Self Publishing Saved My Sanity, an Interview with Nancy Lee Badger

Please help me welcome Nancy Lee Badger to my blog today. Nancy is going to be giving away to three winners, yes that’s right three, copies of the winners choice of her Highlander books. I’ll be pulling the names from the comments. I’ll be pulling the names of the winners on September 22nd.

My_Reluctant_Highlander_Kindle_2Tell us about yourself.

I am a writer. Does it define me? No. I have lived a long, somewhat simple life. I met my husband in college, worked full-time outside the home while raising a family, and have had three ‘professions’ until I decided to write a book. When one of several finished manuscripts sold to a small publisher, then another book to another publisher, I was on my way. Today, I write full-time, and I love it.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be, and why?

Scotland! The Highlands near Wick, Loch Ness, and Staffa Island are on the short list of Scottish sites I want to visit.

Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?

After college I worked for Ames Department Stores, a New England precursor to Wal-Mart; worked about 22 years at Rand’s Hardware Store; after volunteering as an EMT and firefighter in my town, I worked for the State of NH as a 9-1-1 dispatcher. I started writing to the slow hours of night shift.

What is your typical day like?

Typical? I share a home with a man and a cat, so typical is not in my vocabulary. Hubby works strange hours, and I work best when he is not at home. The closest to typical is this: say he leaves for work. After closing the door, I would sit at my desk or somewhere less conventional. I would check Facebook to see if any friends, family, or fellow writers are celebrating a birthday. Then I peruse the family email. Then I spend too much time reading and responding to my writer email. Twitter is a place you might find me a bit more often, but I try to keep my attention on the future. Future book releases, promotions, writer meetings, workshops, etc. I break for meals or errands. Walking to the mailbox is a daily highlight that also gets me out of the chair.

What was the deciding factor in self-publishing your book(s)? Did you decide on ebook or print only or both?

Two small e-publishers released five of my books and novellas between June 2010 and August 2011. Covers, editors, price, and release dates were out of my hands. During that time, I sat-in on a program by author Sarra Cannon who explained how self-publishing worked. When several NY Times bestselling authors in the audience talked about how they were now trying it with their backlists, my eyes opened wide. Also, self-publishing offered the opportunity to bring a book out in print through Amazon Createspace. I wanted to place my book in my elderly father’s hands. Insanity? Could I do it all myself? Hmm…I had an idea for a short story, completed it, sent if to several people to edit, and hired a person to create a cover. That book, from concept to publication, took about 4 months. I uploaded it myself everywhere, and ebook sales started trickling in. When it won a writing award, sales skyrocketed. Dragon in the Mist was a hit! It is too short to release in print, but I will soon offer it with two other dragon tales in a printed collection. This insane career I stumbled on started to make sense.

What was the hardest thing you’ve found in the process of self-publishing? What was the easiest part of self-publishing?

The hardest? Having a cover made that met my expectations. I chose the cover art, but had no knowledge of how to put it all together. Once I was set to publish my tenth book, I decided to buy a cover-making program, and have since created both the ebook cover and the three-part cover for My Reluctant Highlander. The easiest? Coming up with story ideas. Ideas are racing through my head as we speak. With self-publishing, I can get them out of my head and into a book. Sanity returned!

What advice can you offer to anyone deciding to self-publish?

Do your research, and do not hesitate to ask for help. Amazon and Smashwords offer step-by-step workbooks on how to format and get your book ready to upload. Createspace provides a template for both the manuscript and cover. Other writers have been through this, have made the mistakes, and will share their findings if you ask

What is your next project and when will it be released?

As I mentioned earlier, I plan to release a boxed set of three of my novellas that feature dragons of Scottish descent. I recently got my rights back from my publisher for one of them, and the others I self-published. Making the three into a boxed set will also allow me to offer a printed version. The titles included in this boxed set are Dragon’s Curse, Southern Fried Dragon, and Dragon in the Mist. Watch for it! In the meantime, I will continue to promote my Highland Games Through Time series, especially Book #3, My Reluctant Highlander. All three books in the series are available in ebook and print.

My Reluctant Highlander Book Blurb
Skye has spent the last five years trying to forget the blacksmith who followed her back to 16th century Scotland, to help fight evil. Sending Jake Jamison home against his will was a disastrous mistake. Stealing his heart was not part of the plan.

