Absolute LiabilityDeath BenefitspublishingPublishing Fear FreeSouthern Fraud SeriesWriting Fear Free

All In

All in.
To culminate my year of wild risks, I have decided to take the wildest one of all.

Last week, I gave notice that I would end my thirteen-year contract as an assistant editor at a small local press. This company has employed me in some form since before I graduated from college. Almost everything I know about publishing, I learned there. While I am sad to end this stage of my career, I am also excited to continue my new venture, and to do it right, I needed more time to devote to writing.

I never expected the publication of Charlotte Collins to result in a change of career, but the royalties from my books have now largely replaced the income I earned as a freelance editor. And with the successful launch of Absolute Liability, the opportunity before me was too tempting to resist. I have no idea how long this window of self-publishing opportunity will remain open, but I want to be all the way through before it closes.

I did not come to this decision lightly or without fear, but I want to do this right. I want to provide the best books possible, and to accomplish that at the rate I want, I need to devote my full energy to self-publishing.

So as of this moment, I am all in.

21 thoughts on “All In

  1. How exciting for you! As someone who’s only recently begun to experiment with self-publishing, I find your career very encouraging. I’ve had some lovely experiences with a small press and trememdously respect traditional publishing houses. But I also love the freedom that comes with self-publishing and am quite interested to see where it leads.

    1. Laura, this is a very exciting time to be in publishing, and I hope my experiences will help you make an informed decision about the route you’d like to take. Please come back and keep us posted about what you decide.

  2. I’ve got chills, Jennifer. I knew you were close to this decision–the numbers spoke for themselves. I’m looking forward to about two years from now when I’ll be able to do this myself, and just the thought of it scares me a little.

    I’m sure it’s a little scary for you too, but I have 100% confidence that you can do this. Your books are excellent. Taking more time to devote to them can only make them better, and the better the book, the better it sells. (Theoretically…)

    Way to go!!

    1. After working so long in the traditional publishing industry, I knew that most authors never get to quit their day jobs, but with self-publishing, writers are now capable of earning what they deserve for their hard work. It excites me to know that I can earn a living doing what I love and to know that other people will soon be able to do the same. Nancy, I know you’ll be taking up writing full time soon too.

  3. Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! I am doing the happy dance for you right now. I am sooooooooo thrilled for you! That is amazing and wonderful and fabulous . . . crap, I am running out of adjectives.

    Meanwhile, you rock. So none of this really comes as a surprise to me πŸ˜€

    1. I surprised the heck out of me! I had hoped that I might be able to quit by the end of next year, but Absolute Liability pushed me over the edge. My DH was leery of giving up the steady income at first, but now he’s threatening to lock me in a room with a bale of straw and a spinning wheel.


    1. That’s wonderful, John! I hope we both end up loving our decision to write full time. I’m already feeling the stress melt away as I get used to the idea.

      BTW your Black Knight covers are creepy! I love it. And you’ve set them in Charlotte. That’s only a stone’s throw from where I live.

  4. What an exciting time for you, Jennifer, yet at the same time, a little scary. I have found it is always scary to leave what one knows and the comfort of that and move in another direction. At least these past 13 years have provided you the knowledge you need and are using now!! I love your devotion! I know this is completely different, but I felt all the things you are feeling when I left teaching to be a stay-at-home mom. It was such a huge change- it was difficult. But, I knew I could not do both as I felt my teaching was now half-assed and my parenting was half-assed. I couldn’t, in good conscience, teach knowing that I was unable to give it my best anymore. So I needed to choose one to do full-assed! πŸ˜‰ Since I couldn’t give my son back, I had no choice! πŸ˜‰
    Anyway, I am really excited for you and cannot wait to read ALL of your future books! πŸ˜€ What success you currently have and will have in the future! πŸ™‚

    1. That is almost the exact analogy I’ve been using, Jakki! I told my DH that I need to put my whole ass in and stop doing things half-assed. πŸ™‚

      I’ve loved editing, but I love writing even more, and for the past year, my life has been unbalanced. I’ve worked almost all the time. I haven’t ridden my horse in a month, and that’s not good. I need to make sure I have work time and ME TIME too. Also, I should probably clean my house. πŸ˜‰

  5. I work for an author who was big in the 70-80s Sci-Fi/Fantasy world and then took 20 years off to write government position papers and become a defense contractor (slight change!). We have published 3 books through direct contact with POD, Kindle, Nook. We’ve just started back up a series from the 1980s called Heroes in Hell with “Lawyers in Hell” (I’m one of the new writers, too… πŸ™‚ We have great production values, etc. but really don’t know how to find other outlets and figure out marketing that won’t cost us an arm and a leg. Do you have any advice?

    I love “Southern Fraud Thriller” (Absolute Liability) since I worked for lawyers for decades and I’m from Texas. I read your comment at the end of the book and it sounded so much like what we are doing, I thought I would contact you. Congratulations on finally becoming a “full-time” writer – hopefully it will be wildly successful for you! Thanks, Sarah

  6. Hi Sarah! Thanks for reading Absolute Liability and contacting me! Congratulations on your books too! I do have lots of marketing advice, and you can start by checking out the categories drop-down menu and choosing “Publishing Fear Free” or more specifically “book marketing” and “online book marketing.” But I’ll say that Twitter has been the best marketing venue for me.


  7. Hi Jennifer,

    I am so excited for you! Writing feels so good, and now you will be full-time at it. I believe that the rules for writers include that you have to get out of your jammies by 2. But that will give you a little time for the house and horse.

    How long did it take you to sell 10,000 of Charlotte Collins? That is so amazing. Good job!

    I hope you enjoy your new life.

  8. Out of my jammies by 2? That’s crazy talk. I might just live in em!

    I haven’t sold 10,000 Charlotte Collinses yet. I’ve sold almost 5,000. Absolute Liability did the rest.

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