Monday, December 12, 2016

Joanne Dannon & Indie Publishing

Please welcome Joanne Dannon to the blog today!
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I started my writing career in 2005 when most books were read in print and self publishing was virtually unheard of. I loved romance, always have, so it was only natural that I would start writing in the genre I loved.
I have to confess that back in 2005 I had no idea what I was doing. Yes, there are some authors who can write and have their first book is published. But I wasn’t one of those writers.
I learnt what writing craft was and started reading as many craft books as I could. I connected with other writers  (through  Romance Writers  of Australia) and soon had a couple of critique partners who provided honest and valuable feedback on my writing.
Fast forward a few years and I was managing to write one novel a year. Not a lot but then I had two children, my corporate job and a hubby who travelled a lot. I had plenty of rejections from romance publishers which was difficult and many times I considered to stop writing. 
I then took six weeks off work, did a Margie Lawson course with a friend and with my newly found confidence, I wrote the story and the hero I wanted to write. 
Note - this book was published in December 2015 as Kisses under the Spotlight which currently has 4.7/ 5 star ranking on Amazon.
Instead of a hero who was a banker or CEO or entrepreneur, I created Alex Jackson, a singing, dancing superstar. Just think of Michael Bublé, Hugh Jackman and Adam Garcia all rolled in to one super hero! Yum :) My mentor, the amazing Melanie Milburne, who’s written over 55 books for Mills and Boon told me no publisher would want a dancing, singing hero.
And guess what? She was right! Every romance publisher I submitted to rejected my book. 
But I was determined not to change my hero. I’d written what I loved and wasn’t prepared to compromise. I wrote a series and this was book number 1. Unable to sell the first book, meant my other books couldn’t be published. 
With a corporate job, I just wrote what I wanted. I wrote the heroes, heroines and storylines that I loved. It was a defining moment for me because even though my books were being rejected, I knew they were much better from when I’d tried to fit them in to a “box” of what I thought the publishers wanted.

And then I went through redundancy in my corporate job at the same time my husband had a serious fall off his bike, injuring his vertebra. Then my father-in-law became seriously ill and later died. Our family needed me. I needed to care for my husband, our children and my mother-in-law. I couldn’t even think about applying for a new job when there was so much stress going on in my personal life.

And so I headed down the path of self-publishing. It sounded easy, everyone said so. I’d like to add that advice given to me was wrong, wrong, wrong.
Self publishing is hard. Sure you can stick a book on Amazon but there is much more to being a successful self-published author.
I now have 5 books published and work long hours to make my books, the best romances they can be. And behind is an amazing team that supports me – my editor, my formatter, my artist and my writing friends. 

I love the freedom that being an indie writer brings however, despite the enormous work load, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I write the stories I love but what makes the long hours worthwhile are the beautiful reviews and feedback I get from my readers. I am one very happy romance writer.

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Joanne Dannon has been living in the world of romance for as long as she can remember.  From doodling love hearts on her school notebooks to regularly reading romances, Joanne’s world has always been filled with the excitement of love stories. So it was just a natural for Joanne to begin writing the genre she’s always loved. 

Formerly a policy writer by day and romance writer by night, Joanne now spends full time writing the books she adores. Creating heroes for readers to fall in love with and heroines to cheer on, her characters are people readers can identify with.

Joanne writes to give her readers the experience she still loves to savor—indulging in a sigh-worthy-happily-ever- after, being swept away from the everyday by diving into a delicious romance novel.

Joanne Dannon is a happily married mother of two heroes-in-training who loves spending time with friends and family.  She can be found on Facebook and her website www.joannedannon.com chatting about reading, writing, cooking, vintage-inspired dresses and all things romantic.  She loves to hear from readers.  

