First off – today is an exciting day for me ๐Ÿ˜‰ย If you were all here with me,ย I’d share these chocolate
dipped strawberries, open a bottle of champagne and let you sniff the gorgeous bouquet of flowers I’d receive from my husband!

It’s time to celebrate!

Directly from Publishers Marketplace :

“Bestselling self-published author of FINDING EMMA, Steena Holmes’s EMMA’S SECRET, where Emma’s mother struggles to bring healing to her fractured family, while weaving a web of secrets that could tear them all apart again, along with a second untitled work, toย Carmen Johnsonย atย Amazon Publishing, in a good deal, in a two-book deal, at auction, byย Pamela Hartyย atย The Knight Agencyย (world English).”

What does this mean?

First – it means I have amazing readers! As an indie author – I could not have achieved even a fraction of my success without you. Thank you for all your emails to me, all your messages on Facebook, your reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. Thank you for telling your friends about Finding Emma and sharing your thoughts during your book clubs. It all means the world to me and I honestly can’t say it enough! Raise a toast with me – and let’s celebrate my readers!

Why do Indie’s need Agents?

Or … why did I sign with an agent. Good question. When I first started this journey, I was in the midst of querying Finding Emma and I had a lot of interest. But during the two year query journey, I discovered indie or self publishing and I fell in love with it. You can read about why I love being Indie here. When I decided to self publishing Finding Emma, it was after coming to the decision (for me) that traditional publishing wasn’t going to happen for me. And I was okay with that. Once I put up Finding Emma on Amazon’s KDP program, I was no longer interested in getting an agent or thinking about a traditional deal. I was okay with doing this on my own and seeing if I could do it successfully. And guess what? I can and did and am ๐Ÿ™‚

But … as self publishing grew, the options that authors had began to grow as well and I realized that it’s no longer a ‘them or us’ mentality. It’s no longer about choosing to be an indie author or a traditional author. Which meant my decisions started to change as well. I began to see that becoming a ‘hybrid’ author might actually be a possibility that I could entertain – and it might be an option that might be worthwhile considering. Why? Because it means open doors and having my stories available to a wider audience than what I can do on my own. It means more readers. Could I go this route alone? Sure I could. But my knowledge is limited and could I successfully manage the contract negotiations or even know what to look for? Not so much. This is where my agent comes in. She can handle these issues for me.

As authors who self publish – we need to start considering our career path as a business. Working with an agent, an editor and a publisher – these are all smart business decisions. Agents become partners in the journey you’re about to take. And as a partner, they are invested in your career. Working with Pamela was an easy decision for me. She understand me. She believes in me and she’s going to push me to become a stronger and smarter writer.

Why Did I Go for a Traditional Deal?

When my virtual door was being knocked upon my agents and publishers and I found out that editors had noticed me throughout my journey with Finding Emma, I had to listen. How could I not? It would have been silly to not listen and at least consider the possibility, right? Could I have said no to my new deal? Absolutely. I had plans to release Emma’s Secret in the coming weeks and I have no doubt in my mind that it would have been and will be as successful as Finding Emma. But…who in their right mind would say no to an opportunity like I’ve been given?

When I went through the list of pro’s and con’s – let me tell you, the pro’s far outweighed the other. Actually…the only negative thing I could see about signing a deal with Amazon to publish Emma’s Secret was that … well, I couldn’t find anything negative about it. I have the chance to work with Carmen Johnson – a fabulous and talented editor who believes in me. My writing will become stronger, my story will be better and I will find new readers to walk with me in my journey. And really – as an author – isn’t that what it’s about? Finding readers who love what you write and want more? The one thing that I have loved throughout this whole journey was discovering readers and getting to know them. I’ve met so many wonderful people and I can’t wait to meet more!

Am I a Hypocrite?ย 

While some might see my decision to sign with an agent and even accept a publishing deal as hypocritical, I see it as being an author who is able to grow and adapt to the ever changing publishing world. There’s a term out there that is growing in merit. Hybrid author – one who both self and traditionally publishes. There are a lot of authors out there who have been traditionally published first and then self publish their back titles and current stories. And there’s a growing number of authors who are successful at indie publishing and then accept traditional deals. It’s the best of both worlds and it means using all available means at your disposal to become even more successful than before.

Yes, I’ve tasted success being Indie. Finding Emma has won awards, been on multiple bestseller lists and has made more money than I ever thought possible in the 6 months since it’s release date. I have no doubt in my mind that Emma’s Secret will be just as successful. This is a journey that isn’t about to end. Thank you for being awesome travel companions! I couldn’t have done this without you!

So Let’s Raise a Toast

To Writers with dreams,
to Agents who believe,
to Editors with passion
and to the Awesome Readers
who take a chance on Authors
and give them a reason to continue writing!ย