Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Recycling My Books

Today I welcome Paty Jager to Terry's Place. Paty uses her love of the old west and ranch life to bring the characters in her historical and contemporary westerns to life. Growing up in a rural area books were her crystal ball to the world outside the secluded Wallowa valley. Her characters portray her feelings on life and love and her joy of reading.

Terry, Thank you for hosting me on your blog today.

I'd like to share with you today how I’m extending the longevity of my books and making them even more accessible to readers.

When I started writing I just wanted to put the characters in my head on paper and enjoy the process of bringing them to life on the pages. Along the way, my husband thought I should see dollars for my efforts and my friends who enjoyed the stories thought more people should enjoy them. That brought me to learning to better my craft and eventually start sending my stories to agents, editors, and contests.

I did well in most contests, usually becoming a finalist, and the rejection letters stopped being photocopied letters and said, "We like this, but…". I became frustrated that while they "liked it but", was nice, it wasn't putting my stories in front of readers.



A friend told me about a new small press that would only publish romance. I sent my first Halsey brother book to them (Marshal in Petticoats) and they contracted and asked what else I had. I had several. At the time I sent the first manuscript to Wild Rose Press, I had eight finished projects. The first three will never see the light of day, but the rest had potential. And my first contemporary western romance, written before I joined Wild Rose Press, was published by them and received an EPPIE award.

In the years following my manuscripts being contracted by WRP, the self-publishing market blossomed into something over and above vanity-publishing. Books published by the authors were making the best seller lists. Buzz started over the great books being published by authors and the quality of self-published books rose. There was no longer a stigma attached to being self-published. Ereaders became easier to use, less expensive, and the new technology toy.

With all this new ground made in the world of self-publishing, I requested the rights back to four of my books that had run the length of the contract. After revising them, some with additions I thought of after they were published and some just with new phrasing and beautiful covers fashioned by my talented daughter, I now have three books up at Kindle and Smashwords and will soon have the EPPIE award winning book there by the end of June along with a brand new historical western.

I decided with a background in editing and critique partners who find my gaps in plot and character arcs, I can do the self-publishing route and not only make more money(my husband wants me to show more profit) but be able to present my stories to readers at a reasonable cost.

I became a writer because of my love of books and stories. Self-publishing is a way to make my stories more cost efficient for the voracious reader and to have my stories available even though they don't fit neatly in the slots New York has for genre books.

If you'd like to learn more about Paty, her books, or the people she hangs out with you can stop by her website http://www.patyjager.net or her blog http://www.patyjager.blogspot.com or follow her at twitter @patyjag or on facebook https://www.facebook.com/paty.jager

16 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Congratulations on your success, Paty! You're right--indie publishing does open up so many possibilities for both writers and readers.

Maryann Miller said...

Congrats on getting your books out for e-readers. This new world of publishing sure is exciting.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Elizabeth, Thank you for commenting. There are definitely more stories out there for people to enjoy than are being published right now.

Paty Jager said...

HI Maryann, yes it is! If someone had told me we could read books on a small gadget we held in our hands when I first started writing I would have thought them crazy.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Paty!
I think you've got your head on straight, and you've gone about this the right way. By now you've got a following and hopefully your new venture will make your husband happy! The key is having lots of product, and it sounds as though you do.

Thanks for sharing and wishing all the success in the world!

Devon Matthews said...

I wish you all the success in the world, Paty! I'm right there with you, as you already know, racing headfirst into this brave new publishing frontier.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Lynne,

Yes, I know readers like my books, so I might as well put them out there for them to enjoy and keep writing what I want to write.

Paty Jager said...

Waving to Devon. Yes, we are both traveling this rocky new road together. Here's wishing us both lots of luck!

Gerri Bowen said...

I enjoyed your post, Paty. :D

Paty Jager said...

Hi Gerri, Thanks!

Vonnie Alto said...

Hi Paty--
You are a savvy businesswoman. And smart to go the self-published route. So, did you ever figure out why traditional publishers liked your books but didn't want to buy them?

Ciara said...

Great post! I wish you all the success in the world in your publishing venture. :)

Kathy Lane said...

Great post, Paty. I'm impressed with your determination to get your stories out to the readers who love them. I'm just starting in the business, but I'll definitely keep self-publishing in mind when I get my rights back, too.

Paty Jager said...

Vonnie, as close as I could tell my books weren't different enough. Just a good story with nothing that was a WOW factor. In the case of the spirit trilogy they 1) said no one reads Native American romance and 2) weren't sure where it would fall on a book store shelf.

Paty Jager said...

Thanks, Ciara!

Paty Jager said...

Thanks Kathy. The whole reason I write is to give my readers enjoyment, so if I can do that myself I might as well.