Tonya Kappes

Tonya Kappes

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

YES, I'm a HYBRID!



Many, many times I have stated that I believe the publishing industry is so different from when I first started out.

Years ago, the only way to get your novel published was to get an agent, and then hope the agent sold your novel to a publishing house. My, my have times changed.
Over the past couple years the ebook revolution came barreling through like a tornado and has left the publishing industry in a mass destruction.

Many of us really saw this as an opportunity. I was ready to take the leap.
The leap was really like a big heave. I had already been promoting myself, creating my voice through blogging, going to writer's conferences, building a platform all without having my first novel, Carpe Bead 'em, out there.

Why did I decide to go the self-publishing route? I had written a couple of women's fiction novels and women's fiction was really hard to break into going the traditional route. Plus it had some chick-lit in it, which everyone told me that chick-lit was DEAD! DEAD!
So my journey began. And it has been a super successful journey. I've been on over 32 bestsellers lists, Amazon Movers and Shakers list three times, and sold over 35k ebooks in five months. Nothing to turn your nose up at.

But as I stated earlier this week in my blog AT WHAT POINT DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'VE SUCCEEDED, my dream still continues.
I've succeeded in the indie journey. I've gotten some really GREAT readers that I probably would've never found. The indie journey has given me some great opportunities. I've met so many indie authors and have shared a great deal of information between us.

Not only have I met some great indie authors, I've met some REALLY amazing traditional authors and industry professionals.

I've continued to keep a toe in all parts of the publishing industry by blogging, conferences, I'm a guest speaker for writer's groups, networking, marketing and promoting others, and being on social media 24/7 all while being a mother of three wonderful teenage boys, wife to an amazing man, and friend to many.

I've always maintained that I want an agent, I want to be traditionally published, I want a movie, I want it ALL!

I hear many indie authors say that going indie is the best way to reach readers. I whole heartily agree with that, but I also believe you can reach readers the traditional way too. The distribution channels are much different than being indie.
Bookstores may be going on the extinct list, but they are never going to go away. And I mean books in grocery stores, Targets, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Walgreens, etc. . .

I want to be everywhere, including the internet and all the stores above. It's never been about the money for me. (That is why I went to college, went back for my masters, and have a day job.)
It's about a dream. It's about showing my boys that when you want something so bad, work so hard, and continue to have a great attitude while accomplishing it, dreams do come true.

My dream of obtaining and agent has finally come true. I didn't haphazardly query agents from query tracker or Publisher's Marketplace. I had to have the right fit. I wanted someone who has grown as the industry has grown, embrace self-publishing, realize that no matter what that I'm there for my readers/authors and continue to pay it forward, as well as still promote and market myself 110%.
Not only did I find all of that in one agent, but also the entire agency.

I accepted representation from agent Barbara Scott at Wordserve Literary Agency. Not only do they embrace the indie journey, they promote it and me. They were so impressed with how far I have come and the trail that I've blazed in my career.

I will continue to self-publish as well as try to get traditionally published.

Why lose the money to an agent when I've been so successful?

Success can not be measured by money for me. Success is peace of mind, knowing I have made my dreams come true, knowing that I've gone as far as I can, personal fulfillment, and at the end of the day-being a good role model/example for my boys (who, btw, are over the moon that I have an agent) by teaching them that they can do anything in life with a little elbow grease.

My true readers will follow me no matter where I go. I've had nothing more than wonderful outpouring of support from readers over the past couple of days, as well as authors.
After all, a writer can't have too many readers.

So. . .Yes! I'm a true HYBRID WRITER!

31 comments:

  1. You've travelled the route I want to travel, Tonya, to be both indie and traditionally published. And a movie deal would be the ultimate dream. :)

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    1. Thanks, Sheila! It's my dream that I'm living and creating for myself. Going with an agent hasn't changed any part of my dream, it's only enhanced it. This agency accepted who I am, and NOT tried to change me or try to say I can't do something. The publishing industry is changing in our favor. I think we are going to be seeing a lot of this in the future.

