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Ask any published author if they enjoy the marketing and promoting of their work. Most assuredly, their collective response would be, "I loathe it!" And, they would be understating their feelings -- they would be making an attempt at diplomacy. Ask every published author if they enjoy "soliciting" reviews of their work, because in essence that is what each feels they are doing, and with that undertone, the process becomes even more uninviting, even more daunting. And yet, we take a deep breath and proceed, knowing that sometimes we must, indeed, "toot our own horn," or else we won't be heard. And asking, in every conceivably honorable way, for sales support we most certainly hinge on the border of a five-year-old child refusing to eat his Brussels sprout! And, what follows, is often the exclamation, "Yikes!"

Remember, that for most Indie authors and small press publishers the responsibility of bringing our work to the public eye -- to the reader -- is very much like bringing up a child from infancy to adulthood -- and often, it ain't easy! But, like all parents, we have faith and believe that what we have created has merit, if only it can get a tad bit of support and encouragement from lovers of a good story. And, we try very diligently to not shout, "Me. Me. Me." Instead, we whisper the refrain, trying at times to assign a bit of a musical cadence to it. And, we hope that we've written a great book, worked hard, and invested our time and energy. The "luck" part of that equation is often beyond our control, but nevertheless, we hope. NYT, best-selling novels have arrived. But for new, Indie authors particularly, we need just a tad bit more of support to get us on our way to realizing that achievement.

'Thank you' is so very inadequate, but I'll give it a try: to my dedicated readers (Anna Hartman, Natalie Widmer, Barbara Byrge, and the indefatigable John Jacobs); my incomparable cover designer Anna Hartman; IT genius extraordinaire, Brian Hoskinson; Janie Jessee, publisher at Jan-Carol Publishing, Inc., for taking a chance on me and my debut, YA-novel, Honeysuckle Holiday and my MG-novel, Marble Town; publisher Cathy Teets, Headline Books, for taking a chance on me and my first children's book, Please Close It!; and illustrator Ashley Teets, for taking my words and turning them into illustrations for my children's book that far exceeded even my high expectations. And finally, but of certain equal importance, thank you to the readers who have invested their own time in reading my work and the countless bookstore owners who have chosen to find a spot on their shelves for my work. And, the libraries -- always the libraries.

So, when you hear the chords from an Indie authors' own horns, no matter how discordant they may seem, please take a moment and listen, support, and encourage. It's an incredibly powerful tool, and one that can keep us on the track to leading others to the discovery of our creative voices. And for that gift, we are incredibly grateful.

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