Story Finds

Betty Castleberry on StoryFinds

>> Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hello again readers!

 I am very excited about today's post, and I think you will see why. I have turned my blog over to a very special guest, author Diane Moody. Diane has written several books, including The Teacup Novellas. If  you have not read them, I would highly recommend you do. She lives in Tennessee with her husband, pastor and author McMillian Moody. Diane has generously offered to share her advice on self-publishing. Feel free to leave a comment. Both Diane and I would appreciate it.

Blessings, Bets

Diane Moody

Sometimes it really is worth the wait...

 by Diane Moody

Once upon a time, I wrote a book about a pastor’s wife who runs away from home. I tried for years to find a publisher who would publish it, or an agent who would shop it for me. I spent thousands of dollars going to writers conferences. I learned so much about the craft of writing, about story arcs and how to ramp up the drama, and the importance of editing. And while I made some wonderful friends through those gatherings, in the end I still didn’t find an agent or publisher. Along the way I had two different editors tell me to cut out one whole character and his entire story line. Neither of them was offering a contract, by the way. It didn’t feel right to me, so I refused to yank dear Michael from the book.

Years passed. During that desert time, God nudged me to write a quirky little book about my ongoing struggles with having a daily prayer time with the Lord. Confessions of a Prayer Slacker sold before I even finished it. I’ll be forever grateful to that editor for allowing me to stick my big toe through the publishing world door, but the entire experience could best be described as a nightmare. Still, I learned so many lessons through that adventure that I honestly don’t regret it.

I kept writing, but I struggled with the voices in my head who kept telling me my writing wasn’t good enough, that nobody would ever care about my stupid stories, and how I’d save myself a lot of frustration if I’d just give up.

And then the strangest thing happened. A friend of mine heard about self-publishing through Amazon. At first, I scoffed and turned my nose up. Everyone knew self-publishing was a last resort for rejects of traditional publishing. But then I began to watch how many books my friend was selling, how many favorable reviews she was receiving, and how much money she was making! I was shocked to find out there was no cost involved. I figured I had nothing to lose, so why not give it a try?

My husband and I published The Runaway Pastor’s Wife in February of 2011. We were blown away—absolutely dumbfounded by sales. Since then we have published nine of my books, and three of my husband’s. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this kind of success as a writer. Fifteen years ago, I had no idea that the computer and its ever-changing technology would kick open doors that had previously been so carefully guarded by the “gatekeepers” of the traditional publishing industry. Back then, the precious, highly coveted space on the shelves of brick and mortar bookstores belonged primarily to elite authors with an established following. Newcomers, if they got published, had about a three-week window—if their books didn’t fly off the shelves, they were done.

Now that’s all changed. Instead of New York publishers, editors, and agents deciding which books will or won’t sell, the READERS get to make that call. All I can say is—it’s about time! And the icing on the cake? I get all the royalties. All of them. Sweet, eh?

It’s been an amazing journey. Truly, a new day has dawned! I love encouraging other writers to discover the bliss of self-publishing. I send them to Kindle Direct Publishing ( to find out how easy it is to publish e-books. I tell them about Amazon’s CreateSpace ( where they can publish in paperback. Of course, nothing takes the place of hard work. You still have to write a good story and find a good proofreader (learned that one the hard way), and learn the secrets of marketing. But if I can do it, so can you. After all, what have you got to lose?

Was it worth the wait? Oh yeah. And then some!

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