Jake must share his secret, Skye must give her heart fully, and both must dare to love in the time they have.

EXCERPT
Bull grabbed Skye’s hands, cupped them in his fists, and kissed her knuckles.
“Listen, sweetheart,” Bull said, pulling her into his embrace.
The shock quieted her, but before she could protest, he kissed the tip of her nose.
“Why did ye—”
“If you keep touching me, I won’t be responsible—”
“Get your meat hooks off her.” The seriousness in Jake’s growl was reason enough to push away from Bull. When he released her from his grip, she tried to turn too quickly.
She tripped over Jake’s bare foot, coming down hard on his toes.
“Ouch!”
“My apologies, Highlander.”
He stopped hopping, still cursing beneath his breath. The intensity in his glare made Skye stumbled back into Dara. When the startled animal retreated, her feet slipped out from under her. As she fell, Jake wrapped his arms around her and gathered her into his chest. The press of different arms, and a hard, naked chest, made it hard to breathe.
Struggling in his embrace, she was not surprised he did not let go. She deserved whatever Jake decided to do with her.
“You used your cursed magic on me, again. Now, I see you kissing my so-called friend.”
“Did I not save ye from a beastie wanting to make a meal of ye? And yer friend was thanking me.”
“Thanking you? Then why were you running your hands all over him?”
Jake’s voice thundered, his roar intensifying as he tightened his grip, but Skye did not flinch. He was less angry about her use of magic, than about her touching his friend.
Interesting.

Nancy-Lee_Badger_2More About the Author
Nancy Lee Badger loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, she moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Triangle Area Freelancers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers.

Connect with Nancy:
Blog http://www.nancyleebadger.blogspot.com
Website http://www.nancyleebadger.com
Twitter https://twitter.com/NLBadger
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/#!/nancy.l.badger
Goodreads http://bit.ly/Vd1Usg
Amazon Author Page http://amzn.to/13ICHLq

MY RELUCTANT HIGHLANDER buy links
Amazon http://amzn.to/11H0Hg1
AmazonPRINT http://amzn.to/12pX5Qc
NOOK http://bit.ly/16a7lim
Barnes&Noble PRINT http://bit.ly/10UQa3Z
KOBO http://bit.ly/12lX2V5
AllRomance http://bit.ly/19aBsI6
Smashwords http://bit.ly/11DtTDE
iTunes http://bit.ly/12Ic1bl

Here is a question for you: if you could travel to Scotland with me, what time period would YOU like to visit? Leave a comment along with your contact information for a chance to win either My Honorable Highlander, My Banished Highlander, or My Reluctant Highlander in ebook form (please include your format choice) Cynthia will choose THREE WINNERS on September 22nd.

30 thoughts on “Self Publishing Saved My Sanity, an Interview with Nancy Lee Badger

  1. Thanks for having me here today, Cynthia, I am also pleased to tell your readers that DRAGON BITES is now available in ebook & print. It is the title of the collection of dragon tales. A print copy is on its way to my Dad!

  2. I’m sure your father was pleased to hold your work in his hands. Being able to finally bring your work to the reading public without a gatekeeper is rewarding. Independent authors still have to go through the editing process, but seeing ‘your baby’ garner excellent reviews is well worth all the trouble.

    What period would I like to go back to Scotland…oops, just got a story idea. That I love! Anyway, the answer is the 1700’s. I don’t know why, but there it is.

    Now to write down that idea. LOL

  3. Hi, Nancy! I love learning how authors come to the idea of self-publishing! I also love the fact that you not only have the creative writing side, but also make your own covers. How cool are you?

    As to when to travel to Scotland, I’m not too sure about the year, but I would love to be there in the winter. I know, I know, it’s supposedly awful there that time of the year, but I love wet snow–best for making snowmen and cross-country skiing. Well, cross country skiing is great in powder too, but I’m just saying that the wet stuff makes for a fun adventure. And afterwards to snuggle close to a peat fire with tea and honey would be my idea of heaven.

    Going to Amazon to find your books now!

    • Can’t say I would want to join you in Scotland in winter. After living in New Hampshire for over 30 years, I have had enough snow! Living in North Carolina, I do miss the beauty.

