What I hate about being an indie author.

Thursday, March 19, 2015
Don't get me wrong. I love being an indie author (most days). No one cares as much about my work as me, and I get to make sure everything is top notch. And honestly, I'm good at what I do, from writing books to cover design.

But that doesn't mean I love everything. So here's a list of five things I hate about being an indie author (not in order).

1. I hate being a business woman. I love writing stories and designing covers. I hate doing taxes, cataloging inventory, tracking expenses, upkeeping my novels, and answering emails. The list goes on and on. I'm a small business owner, and I have all the work that comes with it.

2. I dislike marketing. Though I'd say I have it pretty streamlined, it's still a lot of time and money. Time I'd rather spend on writing new stories. Money I'd rather spend on a fun vacation.

3. I hate feeling like a second-class citizen in the publishing world. I get it, there are no gatekeepers to indie publishing. And much of it isn't very good. But I am good. Many of us are. I get tired of being told I can't teach the craft of writing at a writer's conference, that I need to stick with stuff specific to indies. Or that I can't be on the blog hop with the "traditionally" published authors because there were too many complaints (not by participants, but by the traditionally published authors themselves ((But don't worry. We'll give you indies your own "special" team)). Or being told that the difference between indie publishing and traditional publishing is quality.

4. I hate NEVER being done. I have a huge to do list, and I usually only skim the top. I'm always behind, always feeling like I'm drowning in an attempt to keep up.

5. I hate never knowing what my paycheck will be. This has a huge upside, as there is no ceiling for me. But there's no bottom either. When Amazon introduced Kindle Unlimited, my paycheck dropped by half. Which sucked, cause for a while there, I was making a lot of money.

I still wouldn't change anything. I like being in charge. I love being able to put the best covers on my books and hire amazing content and copy editors, instead of being stuck with whatever the publisher thinks my book deserves. I love that I can make a living at this. That I can create my own schedule.

*technically, I'm a hybrid author, as my first book was traditionally published. But I consider myself an indie author.

   dishes on what she hates about     

{Giveaway} Summer Queen on Goodreads.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Summer Queen by Amber Argyle

Summer Queen

by Amber Argyle

Giveaway ends June 02, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

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On Marriage: Twelve Secrets to Having a Successful Marriage

Friday, February 27, 2015
I love my husband very much, and I know he loves me. But sometimes, I want to kill him. I think that a perfectly normal response for two very strong, stubborn people trying to share a life.  But we have been married for almost 15 years, and I can say that we're fairly happy.

So here's twelve things I've learned about having a healthy marriage:

1. There is an emotion behind anger. Figure out what that emotion is, and deal with the root cause. 

2. Forgive immediately and without grudges. You will likely have to forgive your spouse every single day. Do it quickly if you can. If not, see #2.

3. Ask for EXACTLY what you need. We usually need to feel connected to enjoy sex. If you need a hug and your spouse is not providing it, ask for one. If you need your spouse to sweep and mop the floor for you to feel connected enough (or relaxed enough) to have sex, ask them to (men don't get hints). 

If you want more sex, ask what you need to do for your spouse to want it more. Don't say, "I shouldn't have to ask." As Dr. Phil says, "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?"

4. Ladies, make your spouse feel like your superhero. Most little boys want to grow up to save the day, make him feel this way. 

Men, make her feel like your princess. How you might ask, well that leads to #5. 

5. Find out what your spouse's love language is, and show them love in that way. Also, find out what your spouse's personality color is. It will help you understand their strengths and forgive their weaknesses--we all have them and while we can improve upon them, they're not going away (FYI, I'm a blue and my husband is a red). 

6. Don't be a right fighter. If one person is right, that means the other person is wrong. You can't have a successful marriage with that kind of attitude. Instead, try to focus on both of you getting as much resolution as you can out of the conflict. 

7. You need a team of people to support you--and your spouse can't play every role, though they should be your team captain. My husband simply isn't able to meet all my needs. He's an introvert, and I'm an extrovert. I need people and adventures to feel alive, while the same activities drain him. So I have friends I go running with. I also have friends I go shopping with or out to dinner. I come home feeling alive and he doesn't begrudge me that. 

8. Money. Money is always a problem. We were super poor the first 10 years of our marriage. It was HARD (whoever said money doesn't make you happy was an idiot). For us, I used to do all the grocery shopping and my husband would get upset with me every. single. time. 

I couldn't feed our family on his expectations. After seven years of fighting, I finally gave up and let him do the grocery shopping for three months. He spent more money than me every single time he went. 

After that, whenever he starts to get upset, I tell him I'll gladly hand the responsibility back over to him. The other thing that helped was getting my own job. My husband could not deal with making all the money and me spending it (even if it was just on groceries and bills). 

