Thursday, 28 June 2012

My First Blog

Well, hello there, everyone. This is my very first attempt at writing a blog. I have replied to several, but never once have I tried my hand at writing one myself.

Since many things have happened in my life recently, I find it difficult to focus on one topic alone, but I shall try. 

I will begin with telling you a little about myself.

My name is Cheri Champagne. I married my high school sweetheart at the age of 21 and have been happily married since. I now stay at home with my young sons, aged 3 and 1 1/2. I graduated from university with an Applied Business Technology degree when I was 22 and began working in an office right out of the schoolroom. I left work when I was seven months pregnant with my first son and have not gone back since. It was an easy decision on my part to stay at home with my son; this was definitely where I was meant to be.

Now, here is my publishing story: On November 9, 2011, I began writing my first romance novel. I quickly became addicted and finished writing it in mid-January. After several days’ editing and proofreading, I was finally finished! Then came the ‘hard’ part. Getting published.

I sent my manuscript, query letters, and synopsis to countless publishing houses and agencies. Unfortunately, they either didn’t respond at all, or they responded with the same email: “we have no room for new clients”, “we don’t accept historical romance any longer”, “our submissions are closed”, “we apologize for the mass email, but we receive so many queries that it’s impossible for us to reply to them all individually.” 

So, with the help of family and friends (thank you!), and hours (and hours) of research searching the web and reading blogs about publishing versus self-publishing, I gathered my courage and began the process of self-publishing. For my first foray into the self-publishing world, I decided to go through Amazon's CreateSpace and Kindle. The process of publishing through Amazon was surprisingly easy. I went to their site, went to the "publish with us" page, chose the "print on demand" option, and entered my information. Once I was logged-in to my own page, I uploaded my document. They request 24-48 hours to check the format, then they send you a PDF or Word document file to check the formatting yourself and make any necessary changes. Once you have proofread your file, you can move on to the next step, which is creating your own cover. They have many templates that you can work off of. You can pick your own pictures, colours, fonts, etc. and work form there. Once you have created and submitted your cover, the entire book goes to them to check over. They will email you once they are done, and if it all checks out, you are ready to push the "Publish" button. 

They will give you a minimum price point for the size and style of book that you request. Once it has been set, you are ready to be up on the website! If you wish to have editors read through your work or a designer create your cover, however, you will have to pay them for their services. There is a 'price chart' on their website.

In retrospect, I feel that I had wasted my time by trying to be 'traditional'. I had previously thought that by self-publishing I would be considered a 'failure' for not being accepted by a publishing house, but what I came to understand is that there are hundreds of thousands of authors just like me who are trying to have their novels read, and only one novel PER MONTH get accepted by each publishing company--sometimes less. I also realized that if I go the traditional route I will not have control over my title, my cover, or my story. Publishers tend to follow 'trends' in the novel-writing business, and I will stray from historical romance for no one. I much prefer to write what I love to read, and once I have found the perfect story to tell, I would like to keep it genuine. What I write is exactly what I imagined it to be, and not what a publisher has moulded it to be.

It was a little daunting and more than a little scary at first, but now that my work has been submitted, edited, and produced, I feel jubilant. The world is open to me, and the power to express my own creativity is within my grasp.

I feel free, and I love it!

Until next time,
Cheri Champagne


  1. Nice blog layout! You'll be featured on Sunday, which works out beautifully - to showcase a Canadian author on Canada Day! Is it okay if I link here for your webpage instead of the other one?

    1. Thank you! I hadn't thought about the date, but you're right! That's a neat coincidence. Yes, you're welcome to use this as a reference. I plan to write a blog relatively frequently--depending on my inspiration. I think I'll write once or twice per week, so I would encourage people to visit.

    2. That will be great! By the way, there might be times when Blogspot won't recognize my wordpress identity. It happens pretty frequently, unfortunately. When that happens I will use my Humpty Dumpty persona to comment, in case you are ever confused about who's talking to you! :)

    3. Noted. I will keep an eye out for both of your personas! :)