A Romance Author’s Publishing Life in a 3-act play by Nancy Brophy

Act I – I am oblivious

I am a romance author, but like the heroine of my own books, I have no idea what my goal is in life. For a few years I told every one I didn’t really care about being published. My goal was to write better. At the same time I went to conferences and submitted to agents and editors. The rejection letters or revise/resubmit letters didn’t once change my attitude. But late at night alone with my thoughts, I fantasized about what name I’d write under, if I got the call.

Act II – I set a goal

After awhile I acknowledged my words were the polar opposite of my actions. Okay, I did want to be published – but only on my own terms. Not an ebook, only New York and only certain publishers with an agent who was both wise and enthusiastic.

My friends and family were polite but refused to speculate on pen names or what dress I’d wear to accept my awards. Like many pre-published authors, I played the wait-and-see game.

Time passed.

Act III – I come into my own

2010 was the year, everyone talked about self-publishing. 2011 the conversation turning to serious money. There were those who thumbed their noses at NY. The playing field was now level. There was gold to be had and like all prospectors we were going after it.

By March I had a plan and was actively working toward it. I took control of my writing career and the name I chose to write under was my own. In April I put my first book on Smashwords, Amazon and Barnes & Nobel. Then a second followed, a third and finally a fourth.

I am indie published. I write that sentence with pride. I am in control of my destiny. My goal was six books this year. I have sacrificed writing for marketing and my goal will pay the price. At night I lay awake pondering the next step. What else can I do to sell my books?

At this point the curtain should drop.

But as a side note to the audience, you’ll be please to know I’ve not given up my fantasy life. Now I imagine ways to spend all the money I am destined to make as a Romance Author, despite the fact my first check was only for $32.00.  My husband and I debated paying off the house, but instead opted for a tank of gas. All I can say is thank goodness we own a Prius.


Posted on July 21, 2012, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. As usual, Nancy, you present difficulty with humor. Here, here on the Prius! As for paying of the mortgage, it will either come through many drips and drabs or “sudden” fame and fortune because something hits and gets a movie deal (my fantasy, anyway).

    Hang in there. It seems to me that the more books you write and put out there, the more likely it is that sales will increase. I think a bunch of self-publishers need to get together and honestly compare notes for receipts on books, promo cost and benefit, etc.


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