I’ve been sitting on this news for two weeks, and I’m ready to explode. Amazon just offered me an 11-book contract! They’re planning foreign translations, audio books, digital editions etc. It’s so amazing, it’s still not real to me. I was quite happy being a mid-list successful indie author, but this will definitely take my career to the next level. It’s exciting to realize my work will be translated into foreign languages and reach readers I never thought possible.

The only disappointing thing for my readers is that my next Jackson book, which I had planned to release in early July, won’t be published until the end of the year. Amazon wants time to produce new versions of all six of the Jackson novels and release them at the same time the seventh story comes out. It’ll be a grand debut!

They also bought the first book in a new series I plan to start after I finish this Jackson story, and they acquired it on the strength of a one-paragraph description. Which gives me more confidence that the new series is a solid idea.

Even though this sounds like a sudden and unexpected offer, in reality, I submitted two of my standalone thrillers to Amazon last November. I didn’t hear much except to get an occasional email from the editor apologizing for the delay and promising that he still planned to read my work. Then the week before last he emailed to say he was turning me over to a new editor.

Four days later, the new guy called to say he’d read several of my novels and loved them. He also asked a bunch of questions about the Jackson series. That was when it occurred to me that they might be looking at all my work and not just the two standalones. Considering the near misses I’ve had in my writing career, I shouldn’t have let myself think it was possible. But this was Amazon—not Big 6—and Amazon had already changed my life twice. So why not believe it could happen a third time?

The next day my editor—and new best friend☺—took my “project” to an editorial board meeting and it was approved. He called me afterward and made a wonderful offer. I was sitting in my car after dropping off my son, and I managed to stay calm and professional during the conversation. When I hung up, I had to fight the urge to cry.

My greatest feeling now is one of relief—like the pressure is off me for the first time in years. I’m no longer alone in this endeavor, scrambling and writing as fast as I can to stay on top of the competition. I have a supportive and generous partner.

I expect some writers to blast my decision to give up my indie status. Others will accuse me of making a pact with the devil. But I left my small publisher two years ago because I knew I could go farther and make more money if I were self-published. Now I’m making a similar decision. Amazon will take my career to a level I couldn’t reach on my own.

  1. Wow, LJ, that is the most amazing news! Huge congratulations and well done!

  2. You s/b filled with pride for what you have accomplished! So very happy for you…

  3. LJ,
    This could not have happened to a better person. I finished reading all of your work about two months ago and was waiting for the next Jackson installment. You go girl.


  4. Loved your work so far and with your new path, we will all enjoy the adventures you continue to share. Congratulations!!!

  5. I love that your excellent writing and terrific marketing skills have paid off. You’ve worked so hard for so long. And you’re such a nice person on top of it. Congratulations!

  6. I am really proud of you!

  7. Thank you, to all of you. I’m feeling very fortunate… and relieved to have some financial/marketing support in this very competitive business.

  8. Wow, this is such fantastic news! I’m thrilled for you, but not at all surprised. I told you a few weeks back that I’ve considered submitting to Amazon’s spec-fiction line. I haven’t done it because I wasn’t sure I wanted to get back onto the path of query and rejection, especially after having experienced a taste of indie success! But your story has inspired me to rethink.

    I’m so pleased for you! Congratulations!

  9. Congratulations LJ! You give us hope! You also made the right decision to go with Amazon. Good luck to you!

  10. Dear LJ. You know my stance WRT Amazon. Nonetheless, it’s clear you’ve got to do what’s best for you, and it seems you’ve done so. Congratulations !

  11. Great news, LJ! Having read all 9 of your books, I am looking forward to the next 2.

  12. I think you have made the right choice. You are doing what is right for you. In the end that is all that matters. I know you will continue to do awesome.

  13. So excited for you! With as hard as you’ve worked (writing and marketing), you deserve every bit of the recognition and success.

  14. Well, you’ve been blessed with lots of supportive and generous *friends*, but having a BIG and PROFESSIONAL publisher like Amazon on your side is very exciting! Eleven books! I’ll expect to see you on the NY Times Bestseller list soon. Proud of you and thrilled for your future! You’ve paid your dues, now revel, baby! :))

  15. That’s just amazing, and sounds so well-deserved! You rock!

  16. LJ, that’s such wonderful news, and I don’t blame you one bit for doing this. I’ve seen, over the past couple of years since I became aware of you, how much sheer ambition as well as talent that you have, and you have so many times gone way more than the extra mile. No slacker you! You’ve earned this sucess, and all the successes to come. Congratulations!

  17. Congratulations! It couldn’t happen to a nicer, more hard-working writer. Enjoy the ride, and have fun! For me, too, this is not just an aspiration but a business and such decisions are based on what’s right (at this time) for the author’s career. May this be the first of many more wonderful “good news days.”

  18. Congratulations, L.J.! That’s the most wonderful news I’ve heard in a long, long time!

  19. Congrats!

  20. Fantastic, L.J. I wasn’t even aware Amazon was doing such deals. You’re on your way!

  21. Congratulations. It is so wonderful to hear that there are now many paths to take, many ways to get our work to readers. I am so happy for you. Do you realize how much stories that show a blending of paths helps other authors? You should have high-fives from everyone in the business. Cross-pollination will make our business bloom. Yowza.

  22. A hearty congratulations to you, L.J. Wonderful news!!!! Go for it!!!!!

  23. Wow, LJ!! Congratulations!! Definitely time to dance on the table and celebrate… Y:-D ou’re a marvelous writer, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer (or more talented!) person. I’ll be waiting in line to buy when your new books to hit the virtual stands.

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