In a way, author S.M. Schmitz’s book sales are treatment for her autoimmune disorder.
First, let’s rewind many years. S.M. has loved writing since she was a youngster and only stopped doing it when graduate school became too time-consuming for her to balance the hobby with homework.
During her time as a college world-history instructor, she told herself that once she retired — or her two kids were grown — she’d come back to writing. That day, however, came far sooner than expected.
In 2011, S.M. began experiencing some health issues that were bothersome enough to have checked out, but nothing that alarmed her unduly. Instead, a month later, she was told she had two devastating autoimmune diseases: lupus and Sjogren’s syndrome.
S.M. tried valiantly to keep teaching, even part time, but as the doctor’s visits and sick days piled up, it became apparent that she would need to retire ... at age thirty-two.
It was another huge blow, as she’d worked hard to become an instructor and found it deeply fulfilling. So she turned to another outlet that had proved to be rewarding for her: writing.
She hadn’t intended to pursue publication, but friends who saw samples of her novel Resurrected encouraged her to do so. One in particular suggested using Kindle Direct, and the rest is history — she’s now a full-time author of twelve published titles, ranging from science-fiction romance to fantasy and mythology to psychological suspense.
Sales of those books enable her to at least offset the cost of publishing, but they can also mean the freedom to seek a treatment for her conditions that insurance might not cover fully.
So while $3.99 — the cost of her most expensive ebook — is a small jump in price from free, it’s also a huge difference in S.M.’s life. She knows it’s a tough sell to a crowd accustomed to freebies, but she’s proud of her work and believes, as we do, that good literature is worth purchasing.
After all, her doctors (and yours) don’t accept praise in place of payment; why should an author?
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