Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Welcome Back, Peggy Jaeger

I’m going to admit this honestly because, really, why lie? I’m a techno-phobe. Most people who know me will disagree because I do so much with social media and blogging. But the truth is it all scares the bejeezus out of me. 

I came to the techno-table later in life.  I had my very first romance book published right before I turned 55 and up until then I still used a flip-phone and only received calls on it because actually making one gave me stomach pains.

Being traditionally published as opposed to self (or Indie) published was the direction I wanted my writing career to move in. All I wanted to do was write my stories, submit them to an editor, be assigned a cover and then write the next book. It all worked wonderfully until two of my publishers dropped me because of lack-luster sales. I couldn’t blame them, even though I thought they’d made a mistake in letting me go. Publishing, like everything in our world, is profit driven. Why would a publisher want to invest money in an author by paying cover designers, editors, booking promotion tours and giveaways, if they didn’t feel they would get a return on their investment. Makes sound business sense.

Unless you’re the author being dropped.

Wake up calls are reality checks for a reason, kids. When my second publisher dropped me I already had book two written and edited and book 3 in the series plotted. I’d invested months in perfecting the manuscript and getting it reader ready. I didn’t want to start a search process for another publisher, knowing that would be another year or more of my life, and I didn’t want to just store it in a file on my computer. That was a little too much like assigning it to the land of lost toys. But what to do? I knew nothing NOTHING about self-publishing. At every romance and writing conference I’d ever attended I took all the craft classes and none of the business of publishing/indie publishing classes. The very thought of learning how to do all the formatting, marketing, distribution, pricing… gave me migraines, so I avoided those classes like they were the Ebola virus.

But…I wanted this book released and since I was now publisher-orphaned, there was only one solution: self publish it.

I knew nothing, remember, about how to do this. It’s all done electronically now through Amazon and all the other online book retailers. The learning curve for me was vast. Mount Everest-to-the-moon vast. 

When I finally came to the decision to go this route, I didn’t hem or haw or waste a moment. So, how did I learn how to do all the stuff that seemed like learning Greek in a week to me? 

Well, the thing about self-publishing on Amazon is that they actually hold your hand and walk you through everything with videos and instructions. You-Tube became my best friend for two weeks solid. After all the learning, trials and errors – goodness, the errors! – I was able to upload an actual manuscript I’d formatted in their Kindle Create program. I designed my own book cover using Canva and Deposit photos, too. I didn’t pay a book designer because I couldn’t afford it. I didn’t have it professionally edited ( as in paying someone oodles of money to do so) but asked a friend of mine who actually teaches English composition at the college level to walk through the book with me. Her insights were great and I wanted to credit her in the book on the copyright page. She didn’t want her name made public because she was afraid other authors would ask her to do the same and she didn’t want to. But because she’s my friend, she agreed to help me.

I offered the book in a digital format only to begin with, and not Print on Demand, and exclusively with Amazon. That means you can only read it if you have a Kindle. It was easier for me to do this first, as an experiment really, just to see if I could actually accomplish it.

It’s a seven day miracle that I could. And did.

So, here’s the moral of my twisted story. You’re never too old to learn something new- even if it terrifies you; with Indie publishing you make the timeline – not wait in line for a year or more for a release like you do with a traditional house. All the profits from the book sales go to you directly every month. You don’t need to wait around to get a check quarterly or semi-annually sent to you. Plus, you can actually see how many books you sell everyday directly from Amazon. You don’t need an agent, so more money for you! Yay, to that.

There are drawbacks, though. My cover is not professionally done and to my eyes looks it. But like I said, this was more an experiment than anything. The only thing the entire process cost me was time.

Will I self publish another book? Probably. I still have five manuscripts from two different series that I owe to one publisher (of my three), the one who didn’t leave me stranded on the sidewalk in the dead of winter, shoeless and hungry.

Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, even for me. What I really learned from this entire process is that as an author, I’ve got options for publication where I didn’t think I had more than the traditional choice before.

That’s kinda cool, I think.

Book blurb:
Nell Newbery has trust issues. It’s hard to trust when you’re the daughter of a fallen financial scion who bilked people out of billions. Nell’s done everything in her power to keep away from men who see her as their ticket to fortune and fame. All she wants to do is run her ultra-successful business, HELPFUL HUNKS, in peace.

But it wouldn’t hurt to find a guy who doesn’t know a thing about her father’s felonious past; one she can give her heart to and trust it won’t come back to her battered, bruised, and broken.

Is Charlie Churchill that guy? On the surface he seems perfect, all polished manners and quiet mirth. Nell’s convinced he knows nothing about her, other than she likes superhero movies and views junk food as a food group.

Can she trust him to be what he appears to be? Or is he just pretending?

For Nell, trust is everything in life…and in love.

