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*** Warning: If you don’t have time to read the whole reason for my love/hate relationship with the indie world, please scroll down to the end to read the main reason for this post and enter the giveaway. 🙂 ***

I’ve been a proud member of the indie world (a.k.a. the world of self-published authors) for nearly three years now. I’ve gone through ups and downs, in a sort of love-hate relationship with this amazing world full of talented authors and friendly people who share my passion/obsession for writing. Before I discovered this world, I felt a little uneasy telling my friends that I had characters and stories crowding my mind, lest they thought I was crazy and needed to be locked up. Becoming a resident of the indie world has definitely helped save my mental sanity and restore my self-confidence, making me realize that I wasn’t completely alone in my crazy state of mind—thank goodness! I wasn’t really looking forward to spending my days in a 2 by 2 room, tied in a straitjacket.

The indie world is as beautiful as it is tough, though. I can’t deny that having total control over cover designs, release dates and basically what I want to write is awesome; but if, like me, you’re not good at tooting your own horn and have no specific marketing abilities, the indie world gets kind of frustrating.

I write because I simply can’t not write, unless I want to have an overcrowded head with characters shouting and struggling to get my attention—which would definitely send me straight to the madhouse. But I also write because I’m hoping to touch other people’s lives with my stories and to bring a smile to their faces, if only for the few hours they’ll be reading my books.

Writing in English, even though my native language is Italian, is a personal challenge but also a way to reach readers across the ocean and all around the world. This is also an obstacle for local marketing, since I can’t really organize author signings or library conventions in my area if people don’t read in English (yes, translating them into my native language is on my to-do list, if only I found the time to do it). Traveling overseas to author signings would be awesome, but a little hard to do with a day job to keep up (just because I need to pay the bills, not because I like it).

All the above leads to the reason for my “hate” of the indie world: the lack of a marketing team of professionals who could help me spread the word about my books, thus helping me reach more readers. Trusting an unknown author (a.k.a. myself) with your money when buying your next read is always risky, especially when there are so many books on our to-read list and never enough time to read them all—yep, guilty as charged.

Then there are also the good sides of being indie, like becoming part of a community of down-to-earth and very approachable artists (have you ever tried to get in touch with your favorite author? Say, someone really famous? Has he/she ever replied to you? There you go.). I’ve been a fan of a couple of indie authors from their very first book and, guess what, when I contacted them to commend on their works and invite them over to my blog for an interview, they actually replied and even helped me with my own books. We’ve been Facebook buddies ever since, even though we’ve never met and live on the opposite ends of the earth—literally. Would you achieve that with super famous, even a little pompous at times, traditional published authors? Hmm… I guess not.

Another great side of being indie, like I said, is the total control of everything. I jumped into this new adventure around the end of 2012 and published my debut novel in January 2013. I was a newbie to the publishing world and social media circle, and with the help of other authors, a new awesome editor, as well as by making lots of mistakes and learning from them, in nearly 3 years I’ve improved my writing skills and confidence so much I can barely recognize myself in that very first draft I wrote.

This is the reason why last summer, while I was forced at home because of the terrible heat causing havoc in my body, I decided to pick up my debut novel, The Melody In Our Hearts, and revise it with a slightly more expert eye. I’m still little more than a newbie, and I still make lots of mistakes, but I’ve learned a lot about showing vs. telling, dialogue tags and other useful stuff over these three years—enough that I could spot all those little things that I hadn’t noticed at the time of publishing the book.

melody

I’m excited to say that the revised, improved and hopefully final version of The Melody In Our Hearts is now available on Amazon (everywhere), on Smashwords, B&N and iTunes. Kobo readers should be able to purchase it soon, as the e-book hasn’t been updated at the time of writing. I trust it should be available there by the end of the week, so please check back.

I’ve fixed all the showing/telling issues, as well as point of view issues and dialogues. Ryan and Valerie had a special place in my heart, since they were my first “babies”, and I wanted their story to be good enough for readers to enjoy. Well, in my humble opinion, I think now it is! 🙂

If you already purchased the e-book on Amazon and you enabled the automatic updates, the new version should have been delivered to your Kindle already. If you did not enable this option, you should have received an e-mail from Amazon informing you that the new version is available for download (you will not have to pay for this, obviously).

If you can’t get the updated version on your Kindle, or if you purchased the e-book from another marketplace (Smashwords, iTunes, B&N, etc.) and they don’t send updated versions, please contact me: I’d be happy to send you the new e-book.

Stay tuned for some exciting news involving Ryan and Valerie, as well as all the other characters from my books. I have a new project in the making which you will be able to enjoy for free. My lips are sealed right now, but I will tell you more in a few weeks.

I hope you enjoy the new Melody and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments. Please come back and let me know what you thought.

P.S. don’t forget to check out the “Bonus Material” section, which includes alternate POV scenes from The Melody In Our Hearts, as well as an exclusive bonus scene.

P.P.S. please consider subscribing to my newsletter. I don’t e-mail too often, and you’ll have the opportunity to download an exclusive short story I wrote especially for subscribers. This way, you can be sure to stay up-to-date with all my releases, special offers and subscriber-only giveaways.

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

I want to celebrate Ryan and Valerie’s revised story with a giveaway! Enter the Rafflecopter by clicking the logo below for a chance to win a Kindle copy of The Melody In Our Hearts or a set of swags.

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