Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Self-Publishing a "Bonus" Sequel Guest Post by Claire Gillian

Thank you for hosting me on my blog tour and for giving me the opportunity to talk about about my latest book:  Purely Relative, a follow-up novella to my debut, The P.U.R.E.

When I wrote The P.U.R.E. (which stands for Previously Undetected Recruiting Error), I had zero intentions of writing a sequel. That book had no major loose ends, and the couple was at least benefiting from a happy-for-now ending if not a happily-ever-after.

But a few readers asked for more, and while I had no desire to write another mystery (because they are hard work!), I found a fun little loophole in The P.U.R.E. --having the heroine Gayle meet and run the gauntlet of Jon's family as the woman who replaced his fiancée of five years.  **rubs hands together** Game on!

I got busy writing. The good news was Gayle was very easy to write as a character so long as I could put her in an underdog situation. Not a problem.

Having changed my mind about writing a sequel put me way behind from a publishing timeline, however. The P.U.R.E. released in April 2012. I started the sequel in June and piddled around with it off and on until the end of 2012. Good gravy, the one-year mark was only three and half months away!

Two dilemmas--my publisher for The P.U.R.E. asked in the contract for opportunity to publish any further stories featuring the characters. Unfortunately their turn-around time for a novel or novella would have been six months at least, which would most likely have put me into the fall or winter of this year. Not what I wanted for the readers, so I passed on going that route.

I would never have pitched book two of a series released by publisher A to faster publisher B, if there was even a willing B out there. That left...self-publishing.  **sound of record scratching and disapproving gasps**

I know, I know. Self-publishing has a rather unsavory reputation, but more and more of the top selling books are coming from self-publishers. Take a look at the New Adult age group and prepare to be amazed at how many of them are not the products of traditional publishing.

But was I prepared to do it all myself?

I was already learning Photoshop, creating phony book covers and blurbs for fun on Lila Shaw's blog (my other me). As an indie-published author, I was no stranger to self-promotion and marketing. File layouts and HTML did not scare me--I write computer programs as part of my day job. I also analyze statistics and negotiate contracts for corporate America. Setting up publisher accounts with the booksellers was no big whoop. My neighbor down the street is self-published author Tracey Jane Jackson, author of The Civil War Brides series and a most patient and enthusiastic teacher.

I had all the raw materials I needed. I could do this! And what I couldn't do, I could outsource, though my budget was small. What little money I did spend went mostly to a professional editor. The remainder went to securing royalty free stock photographs and music for the book cover and trailer. Minor costs compared to the editing, really.

The resource I spent the most on was labor. My own. Good thing I worked for free because there was definitely a learning curve to this thing called self-publishing.

Was it worth it? To have gained the knowledge from hands-on experience, absolutely. From a risk and return as far as the book itself was concerned? That remains to be seen. I hope so, but even if not, I'm very glad I tackled this project and fully intend to try again soon with additional feedback from readers, reviewers, booksellers and other industry sources.

More about the object of my self-publishing venture:

Purely Relative by Claire Gillian

Unemployed and living far from home, Gayle Lindley is nevertheless lucky to be alive after narrowly escaping her murderous ex-employer. She’s also thankful to the boyfriend gods for having blessed her with a former co-worker. Jon Cripps is brains, brawn and bedroom-certified, all in one delectable package. Life is finally on the uptick.

…Or so Gayle thinks until Jon pops the big question—no, not marriage, but meeting the rest of his family. What he neglects to mention is his loose familial definition also includes the parents of his ex-fiancée. And too bad Gayle has already met one sibling while engaged in a vigorous mattress inspection with Jon. Everyone will think she’s a man-stealing hussy!

As Gayle tiptoes into the bosom of Jon’s extended family, she is deluged with more secrets than even her curious nature can absorb. But the drama hits hardest when Jon, mysterious as ever, drops a bombshell that threatens to unravel every single stitch of progress she has made with him and his … ‘interesting’ relations.

Buy Purely Relative at these fine booksellers:

Amazon | All Romance Ebooks | Smashwords | Kobo | Apple iBookstore
(33% discount at ARe or use coupon code AU55X at Smashwords; Discount/coupon good until 5/15/13)

About the Author:

Claire Gillian is the pen name for a number-crunching executive by day. By nights and weekends she writes smart, witty stories for smart, witty readers. Her debut novel, The P.U.R.E. released in April 2012 and its sequel, Purely Relative, is hot off the press as of April 30, 2013. She also writes fifty shades of naughtier stuff under the pen name of Lila Shaw, but please don’t tell her mother.  No matter which name she uses, Claire is happiest penning romance drenched in humor with a dash of intrigue and loads of spice.

Interact with Claire:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

Thank you for stopping by and happy reading! :)


  1. Thanks for hosting me, Siobhan!! :)

  2. I always thought self-publishing would be a lot to take on and you confirmed it, but it sure does sound like you did it the right way. I hope the results are more than worth it for you. Thanks ladies.


Comments are on moderation, so they'll become visible once I've read them. Words, words, words. I love them. Have you a few to lend?

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.