Last year publishing houses wanted to buy rights to my next four Creed books. A possible couple million for books I planned to write anyway? Talk about validation and prestige! There'd be talk shows, newspaper reviews, feature articles in major publications!

Heady stuff, even for an old war horse like me.

But I said no. I'm proud to be an independent author, proud to be self-published. Those who remember me from my first tweet in late 2009 will tell you I've always believed in self-published authors, always believed we could compete with industry giants. They'll tell you I always supported indie authors by tweeting news and buying books. In some cases I bought three, four, and even five indie books at a time, announced contests, and paid to ship these books to the winners, to help indies gain not just readers, but also much-needed reviews.

It would have been easy to take millions for my books, but my success came from the friends and authors I met on Twitter and through blogging, emailing, and selling books one person at a time. These are my people, and I wanted to remain loyal to those who brought me to the dance. By accepting a traditional deal, I'd have to change my style, raise my prices, slow my publishing schedule. I always wanted to help bring prestige and respect to indie authors. If I went trad, I could talk about how great it was to be indie, but would my walk match my talk?

On February 1, 2012, thanks to Simon & Schuster and their amazing sales force, my self-published book, Wish List, hit retail stores across America and Canada. Thanks to them, we hit a milestone! We're in!

But the rest is business as usual.

Thinking this a huge story, I hired a national publicist to book TV talk shows, newspaper feature articles and book reviews. But not a single newspaper or TV show in the country was interested in talking to me.

Well, that's fine. I've been here before.

Last time I found myself in this situation I was told social media wouldn't work. Now I'm being told it might work for ebooks, where all a customer has to do is click a link, but tweets and blogs will never get customers to drive to retail stores to buy a book.

Will you help me prove them wrong?  Will you help me prove indie books belong on retail shelves?

As we speak, Wish List is in the stores, on the shelves! But outside our community, no one knows. The competition has millions of publishing dollars behind them. National media marketing campaigns, book tours, TV talk shows, newspaper ads and articles, book reviews and…Wish List has none of that. It's an indie book.

On paper, the competition holds all the cards. On paper, I don't have a chance.

But I've got something they can't measure on paper. I have you!

Let's be clear: I'm not asking you to buy Wish List because it makes a good story for the Indie movement. I'm asking you to try Wish List because it's a great book at an incredible price! If not, S&S wouldn't have made the deal. Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, airport bookstores, Walgreens, others—wouldn't have put me on their shelves.

You'll enjoy Wish List. If not, one of your friends certainly will. And yes, if Wish List succeeds in stores, S&S and retailers will do more deals with indies.

I need an army of authors and friends. Will you tweet the message? Facebook it? Will you blog it? Will you help me spread the word? If so, we can send a powerful message to mainstream media: INDIE BOOKS BELONG!

On bookstore shelves: WE BELONG!

On best-seller lists: WE BELONG!

In magazine articles: WE BELONG!

In newspaper interviews: WE BELONG!

In media book reviews: WE BELONG!

On TV talk shows: WE BELONG!

I'm asking for your help and support. Because no one on earth has the optimism of an indie author, and no one works harder. And no one believes in themselves more than indie authors, and no one is more determined. And one thing I know and believe with all my heart is no amount of money or power on earth can measure up to an army of independent authors and our friends!

Will you help me spread the word?


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Published on February 04, 2012 10:53 • 165 views

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message 2: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany Flint I posted this in John's Wordpress about The Little Girl Who Got Away and then I realized it was from 2011, haha. Anywho, I started searching for the book, hoping I could find it, and I couldn't. I see it was never published. This bothers me. I feel as though it was a tactic for attention and that perhaps he never had the intent to publish it (was it even written?) in the first place. A much larger number of people voted YES to have it published so I find it rather odd that he still chose not to. Anywho, this is what I had posted there a few minutes ago...

I am all about the book being published. I am an only child to two amazing parent’s…but my dad is a retired Detective Sergeant and even though he did his best, when I was a child, to keep the bad stories from my ears, I still overheard things. As I got older, I became intrigued and even thought about becoming a Social Worker or Detective but he gently tried to steer me in a different direction because he knew the emotional impact would be too much for me. However, although living it daily would be too much, reading about stuff like this has always been enjoyable for me. Not in a perverse or sexual way but rather, a “morbidly” curious type of way.

