StreetLib Stories: Sharolyn G. Brown
Our StreetLibers are the foundation, brick and mortar of our company. We are only the workers. StreetLib stories are a way to learn about these foundations, one StreetLiber at a time. We discover today Sharolyn G. Brown’s publishing story as told by herself. Thanks Sharolyn for sharing it with us! Here is her story:
Over 10 years ago I realized I wanted to be a writer. At that time I joined a writer’s group and set about learning what it meant to write a novel. I had ideas, I just didn’t know how to make those ideas into stories people would want to read. I learned a lot from my writer’s group, Humble Fiction Cafe, but then life intruded, as it often does. My job moved me to another state, and I wasn’t able to find another group of writers to replace Humble Fiction Cafe. So, my dream of being a writer was put on a shelf.
Nevertheless, the ideas kept coming. The characters kept speaking to me, telling me about their lives and their thoughts. For me, that’s how writing works; I get an idea based on a “what-if” scenario, then I get a picture of the primary character or characters involved in this scenario, and then their story kind of unfolds in my mind, like a movie almost. For my first novel, The Heaviness of Knowing, Book 1 of The Conscious Dreamer Series, the “what-if” scenario was inspired by a conversation I was having with one of my friends about how she never remembered her dreams. This was astonishing to me because I regularly remember my dreams.
So, I started thinking, why with some people remember their dreams, like me, and why would some people, like my friend, never remember their dreams? And in an instant, the idea came to me: what if only some people remembered their dreams because they were being used or manipulated by some otherworldly force? After I had that “what-if,” next came the characters. First I saw the woman on Earth, Lauren, who was being controlled by an otherworldly force, aliens in another dimension, through her dreams. Then I saw the alien woman, Roxal, who was manipulating Lauren.
Each of these characters fascinated me. Over the years, the more I thought about Roxal, the more I realized she was manipulating Lauren not because she wanted to, but because she had to. As in if Roxal did not manipulate Lauren, she would be killed. And Lauren, well she had absolutely no idea she was being controlled. At least, not initially.
The story continued to grow, and expand, and develop in my brain. And it wasn’t until 2015 when I finally decided that either I was going to try to become a published author, or I was going to ignore these characters and their stories. So, I dusted off my dream of being a writer and began writing what would become, The Heaviness of Knowing.
When I started writing it, I did so with the full expectation of following the traditional publishing path: write the novel, find an agent who liked it enough to take me on as a client, and then sell it to a publisher. However, about halfway through writing my novel, I read a book written by a self-published author, and I really liked it.
The story was interesting, it looked professional, and the only way I knew the author was self-published is when I went to her website she talked about being self-published. Further, she had a link on her website dedicated just to self-publishing. I was completely amazed once I read the information she had on her website. I was so amazed, in fact, that I went on to purchase the self-publishing guide that she had for sale on Amazon.
And what I read in her self-publishing guide really opened my eyes to the self-publishing industry. I had no idea about the self-publishing revolution that had taken place in 2011. When I thought of self-publishing, I still thought of people who wrote novels, and then had to buy hundreds if not thousands of copies of these books to sell themselves. And they had storage spaces and garages full of these books. And they would try to sell them to their friends, and their family members, and anyone who would take one of these books off their hands.
It wasn’t until I read that self-publishing guide that I realize that more and more people were buying e-books. And further, for the people that did still purchase physical books, companies like Amazon had print on demand options, which meant I didn’t have to buy a certain number of physical books to keep on hand anywhere. Also not only could you work with Amazon to sell your novels, but you could work with pretty much any major bookseller to sell e-books. This information was truly eye-opening to me.
So armed with this new knowledge, and a guide to resources like editors, and formatters, and cover designers, I decided to take the plunge and become a self-published author.
Once I decided to become a self-published author, I started publishing just on Amazon. I did this because it’s one of the largest sellers of e-books in the world, and it’s a fairly easy system to learn and to navigate. However once I got the hang of it, I decided that I wanted to publish on as many platforms as possible, and that’s where StreetLib comes in.
I chose StreetLib because I wanted to have access to Google Play, and I wanted to work with a company that came highly recommended by other authors. And StreetLib met both of those requirements. Further, for a newbie like me, having someone that’s responsive to any questions or concerns I might have is very important. And every time I’ve had an issue or question, someone from StreetLib has been there to answer my questions and to help me however I needed it.
StreetLib has been a great company to work with. So far, I’ve published two novels and one novella with them, including my recently published The Peril of Knowing, Book 2 of The Conscious Dreamer Series. I don’t have any regrets since making my choice to become a self-published author, and I look forward to publishing many, many more books with StreetLib.
Are you a StreetLiber? Do you want your publishing story to be featured on the StreetLib blog? Please send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “StreetLib Story”.