Friday, July 18, 2014

Sidelined Author Kyra Lennon Discusses Self-Publishing

Today, I'm excited to help out with the blog tour for this lovely novel:

Kyra graciously agreed to talk to us about her decision to self-publish. Be sure to keep reading after the guest blog to learn more about her book.

My Journey to Self-Publication
by Kyra Lennon

I made the decision to self-publish because I didn’t have the patience to go through all the waiting around of querying. Even if I was one of the rare few who blagged an agent right away, there would still be more waiting. Waiting for edits, waiting for a publisher, waiting for the right deal, waiting for publication and SO much more.

I admit, impatience is not the best reason to go down the self-publishing route, but it’s worked out well for me. My first book, the first book in the Game On series, had a level of success that surprised me. Maybe it’s not everyone’s idea of success, but to me, selling more than fifty copies to people I’m not related to is a success. My standards are a little higher now lol!

I’ve loved the self-publishing process because I get excited about little things (a bit like Bree Collinson in Sidelined!). I get excited over choosing a book cover, and hearing feedback from friends, and having the freedom to choose what I change and what I don’t, and making swag – I LOVE that part. Of course, you do get to make some of these decisions with traditional publishing, and I’m certainly not against traditional publishing, but I’m very happy with the route I chose.

The other thing I didn’t expect while self-publishing is the huge amount of support from other writers. When you have to market yourself, you need connections, and boy did I do a good job of making some amazing connections. Because they aren’t just connections. YOU aren’t just a connection. I call the vast majority of writers I’ve met friends now. I talk to my writing buddies about writing, of course, but our lives have intertwined and we talk about other things, too. About everything.

Hands down, the best part of my experience of self-publishing is the amount of friends I’ve made. (Again, not saying you don’t make friends through traditional publishing, of course you will!). Any success I’ve had didn’t come purely from writing a good book – it came because all of you amazing people have believed in me, and talked about my books – so thank you so much. When it comes to self-publishing, you really do need a little help from your friends. 

Blurb: At the age of twenty-one, Bree Collinson has more than she ever dreamed of. A handsome husband, a fancy house, and more shoes than Carrie Bradshaw and Imelda Marcos combined. But having everything handed to her isn’t the way Bree wants to live the rest of her life. When an idea to better herself pops into her head, she doesn’t expect her husband to question her, and keep her tied by her apron strings to the kitchen.

Isolated and unsure who to turn to, Bree finds herself falling back into a dangerous friendship, and developing feelings for the only person who really listens to her. Torn between her loyalty to her husband and her attraction to a man who has the perfect family she always wanted, she has some tough choices to make.

While Bree tries to figure out what she wants, a tragedy rocks the Westberg Warriors, triggering some dark memories, and pushing her to take a look at what’s really important.

About the Author:

Kyra is a self-confessed book-a-holic, and has been since she first learned to read. When she's not reading, you'll usually find her hanging out in coffee shops with her trusty laptop and/or her friends, or girling it up at the nearest shopping mall.

Kyra grew up on the South Coast of England and refuses to move away from the seaside which provides massive inspiration for her novels. Her debut novel, Game On (New Adult Contemporary Romance), was released in July 2012, and she scored her first Amazon Top 20 listing with her New Adult novella, If I Let You Go.


  1. You certainly do make friends in this business!
    And writers are the most supportive people in the world. Most will help any way possible and not expect anything in return.
    I remember when you were preparing that first book. You've come a long way, Kyra!

  2. I'm glad self-publishing worked out for Kyra. She is in charge and the writing community is very supportive.

  3. I've been seeing Sidelined all over the place, so it's very cool to see your friends in action! =) And I have to admit, being 100% in control over your cover sounds really nice...

  4. Congratulations to your writer friend Kyra for being a successful self published author. Success comes in many forms and satisfaction spells success to me.

  5. Thanks for having me today, Stephanie!

    I will be back later to reply to comments, but I'm working at the moment! <3

  6. Hope my comment on your blog didn't post twice, Kyra! My computer locked up as I was posting it and I had to press that magic power key. When I came back up and checked, it showed no comment...but I didn't realize comment moderation was on, so I typed a new one!

  7. waiting is sometimes, or oftentimes, good because it helps people use the time to polish up their work and enhance its quality.

  8. That is true, Dezmond! I do notice a lot of people hire professional editors or have it heavily edited by friends before publishing. VERY wise!

  9. Way to go and take charge! :)

    As I always say, you have to promote yourself because you are your priority. Others will prioritize you if you look to them to promote you and you're not always going to be first with anyone else.


  10. I think word of mouth is the best way possible to have success as a self published author rather than just shouting about it yourself! You've done well because you're a supportive friend and always willing to help others. What goes around comes around!

  11. Tons of great bloggers and friends can be met and made indeed

  12. So glad that you find inspiration and friendships when writing your book. Needing a listening ear and encouragement helps in ways one can't measure

  13. Self publishing it seems is the way to go for a lot of people.

  14. amazing, congrats to Kyra! and I love that cover!

  15. I hope she is successful. Writing is a lot of work. It's also a labor of love.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  16. I agree that making friends with similar interests is one of the best things about the self publishing route. Also getting to make your own decisions. Congrats Kyra.

  17. What an excellent post! So glad that Kyra selected the right path for her and her books. She definitely got to skip lots of waiting. I love the writing community. Such an amazing group of people. :)

  18. Friends are the greatest. Becoming a writer has exponentially increased the number of friends I have. I even have a writing group!

    Glad self-publishing is working out well for you. :)

  19. I agree that we writers really support and encourage our writing friends when their books are published or need a shout-out. Glad that self-publishing has worked for you.

