It’s somehow fitting that today of all days we post an introduction about ourselves. Exactly two years ago, we embarked on a journey that would forever change the course of our lives. The story of how we began this journey is no secret. We mention it often and are proud of our roots. We were and are role players.
Some frown on this activity, calling role-players wannabes but they, just like any author, tell stories albeit in a different format and learn their craft from hands-on experience which gives depth to character development. We enjoyed delivering strong stories readers craved and stayed true to our characters representing the core of who they were based on their author’s telling but we longed to do more. As a result, we left our group and moved on to creating our own stories.
Enter the birth of the Countermeasure Series. It was born of a speck of an idea, a dream and after a few discussions about that original idea, Trevor and Cassandra made their presence known. They led us on a journey originally played out on Facebook and which became the second novel in our series, To Russia with Love. It was while writing To Russia with Love that we realized it was not the beginning of their quest so, once we completed that manuscript, we went back in time and wrote Countermeasure, the starting point in the series.
That is all fine and dandy but where does the Indie part come in, you ask? From the start, we quickly learned our novel was not at all like the cookie cutter formula accepted by publishers and agents. Not only did we have a unique way of telling our stories—rooted in our RP background and ability to wear the skins of our characters—but the story itself didn’t fit a single specific genre. Countermeasure was considered “not marketable” by traditional publishers. Once we understood the implications and challenges that brought forth, we took a different route.
With the encouragement of a good friend and big supporter of independent publishing, we set off to learn all there was to be learned about being Indie. The responsibilities were many but nothing that scared us terribly. We are both very independent and determined (read stubborn) individuals. We knew from the get go that taking that route would require us stepping up to the plate and taking it to the next level. As Indies, we have the right to tell our story the way we want it told but we also have the responsibility to maintain quality control over the books we produce.
We made contacts, created a support team, and hired professionals for the part of the production we couldn’t do ourselves. We work our butts off through rounds and rounds of editing, proofreading, and critique because we believe that being an independent publisher carries the same amount of pride in the final product as a publisher, acting as the gatekeeper, does. And Indies, we become the gatekeeper, which doesn’t mean we can simply leave the gate open to a stampede of releases, but that we have to make sure we police ourselves and only allow the best through those gates. Only by doing so can we, Indies, change the stigma attached to Independent Publishing.
And so, here we are, two full novels and three short stories independently published later, looking to share our experience and provide others with the knowledge we’ve acquired over the years. Knowledge is everything and this column will be geared toward discussing anything related to independent publishing and sharing information and resources with other writers to help them route their career. We look forward to the discussions and hope you will stop by to express your opinions. We’re also open to discussion on any subject that spurs your passion. Just give us a shout.
Chris and Cecilia