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  2. Amen, sister! There are so many things I love about indie-publishing, but the mass distribution that you get with a traditional publisher just isn't there. Being published both ways is the ultimate in reaching readers. Congrats on the agent. I'm hoping to head that way as well, but very wary about giving up the freedom I so enjoy. Like you, I will be very particular about who I agent with and who i publish with, something I never imagined worrying about before I self-pubbed.I remember a time when I would have jumped at the first chance. Now I feel like I'd be interviewing my agent for hire rather than the other way around. The desperation factor is gone when you know you have choices. Oh, how times have changed.

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    1. It is like an interview process. I have a clear defined path that I've always stuck to. And when I did talk to several agents about my future, it was an interview process. The fit with Barbara was exactly like two pieces in a puzzle. It's all about her champion my work and my words.
      It's wonderful NOT to jump at the first offer. As a matter of fact, I had three NY agents that didn't share my same goal and I knew I wouldn't be happy. Barbara is truly a God sent. She completely gets me and my voice, my writing, and I get and respect her.
      I know this particular road to publication will have detours, I'm not blinded, but I know that on the other road to self-publishing is exactly the balance I need.

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    3. Hats off to you, Tonya! It is so fascinating how much things have changed, even in just the past two years.
      I totally agree with what you and PJ have just said. Now days, I'm also picky about who I am willing to work with. I've just recently turned down another offer, that at one time, I would have jumped on. It is a huge balancing act though, isn't it? Congrats on finding your best fit!

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  3. Well said, Tonya! You can close your eyes at night and know that you have done everything possible to make your dreams come true. Not many can say that.

    I'm so happy for your big news and I know that even after scoring this agent, you will continue to astound the publishing industry.

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    1. Thank you, Renee! I might've slipped to you early;) I'm so glad to have your support as my friend through this journey!

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  4. Congrats, Tonya! You're an inspiration. :-)

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    1. Nancy, Melissa is going to be the one to watch over the next couple years! She's got some sweet things going on. Thanks for your support!!

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    2. Oh! and I love how my agent replied to your blog yesterday!

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  6. Tonya, you're on your way to even greater success and fulfillment. I couldn't be happier for you, and I look forward to following your career as it enters this new chapter!!

    Congratulations!!

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    1. Yes! Jennifer, I do believe this is a way to fulfill more dreams. Thank you so much!!

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  7. I'm excited to see where this will take you, Tonya. Congratulations again!

    Hallee

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    1. Hi, Hallee! Thank you so much. I think it's going to be fun!

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  8. Congrats, Tonya. I am happy for you. I agree with you too. It is smart to know your limitation and let someone take over.

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    1. That is the key, "knowing your limitations" and going from there. Thank you so much!

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  9. Congratulations!! I love your blog posts and will check out your books too-- I love chicklit and hate when people say it's dead!

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    1. Thanks, Kristina! I hope that a lot of authors take away things from my posts to help build their career. This is what the blog was meant for. Pay it forward! Hahaahaa! Chick-lit is definitely NOT dead. I'm living proof of that.

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! I hope that all indies and traditional published authors realize that you can have the best of both worlds.

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  11. This is awesome news, Tonya. I just hope agent Barbara Scott is fast on her feet ... if she intends to keep up with your energy and stamina.

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    1. Oh, Jeff! You are so funny. She knows I write fast, talk fast, and just have one speed. . .fast.

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  12. Tonya, congratulations! You are such an inspiration! I have no doubt that a movie deal (along with everything else you've achieved) is in your future:)!

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    1. One can dream, right Maria?! I think that when you are driving your own career, it keeps you motivated.

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  13. Tonya, I'm so happy for you!! You're amazing - and I can't wait to see what happens for you next. Whatever it is, I know it will be exciting!!!

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  14. Thanks, Diane. I appreciate the sweet comments, but it's only just beginning. No matter what, I will still continue to work on my craft, continue to learn better ways to promote and market along side every single author out there. With each new steps comes a set of new challenges. Excited to see where it takes me.

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  15. Congratulations, Tonya. You've done so much so far and will only continue to grow. It's fun to watch!

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  16. Yay for you! (and your agent)

    It looks like you are going to have the best of both worlds, and that's great.

    And I'm starting to see romance with a humorous voice make a comeback, I think...no matter what they call it :-)

    you GO!

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