Shortcut to the East Indies – On Self-Publishing

Guest post by Chauncey Rogers / Happily Blog Tour

Thank you Anastasia for hosting a blog tour stop!

This post is about Self-Publishing and my experience with it. Hopefully some of you are curious about such things! But first, a history analogy!

According to my memory, Christopher Columbus sailed off into the Atlantic looking for a shortcut from Spain to the East Indies (south and southeast Asia), figuring that it would be faster to cut across the ocean (which he assumed to be far, far smaller) than it would be to go the long, slow, traditional overland route.

I feel like, if being a widely-read (read “rich and famous”) author is the East Indies, then Self-Published or Indie authors are those who sail off into the Atlantic, often looking for a shortcut.

Will they find the East Indies? I’m sure some do, but not many. Will they discover new lands and peoples? Possibly. Will they run out of supplies and die in the middle of the ocean? Maybe.

Okay, enough of that analogy. If I run any further with it, it’ll get weird, and probably not family friendly.

But not everyone comes to self-publishing as a shortcut to wealth and fame. Some try the traditional route and simply can’t do it—rejection letters from publishers pile up so high that the indie route seems the best way. Please note that both of these approaches are fine! Just because publishers haven’t seen the value in your work, doesn’t mean it isn’t good.

Others might self-publish simply because they’d like to see their work in print, even if nobody else ever reads it. I’ll be the first to admit that there is something special about finally holding a printed copy of your own work.

But enough. What’s my deal with self-publishing?

I honestly wasn’t sure how many rejection letters I could deal with, and chose self-publishing accordingly. My first novel, Home To Roost, is weird. There’s just no other way to put it. It’s a true-ish story about chickens and demons, that gets surprisingly dark at the end. Miraculously, it’s also a pretty decent book. Still, I didn’t think a publisher would bother with it, so I never tried sending it to one. I just got a boat and shoved off into the choppy waters of—

Sorry, I was trying to get away from that analogy.

Anyways, that was why I started off self-publishing, without ever querying a single agent or publishing house. After my first novel was done, and after going through all the work of figuring out the indie route, I didn’t really want to switch over and try to traditionally publish my next book. I knew more of what I was doing and wanted to just keep with it.

So now here we are, publishing the third book. Am I in the East Indies yet? Goodness no. But that’s okay with me. I’m loving the ownership of self-publishing, and enjoying even more the things I’m learning and connections I’m making with other writers around the world.

Will I ever traditionally publish? Maybe.

At this point, I’m ready to let go some of my control and work with a publisher. But I’m also perfectly comfortable with self-publishing now.

So, like I said, maybe. Getting rid of the self-published stigma would be nice, as would having hardcover copies of my work. But we’ll see. It’s certainly something I still think about.

What do you say? Should I stick with self-publishing, or try and go the traditional route in the near future?

Day 3 of 13 of Happily’s Release Blog Tour. See the full schedule here.

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Thank you Chauncey for interesting thoughts on self-publishing! I think self-publishing is very admirable! Happily is out now (I think it was just published yesterday actually)…You can read my review of the book by clicking here.


Finding More Time

clock and books

One of the most commonly used excuses I hear is “I don’t have enough time,” or “I’m busy.” While I was listening to a video by Tai Lopez, he said something that I completely agree with. His mentor, Joel Salatin, once told him, “When people tell you that they don’t have time, add two words to the end of it: for that. People make time for things they really want to do.”

Here are a couple tips for finding more time:

  • Eat smaller lunches and use the remainder of the time however you like
  • Sleep for six hours, instead of eight, or nine, or ten
  • Optimize your surroundings so that you are not distracted
  • Prioritize with a to-do list
  • Set goals that will motivate you
  • Innovate with everything you do
  • Commit to any schedule you make
  • Figure out when you are most productive (morning, afternoon, dinner time)
  • Try to avoid wasting time on social media news feeds like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat Stories
  • Stay ahead of house-chores


Read the full post for tips on finding more time to read, and how to use your time more effectively. I am really excited about this post, so I hope that you will learn something from it.

-Tyler /

Introducing Myself

Hello Everyone,

My name is Tyler Wright, and I am Anastasia’s new recruit.

Here is a little bit about me:

  • I am 16 years old
  • I am from the United States
  • I also write book reviews
  • Bodybuilding has quickly become a passion of mine
  • I like dogs more than cats
  • If you couldn’t tell by my name, I am a guy
  • I wear a US size 10 shoe

That was a whole lot of I am this, I am that, so I better mix it up.

