My name is M.L. Bullock, (that's short for Monica Leigh) and I am an indie author. I am a full time author--it is all I do now and I love every minute of it! The only regret I have is waiting so long to get started but I'm getting ahead of myself here. Here's my story.
My journey into self publishing or independent publishing, whichever you prefer, really began in 2008. It was a total fluke. While searching for work, I stumbled upon an online conversation about getting paid for writing. I thought that was "novel" idea, pardon the bad pun and began to do more research. Like you all, I'd seen the scams, "Work at home. Become a millionaire." But there was nothing scammy about what I saw. People were writing all sorts of things, books, blog posts, articles, you name it. And although it was my heart's desire to write a book, I didn't have the confidence to do that yet.
You see, I'd heavily invested in my own skin care and cosmetic business, had a notable level of success but then lost it all when I failed to meet a quota. It was financially and emotionally devastating. I never wanted to be there again. And although they called us "Independent Sales Directors" we were anything but. As a director in this Fortune 500 company, your success depended largely on the success of others in your unit. I spent my time constantly recruiting women to build up my team. I invested in others (which I don't regret) but no matter how hard I tried, I could not maintain the momentum. I felt like such a loser. The economic downturn killed my business and I couldn't fix it. It was a hard lesson to learn.
Soon I found some content companies (Yahoo, Demand Studios) that needed writers so I applied, wrote blog posts and articles for them, worked crazy hours and scratched out a small income for myself. It was labor intensive work but I wrote whatever they needed and felt confident that I'd done the right thing. Until they closed their doors after the great Panda fiasco. (It's an algo thing.) But after the disappointment and crying I realized that I was walking away from that relationship a better writer and I really loved writing (but not enough to write for myself yet) so I took the only avenue I believed was open to me--ghost writing.
After writing six books for other people and watching those books climb up the Amazon lists I gave myself a reality check. I could do this! I was doing this! But what to write? After visiting a local plantation one afternoon and immersing myself in local folklore I knew the story I wanted to tell. This would be my story! Seven Sisters! I loved every minute of the process and to bring my hometown to readers was a joy! With so many local ghost stories I had plenty of inspiration and the story seemed to write itself. I finished that series with six books!
Having seen other authors/clients achieve so much with KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) I went there first. The process was simple and after help from a freelance editor (who has become a dear friend) I published Seven Sisters in September of 2014. That seems so long ago now, although its only been a couple of years. After the publication of my third book everything changed. In so many wonderful ways! I didn't have to depend on anyone else to earn a good living. A few more books and change that "good living" to an excellent living.
I can't imagine doing anything else. In fact, I never will. I love telling my stories and because I'm an indie author (Yep, #PoweredByIndie) I can write what I want when I want. I am so grateful for that kind of freedom. I love waking up, grabbing coffee and sauntering to my desk. I love that I don't have to depend on the skills of others to succeed now. I love that nobody can throw me out of the writers club. I love it all. Even the editing. I love this life.