Avoiding Unintended Consequences of Your Self-Publishing Life

author, you are firedI saw a recent article with the headline The Atlanta fire chief who wrote the homophobic book has been fired. When I read this, I thought it might be a good time for a post about some of the unintended consequences that can occur from your self-publishing life, if you don’t use a little forethought when publishing.

Clearly this fire chief wrote the book and intended to keep his job after writing it. However, things went awry because his job considered his content to be in violation of their standards for employees. While I don’t want to debate whether forethought could have prevented the situation that resulted here, I think the case serves as a reminder that the things we write can have unintended consequences if we’re not careful. Continue reading “Avoiding Unintended Consequences of Your Self-Publishing Life”

What Indies Unlimited Did for Me

Morgan Winters Author PhotoGuest Post
by Morgan Winters

My name’s Morgan, and I’m an author. I feel kind of like I’m at Authors Anonymous, confessing my deepest secrets. I’ve kept my writing hidden for a very long time because I write incredibly dark and disturbing stuff. In fact, it’s so warped, I can’t even discuss it here on this Safe-for-Work platform. It’s better that way, anyway.

I’d started a half dozen or so projects, finishing none of them. That’s probably not a lot compared to most of the authors who frequent IU. But for me – the “nice guy” – it was a lot, and it was frustrating. I couldn’t complete them; I knew that once I did, I’d have to publish them. And then – then, I’d get “the looks.” You know the ones I mean… OMG, did he really write that? He must be sick! What a creep! I hope they fire him. I don’t want to work with someone that disturbed. Yeah, those.

No one expects that kind of dark stuff from me, you know? I have no idea where it comes from. Sometimes I wonder if I am indeed disturbed. But I have no urges to kill or torture anyone. No urges. Thoughts, sure, we all have those, don’t we? And usually in the boss’s office. But I digress.

Speaking of bosses, I need my job. I enjoy a roof over my head and food in my stomach. But I also have stories that need to get out of my head. Trading sanity for comfort? I figured there had to be a better way. Continue reading “What Indies Unlimited Did for Me”

A Suitable Pseudonym

My alter-ego writes horror.
My alter-ego writes horror.

Why should you consider writing under a pen name?

When I was growing up I was very girly. Ballet, piano lessons, Barbie dolls — these are the fluffy memories of my youth. I also loved the TV show Chiller Theatre, and I spent many happy Saturday nights watching horror cult classics with my older brother. These gems are quite different from the modern slasher movie. The classic horror plot includes elements of the fantastic, the paranormal, and the magical. Many films included a psychological theme of undiagnosed insanity and paranoia. The stark objectivity of black and white cinematography heightened the fear factor. I truly love these films.

I am sure my readers would be surprised to know I have written a piece of fiction that could be categorized as dystopian horror. When I finished with the first draft I was morbidly excited by its darkness and cruelty, but confused as to what to do with it. The author brand I have been working to develop for years is juxtaposed to this story, and I felt it would send a mixed message if I put this on the same author page with stylish, sexy mysteries and tango dancing vampires. Consequently, I put the draft to the side last year and let it brood in its petri dish of cold-hearted carnage. Continue reading “A Suitable Pseudonym”

First Impressions

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” – Someone.

Evidently, this is another of those bits of wisdom that has no clear origin. The quote is often attributed or misattributed to the usual suspects for witty one-liners: Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Oscar Wilde, etc. Another claim is made that a Madison Avenue ad agency came up with it as part of a campaign for Brooks Brothers suits.

Authorship aside, this quip has worked its way into axiomatic status. People accept the wisdom of the words without question. On superficial examination (which is the most scrutiny the majority of people are willing to give) it just makes sense. It’s sort of like There is no “I” in TEAM.

As authors, we are admonished to make certain we have done all we can do to make our work shine before hitting the big red PUBLISH button. After all, if your book is deficient, you’ll be making a bad first impression. Your reputation will forever bear the stain of this disgrace and people will forever associate your name with an inferior product. Continue reading “First Impressions”