Joanne Dannon on the web:  

Facebook      Website      Instagram      Goodreads

An Unforgettable Holiday

A Magical Christmas In Jerusalem
Australian project manager Kiara Lonsdale is career focussed and determined to provide and care for the grandmother who raised her. Taking time off work to vacation has never been high on her agenda, but this year she’s made an exception. She’s helping her gran fulfil a life-long dream by accompanying her on a Christmas to the Holy Land tour.
Jacques Lenoir and his extended family run tours in Israel and he’s committed to their business. Jacques feels responsible for his grandparents’ welfare since they risked their lives, and others’, as operatives in the French Resistance, during the War.
But over romantic dinners in the desert, camel rides, and mud baths at the Dead Sea, sparks fly between Kiara and Jacques. Will this only be a holiday romance or will a touch of Christmas magic make it last a lifetime?
A Magical Chanukah in New York
Lisa Sassoon has shunned the scandal of her loser-ex cheating on her by escaping to New York. Instead of sightseeing, she’s become a recluse focusing on helping the less fortunate at a homeless shelter.
Gabe Olivari, entrepreneur and savvy business New Yorker, can’t let go of the pain of losing his best friend. So caught up in his own grief and believing he doesn’t deserve to be happy, he compensates by pushing everyone close to him away.
But when Lisa and Gabe meet, there is an instant connection that forces them to question not only their behaviours but their aspirations.
Can a dash of Chanukah magic help Lisa and Gabe realise that sparkling dates and dreamy kisses can lead to more? Perhaps even a lifetime of happiness?
Buy on:

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Bidding on Love! 

***
Thanks Joanne! Indie publishing is definitely Hard Work - and you're doing it very well. 

How about you? Indie or traditional or a combination of the 2? Are you a fan of Christmas stories (I am and Joanne's are great!)

38 comments:

  1. Sorry about the struggles with your family.
    I imagine it's not easy. It's challenging anyway to be an author. Congratulations on your success, Joanne. And how could you go wrong with a character named Alex?

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    1. Hi Alex - thanks for dropping by and for sure, Alex is great hero's name ;)

      I appreciate your kind words. It's been a hard road as an indie writer but also very fulfilling :) I'm glad it chose me :)

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  2. I think taking courses (especially the online sort) is just such a great way to raise confidence and get our writing kick-started. I've heard good things about Margie's course. Glad it worked out so well for you!

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    1. There is an art to writing. There are some people who can just write a good book but for most people, you have to learn.

      I recommend on line courses as well as attending conferences like Romance Writers of Australia or America where you can meet other authors. There are amazing workshops and gives you an opportunity to feed your brain.

      Although expensive, I have learnt so much over the years by going to conferences. It's also a fab opportunity to meet people, network and socialise.

      Thanks for dropping by x

      PS - Margie's courses are brilliant and so are Marie Force's :)

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  3. Joanne, glad that you didn't give up on your stories. They sound intriguing. Great advice for those just getting started in the writing world. Wishing you much success.

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    1. Hi Mason - thanks for your kind words.

      I am a bit stubborn but I wrote the stories I love to read and so far my readers have loved them too. It's not easy being indie but I love it! Best job :)

      Thanks for dropping by :)

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  4. Big publishers don't like to take chances, which is why self-publishing works for niche books. But it's not easy. Most writers are not prepared to take on all of the duties involved. Happy to hear you managed.

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  5. Hi L. Diane Wolfe - you are spot on!

    Since becoming an indie author, I've tried to share my knowledge with other aspiring writers. Being indie is not easy and you have to treat it like a business and work hard.

    My corporate background as an analyst and project manager has given me a lot of grounding in this role.

    Thanks for the good wishes and for dropping by x

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  6. Writers do have many more options today. That's great in one way and not so great in another. The flood gates have opened, and it's not easy to be noticed among the millions. Wishing you continued success! And so glad you were able to write the hero you wanted to.

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    1. You are right on everything you've said. Yes, there are lots of different options for writers but it also means you're competing against a tidal wave of writers who are also self published....some good and some not so good.

