He doesn’t call, he doesn’t write…

…because he has been very busy. And so I have. The last several months have been a whirlwind of busy. Along with working on the ranch (not mine) trimming trees, burning brush, feeding the horses, goats, chickens and dogs, I have been researching and writing the fifth novel in the Terry Rankin series. I also closed a deal with a very talented and capable Voice Talent/Producer to move “The Big Bend” into audio book format. At this point we have Chapter 10 in the can (out of 38 chapters). The anticipated release date is 15 July, and it will be available through Amazon, Audible.com and iTunes. The same narrator/producer will also be handling the other three novels already in print and Kindle and when (when?) I get finished with the fifth book, he will handle that one, as well.

By way of creating a bit of buzz for the upcoming audio book version of “The Big Bend”, I am sending out a news release today to all the major networks and media centers (http://www.freepublicitygroup.com/release_gary_showalter_jun13.html). Part of that is a notice that the Kindle version of the novel will be reduced in price to $0.99 for the 14th and 15th of June (this Friday and Saturday). This promotion is backed up by one of the Kindle eBook subscriber lists.

A common query found on most writing forums is: “Why should I be an independent author? Isn’t it better to have a big publishing house behind me?” The answer to the first question is very simple; you make it on your own, or you don’t make it at all. You, and you alone, are responsible for every aspect of your work. Your success can be measured by the size of your royalty checks (as much as 75% of the cover price). Either learn to market and promote your own work, or find a job flipping burgers. The answer to the second question is just a bit more complicated; traditional publishing houses already have their rainmaker authors, and they will not take on any author who might threaten that income (because he or she has a successful track record of sales for that publishing house).

Along with that limitation is the sad fact that even if you do find an agent who will flog your work to a publishing house for you, no publisher today is going to invest a single penny in marketing and promotion for a brand new author. They just do not have that kind of money. So, along with paying your agent out of any royalties you might receive, those royalties will never amount to more than 10% – 12% of sales, and those sales will almost certainly never reach over five thousand copies of your masterpiece. That is an industry average for new authors.

Yes, the world is swamped with indie authors. Yes, it takes a bit of study and effort on your part to stand out from that crowd. That IS your job. Stop wasting your time in worrying and complaining and start learning your trade. Yes, everyone is afraid of failing; all too many are equally afraid of the effort required to succeed.

Some few of us are not, and that makes it a lot easier to succeed than you realize right now.


About Gary Showalter

Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal Zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s. Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Showalter picked cotton in East Texas, baled hay in Ardmore Oklahoma, sold light bulbs in Los Angeles, California, and built cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada (during a blizzard, of course). After settling in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Showalter worked as a professional gardener before turning his hand to furniture making. In 1981, he moved to Israel, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He served in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves for sixteen years, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security. He has also served in senior management positions in two software development companies in Israel. During his time in Israel, Mr. Showalter published articles dealing with international terror and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Jerusalem Post, Israel national News and several political science web sites. Mr. Showalter returned to the United States in the fall of 2003, to care for an elderly parent. He published his first novel, “The Big Bend”, in the fall of 2008. His second novel, “Hog Valley”, is now in print. Mr. Showalter's third novel, “Twisted Key”, was published in the fall of 2011, and his fourth novel, "Lonesome Cove" is now available in Kindle format and should be published in paper near the end of 2012. He currently lives in Deland, Fl, where he is co-authoring "A Silent Star" with Tony Attanasio. "A Silent Star" is the true tale (though novelized, with names changed for security reasons) about the 4-person covert action team sent into Yemen to capture Osama Bin laden immediately after the bombing of the USS Cole in the Aden harbor in Yemen in October of 2000.
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