  4. Nancy, I love Highlander heroes. Your publishing journey sounds much like mine. I, too, have discovered the joys fo self-publishing, or indie publishing as I like to call it. I too live with a man and a cat. The man is home all day, which can get a little annoying at times when I’m immersed in writing. You have some great plans for your books. Best of luck. I’d love to win one.
    Carolyn4books@aol.com

    • One word answer: Starbucks (or Panera bread, or Café Carolina, or the library) Escape! I have a home with 9 rooms, so if he is in the den on his days off (where he sleeps in a chair at times) I can be in the office or dining room. The big table is great when I am working on promotion or edits.

  5. Nancy, what a fun, engaging interview! I enjoyed learning how you came to self-publish. I’m self-pubbed too, and also do my own covers. It’s relaxing to work with images instead of words sometimes.

    Your dragon stories sound like great fun!

    • I was paying a very talented woman to make my covers, but I have a degree in Art education. I have the talent, and just needed the software and the TIME. If you can afford it, having someone make the cover is fine. I buy most of my hunky highlanders at http://www.HotDamnStock.com and I know the company also makes covers.

    • I agree. Visiting Scotland is on my ‘bucket list’. Since I don’t have a magic amulet or potion, present day works for me.

  6. Enjoyed the post, Nancy. I’m so glad self-publishing is now viable, or I might not be writing still.

    If I could time travel to Scotland in any period, it would be the early 1700s before the destruction wreaked on the Highlands in the ’45. Of course, I’d not understand a word they said. ;)

    Love the idea of Scottish dragons!

  7. Hi Nancy,

    I enjoyed learning more about you. I love Scotland in any time frame, but I’d like to be there in the Medieval era if I had a choice, in autumn or winter, when it’s bleak and potent. Love your dragon theme, and your covers are wonderful. I’m about to take that step next – can you share which cover program you purchased? I love indie publishing and the speed with which we can manifest our stories. Best of luck with your sales!

  8. I’d like to visit 1306 – 1320, the really intense time in Scotland where Robert the Bruce was fighting to maintain his new kingship and unite Scotland. Mind you, I’d have to be invisible and impervious to cold as it was dangerous. Great post, Nancy.
    Best
    Cathleen

    • Just for giggles, I saw that the Gulf Coast RWA Chapter was having a contest called the Silver Sands Self-Publishing Stars Contest. My book ‘Dragon in the Mist’ is about 17,000 words so is considered a short story. I entered the category, and won! As this was my first attempt at self-publishing (without the paid editors from my 2 publishers) I was thrilled!

  9. Nancy, I took Sarra Cannon’s Self Publishing class last year and I absolutely loved it. It was so informative that I recommend anyone to take her class. I have waffled back and forth for the past two years trying to make the decision between traditional or self publishing. Because I am not an established writer I thought traditional would be the better route. After taking Sarra’s class I feel better about choosing Self publication and you are so right. Authors who have gone through the process like yourself, Eliza Knight, Vonda Sinclair, Kallypso Masters and Renee Vincent have been extremely forthcoming on the process and we pre-published authors thank you for always being willing to share.

    If we were to travel to Scotland, first I would ask if you would love to go to Skye with me? I am obsessed with that area and I don’t know why! A past life perhaps? If we were to go, I have been partial to the 17th century. Though the story I am currently writing is set in the 14th century. I am not a historical writer by nature but I do love discovering and exploring the past and so I would want us to turn over every nook and cranny of Skye’s past. Perhaps someday we will go! *hugs*

    • I must be, as I love the western islands. One of my books takes place on Eigg and Staffa near Mull; one heroine is names Iona; another heroine is named Skye! Let’s go!

  10. Great interview and excerpt. I love Scotland and have been to those places you want to go to…and it too is the place I’d love to hang my hat for a long time…but for now, I’m stuck in Vienna, Austria. I plan to make trip to Scotland soon.

    • Stuck in Vienna? You are closer than I have ever gotten. I will have to fill my needs for all things Scottish are the New Hampshire Highland Games…I am on my way there now!

  11. Wonderful interview! I enjoy reading about authors and the processes they use and some of the issues that they have overcome. :-)
    I could imagine it would feel better to have complete control over your work and be able to publish any and all of your work.
    Thank you for sharing, Nancy!
    As far as time period that I would like to visit Scotland, any period would work for me, but my favorites that I have read about are the 1200s & 1600s.
    Thank you also for the opportunity to read one of your stories.

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