What I Learnt From... Julie Stock Shares What She Has Learnt from Indie-Publishing

Posted on 13th October, 2017
This week, the What I Learnt From... series continues with Julie Stock sharing her experiences as an indie-author. Julie and I were Twitter-friends for a couple of years before meeting in real life at the RNA Conference in Lancaster in July last year. One of the things I always enjoy about Julie's blogs and interviews is her openness and honesty, which provide so much support as well as information to fellow-writers.


What I’ve Learnt from Indie Publishing Two Novels...


When I started writing my first novel, From Here to Nashville, I was 48 years old. I knew from very early on that I would choose to publish independently because I wanted to make sure it was published before my 50th birthday and traditional publishers just don’t work that quickly.


So I spent a lot of time learning about the indie publishing process and by the time I came to publish my book, I actually found the whole process quite straightforward. It had been a steep learning curve, learning about editing and proofreading, as well as cover design, and the publication process itself but I found that I really enjoyed it. I particularly enjoyed having the control over every aspect of the publishing process.


However, by the time my second book was ready to publish, I made the decision to try for a traditional contract. This was for two reasons: firstly, with the benefit of some experience, I could see that I would learn a lot from having my own editor within a publishing company, and secondly, if I was with the right publisher, I might also gain a lot of support with marketing, which might in turn, lead to more sales.


But as I went through a year-long process of submitting to agents and publishers, I slowly came to realise that the traditional model is just not for me. I realised that I had come to relish the freedom I had with indie publishing and that I didn’t want to lose that control. I found that many agents and publishers were asking me to write books for the market and I finally had to admit that I simply didn’t want to do that. And I was getting conflicting reviews from different people: some of them loved my writing, while others hated it. So how would I ever know who was right? In the end, I had to make a very hard decision. The benefits could still be there for me if I wanted to persevere with submissions to agents and publishers but I would also lose all control over what I wanted to do, and on top of that, I had no idea how much longer I would have to persevere for.


In the end, I made the decision to publish independently once again and I’m happy to say that my second book, The Vineyard in Alsace, has done even better than the first. I may not ever sell in the tens of thousands but I am making a decent living from my writing, and that’s all I’m looking for. So I don’t regret the decision to indie publish again for one second; nor do I regret the year I spent trying for a traditional contract. It has all made me realise that publishing independently suits me and my goals, and that it is the best choice for me. That’s not to put traditional contracts down – it’s just being honest about what works for me. I am happy doing what I’m doing and while it works for me, I’m going to carry on doing it.


I think that every writer has to decide on what success looks like to them and then pursue it in that form. And for me, at this stage in my life, indie publishing suits me best.





Is there really such a thing as a second chance at love?


Fran Schell has only just become engaged when she finds her fiancé in bed with another woman. She knows this is the push she needs to break free of him and to leave London. She applies for her dream job on a vineyard in Alsace, in France, not far from her family home, determined to concentrate on her work.


Didier Le Roy can hardly believe it when he sees that the only person to apply for the job on his vineyard is the same woman he once loved but let go because of his stupid pride. Now estranged from his wife, he longs for a second chance with Fran if only she will forgive him for not following her to London.


Working so closely together, Fran soon starts to fall in love with Didier all over again. Didier knows that it is now time for him to move on with his divorce if he and Fran are ever to have a future together. Can Fran and Didier make their second chance at love work despite all the obstacles in their way?


The Vineyard in Alsace is a contemporary romance set against the enticing backdrop of the vineyard harvest in Alsace in France.






Julie Stock is an author of contemporary romance from around the world: novels, novellas and short stories. She indie published her debut novel, From Here to Nashville, in February 2015 and published her second novel, The Vineyard in Alsace earlier this year. A follow-up novella to From Here to Nashville is also in progress, as well as the next novel.




She blogs regularly on her website, 'My Indie Writing Life.' You can also connect with her on Twitter and via her Facebook Author Page.