  20. Nice.

    I self published my first book, The Swimmer's Assistant.

    I'm working on getting an agent for my other book. It's not easy. But I'm hopeful!

  21. That was nice to read about why she chose to self publish. Does sound like an interesting plot for a book.

    wishing her success with it


  22. I SO understand the impatience with querying and wanting to self-publish. In the end, that may be the thing that gets me to go that route too. Congrats on the book. Been seeing it everywhere!

  23. Great guest post! This looks like something I need to check out some more. ;)

    Have a great weekend Stephanie!

  24. Glad you enjoyed the process so much.

    Congrats to all the winners.

  25. I love her humbleness and sincerity. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  26. Congrats on enjoying the process so much as well as your success. I'm about to take the self-publishing plunge--my debut novel is due out later this month. And it IS exciting!

  27. Hi Stephanie,

    Awesome to see Kyra guest blog on here. I admire Kyra went the self-publishing route. There are several thoughts on taking that chance. Still, I like the idea of being in control.

    Kyra, you are doing very well and kudos to you. Feedback and encouragement is such a positive catalyst.

    Have a peaceful weekend.

    Thanks, Stephanie and Kyra.

    Gary :)

  28. Kyra and Stephanie! You two are friends indeed. Hugs!

  29. Selling more than 50 books to people you're not related to. Yeah, I'd consider that a success.

  30. Liz A.--I got an email from a woman who said her daughter loved my book and she was following me on Twitter because of her daughter's love for my book. It was an AMAZING moment. Just one. When you hear someone who has never met you just picked up your book and read it and liked it--then tracked you down--it just means so much to you, no matter how they found your book!

  31. Glad you are having success and their are advantages to paving your own path

  32. A great post! That's my favorite thing about being an indie author too: the wonderful community.

  33. Congratulations on your success!

  34. Love this post. I think self-publishing is a lot more accepted now so it's a great choice for some authors.

  35. @Alex Seems like forever ago now, but I remember how supportive you were back then, and still are now! :D

    @Medeia - I love the writing community!

    @Leandra Being in control is brilliant!

    @Julia - Thank you!

    @Stephanie - No problem lol, I think it did come up twice but I only published it once. :D

    @Dezmond I agree!

    @Diane - So true!

    @Nick - I try my best!

    @Pat - Yes indeed!

    @TexWisGirl - Thank you!

    @Birgit - Thanks!

    @Mary - Yes, it had definitely grown in popularity!

    @Beth - Thanks so much!

    @Lady Lillith - Thanks!

    @Sandee - Thank you!

    @Sheena-Kay For sure! There are some incredible people out there.

    @Stephanie - Yes, the writing community rocks!

    @Loni - Writing groups are fantastic!

    @Rachna - I still get overwhelmed with how amazing other writers are when it comes to support and promotion.

    @AiringMyDirtyLaundry - Best of luck!

    @Betty - Thanks!

    @L.G Smith - Thank you!

    @Kindlemom - Thanks!

    @Kelly - Thank you!

    @A Cuban In London - Thanks so much!

    @Kim Good luck with your novel!

    @klahanie - Thanks for all of your comments on my blog tour stops!

    @Elizabeth - Love ya!

    @Liz - LOL, I think so too!

    @kimbacaffeinate - Thanks!

    @Christine - Bloggers are the best!

    @Kathy - Thanks!

    @Jennifer - Yes, it's definitely considered more acceptable now - I love it!

  36. This sounds like a great story! I plan to read it...It's good to hear a success from story from someone who has self-published. Opportunities are really opening up for people going this route nowadays. Good job!

  37. I love reading about how an author got their book published. The stories are so different from writer to writer. Too bad I missed the giveaway...

  38. Self-publishing is definitely a way to go, you have a lot more freedom with it than with publishers. I guess it's a 50/50 split on both, both haves it's ups and downs, so glad it worked out well for Kyra. :)

  39. Self-publishing is definitely a way to go, you have a lot more freedom with it than with publishers. I guess it's a 50/50 split on both, both haves it's ups and downs, so glad it worked out well for Kyra. :)

  40. I think it's a very exciting time for writers. They have so many options that weren't there just a few years ago.

  41. I was hoping to see a little more info. about the self-publishing business, but other than saying what a sweet ride it has been, no real input was supplied. I am a publisher, and have helped a local author self-publish. It isn't an easy journey. We had to get approval to use a certain photo on the cover, had to design the cover, buy ISBN codes, format the book for the publishing company, and review the finished product. I know I'm glossing over a few steps. Glad your author found support. Wish she'd shed more light on the process.

  42. Congrats on your books, it was really interesting to read and I'm happy it worked for you. I didn't know your work but now I do and I'll have to investigate that. thanks for the post.

  43. Good post, Kyra and Steph. Thanks for sharing.

  44. I think selling 50 copies would be a dream come true for any new author! :D

    You've done really well, Kyra!! I totally admire your work ethic & level of output.

  45. Congrats to Kyra. I have seen her book discussed on a few blogs now.

    I have heard that about self publishing as well--enjoying having more control on the decision-making and the social bonds that are developed as the author works to promote the work.

  46. I love that self publishing worked for you ... I do agree that having friends here helps it so much more... :)

  47. I used to think that self-publishing was what people who couldn't catch the eye of a traditional publishing house did. That was SEVERAL years ago, mind you, and I fully own that as the ignorance it was. I've since recognized that there are perks to either side, as well as similar aspects that are shared (new friends, etc.), BUT I agree that the support of other authors and sense of community is a huge perk of self-publishing, and beyond that, the sense of accomplishment with every (even small) success. Great post, Stephanie, and well done, Kyra!