Monday, December 19, 2011

Indie Author Spotlight: The Jaguar Legacy

by Maureen Fisher

Book Blurb:

Ancient danger stalks the jungle on velvet paws...

Take one lost city in Mexico where occult energy abounds;
Add one sassy reporter on a quest for an exposé;
Combine with a generous helping of brilliant archaeologist who hates the press;
Throw in a dollop of vengeful ex-wife and a pinch of mysterious shaman who has mastered the mystic arts of the Ancients;
Stir until well combined before placing in pressure cooker;
Stand well back from the fireworks.


The Journey:
This book has a good mixture of many things: archeology, ancient civilizations, centuries old curses, reincarnation, shape shifting. I know it sounds like a lot but Fisher skillfully weaves them together for a fast-paced, entertaining romp through the jungle.

The Characters:
I loved the character Fisher created in the hero, Alistair Kincaid – a sexy Scottish archeologist with a penchant for tacky Hawaiian shirts. I could so picture Gerard Butler in this role. Yum! Charlie is interesting too. She has secrets, some she isn't even aware of. It's an intriguing journey as readers discover her forgotten past along with her.

Jungle Love:
The sexual tension between Charlie and Kincaid is well-played. I always enjoy a good verbal sparing between characters, and these two know how to push each other's buttons. I often have a hard time when characters fall in love too quickly. While the entire book spans only one week, there is a lot packed into it and by the end, I totally believed these two characters cared deeply for each other and had a chance for their happily ever after.

Those Pesky Mosquitos:
There were a few instances that pulled me out of the story. I had a hard time believing anyone would pack silk blouses and lingerie to take on an archeological dig in the jungle. I also had to wonder how none of the characters noticed the hidden ceremonial chamber had recently seen human activity (fires near the altar, incense burning, footprints in the centuries old dust, etc.) when they thought it had been sealed up for 2000 years. There was also a ring Charlie wore that seemed to have special significance but it was never explained how she got it. But these were small bumps in an otherwise interesting journey.

And Now For Something A Bit Different:
Like many authors these days, Ms. Fisher’s novel was previously published by a small press and when she got her rights back to THE JAGUAR LEGACY, she decided to self-publish it. I asked her to tell us how the experience has differed from being traditionally published versus indie publishing the same book. Here’s the author in her own words:

I would like to extend my thanks to Lori for reviewing my re-release of The Jaguar Legacy, a paranormal romantic suspense previously published by a small-press publisher.

Now that I have self-published two books, I can say with some certainty that independent publishing is both incredibly rewarding and also not for the faint of heart.

The major downside of self-publishing is that, in addition to writing high-quality books, the indie author must do all the tasks normally handled by a publisher. These include:

Editing: I highly recommend making an investment in yourself by hiring a professional editor. For me, this is a mandatory step to ensure a quality product. If a reader hates my book because of grammar errors, spelling mistakes, or, worse, unsympathetic protagonists or plot flaws that slipped by my beta readers, she will never return to buy another book.

Cover: The cover is a reader’s first impression of your book. An amateurish cover screams, “Novice writer,” and is the kiss of death. Unless you have the skills to design and prepare your own cover, I recommend hiring a professional cover designer.

E-book preparation and conversion: This time-consuming work requires patience, the reading of much fine print, attention to detail, and technical savvy. For the technically challenged (like me), it also means a steep learning curve. I was lucky because my husband was willing to act as my technical guru. Or you can hire someone to do this for you.

Handling all the administrative details involving taxes and dealing with distributers and/or printing houses.

Handling all promotional activities including blogging, networking, soliciting reviews, posting to promotional sites, placing ads, organizing book signings, and more. This isn’t as bad as it sounds because most publishers now expect authors to do much of their own book promotion.

On the plus side, I love, love, LOVE the control indie publishing provides. I can change the pricing, the product description, even the book content, all at will, and if book sales don’t improve, I can change everything back again.

Moreover, I don’t need to second-guess whether or not an agent or editor will reject a manuscript because it doesn’t fit into a traditional genre box and is therefore unmarketable. That means I can write any kind of book I want with no restrictions on the content. The downside of all this freedom is that I might write something no one wants to buy, thus proving that the genre boxes are there for a reason.

The good news is that my first three months of sales as an indie author have already exceeded four years of small press figures. While I still haven’t matched total revenues due to lower indie pricing, I anticipate that my revenues will soon cover my initial costs, and then gallop ahead of the earnings from my small press publisher. I have all the time in the world. Self-publishing isn’t a sprint, but a marathon.

Control, autonomy, and money! Short of a bestseller gone viral, what more could an author ask?

Learn more about Maureen at http://booksbymaureen.com/

3 comments:

  1. Interesting interview! Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. :)

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  2. Sounds like a good book! I'll have to add it to my ever-growing TBB pile (at least it's now virtual). Thanks to Maureen for sharing your experience - mine has been much the same.

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  3. I'm eagerly following Indie authors. Thanks for sharing your experience and your advice.

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