Jackie Braun

Everything is new again, including my DNA!

I can’t believe how much the publishing world has changed since I sold my first sweet contemporary romance to Silhouette Romance in late 1999.

Back then, Harlequin and Silhouette were the only games in town for category romance. (And they were really the same game since Harlequin had already purchased Silhouette.) I pitched my manuscript to an editor at a writers’ conference, was asked to send it and, after three rounds of rewrites, was offered a contract that included an advance. The book, One Fiancee To Go, Please, came out less than a year later.

And, one month after it appeared, it was off store shelves.

That was how category romance worked. My publisher put out new titles – four to six each month in every line or category it published. Many readers even signed up for subscriptions, automatically receiving all the books in a particular line through the mail each month. Ebooks weren’t a thing yet, self-publishing was considered vanity publishing because of the limitations of marketing and distribution, and Amazon was still in its infancy as a bookseller.

Fast forward to today. The changes in the industry boggle the mind. Amazon sells everything and delivers it everywhere. Ebooks changed the shelf-life of category books from a month to indefinitely. Traditional publishers are still around, of course, but a lot of authors have opted to go the indie route. Self-publishing no longer has the stigma of being a vanity venture. For some authors, it’s a reasonable and even lucrative way to reach a wide audience, a niche audience…any audience.

And that’s where, after being out of the industry for seven years thanks to cancer, I find myself now. I’ve gone indie. I’m still learning the ropes. And, believe me, there are a lot of ropes to learn!

Everything about the publishing business seems new and different this time around. I’m new and different, too. I have a brand-new immune system and blood type courtesy of the anonymous stem cell donor who saved my life. And with this second chance I’ve been given, I’m so excited to once again share my books with the people who love reading about happy endings as much as I’ve always loved writing them.

So, stay tuned!

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