was a freelance visual artist for many years. I travelled the country with my baby girl and a car full of artwork, hitting one gallery or craft show after the next. I chose what I created, I chose how I marketed that work, I chose the clients I wanted to seek out, basically I wore all the hats and I also had the luxury of not a single souls telling me “you can’t do that.”
When my husband encouraged me to follow my dream of being a writer I decided I wanted this same freedom. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t wear every hat. I hire out my cover, I hire several editors, and I do these things because I know my books will be stronger for it. But I am in charge of what I write about and who I want to market to, not some huge publisher trying to push me into a market niche they might want to fill.
Not all authors experience this, and I am sure traditional publishing has it’s benefits like a huge bank roll to promote you. I am not even saying I would never give it a try. All I am saying is that right now, where I am in my life, wife and mother of three young children, I like the flexibility and opportunity of being an indie writer.
I own all the rights to my books. Seems like a simple thing and who cares if people are reading your stuff who owns it? Well you should. There are a lot of published authors out there who have either lost the rights to their work to a publishing company who later decides to bench a book. It’s also a business. If you’re writing just to have people read your books, you’re a hobbyist. If you want to make a living while having people read your books you’re looking for a career. If you want to be rich from writer, well-- you’re a dreamer... and that’s ok, we all like to dream.
Speaking of money, that is another thing to think about. As an Indie author I get to set my own prices. I get paid more royalties so I am able to ask less for my books, allowing myself to reach many more readers.
I could probably go on and on about the things I love about being an indie published author but instead I will tell you some of the pitfalls to beware of. The biggest risk... yourself. You can be the biggest strength to your business and also the biggest liability. You wear all the hats so you have to put in all the time that many people would be. If seven people would be putting in five hours a week on your book you get to do that 35 hours of work plus find time to write.
You also have to understand where you are not the strongest and be willing to invest in yourself. I am a believer in outside editors so I pay for that. I know I am not one who creates amazing cover art so I invest in someone who does. I also know I am not the best at marketing so I look at other professionals who might be able to help me market my book. In the beginning I could not afford all of these things but the more I sell, the more I have to reinvest.
Another negative, there is a stigmatism when it comes to indie publishing. My readers are the ones who let me know if what I am doing is wanted, not a letter from a publisher. If I am getting 4 and 5 star reviews I am confident I am doing the right thing. However, a bit of wisdom, invest in your book, because putting out quality books will help with the negative view on self publishing.
Undervaluing is another problem a lot of indie authors have a problem with. A marketing strategy is one thing. For example, I am giving away book one in an effort to gain new readers for my series. The remaining books are priced $2.99 - $3.99. I am not saying this is for everyone but it is an experiment I am trying in order to see if it will grow my readership. My issue is with authors who have 10 books out and all priced at 99 cents. You worked hard on your book and deserve to ask a fair price for it. You will learn what that is for you. Each book costs me over $1,000 to put out. I price my book based on conservatively recouping my money in 1 year time. I hope it is more like a month of course, but there is a strategy to my pricing while keeping it reasonable to my readers.
Do you have more questions I may not have answered? I am sure you do, I know I had a million when I started out. Please feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I might not answer immediately, but I will answer. Thanks for checking out my opinions and happy reading!
Tragedy has defined Gabe's short existence in this world. An ominous darkness lurked on the edge of his existence until one day in a subway, strange things start happening. A series of events lead Gabe into a new and fascinating life filled with angels and demons, but he isn't sure if he wants to be a part of it.
Gabe is thrust into the middle of this exciting world that is full of things he has longed for in his life but it comes with a price. This new life also promises constant terrifying dangers that Gabe fears he may not be able to survive.
About Book 2:
Gabe thought finding out that he was a Guardian Angel was difficult. Then he found out he is destined to be the great protector who will one day deliver the last prophet to either safety or death. If all of that is not enough Gabe must always be on guard since he is being hunted by the most powerful demon in the earthly realm, Baal.
Gabe deals with these struggles because his new life includes Sophie. They grew closer over the summer and now every day seems unimaginable without her in it. Evil doesn't stop though just because Gabe has found happiness. Only this time the evil finds it's way to Rampart manor and Gabe will risk everything to try and stop it.
About Book 3:
Gabe has been on the run for five long years, since the night he left Rampart. During those five years he has gone through experiences that have molded him into a hardened man. After the world repeatedly disappointed him, Gabe manages to find peace in solitary confinement. Not only is he safe from Bale's minions, but he finds peace in his solitude.
He thought he had finally found what he so greatly lusted after, a quiet life, all by himself. Until a familiar stranger showed up on his doorstep, pleading for help. Even though Gabe thought he had escaped The Prophecy, things are not always as they seem.
Now Gabe has another chance at love. Choosing to follow his heart could prove to be not only the most difficult decision of his life - but perhaps the most dangerous, too. Just when Gabe thinks he might have it all figured out, he is given the most important duty in his life. If he succeeds it would mean a comfort he has never known and a joy he thought didn’t exist. If he fails it could mark the beginning of the end for all mankind.
The Lost Years
To be released April 9th (estimated)
Gabe's world was forever altered by the people he came to know and love at Rampart Manor. Although, it wasn't only his life that was changed when he made the choice to leave them all behind.
During his five year absence, they each had a battle with personal demons. Dina is faced with a moral dilemma, the path of good leading to certain heartbreak, or evil, and a possibility of happiness.
Uri meets a mysterious woman who seems to have a lot of the answers that he has been searching for, and she certainly has a place in his heart, if he can only hold onto her.
Sophie is faced with choices she never knew would be so difficult. The
question now is: will the personal demons of the remaining Guardians of Rampart be too much for them to overcome?a Rafflecopter giveaway