Dear Writer-Friends,

I've been self-publishing since 2011, and I've shared the knowledge I've gained in two books: the Indie Author Survival Guide, Second Edition, and For Love or Money. I'm not an indie rockstar or a breakout success: I'm one of thousands of solidly midlist indie authors making a living with their works. These books are my way of helping my fellow authors discover the freedom of indie publishing. Write on, writer-friends!

S.K. Quinn, Independent Author of Science Fiction

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR QUICK START GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING and to be notified when the 3rd Edition of the Indie Author Survival Guide releases!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Guest Post: Loosen Up On the Reins by Kai Strand

Giving up on my dream is what finally made it come true.

Six years into my writing journey I was as yet unpublished when I learned an acquaintance sold a book to a publisher and it sent me spiraling into an ugly pit of jealousy and despair. I’d been writing so much longer than the other author. I was a better writer than the other author. (Told you it was ugly). So, I quit. I couldn’t bring myself to even open my computer. I went back to being a non-writer.

However, prior to quitting I’d promised to attend a local author/illustrator event. Even though I no longer cared to become an author, I’d spent all those years studying the business and was excited to meet people from the industry (I live in the boonies.) Months after quitting, I went to the big Guardian Angel Publishing event.

A couple months later (yes, months. I kid you NOT) a thought struck me out of the blue. The Weaver would be a really good fit for Guardian Angel Publishing. Crap. <-- I thought that too.  Cautiously and reluctantly, I dusted off my manuscript and submitted. While I waited for a response, I started writing again. Guardian Angel did publish The Weaver. As a matter of fact, I have The Weaver Tales series with them now and several other titles with other publishers.

I know I just told you that I gave up – and I did. For eight long months. However I wouldn’t suggest anyone else do it that way. What I learned from my experience is that I needed to let go. I had the reins pulled back so tightly the poor horse couldn’t breathe. When I loosened my grip a big huge breath of fresh air rushed in and I was able to sell my work and myself.

If you’re struggling to find your way into the industry, check the tautness on your reins to see if maybe it is time to let loose.

King of Bad: Super Villain Academy Book 1

Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules or observe curfew. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; that is until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy - where you learn to be good at being bad. In a school where one kid can evaporate all the water from your body and the girl you hang around with can perform psychic sex in your head, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff wonders if he’s bad enough for SVA.

He may never find out. Classmates vilify him when he develops good manners. Then he’s kidnapped by those closest to him and left to wonder who is good and who is bad. His rescue is the climactic episode that balances good and evil in the super world. The catalyst – the girl he’s crushing on. A girlfriend and balancing the Supers is good, right? Or is it…bad?

Buy it: Publisher, Amazon, Barnes and Noble Add it to Goodreads

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died, the end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for younger children, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Visit Kai’s website,, to browse her books, download companion materials or to find all her online haunts.


  1. I like that metaphor -- never heard it before.

  2. Thanks for letting me visit with you and your readers, Susan! You are always such a gracious hostess.

  3. Thanks, Kai. I, too, liked the metaphor. I know it is easy to hold on to tight, but freedom comes with letting go.