9. Division of labors. For us, and probably for most women, the majority of the housework falls on me, even though I work almost as many hours as he does. Same for child care. It's a constant struggle, feeling like one person isn't pulling their weight. 

The only thing I've found that helps is #3. Tell your spouse exactly how overwhelmed you feel. Explain how much it would mean to you if they would take over, say, cleaning the bathrooms. Also, get your kids involved. Even a toddler can wash walls with a squirt bottle of water and a cloth. 

10. Have fun together. Find something that you both love to do and make it your thing. For my husband and I, we both love to travel. That's not something we get to do a ton, but we like to imagine places we could go. We also like to go out to dinner together. 

11. Don't have close friends of the opposite sex. I've rarely seen this lead to anything but heartache. The only exceptions are when both couples are equally as close. 

12. Try really, really hard to never call your spouse bad names. Never swear at your spouse. Never yell at your spouse. If you're angry enough to do any of those things, walk away and revisit when your calmer (the advise to never go to bed angry is absolutely ridiculous. People need time to cool off, and they're better off coming back to it rested than exhausted). 

So how did I do? Did I miss anything? 

{Book Birthday} Of Fire and Ash by Amber Argyle

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Of Fire and Ash

By Amber Argyle

*A novella* 
One promise can change everything. 

The fairies must never know of Nelay’s sight, for the attention of such dark and terrible creatures brings more things dark and terrible. But when Nelay's father is near death, the fairies are the only ones who can save him. All they require is a simple promise that she'll return the favor one day. 

Some promises are lethal.
This novella was supposed to be about Nelay and how she ended up stranded behind enemy lines. But that wasn't the story I ended up telling. Instead, I went further back, into her childhood. At the age of nine, she's practically starving and facing the imminent death of her father--her family's sole provider.

She has to make impossible choices. Choices that will change the course of an entire nation.

This novella is late--like six months late. I'm sorry about that. My son was in and out of a wheelchair and going through all these major surgeries. At one point we were told he might be in a wheelchair until he was sixteen. Thankfully, he's doing better now. Walking and running and playing almost normally. Fingers and toes and eyes crossed that it continues that way.

And then we moved to freakin' Idaho (I'm still in denial).

I wrote the entire novella while high on painkillers (wonder if that will make it better or worse . . .), with my leg propped up and me confined to a wheelchair or scooter for six weeks. I was in so much pain! And the complications just kept coming--the worst of which was my incision refusing to heal (it's still open in one spot and it's been four months) and reinjuring my ankle, which set me back 8 weeks.

So yeah, it's late. Thanks for not giving up on me.

I'm very proud of Of Fire and Ash. I hope you guys love it! Thank you for always being so supportive of me. I can't wait to see your reviews. And as always, feel free to grab whatever you want out of this post to use on your own blogs/social media.

It's release day for Of Fire & Ash by ! Check it out.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Of-Fire-Ash-Fairy-Queens-ebook/dp/B00QFUKVOE/ref=cm_rdp_product
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/of-fire-and-ash-amber-argyle/1120996985?ean=2940150118232
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/498144
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20734692-of-fire-and-ash

On Breaking

Monday, December 8, 2014
I was raised in a culture where goals were taught, hard work was venerated, and dedication exemplified. It was a good way to grow up, I don't doubt that for a second.

But when you put those kinds of life expectations on someone who is already a perfectionist, bad things start to happen.

I know. Cause they happened to me.

High school honor society. Varsity basketball. 6th in my state for high school rodeo. Collegiate honor society. Marriage at 19 and a child at 21 (because both were my goals, so why put it off?). Collegiate cum laude.

And I broke. I wanted to accomplish everything, and do it to the best of my ability. And I broke.

I had warnings. People wiser than me saying that I needed to slow down. I didn't listen. Because I was different. I was disciplined. I didn't know at the time that I had a learning disability that forced me to push myself harder than the average person.

And the breaking left me with anxiety disorder which I still struggle with to this day. But it also taught me balance--prioritizing and being kind and forgiving with myself. It taught me that the cruel "self talk" I was using to push myself that extra bit was doing damage to my soul.

Unfortunately, this is not a lesson "learned". I still have to learn it everyday.

Some struggles stay with  you till the end.

So why this post?

People put me on a pedestal. Some of them want to be like me (As Robin McKinley once told me, pick out the good bits carefully). And I don't want them pushing themselves to be something that isn't real.

So I'm determined to be real. To show myself as I really am, the bad bits and the good.

The other reason is because I see myself in them--these young girls, and I don't want them to go through the breaking. I want them to hear me when I say part of being driven is being balanced. Part of being a success is being completely lazy sometimes.

And I want their leaders and teachers to teach stillness. It really is a skill. And it should be taught right alongside goals and success.

But most importantly, I want those girls to love themselves. To know they are worthy even when they fail.

Amber Argyle

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