business of writing,  Publishing,  S. Connolly,  the writing life

What You Think vs. What Is

It always amazes me how people will sometimes approach me just so they can tell me what I’m doing wrong with my writing career. Trust me – there are a lot of  folks with opinions about this out there.

The two biggest complaints I’ve gotten is that my non-fiction books need to be in a higher quality hardcover, or that I should not be using Lulu for my non-fiction because Lulu is where two-bit authors who can’t write their way out of box go to die.

I think for people to understand why I don’t put all of my books in hardcover and why I use Lulu at all, they need to understand the nature of what I publish. I actually explained a lot about DB Publishing’s history in this post here.  In that post I basically explain the nature of what I, as an author, do, and why I use Lulu.

There are several facts that people don’t seem to get about me or my books. I don’t know why, but our society really seems to have an aversion to facts. So here are some facts.

1. I have sold thousands of copies of my Demonolatry books and several of them including The Complete Book of Demonolatry, Curses, Hexes & Crossings, Daemonolatry Goetia, and Honoring Death: The Arte of Daemonolatry Necromancy have all hit bestseller lists on both Lulu and on Amazon. I’m not some two-bit author no one has heard of. Talk to some of the big Llewelyn authors — they know who I am. Trust me. I’m one of THE foremost authorities when it comes to the modern and traditional practice of Daemonolatry.

2.  I routinely sell around 100-200 physical NF books every month. I sell at least that (if not more) in eBook each month, too.

3. Lulu has been a good publishing partner over the years and they still remain my secondary printing service mostly because they offer POD hardcovers. No one else in the POD industry offers hardcovers (except Lightening Source, and they charge exorbitant set-up fees, while their quality is barely any better than Lulu).

4. My PRIMARY printing service is no longer Lulu and hasn’t been since 2010.  I use an actual printing and distribution service now to deliver my books to the widest audience. So when you see my books on Lulu – know that *that* is not the only place you’ll be able to get them. Baker & Taylor and Ingram distribute my books, too! Imagine that! 😛

5. I sell at least 50 NF books a month to expanded distribution outlets — that means occult shops, brick and mortar bookstores, and other web retailers OUTSIDE Amazon.  I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you understand the industry (and you understand what a small niche I write in)  you’ll realize that most NF small press books are lucky to sell 200-500 copies. Most of my NF books have surpassed those numbers. So clearly I’m doing something RIGHT.

In a recent complaint I was told I couldn’t be found on the Internet and that as an author, I needed to be more visible. That my lack of visibility is going to damage my career. ???

I used three search engines: Google, Yahoo, and Bing.  I typed in each of my pen names . Every time this website and Amazon were the top links returned. Also, anyone who looks me up on Amazon will notice that my author pages clearly give the URL to this website and three of the four link my blog (I didn’t link S. J. Reisner just because I want to deter kids from visiting this website, the books may be PG 13, but this site isn’t). So anyone who’s looking for me will certainly find me if they’re willing to, I don’t know… look?  Of course it does help if my name(s) is spelled correctly.  😉

So before  you think you know what’s good for an author’s career, you might want  to research it a little. There are probably reasons the author does what they do (and those reasons may not be due to ignorance or inexperience after all).  If there’s one thing I take just as serious as my practice of magick – it’s my writing. I’ve been working at a professional writing career since the early 90’s, folks! Well, in fiction anyway.  If there’s one thing I know – it’s my industry.  🙂

Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at

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