She is a proud member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, The Society of Authors and The Alliance of Independent Authors.



When she is not writing, she works part-time for a charity as a communications officer, and freelance as a proofreader, web designer and supply teacher. She is married and lives with her family in Bedfordshire in the UK.




This weekend, Julie's debut novel, From Here to Nashville, is free on Kindle Unlimited or 99p to buy.


Here's the link. Happy reading!




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Comments (20)

Thanks so much for reading and for leaving your very kind comment, Jen. I'm so glad you found my experience inspiring. I'm always happy to share it with other writers in the hope that it helps them in whatever stage they're at with their writing and publishing. Wishing you all the very best with your writing too xx
Thanks for your kind words, Jen. Julie has worked hard for her success and she is always happy to share her insights with others.
Such a helpful and inspiring post, Julie. Thanks for being so open about your experiences and how you found the career path that works best for you. Wishing you continued writing success! x
Hi Rae, Thanks so much for reading and for taking the time to leave a comment. I think you're right too, this is what works for me, and I'm so glad you found it a positive post. Good luck with your writing too xx
Hello, Rae. I think you are right - Julie has certainly found her niche and she is a great ambassador for indie publishing. Thanks for commenting.
It's fantastic you've found the route that works for you, Julie. Your enthusiasm and passion for indie publishing shines through - such a positive post. x
Oh, so sorry, it has been a very long day so typing too quickly, Kirsten! Apologies :(
Hi Kristen,
Thank you for reading my post and for leaving a comment. I'm glad you found it useful :) You can pick my brain any time!
Thanks so much for reading and for leaving a comment, Tara. You're right about authors having options and how good that is! Self-publishing is definitely not the easy option though! However, it can be very rewarding as I have found and more and more people are making that choice these days. When your time comes, you will know what's best for you xx
Kirsten, thanks for dropping by. I'm pleased you found Julie's post interesting. It's great to think of the various options that are open to authors these days.
Hi, Tara. Glad you enjoyed Julie's blog. I know Julie went through a steep learning curve with From Here to Nashville. She has always been generous about sharing her knowledge and experiences with others. Good luck with finishing your novel.
What a really interesting post - loads of food for thought! I really admire you for self-publishing two books. As Tara says, isn't it fab that we have different options. I'm sure I'll be picking your brains one of these days!! xx
I think it’s brilliant we have more than one option these days, especially one that Julie makes sound relatively easy. I’d definitely consider self-publishing, if I ever finish mine! Such an interesting post, thanks for sharing.
Jan, it's always good to hear from you. Thanks for visiting Julie's guest blog. It provides lots of food for thought. You're right, the traditional route can take a long time, but the main thing is to stick at it. You have had such positive feedback from certain quarters and I am sure you will find the success you are hoping for. xxx
Thanks for reading, Jan and for your kind words. There's no doubt that it's hard to self-publish but the rewards can be good too if you're prepared to work at it. I totally understand your worries about it though and wish you all the very best with your chosen traditional route. I hope to hear all about it very soon!
Thanks so much for having me on your blog again, Sue, I really appreciate it and you always have such good themes - it really makes me think!
Thanks for reading, Wendy. I'm sure you already have enough experience to self-publish your novels very successfully. Good luck!
This is such an interesting post. I’m always impressed by writers who can self-publish successfully as you have, Julie. Being in control of every stage is a very attractive one but I don’t know if I’d ever have the confidence or expertise to be able to do it. I’m trying the traditional route, without success at the moment, and as you say it’s taking a very long time. Congratulations on the success of your two books and good luck with your new titles. Thank you, Susanna, for this series.
I hope you found Julie's blog useful, Wendy. She is a mine of information. I know you have already ventured into the world of indie-publishing with your books of short stories. Thanks for visiting my blog. PS I'm glad your comment worked this week - unlike last week with Kirsten's guest blog.
Lovely to read about your experiences with self-publishing, Julie. With two novels written, I may one day choose that route myself.