I read Edward Lee books so suffice it to say, haha, I’ve read some sick $h!t! Who cares if some people find it overtly offensive? There will always be others who has the opposite point of view..normal, sane, good people, not sickos. What we read and enjoy watching isn’t necessarily WHO we are. It’s an escape in to a different world, one that makes us think and makes us have to wear the shoes of others. Makes us ponder and learn. We ALL have the ability to CHOOSE. In other words, if we don’t like it (and wow, this is crazy, gonna blow peoples’ minds!) we can!!! OMG, I know, MIND BLOWN ,right?? LOL. Seriously though, people always want someone else to blame for THEIR OWN PERSONAL DECISIONS and that is stupid. You wrote the book. We may or may not choose to read it. If there is a negative impact, it’s NOT your fault but rather OURS for reading it. Personally, we read and see worse in the news and often, at that! People NEVER want to accept their own choices when those choices end up giving them a headache. Sure, when those choices lead to wonderful things they take TOTAL and 100% responsibility for them but otherwise? Heck no, it’s that movie about guns fault, it’s that movie showing teens having sex and doing drugs fault, it’s M. Mansons newest albums fault. But never, ever THEIR fault, right?

With all that said, I’m not sure why this vote is even happening. It sounds to me like there is a deeper reason for the vote…as in lack of confidence. When Vladimir Nabokov wrote Lolita, he didn’t post a forum asking for a vote on whether he should…he just did it. Yes, he met some uphill climbs with it but the book is famous and personally, I love it. I don’t support the actions in it (it’s funny in a not-so-funny way how murder also takes place in that book, too, but the child-love is the only problem that any one ever brings up) but I do support an author never letting their words go unread. You wrote this book, you need to publish it. For whatever reason, you wrote it for yourself…you should publish it for yourself. If we like it, we like it. If we don’t, we don’t. Who cares? Our opinions aren’t YOUR opinions. I appreciate an author caring but at the same time, if every author who dealt with censorship (G. Orwell, H. Lee, etc) decided to listen to the critics and not publish, we wouldn’t have some of the most famous and amazing books ever written.

So publish your book. Rape victims should have NO right to tell you otherwise. It’s THEIR responsibility to stay away from triggering things…they have no business reading your book if they can’t handle it. Religious fanatics? Same thing. They are already the reason that too many wonderful books are no longer allowed in schools…they are the biggest hypocrites out there.

message 1: by K. (new)

K. Francis John,
Will I help spread the word? You bet! Is there another choice?

I recently had to ask myself a fundamental question about book buying. “Why do I buy the books I buy when they aren’t always the books I like?”

The answer is a simple one - Because I can.

Authors like you gave me that freedom by giving me options.

I’ve been buying your books from the early days, but they are not written in the style or genre I most enjoy. Often I buy them and hold for the moment I realize I forgot uncle Jim’s birthday – again.

Occasionally, I pick them up for “emergency reading material.” I’ve got to say, flying cross-country with John Locke and Donovan Creed as traveling companions is a hell of a lot better than sitting between the guy who should have bought two seats and the woman with the liverwurst, peanut butter and onion sandwich.

You and your fellow Indi authors said, “Hey, son, you’re standing there with #1 on the NYT list in your right hand and John Locke and Nadine Hays Pisani, Larry Brooks and Merlin Fraser under the other arm. Why not take Locke, Pisani, Brooks and Fraser and keep the change?”

The traditional publishing types have said, “Hey you can pay $24.95 or, well, ah, hummmm, or $24.95.”

Decisions, decisions…

So, why do I buy the books I buy when they aren’t always the books I like?

I do it because I am making a choice in favor of the folks who gave me choices and against those who have been narrowing my choices year after year.

And now I have other questions to ask myself, other choices to make. Having finished a manuscript, do I send it off on the agent/publisher route or do I follow the lead of those who have shown us all another path? Do I have that sort of courage?

All the best,
Kevin Ryan

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