I am downloading, Tweet by Tweet, my Fu Sheng short story, A Pure Blood. The 900 year old Chinese vampire witnesses the death of a young drama student, and discovers corruption and racism in the New Galaxy. http://twitter.com/#!/EllisonLaura :)
Blood In Trust is now at Barnes and Noble.com as a Nook book. $5.15 http://bit.ly/II5inh :)
I also learned a valuable lesson over at Amazon.com. An author can have their book published through Amazon, but the writer in no way can promote their work at the Amazon site except at designated forums, such as Meet Our Authors. If the writer tries to promote at any other Amazon threads, even if the thread is started by a reader looking for a book like the author has published, the writer receives a short e-mail from Amazon informing them that their posting privileges will be revoked if they continue to post where their promoting is not wanted. Oops. Indie authors are kept in a pen over there. Now that Blood In Trust is a Kindle book, I've behaved myself and posted only at author threads at Amazon. Sometimes reporting and blocking is necessary. On my Twitter page, I've blocked various followers whose websites are pornographic. I don't want that stuff on my feed, but I feel a bit insulted when I'm treated the same way as some girl at wildsexparty.net.
I'm sure there are many talented indie writers who have experienced the same things. I've paid for advertising for my free books at Facebook and Goodreads. I did it to get readers interested, not for profit. If an author has written a good book that happens to be free, exposure is easy. Charge a fee, even 99 cents, and generating interest is more difficult. An author at Amazon mentioned that she would never offer her work for free because she felt the quality of her work was worth the charge. She obviously takes pride in her work, but there are some wonderful manuscripts moldering in drawers all over the world, sent out to the occasional agent or publisher. Breaking through is such a bitch, that a truly gifted writer could spend their whole lives just sending out queries. Hence, the ever-growing power of electronic publishing.
I chose to publish independently not because I was ready to give up or couldn't handle the rejection, but because I had matured enough to understand that talent is a subjective thing, and the publishing business, like any other big business, is fickle. Independent publishing allows the square peg to have a place besides pushing itself through the round hole. The author can write about whatever he/she wants, and they can feel like they are good enough. Self-doubt is hardly conducive to the creative process, and wherever people are expressing themselves in a peaceful manner, they should be treated gently. :)
I do not plan on becoming wealthy from my writing, most likely never. Nowadays, the appeal of electronic publishing is too strong for many authors, but these people often find themselves lost at sea, swimming with all the millions of other fish.
I was concerned, upon publication of Blood In Trust, that the previous work I offered for free, such as The Last Girl, would be preferable to readers because there was no charge. Over the last week, I've noticed that my free work has soared in downloads as compared to Blood In Trust. The book has only been available since April first, and is hardly expensive at $4.99, but anyone with some extra time can download a free book in minutes. However, if a book interests me enough, I'd pay a reasonable price for it. To be honest, I still go to my local library. I don't own a Kindle or Nook, although I'll most likely own one in the near future. When I go to Facebook or Twitter, I'm making an attempt to reach millions of people, and I've seen the power of social networking with my first published novel, Karma House. I was surprised at how kind and supportive people could be and I pushed past my own morbid shyness to connect with potential readers. Of course, for every nice person you meet, there's that one troll who accuses an indie author of spamming. I suppose there are people who get irritated over unwanted messages, but just ignore or delete, don't report the sender, considering that the reporter could be accused of the same thing by someone else. We all move in circles, like Google +. No one owns social networking, even Mark Zuckerberg, but I think it's interesting that you can report someone for 'spamming' but not for being a sarcastic bitch. If that was the case, Twitter would see a drop in membership because it doesn't take talent to be an asshole in 140 characters or less.