Monday, July 2, 2012

GraveTell's INDIEpendence Week Blog H0P

As an indie author, I am thrilled to be a part of GraveTell's Indie-pendence Week Blog Hop!

I'm an indie author who published her first novel through a small press. BLEEDING HEARTS: Book One of the Demimonde was released March 2012 through Pink Narcissus Press. I couldn't have asked for a more amazing team—my Lord Editor Rose Mambert, my personal editor Stacy Giufre, my AMAZING copy editor SWEET JOSIE BROWN (capitals are intentional), and the unsurpassed Duncan Eagleson, my cover artist…

Did you notice all the possessiveness there? MY editors, MY artist? That's intentional, too. The folks at Pink Narcissus Press became my book's family from the very start. I am theirs and they are mine.

All those brains and personality and talent crammed into a tidy little publishing house—working with them has completely opened my eyes to the reality and potentials of small press publishing. I am proud to be an Indie-pendant. I'm proud to represent my publisher. I'm even proud to admit I stalked my Lord Editor at a convention and ambushed her in the bathroom so that we'd have a first meeting worth laughing about over cocktails one day. (It's how I roll.)

Anyways, today I wanted to share my origin story. I love origin stories—love them in comic books, love them on True Blood, just flat out love knowing where a body came from. Although I started writing novels right out of the gate—in secret, in snips of time, in Word documents and notebooks and sheets of scrap paper—I didn't become a published novelist right away. Noveling is a long and frustrating and amazing journey. (Writers will smile and nod their heads and know what I mean.)

I often took breaks from noveling to write shorter things like poetry and short stories. Those breaks served so many purposes: by switching gears, I combated writers block. I expressed ideas that didn't fit into my novel WIPs. I expanded on emotions I picked up from the music I love. As a result, I filled even more notebooks.

I couldn't let those words just rot in those notebooks, either. So I figured: might as well see if I can get them published.

We are a long way away from the days when we typed up our submissions, looked up the addresses to magazines and journals, and mailed away our precious work, only to wait weeks—months—before getting any type of response. Uck. That was so...analog. Thank you, Internet, for changing the publishing world as we know it.

Now, those magazines and journals are just a couple of taps on the keyboard away. Many even accept email submissions—and the ones that don't better get on with it before the archaeologists come after them.

One website, however, is deserving of special mention because it became the sharpest tool in my writer's tool chest. This one website became essential in my quest to get my small stuff published.

Duotrope: search for short fiction & poetry

I love Duotrope. If my memory serves, I first heard mention of them in a writer's group I'd joined on MySpace.  (That should tell you how long I've been using them. :D I haven't seen MySpace in years.)

Duotrope is a free resource for writers that primarily offers an extensive, searchable database of current fiction, poetry, and non-fiction markets—over 4250 current markets at the moment. They also offer a calendar of upcoming deadlines, submissions trackers (for registered users), and some nifty reports compiled from the data they've accumulated.

They have been honored as one of Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers for every year from 2006 through 2012. Also, Preditors & Editors selected them for their Truly Useful Site Award in February 2010.

Duotrope helped me find the folks who actually like my stuff enough to print it. I think I'm closing in on my one hundredth acceptance…I suppose I'll have to go check my submission tracker and get the official count. Some of those markets have since disappeared, some have grown bigger-better-stronger, and some have morphed into different things entirely. One thing for sure— kept a handle on the sea of literary markets so that I can dip in and fish for new acceptances whenever I have a new offering.

I love the Duotroopers, as their team is known. I want to bake them cookies. However, eating cookies made by someone you only know online is a little creepy at best so instead of being creepy, I support them with donations to keep the site running. I need them to keep running. They do all my research for me. If I lost Duotrope, I'd be losing my entire staff. Almost seriously.

Most of all, I love Duotrope because, when I was putting together a list of novel publishers, I decided—what the heck? Might as well look on Duotrope. Up until then, I'd only used it to get my short stuff published. I hadn't even considered looking for a publisher for BLEEDING HEARTS on Duotrope.

