I have loved to write all of my life, and it was always my dream to see a book of mine in publication. But, while I loved the writing, I hadn’t the foggiest notion of how to go about getting an agent and everything else involved in traditional publishing. As a first time author, I was certain it would be a waste of time submitting manuscripts, and having them rejected. However, I continued to write for my own pleasure. Then what I consider to be a miracle took place!
I bought the book the Kindle Publishing Bible by Tom-Corson-Knowles, and read everything I could get my hands on about Kindle publishing. I am not the least bit ‘techie,’ and knew if I tried publishing on my own, it would look dreadful. So, I wrote to Tom, and was delighted when he called me. We chatted for about an hour, and he sent me a three year publishing contract with TCK Publishing. The book I had on my computer had been written over a period of thirty years – long overdue to be published. It was close to nine hundred pages in length. So, I split it into three books, and had a trilogy. Of course that required some changes, and a lot of work, but it all came together rather nicely.
This has truly been the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. My Psychology professor during my first year at college asked me to collaborate with him on an Adolescent Psychology text book, but I was too unsure of my capabilities, and turned him down. Other wonderful possibilities presented themselves through the years, but I had no faith in myself. I couldn’t bear the thought of piles of rejection letters. After talking to Tom, I really began to believe that I could do this.
I should add that I am a seventy-one year old first-time novelist! My experience is certainly living proof that one is never too old to accomplish their dreams. When my first book, Willow Grove Abbey, was published on Kindle, it was an immediate success, and became a best seller very quickly. It is a historical novel, set in England during World War II. It is still number seven in its genre.
This book was quickly followed by the second book in the trilogy: St. James Road, which also became a bestseller within an hour of being published. Today it is number twelve in its genre.
The third book in the trilogy, Serendipity, also reached bestseller status immediately. It is now number six in its genre. I am making over a thousand dollars a month. I have a new trilogy underway entitled Claybourne Court. This too will be set in England, in World Wars I and II, and I hope to see the success I had with my first trilogy repeated.
I have learned an enormous amount now that I am finally a bestselling author. First and foremost, unless you have a Master’s Degree in English Literature, do not try to edit your book yourself. You will be sorry! I hold a Doctorate Degree in Psychology, but my editing skills left much to be desired. The best advice I can give is to hire an excellent editor. Tom has one available through TCK Publishing and she is superb. This will cost a bit of money, but in the long run, you will have a much better book, and won’t receive nasty reviews about poor editing, as I did at first. My experience has been marvelous, and finally, at age seventy-one, I am doing what I was always meant to do.
Tom takes care of all of the formatting for me, and even assists in the cover choice. I trust him implicitly. His ideas are terrific. His marketing skills are beyond compare, and I believe that makes all the difference in sales. He knows exactly when to take advantage of the promotions that Kindle Select offers to its writers, and these promotions send sales skyrocketing. Getting in touch with Tom, and learning about Kindle are two of the best things I have ever done in my life. I hope to be writing and publishing books with TCK Publishing until I simply can’t write anymore!
About the Author
Mary Christian Payne is a bestselling author and accomplished business woman who has held high ranking, management positions with Fortune 500 companies in New York City, St. Louis, Missouri, Orlando, Florida, and Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is a recipient of the Mayor’s Pinnacle Award in Tulsa, for directing a highly successful program at The Women’s Resource Center at the University of Tulsa. All of these positions involved significant amounts of writing. She has also acted as a speech writer for high profile political figures, and for executives of major corporations.