      Thanks for your well wishes, that's lovely to read x

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    2. Stopping back before the end of the year to wish Jemi and Joanne a great holiday. Hope to see you a lot in 2017.

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    3. Thanks so much Clee :) wishing you and yours a very happy Christmas and a wonderful 2017 :)

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    4. Thanks Lee! I hope you and your family have the best year ever! :)

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  7. So happy for you!!! GREAT GREAT job! YOU are the hero(ine)!

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  8. I have to agree, self-publishing is super difficult and lots of hard work, but it does get easier. Congrats!

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  9. Aw shucks, thanks Janis! I couldn't have started without you! You were integral in helping me create my romance brand, and I'm thankful to have worked with you :)

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  10. Hi Lynda - you are correct, it does get easier but it also gets harder, because you're juggling more books and opportunities.

    Thanks for the well wishes and for dropping by x

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  11. Congratulations to you! And sorry for your difficult family times. I'm just getting going with self-publishing and it is a lot of work, but I enjoy it, and hope someday I can do it full time! Christy

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    1. Thanks so much Christy!

      Well done on the SP and I hope you do really well :) What genre do you write?

      Thanks for dropping by x

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  12. Hi Jemi and Joanne!

    Thanks for sharing about your indie publishing Joanne. And congratulations on your success!

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    1. Hi Kelly - thanks for the well wishes and for dropping by x

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  13. I think loving your main character is key to writing a deep and engaging character that the writers will also love. Good for you, Joanne.

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  14. Yes, I agree Susan. You can tell when an author loves what they're writing, it really comes through when you read it.

    This is why I write what I love. Forcing to write what a publisher wants just didn't work for me.

    Thanks for dropping by :)

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  15. How refreshing, Joanne, a writer who believes in writing the stories she wants. Congrats on working through this and becoming a successful indie publisher. Your passion for your characters/story will come through more so than writing what your publisher wants.

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    1. Hi Denise - thanks for your lovely words :)

      So far, my readers have really enjoyed my books and receiving an email or reading a positive review tells me that I made the right decision......plus I love what I do :)

      Thanks for dropping by x

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  16. Hi Jemi! Thanks for hosting Joanne.

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    1. Hi Denise! It's been fun having Joanne visit! :)

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  17. first, love this... I'm not a great planner, but I am a great dreamer. and yes, lots of hard work is required as a writer! pitchwars is an awesome opportunity.

    here, these stories on the holidays sound intriguing and delightful!

    also wanted to thank you for stopping by my Cradle Rock release tour at Juneta's blog!
    happy holidays!

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    1. Hi Tara - we all create our art differently but it takes time to work out how you do it. If you're not a planner, that's okay! It will mean your process is different to mine :)

      Thanks for dropping by and for the well wishes x

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  18. Who wouldn't want a dancing, singing hero!

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    1. I agree Jenny :) Adam Garcia dancing in this clip inspired me with writing Alex Jackson's moves - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrDEwHFEv58

      Happy viewing :) I had to watch it...many times, for research purposes of course ;)

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  19. I agree, self-publishing never fails to be a lot of tough work, but at least it's fulfilling work. Glad going indie has given you the opportunity to create stories you love! Writing anything but would just be unbearable, in the end...

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    1. Thanks so much Heather :) Yes it's hard work but I seriously LOVE what I do.

      Thanks for dropping by x

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  20. I haven't read a lot of Christmas stories, but I'm always looking for a good story of any kind! And self-publishing is a lot of work, but it does let you do your own thing.

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    1. Hi Beth, self publishing is a lot of work but is rewarding! I like the flexibility and being in charge of my books, sales and promos 😃

      If you get one of my books, I hope you enjoy them. I write blissful romance 💚

      Thanks for dropping by x

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  21. Hi Jemi & Joanne!

    Wishing you and your family a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

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    1. Thanks so much Nas - all the best to you and your family x

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