3 S.R. Johannes: IndieView: Megg Jensen (author of Cloud Prophet Trilogy)

Friday, December 09, 2011

IndieView: Megg Jensen (author of Cloud Prophet Trilogy)

I forgot to mention - I'm doing a new marketing series over and KTLiterary. Agent Kate Testerman asked me to sit in the next couple of weeks and provide authors some tips and tricks on how to tackle marketing. All authors - whether indie or traditional - will learn how to focus on branding, promotion, author marketing, and even how to start a marketing plan. 

Yesterday was the first post in the series. Hope you find it helpful and follow along. Leave questions and I will try to answer them! :)


Megg is a friend of mine and an indie published author. The final book in the trilogy, Severed,  was just released.

In Severed, Reychel knows her gift of prophecy will lead to madness and now she is at her most vulnerable. The enemy army will attempt to sever her from everything she's ever known: her homeland, her friends, Mark, and her gift. Even at her weakest, she refuses to give up on her desire to end the war between the Malborn and the Serenians. Reychel would do anything, even come back from the dead, to conquer the enemy and reunite with Mark.

Megg has stopped by to share her journey...


If you would have told me last year that not only would I yank my full manuscript of SLEEPERS from two agents’ consideration, but that all of my ebooks would have hit bestseller lists on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com, I would have laughed in your face.

One year ago, I had my sights set on traditional publication and one of the two agents who were reading my manuscript were destined to propel me to superstardom. My friend, Karly Kirkpatrick, had tried to convince me of the benefits of epublishing, having successfully epublished her first novel, INTO THE SHADOWS. In my mind, epublishing sounded too much like self-publishing. I had visions in my head of poorly edited, ugly books that cost thousands to produce. Not me, no thank you. I was a traditional girl. My books were going to be on the octagonal display in the front of Barnes and Noble bookstores.

Since I adored Karly and didn’t want to just push off her theories, I followed some of the blogs and Internet chat boards she recommended. That’s when my eyes were opened to what was really going on. There were extraordinarily successful independent authors out there with gorgeous covers, impeccable editing, and huge sales. Some of them were easily beating sales of traditional authors and due to the royalty structure at Amazon.com, making money I could only dream about.

The week after Christmas in 2010, I sat my husband down. I told him everything Karly told me and shared what I’d learned on the web. For the past six years I had successfully run my own small business as a freelance parenting journalist (under my real name, Megg Jensen is a pen name used mainly to keep the two careers separate). The more I read about epublishing, the more it spoke to my entrepreneurial side. I could find great editors and cover designers. Everything the traditional publishers were doing, I could replicate through my already extensive network of contacts. I could do this on my own. I wanted to know if the hubby thought I was nuts.

He asked, “But will you ever see your book on a shelf at Barnes and Noble?”

I thought back to the first time I saw my name in print for a magazine article. I thought of the first time I saw my article featured on the cover of a magazine. Nothing could compare to the joy and pride. However, I also know how that feeling wore off. Within a year after landing my first article, I stopped looking at the magazines after publication. They jolt of seeing my name wore off. Deep in my heart, I knew that if my main reason for actively pursuing traditional publication would be to see my book on a book shelf then that superficial excuse would quickly lose its glamour.

The next day, I emailed both of those agents. I thanked them for their time and retracted my manuscript from consideration. That, perhaps, was one of the bravest things I’ve ever done. To say my hands were shaking as I typed those emails is an understatement. One agent never responded. The other agent, the one I had wanted so badly, asked me why. She told me she wanted to represent me, but only if I switched genres. At the time, traditional fantasy was very difficult to sell. I felt I had nothing to lose, so I told her the truth. Surprisingly, she told me that I was probably making the best decision of my career. We corresponded via email for some time and she promised to keep an eye on my career.

If she was watching, she would have seen me epublish ANATHEMA in February. Not only was it a featured pick on BarnesandNoble.com for two months, it also hit multiple bestseller lists on Amazon.com. My dreams came true because I made them happen. I took my writing career and shaped it into something that has allowed me to easily outsell and outearn the typical midlist advance, at least according to agent Mandy Hubbard’s blog post in May.

I haven’t regretted my decision. Not once. I don’t know what the future holds for my career, though. I’m not against having an agent in the future. It just needs to be a mutually beneficial relationship that helps us both achieve our goals. I’m no longer that googly-eyed writer willing to worship at the altar of agents. I’d like to think of myself now as a savvy businesswoman who is open to opportunities. I’ve sold thousands of copies of my novels. I have six more YA novels in the pipeline, as well as a MG fantasy I’d really like to find time to work on. I have an international epublishing deal. I have readers and bloggers who I love to interact with on Facebook and Twitter. They’re much more than faceless readers who tossed a couple bucks my way. Many of them have become real friends.

ePublishing changed my life. No regrets - just dreams I plan to make come true in the future!

You can follow Megg at her blog, on Twitter, or Facebook

You can learn more about her books here.


Shannon O'Donnell said...

What an amazing story! I have been in awe of Shelli's bulldog work ethic and courage as I've watched her publishing journey. I am equally in awe of Megg's story. Wow.

Magan said...

I'd have to say Megg is pretty sweet. The Barnes & Noble shelf comment is brilliant and I never thought of it that way!

Jemi Fraser said...

Wow - what a fabulous story - thank you so much for sharing it. It's so interesting to read about the journeys of authors and see how they have travelled their roads to success. :)

Hannah Hale said...

I agree.. the perspective of seeing my book on the shelf a year from now IS a game changer. Thanks for sharing your experience and decision factors!