|Velda Brotherton at a|
Holton, Texas Book Fair
One of the most challenging things I've faced as a 76 year old author has been trying to restart a career in E books and all that goes with such an endeavor. Twenty-eight years ago, when I began writing on a portable Sears typewriter, I never dreamed of such a thing as the Internet and computers. Even when my first books were published by Penguin/Topaz, the word processor I used was a far cry from computers of today. And there was no Internet.
By the time the mid-list crisis hit in the early 2000s, and book publishers began to fall like pins in a busy bowling lane, I'd had six books published in New York. Though sales increased with each release, it wasn't enough to hit the best seller list so, a victim of budget cuts I slunk back to regional nonfiction publishing with my tail between my legs.
Two summers were spent on the road, the first researching and finalizing a nonfiction book, the second making three to five appearances every week in libraries, historical societies, museums and book clubs. By the end I had sold a lot of books but was physically exhausted. It was something I doubted I could do again. Meanwhile, I'd done a lot of fiction writing, but truly thought my career was over.
Till the Ebook phenomenon exploded.
Here was my chance, and I embraced it. I limped my way into using a computer, and everything about that process has been a tremendous challenge, but I love to write, so what was I to do?
Having begun my career after the age of fifty, I was pretty long in the tooth to start over again. And I probably wouldn't have had it not been for Ebooks and Indie publishers. I'd cut my teeth on Indies for nonfiction, so it seemed natural to turn to them for fiction.
My mother taught me to be tough and stubborn and do what I wanted no matter what anyone else said. So I refused to look at the calendar that told me I was getting too old to work. And at the age of 74 I embarked on a completely new learning process. I set some goals, the first of which was to obtain a reversion of rights on my out-of-print New York books available again. While waiting for something to happen, I'd had several nonfiction regional books published, one of which was a finalist in the WILLA Literary awards and I'd written a few novels in different genres just to keep busy.
It wasn't long before I learned that converting my books to Kindle was going to be tough. I wanted to do it myself rather than pay someone. I had my work cut out for me. The first step was to have the books scanned because I had no computer copies of the manuscripts. When the scans came back, I edited them carefully, then set about learning how to format them for Kindle. That was the steepest learning curve I've ever encountered, but thanks to several writer friends, I managed to learn this process. Then went on to create some decent book covers. This took almost an entire summer.
While this was going on, I edited a couple of book manuscripts and sent them off to Indie publishers. They were accepted immediately. By the time I had a couple of books uploaded to Kindle I had my first two books published by two indie presses.
Today I have seven Kindle books of my own available, plus all 14 of my previously published books are now available through Kindle, and a new one was released a few weeks ago. Two of the new indie books are also available in print.
During the past year I've given four all-day workshops on publishing to Kindle and am currently learning everything I can about online promotion. I'll be 77 in February, 2013, and have no intention of slowing down in my writing, though I no longer hit the road much to promote. I am scheduled to speak at two conferences in 2013, but friends lend a hand when I have appearances to make. When I'm asked to speak somewhere I say yes if I can at all because I still enjoy being out among writers, but I don't go looking for engagements.
|Velda Brotherton at An Ozark Creative Writers Panel|
Oh, yes, I still co-chair a critique group that we formed about 26 years ago. We meet every Thursday, have 45 registered members and have anywhere from 12 to 21 people show up each week.
Promotion online takes up a big portion of my writing time, but I'm working on a novella and another novel in The Victorian series for The Wild Rose Press. I have no intention of slowing down as of yet.
|Velda Brotherton working on an oil painting. Some|
of her paintings can be found on Muttonline.com.
Besides writing, speaking and giving workshops I love to paint and though I don't have as much time as I'd like to pursue that hobby right now.
About Velda's book, Wilda's Outlaw:
Calder Raines and his outlaw gang may be more than Wilda bargained for. All she wanted was to escape an unwanted marriage, now she finds herself in the arms of a tantalizing man whose warm kisses arouse a storm of forbidden desires. Calder never wanted to rob banks, but it's a family tradition. When he embraces the alluring redhead, passion conquers good sense and he imagines a life he cannot have.
Wilda's Outlaw link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009Y89PXW
Velda's blog: http://www.veldabrotherton.wordpress.com
Some Other books by Velda Brotherton:
Stone Heart's Woman: http://www.tinyurl.com/6q3fab5