Sunday, February 19, 2012

Guest Post by J.R. Rain: (The Waiting Game is Over)

The Waiting Game is Over
by J.R. Rain

Hi there. My name’s J.R. Rain and I’m a self-published author. No, this isn’t an AA meeting. In fact, I’m proud to say that I’m a self-published author. Admittedly, this designation once had a negative connotation to it. Now, not so much.

Now, thanks to Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook and a place called Smashwords, writers from around the world are publishing their books independently, giving birth to the indie author.

I kinda like that: indie author.

It fits me. I’ve always been independent, from my complete inability to play well with others (read: bosses), to living on the fringes of society.

Yes, indie author. I like it. It fits. I’ll take it.

Like many indie authors on Kindle and Nook and elsewhere, I had gotten close to selling books to the major New York publishers. Specifically, The Lost Ark nearly sold to Mira Books, Moon Dance nearly sold to Kensington and Dorchester and Elvis Has Not Left the Building nearly sold to St. Martin’s Press.

That’s a lot of nearlys.

Meanwhile, while I waited months and months and months to hear from these publishers (Kensington never gave me a you sense some bitterness here?), I went bankrupt, lost everything, and was generally one big, pathetic mess.

All because I was pursuing my writing dream.

All because I was waiting.

Then came Kindle. In 2009, I had heard about this thing called Kindle, that Amazon was allowing authors to publish directly onto their “platform” and, subsequently, directly into their bookstore.

Oh? I was intrigued.

Turns out, publishing with Amazon Kindle was the best choice of my life. It also turns out that these traditional publishers (see above) had done me a phenomenal service. By not publishing my books and leading me along and dashing my dreams, they gave me a great gift:


I still owned the rights to all my books. Books that didn’t quite fit the typical mold--like a soccer mom private detective who just so happened to be a vampire--a book I had written in 2003. A man writing about a woman was apparently taboo, and more than one publisher rejected it based on this alone. Now my “Vampire for Hire” series has gone on to sell more than 400,000 copies, hitting #1 in many categories. Maybe a man can write about a woman. What a concept.

Now publishers approach me. In fact, I had the very great pleasure of turning down a major publisher’s offer a few months back. Their offer wasn’t much of an offer. Put it this way: they were offering to take my money and my rights.

It was an easy no, although a part of me was flattered. And why wouldn’t I be flattered? I’m forty years old and I had spent the greater part of my life pursuing a writing dream.

Thanks to Amazon, I’m living my dream. Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

Sometimes people just need a voice, and, as it turns out, writers just needed a platform, an outlet. We got that initial outlet thanks to Amazon Kindle. Publishers told me they didn’t know how to market my books; well, I had a fair idea how to market my books. Turns out it wasn’t that hard to do, after all, and it was a lot of fun, too.

And this brings me back to my main point:

Thanks to Amazon’s revolutionary approach to getting books to readers, by helping authors bypass the traditional publishers, they have given us the gift of time. They have freed us from the waiting game. The endless waiting. The mind-numbing and soul crushing waiting.

That, in and of itself, is priceless.

Now, the waiting game is over, and the living game begins. Now I can spend my time writing the best books I can, with the full knowledge that they will be published on my terms, and in my time. My time.

That, in and of itself, is priceless.

--J.R. Rain

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Moon Dance
Vampire Moon
American Vampire
Moon Child
Vampire Dawn (coming soon)

Dark Horse
The Mummy Case
Hail Mary (coming soon)

Elvis Has Not Left the Building
You Ain't Nothin' But a Hound Dog (coming soon)

The Vampire With the Dragon Tattoo
The Vampire Who Played Dead
The Vampire in the Iron Mask (coming soon)

Merlin (coming soon)

Ghost College
The Vampire Club

Aladdin Relighted
Aladdin Sins Bad

The Lost Ark
The Body Departed
The Silent Echo (coming soon)

The Bleeder and Other Stories
Teeth and Other Stories
Vampire Nights and Other Stories
Vampire Blues: Four Stories

Judas Silver
Lost Eden

Vampires, Zombies and Ghosts, Oh My!

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.


  1. I hear you, brother! Went the Kensington/Dorchester route myself. THE SHOP was sent out to 35 publishers, the last of which was Kensington. I went from thinking six figure advance to "God I hope Kensington will just give me $2500, please!" (I'd gotten that for my very first book--in 1990.) We were almost broke at that point, not to mention broken. My husband had put up my backlist on amazon, but nothing was happenig. We were down to our last $500 in savings when our ship came in.

    With 400,000 vampire series books going strong and everything else you've got, you are a major standout. Congratulations. My favorite song is "Unanswered Prayers" by Garth Brooks for obvious reasons, but you can have it, too. For free. ;-)

  2. BAHAHA!
    "they were offering to take my money and my rights." Niiiice.

    Seems sort of silly to me... after everything I've come to understand about independent publishing why anyone would go any other way.

  3. I recently stumbled upon a book that is actually worse... no really! I bought it on LULU and I wish I had used the money for dental surgery as it would have been less painful. the title is "Interzone Incorporated" written by some guy named Dr. Adam Ireland. The book made me physically ill, I have read some bad work in my time but this... oh this was beyond bad, the rude sex and violence churned my stomach, the supposed "beat" style of the writing gave me a migraine and I actually suffered from night mares after reading it.