See Jane Publish has been high-jacked! by Darla Luke

If you’re a regular SJP reader, you’ll notice right away that I’m not Nancy. Darker hair (& younger, LOL!!), not as snarky or political.  You’re missing her already, huh?

For several weeks (months, maybe … they go by so fast!) one of the Jane’s has been bugging me to guest blog (which may come as a surprise to Nancy & Kim). But – and this will be a big surprise to many people who know me – I didn’t feel I had anything of substance or interesting enough to put out there for the world to read.Image

Then, last September, I dipped my toe into the ocean known as self-publishing with a short story (The Haunted House of Thomas Creek, if you’re dying of curiosity), and immediately noticed that the USA Today Top 50 Best Selling Book list was in the paper every Thursday. Low and behold … self-published authors have been appearing on that list.

The first one that popped onto my radar was The Mill River Recluse, by Darcie Chan. It’s a debut novel from an unknown author – which I could identify with. It appeared on both the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists week after week. 24 weeks to be exact. On her website she states that she’s sold over 500,000 copies of her novel.


What author, as s/he types at their computer day after day (or night as the case may be), hasn’t fantasized about being an overnight success? If we knew the real behind-the-scenes story, we might find it wasn’t overnight that success skyrocketed Darcie to these lists, because word-of-mouth is usually the long and hard way to do it.

Woman reading newspaperThat buoyed my dreams of financial independence. If Darcie could do it, maybe I could also.  So, the idea for this segment on SJP was born (and why I’m here!). So join me every Friday as I scour the USA Today list for self- or indy-published books that made the list. The focus will be on discussing the books that made this important a milestone – especially romance – and hopefully spark conversation.

That said, this is not a one-way street. Let me know what self-published book is on your radar right now! Maybe it hasn’t hit a list yet, but it could. Every author’s dream.


About Darla Luke

Darla Luke spent her childhood making up stories in her head, when she wasn't devouring every book she could get her hands on. If someone would have told her she'd be a writer when she grew up, she would have laughed herself silly. Now, writing is her passion, and she loves telling stories (especially ghost stories) and believes they all should have a happy ending.

Posted on June 22, 2012, in General and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on psychologia kliniczna.


  2. Hey, Darla! Looking forward to this weekly column. Should be interesting, entertaining, and informative. Yes, you have big expectations to fill. 🙂


  3. Gina Fluharty

    So, I am reading “The Miller River Recluse” right now. I’m over 1/2 done. While it’s well-written and well-edited, I find myself continuing to read it because I want to know why 499,999 people recommended it. It’s not compelling. There’s not a big hook. So far, it’s episodic and I’m waiting for the “gotcha” moment alluded to when the old lady died at 3%.


    • Gina – if you discover that “gotcha” moment, let me know! Like many people I’m sure, I purchased the Mill River Recluse out of curiosity after it appeared for several weeks on the USA Today list, and because it was less then $1. As a self-pubbed writer who would love to have the same thing happen to one (or more!!) of my stories, I can’t help but wonder how the snowball (word of mouth) got started.


  4. Sounds like something to follow, Darla, since I’m now self pubbed also.


  5. Thanks, Susan! Glad to see you chirping out there :-). Hey, i love smiley faces, LOL! Yes, love talking about stories we love to read, and will gladly discuss them here!


  6. chirp, chirp 🙂 I’m looking forward to this column. I think it’ll be interesting to talk about the things we love about a story 🙂 There’s a certain werewolf I’m finding fascinating right now 😀


  7. Gina, I’m sure my opinion will seep through, whether I like it or not 🙂

    Thanks for commenting, at least I’m not out here alone, listening to crickets!


  8. Gina Fluharty

    Will you be reviewing the books and weighing in with your opinion as to whether they merit “best selling” status?


    • Gina – As a “working writer” (ie I have a day job that supports my writing), reviewing isn’t in my future, I’m afraid. My goal is to inform, spark conversation about the books on the list – have you read them? What do you think? etc – and hopefully entertain a little.

      And maybe, just maybe give hope to other self-published authors that they can aspire to join the ranks of a USA Today bestselling author.


      • Gina Fluharty

        I have a day job, as well. I just thought that if you propped them up for discussion, your personal perspective would add weight and spark to the discussion. Especially since this will be an on-going hijack, then at the end of the year you could have your Top 10 Worth It and Top 10 That Shoulda Made It. That’s all. I’m glad you’re doing the blog, as it’s a topic I’ve been wondering about lately.


  1. Pingback: And The Celebration Continues … by Darla Luke | See Jane Publish

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