One Writer’s Journey to Becoming a Bestselling Author
I queried traditional publishers and received what most authors do—rejection letters. One after the other. I have so many I could probably wallpaper my office twice. After a while, this becomes very discouraging. So I set aside my big dreams for quite a few years. Almost twenty years ago I tried again, this time with a children’s picture book. It went nowhere.
In 2003, I heard about Print On Demand publishing companies. They were similar to the old-style vanity presses but cheaper because they only printed books as readers or authors ordered them. I decided that I wanted to self-publish, and that’s the route I chose. Borrowing money from my mother, I delved into publishing my first novel, WHALE SONG. And I embraced self-publishing fully, even though many warned me it would destroy my chances and career. I set out to prove them wrong.
I published DIVINE INTERVENTION in 2004, hoping it would really take off so I could pursue writing a series. In 2005 I published THE RIVER, a techno-thriller that takes place in an area of Canada’s north that’s nicknamed the Bermuda Triangle of Canada. By this time, I had learned how to have successful book signings and how to capture the attention of the media.
Then 2012 came along, and Amazon introduced KDP Select, a method for independent authors and small publishers to offer works for free for a limited time in order to gain a strong readership and possible after-sales. And it worked! One of my titles, CHILDREN OF THE FOG, was #4 on Amazon’s overall bestseller list, out of over two million ebooks. That was the year I earned 60% more than my husband did, and he had a six-figure income. It was also the year that a Turkish translation of THE RIVER came out; it was featured prominently at the Istanbul Book Fair that year.
2013 was also another stellar income year. It brought me two audiobook deals.
2014 saw the release of the German CHILDREN OF THE FOG, DES NEBELS KINDER, and it immediately made multiple bestseller lists on Amazon in June. This year also brought me a 4-book German deal for THE RIVER and my Divine Trilogy, the last of which (DIVINE SANCTUARY) was originally published in English on June 18th. And there’s a big possibility that by the time this blog post comes out, I’ll have a German deal for my psychological thriller, SUBMERGED. And by the way, remember that children’s book I tried to get published almost 20 years ago? It was published this year.
So how do I feel when I look back over the past 10+ years? I have been on a wondrous journey, with exciting twists and turns, a virtual rollercoaster ride that sometimes made me wince in fear or doubt but also made me shriek with delight. I am truly blessed to be doing what I love, what I’ve dreamt about since I was a teen. I’m not the next Stephen King or Dean Koontz or James Patterson or Heather Graham, like I had hoped to be. I’m Cheryl Kaye Tardif, and I’ve learned that that is the best dream to have—to be uniquely me. J
Cheryl Kaye Tardif is an award-winning, international bestselling Canadian suspense author represented by Trident Media Group in New York. Her novels include Divine Sanctuary, Submerged, Divine Justice, Children of the Fog, The River, Divine Intervention, Lancelot’s Lady (written under the pen name of Cherish D’Angelo) and Whale Song, which New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice calls "a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart...a beautiful, haunting novel." Cheryl also has three Stephen King-inspired works: Dream House (short story), Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories and Remote Control (novelette). Cheryl is also the owner/publisher of Imajin Books, a hybrid publishing company.
Booklist raves, "Tardif, already a big hit in Canada…a name to reckon with south of the border."
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