I'm glad I did—because that's how I found Pink Narcissus Press.

And we live happily ever after. :D

Duotrope 's amazing web resources helped me to publish my small stuff while I was working on the big stuff—my novels—and, when the time came to finally sign that first novel contract, I'd become a seasoned, savvy Indie author who knew the joys of indie publishing. I like to think my Lord Editor signed a professional author when she got me. I know that I wouldn't have had that confidence without the experiences I got by perfecting my submissions and publishing my short work.

When you play the game of publishing, every bit of practice counts. Duotrope was an essential avenue that allowed me to make the transition from novice writer to professional indie author.And they helped me round out an impressive bio to boot. Editors love that.

Duotrope: search for short fiction & poetry markets

How about YOU? Are you an indie? We indies stick together…so let's get to know each other better. What's your origin story? We want to know...and friends share. :D

Join my Demimonde--follow me here, or on Facebook, or on Twitter--and leave a comment to enter to win a copy of BLEEDING HEARTS, available in Kindle and Nook/epub formats.

(You can also visit THIS POST HERE where I'm hosting a new follower giveaway until July 15—you can win print books, gift cards, and crazy swag!)

Return to the party list by ckicking here: GraveTells INDIEpendence Blog Hop Linky List


  1. I'm not an author, so I don't have a story to tell! But I appreciate the giveaway, thanks!

  2. Nothing wrong with that--I love readers! <3

  3. I am not an author, but I do follow several Indie authors. There are many that are great writers and so deserving of the accolades that the multimillion dollar authors receive.
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

  4. Wait a minute. I also am published by Pink Narcissus Press and I also bask in the glorious power of their excellent people, so I want to thank you for graciously sharing them with me when they can be spared from your book. Especially Rose Mambert, who is a goddess and who bought me an ice cream sundae at Outback when we were at Balticon.

    It's worth noting that I also found Pink Narc through Duotrope. So, readers, Ash is not making any of this up.

    Lyle Blake Smythers

    1. Lyle! I didn't get ice cream with Rose...

      ...but, yes--our editor is divine. :)

      I'll make my next Duotrope donation in Lyle's name.

  5. Not an author but a very addicted reader of most any well written book ;) I am so incredibly glad that it is a more simple process to get your work out there. Not easier but seems to be faster?

    1. Faster? Depends...I queried several months before I signed an agent. Had I stayed with the agent, it could have been several months more before a sale and perhaps two years before the title came out in print.

      Publishing with Pink Narc still took time--the editorial process is thorough and intense--but the advantage vs. using a big house was that I felt like my book was a priority, not just another project in a production line.

      I was special. :) Just like Lyle. :) :)

      That's why we are indies.

  6. Not an author but do and appreciate the hard work you authors go through to get your works published and seen by the public.

    FB-Dawna Newman


    1. Thanks, Dawna! We're readers too so I know just how you feel! :)

  7. I am not an author, but I love the indies. I am finding this hop facinating with all of the awesome resources and discussions. Thank you so much for participating in the fun. I follow twitter, facebook, GFC/Linky Denise Zaky

    1. I've been busy hopping too...I found a lot of great sites so I'm glad you're hoping, too! Good luck!

  8. I am glad to have met everyone who stopped by on the GraveTell's blog hop...congrats to BHLmistress who has won a copy of Bleeding Hearts!

    Remember you all still have a chance to win prizes in the Night Owl Reviews's Summer Fun Web Hunt, open until July 15. Check out the page tab at the top of the blog to see all the contests you can enter. Hundreds of dollars in prizes up for grabs!

  9. I love the enthusiasm you show for your publisher and for Duotrope. I'm very close to my small publisher and I'm also grateful to Duotrope for all they do. (Be sure to donate to them when you can. They deserve our donations.)

    Jolie du Pre
    I Love Horror/Paranormal Novellas Blog Hop


I'd love to hear from you!