We made our way into the assigned theater, found our seats and settled in. The theater was full to capacity but we had a great view, dead center and luckily the two people in front of us weren’t tall, so I’d be able to see the screen without shifting left or right. 
I sighed when I realized my good fortune. Charlie turned toward me and asked, “Everything okay?”
“Yeah.” I lowered my voice. “I was offering up a silent thank you to the God of the vertically challenged because I’m not behind a giant. The last time I was at a movie the guy in front me had to be an NBA player. His torso was as long as my entire body and his shoulders obliterated the screen.”
He stared at me a moment, his forehead creased, his head tilted. “I wasn’t aware there was a God of the vertically challenged.”
I nodded. “Saint Shortstack.”
The lighting in the theater had dimmed, but his quick smile lit up my little area like a fourth of July fireworks explosion. 
Concentrating on the movie should have been easy since I’d been looking forward to it for months. The man seated next to me, though, proved to be a huge distraction. Despite the spacious stadium designed chairs, our bodies came in frequent contact. His thigh brushed mine and our knees bumped several times when Charlie leaned over to scoop some popcorn from the tub in my lap. Our elbows met when we placed them on the armrests. The subtle, tempting scent of his cologne wafted toward me every time he moved closer to grab the candy box out of my hand and pour himself a few pieces. His fingers grazed mine as he handed the box back and a frisson of desire shuddered down my spine from the innocent touch.
My fantasy superhero actors filled the screen and my attention should have been focused on them. At any other time it would have. Instead, my concentration was centered totally on the man sitting next to me.
When Iron Man took Pepper into his arms and kissed her silly, I remembered the incredible sensation of Charlie’s lips on mine. When Black Widow cupped the Hulk’s cheek to reassure him, the memory of Charlie’s fingers skimming my jaw had me squirming in my seat. Even when the team was saving the world and I should have paid attention to who was getting knocked out or wounded, the fascinating man next to me stole my every thought.
At one point my leg started bobbing, an old tick from my teen years that reared itself whenever my nerves popped up. I nearly came out of the chair when Charlie placed a hand on my knee, leaned in close and whispered, “What’s wrong, Nell?”
My knee instantly stopped bouncing.
“Sorry. Thinking about something work related.” I had to lie. I couldn’t admit the reason I was so keyed up was because of him. Sitting next to him, his touch – however innocent - heck, even the smell of him, was such a turn-on that my body wouldn’t quiet down. It was like I’d drunk six cups of caffeinated coffee and then been forced to stay immobile while all my adrenaline fought to be set free.
He squeezed my knee then patted my thigh.  Both gestures sent my nerve endings into hyperdrive. 
“Work will always be there,” he said softly, his lips delightfully close to my ear. “Relax.”
“Impossible,” I muttered.

Buy Links:
Exclusive to KU  and Kindle only: 

Author bio:

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes Romantic Comedies about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. If she can make you cry on one page and bring you out of tears rolling with laughter the next, she’s done her job as a writer!

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, she brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she’s created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

When she’s not writing Peggy is usually painting, crafting, scrapbooking or decoupaging old steamer trunks she finds at rummage stores and garage sales.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, Peggy is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!"

Social Media links:


Amazon Author page:


  1. Jennifer, darling girl - as always, writers like you make writers like me thrilled to be part of such a supportive and talented community!! thanks for letting me vent and for helping me promote It's A Trust thing. #blessyou girl!

  2. I am so looking forward to this book. My only complaint is not enough hours in the day to do all the reading I want.
    Peggy is a very talented writer and super sweet in person. She is the type you meet and spend the rest of the day talking and laughing like old friends.

    1. Wanda - don't make me cry, girl!!! Bless you. And I agree - I never have enough hours in the day to read all my favorite authors. BTW ) Jenn WIlck is one of them!!!

  3. Love the way you describe the publishers dropping you, "stranded on the sidewalk in the dead of winter, shoeless and hungry." OUCH! Best of luck with sales!!

    1. Karen - I gotta tell ya, that's EXACTLY the way it felt!!!

  4. Peggy, this is a great post. I think I could learn to self-publish, but promotion is my biggest concern.

    1. Sandra - in all honesty, if I could learn to do it - and learn all the promotion crap that goes along with it - you can, too!!! It just takes time and the knowledge that we're gonna learn from our mistakes!

  5. I'm right there beside you in feeling deserted. I'll be picking your brain when it's time to dive into the indie pub thing!! That's for sure. Good luck! I hope you sell oodles of books!!

    1. Kari - bless you my friend. From you mouth ( and computer) to God's ears! Heehee

  6. I'm a firm believer that you're never too old to learn something new, Peggy. And I love your cover! To me it looks (screams) professional and draws me in. I applaud you for putting this second book out there. I would have done the same! The self-publishing "waters" are one I know I'll step my toes into one day, but not today. Wishing you continued success!

    1. Mary - thank you for your kind words. I wish more people would think like we do - that you are never too old to learn. I never expected at 59 to be doing and learning something like this. Makes me wonder what I'm gonna be learning when I'm 70!

  7. I always love your posts and this one is no exception!

  8. Bravo Peggy! The cover looks fantastic. As for self publishing, I do some as well. It's a smart business move in today's saturated market. Love to chat with you sometime! Best of luck!

  9. Kristal - I know, you're right. I resisted for sosos long because I truly didn't think I had the mind power to learn how to do it. Just yesterday I learned how to do the Print on demand part and I've ordered my proofs. If they turn out ok, i'll be moving to that platform too. Geez! It's a good think I only sleep 2 hours a night

  10. Thank you for sharing your journey with your usual self-deprecating humor. That, and your talent, shine through in your books. Hugs.

    1. Oh, Barbara - you made me cry!! Bless you and thank you!

  11. Good for you for exploring options Peggy! I have some books with a small press and some indy published. The publisher I started with was absorbed by Amazon and Amazo isn't doing the short, sweet romances I used to write.

  12. Roni - the state of the publishing industry sure has changed in the past few years, hasn't it?