Friday, October 10, 2014

The Story Behind Order of the Seers Trilogy by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Should I Self-Publish?The Short Story of How Order of the Seers Came To Be

These days whenever I get an opportunity to speak with writers, I always get the question, “Should I self-publish?” Recently, almost every self-published author around me seems to say, “Hell, Yeah!  Don’t give those filthy publishers your money!” Two years and three books into my own journey, I have a different take on it.
My short and long answer to this question is – it depends on what your goals are.

I decided to self-publish my first book, Order of the Seers, after sending out about 20 queries to agents. I received 7 flat-out rejections, 1”It’s good, but not quite what I’m looking for”, and 1”This is good, but it will never sell, so we can’t take it.” I For six weeks, I wrung my hands and got queasy every time I heard my phone ding with an e-mail message. I walked around in a daze, waiting.

I waited because I thought no one would ever read my book if I didn’t have a publisher behind me. I waited because I had just given birth to our second child and I was convinced that there was no way I could handle the demands of self-publishing on my own. I waited because I was afraid.

But the thing is, I’ve never been good at waiting.  After a month and a half of walking around like somebody died, I started to get a little antsy. A pep talk from a friend and my brother finally snapped me out of it. They both basically said the same thing, “Why are you waiting to be picked, invited to the party? Start your own party.”

On April 28, 2012, I decided to pick myself and self-publish my book. Because I was stupid (and afraid I’d chicken-out), I gave myself three months to learn everything I needed to know about publishing AND publish my book. I ended up extending the release by one more month because even miracles take time and on September 4, 2012, I released the first book in the Order of the Seers Trilogy.

The release of my first book was uneventful by any measure.  After it didn’t sell 1 million copies the first hour it became available  (it sold maybe 10), I spent the day in bed counting all the ways I shouldn’t have tried in the first place. And then I got up and thought. As it turns out, 1 e-mail to friends, 1 blog tour and 1 E-blast service does not a marketing plan make. By the release of the second book 9 months later, I’d learned enough to assemble a team that helped Order of the Seers: The Red Order get and stay on Amazon’s science-fiction bestseller list for over a month.

The main difference between Book I and Book II was not an exponential explosion of creative writing genius. Between the publishing of my first and second book, I’d made the shift from thinking like a writer to acting like a publisher and that difference is the very thing you need to ask yourself. The question is not “should I self-publish”; it’s do I want to be my own publisher/marketer/boss?

Am I willing to dedicate the time and energy it takes to write a book I’m proud of, then:

·         Find the editors

·         Do the rewrites

·         Hire the cover designer

·         Find the formatter

·         Figure out the printer

·         Strategize distribution

·         Plan and execute a marketing plan like you mean it (which could easily be 50 to 70% of your job    after you finish writing the book)

·         Find book reviewers and submit advanced reader copies for pre-release and release reviews

·         Manage book release activities and on-going promotion/communications including websites, blogs  and social media and/or hire someone to help

·         Repeat

If the answer to most of these questions is “,” that’s okay.   I’m actually not trying to scare you off. There is an incredible amount of control, satisfaction and learning that comes from doing these things for yourself.  As an indie author, I’m just trying to give you an idea of what the journey has been like for me. And as hard as it’s been, I enjoy controlling the emergence of my work in the marketplace.  I also enjoy being the one who benefits the most from my efforts.  Self-publishing is EXACTLY right for me. 

Of course, you can choose to do all or none of the things I’ve mentioned. Either way is fine as long as you are clear about your goals and modify your expectations to the level of effort you’re willing to put in. 

If you decide to go the traditional publishing route, unfortunately I have little advice to give you. From what I understand, you will be exempt from most of the activities that I’ve listed above, except for marketing, which as I said can be 50 to 70% of the work that you do after you write the book. So either way, you should plan to be very, very busy.

But if your dream is to see your book in every bookstore, Wal-Mart and airport bookstand, self-publishing will not allow you to meet that goal. At least, not yet. If the prestige of being signed by a big publisher is important to you, then by all means, go for it.  Don’t be discouraged by the stories of how many people don’t find an agent, don’t find a publisher.  Their journey is not your journey. You must have the courage to follow your own path.

Whatever you decide, make sure you do something and do it with all your heart because that is what your story deserves.

      About The Trilogy:
What would you do if you held infinite power in the palm of your hand?

The Order of the Seers trilogy poses this question within a story that fuses action, mystery, and romance within a science fiction adventure that keeps you at the edge of your seat.

Captured and enslaved for their extraordinary gift, a group of individuals, known as Seers, are forced to serve a ruthless world organization that uses the power of the Seers to exploit the ultimate advantage: knowing the future. While a brother and his Seer sister fight to evade the group that hunts them, an unlikely captured Seer plots his escape from within the organization and sets off a chain of events that will change the world.

The journey begins with Order of the Seers (Book I) and continues with The Red Order (Book II). The final chapter in the Order of the Seers trilogy, titled The Last Seer (Book III), will be released on September 30, 2014.

For More Information:

About The Author:
Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with science fiction at the age of seven, watching “Empire Strikes Back” at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C., with her sister and mom. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. As an ardent fan of John Donne, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut and Alexander Pope from an early age, Cerece began exploring her own creative writing through poetry. She earned her master’s degrees in social work and international relations at Boston College and Johns Hopkins School for Advance International Studies, respectively, and built a rewarding 15-year career in program development, management and fundraising in the community and international development arenas – all while appreciating the stories of human connection told in science fiction through works like Octavia Butler’s “Wild Seed,” Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and “The X-Files.” In 2011, Cerece experienced her own supernatural event - a vision of her first science fiction story. Shortly after, she began developing and writing what would become the “Order of the Seers” trilogy. Cerece lives just outside of her hometown of Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda. 

For more information, follow Cerece at 

Connect with Cerece:
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