Nine years ago I and seven others wrote gothic romance novellas for an anthology entitled Shadowed Hearts. Our high hopes for the series were dashed by the publisher’s dishonesty. As authors we rely on the industry to interact with us in good faith, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. We joined a group of about ninety authors, editors, copywriters and graphic artists who had also been cheated by this publisher to take the rights back to our work. After copious DCMA notices and incessant posting on our social media platforms, we were victorious.

Now it was up to me to decide what to do. Self-publishing seemed the obvious way to go but how was I to do that with no budget? It was a question I pondered for several years, and although encouraged by numerous writing colleagues to plunge into the indie-pub pool, I stayed on the shore.

Three years ago I went to my second retirement seminar. We were urged to start doing now what we planned to do when we were retired. I knew for me that was to be writing romance full time. I went home, submitted original work to small presses and found acceptance. But what was I to do with something previously published like my Shadowed Hearts novella? Once again the image of my colleagues inviting me into indie-pubbed waters re-emerged. Encouraged by what I learned at the retirement seminar, I devised what I called my Getting Ready plan. I plotted out the steps I’d need to release a product I could be proud of: revise and where necessary rewrite the text, have it edited to within an inch of its life, get a new cover, have it reformatted, have it distributed. I researched what each element of my plan would cost. The figure stopped my heart, but not my determination. I didn’t have between $2,000 and $5,000 to complete my plan in one year, but perhaps I could over time.

I had enough to invest in a new cover and did so gladly. Then I spent the next two years taking workshops and reading articles on formatting and distribution options as well as marketing. This year I learned about Draft2Digital and Vellum and Kindle Direct Publishing, tools that could take me from Getting Ready to Got It Done. It was nerve-wracking at times, but through trial and error and with the generously freely-given advice of my various writing communities, I reached Got It Done. Haunted Serenade has been revised and re-released as the first offering of my own series which I’ve named Haunted Harlem.

I’m now in the post-launch phase of marketing for Haunted Serenade as well as starting a new Getting Ready plan for the next book in the series, A Little In Love With Death. Now I know revise and re-release isn’t all that daunting after all, I’m actually looking forward to enjoying the creativity the indie-pubbing process has brought out of me.

All the women in Anora Madison’s family have lived as “Poor Butterflies”: women still longing for but deserted by the men they loved. Determined to be the first to escape a life of abandonment, she fled Harlem for Brooklyn, severing ties with both her mother and with the man who broke her heart, Winston Emerson, the father of her child.

Six years later, Anora comes back to Harlem to make peace, but a malignant spirit manifests itself during the homecoming, targeting her mother, her aunt, Winston and their little girl. Determined to stop the evil now trying to destroy all she loves, Anora must finally turn to Winston for help. But will their efforts be too little too late?

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