In 2008, I went to Disney World for my birthday. The biggest memory I have from that trip is while I was swimming in a pool with my little brother, all-of-the-sudden, he decided that he was afraid of the water. I wasn’t expecting him to cling onto me when he did, and I thought we were both going to drown as I swam to the edge of the pool. I’m sure it wasn’t nearly that dramatic, but everything is a big deal when you’re eight years old.

This summer I am going to Hawaii, which is the first big vacation I have been on since Disney World. I am super excited for that because there is really no good reason to wear a shirt in Hawaii, and five months of bodybuilding is starting to show.

I also really enjoy reading nonfiction books. I am learning so much from them, and it is unbelievable that so many people overlook that genre. I write reviews for biographies, classics, and any other kind of inspiring nonfiction on my website.

I have a couple of ideas for interactive posts, but I want to build a bigger following before then. Tomorrow I will be sharing an excerpt of a post with all of you that I am really excited about.

Please stop by my website:

I am excited to get to know you guys,


Nothing to Envy

Ordinary lives in North Korea



We have come across all the ridiculousness going on in North Korea through awesome documentaries such as VICE put through and hype the movie “The Interview” created. But something always made me wonder actually what was going on in the bubble the North Koreans were stuck in , apart from Kim Jong Un’s “iconic” haircut. Nuclear weapons, Communism and propaganda: some words that comes to our mind when the name is brought on. Recently one of my favorite pod-casters Jocko Willink did a review on this book and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it . It was just well written, the exceptional details and solved almost all the questions that I had about North Korea. My initial reaction was ” Damn , didn’t thought MAD MAX was real”. So I took my time and read the book and here’s my thoughts on the book by The Los Angeles Times journalist, Barbara Demick.

The book centers around six North Korean defectors in 1990s. I was really fascinated by the fact that all characters, differ from each other and came out of different walks of life. Mi-ran, a young girl who grows up to be a teacher, Jun-sang : Mi-ran’s lover and an engineering student , Mrs Song a factory worker , Kim-hyuk an Orphan child ,Dr Kim a young doctor, Oak-hee: Mrs Song’s rebellious daughter. The Author manages to give life to the characters through super detailed descriptions. Nevertheless all the character’s mentioned above were real people. Struggle, sadness, helplessness, innocence and bravery was embedded deeply in each an every character in a way that the reader would really embrace it . The story is mostly set on a coastal city in North Korea, Chongjin, fairly far away from the Capital Pyongyang.

“He wasn’t merely the father of their country, their George Washington, their Mao, he was their God.” – Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy


Kim il sung, and his propaganda machine shines through out the book, dragging people to hell while they grew their wealth and comfort into a surreal amount. The communism and the dictatorship of the regime, manages to take away the freedom and brainwashes them to believe in the inevitable propaganda. The author goes to explain how they all thought the purpose of living was serving their fatherland the and the great Marshall Kim il sung. All the media from books to movies were just one more glorification of Kim il sung. And as the book says people even takes the pleasure of believing he’s some kind of a super human being.

“But the dark has advantages of its own. Especially if you are a teenager dating somebody you can’t be seen with.”  – Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy

Mi-ran and Jun-sang’s innocent romance is captivated through out the book till the very end with picturesque descriptions. and Mr. Song’s ability get on her feet every time a road block shows up and her kindness impersonates almost an anchor character in the book . After the death of Kim il sung North Korea suffers from a famine that shook downs to the core. Even before, the author explains food wasn’t ever the strongest suit of general public except the elites. And everything the North Koreans had to go through, the Americans were to blame according to the regime, the death of Kim il sung and the treacherous food shortage. And like wise the hatred that the population had towards US was mind boggling. And here’s an example of a math question that was mentioned in the book.

“Three soldiers from the Korean People’s Army killed thirty American soldiers. How many American soldiers were killed by each of them if they all killed an equal number of enemy soldiers?”  – Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy


“Behind the station near the railroad tracks were vendors who cooked soup and noodles over small burners, and it was said that the gray chunks of meat floating in the broth were human flesh.”  – Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy

The brutality of the famine that each character experiences makes you appreciate your life more. Each character escapes North Korea in unique ways bribing their ways through and hurdling million challengers. After they get out of North Korea, all the things that they have been missing and the realizing the propaganda that regime put through was priceless. Mr Songs reaction to a rice cooker to Jun-sang seeing Mi-ran drive a car , made a faint smile on my face, berried by the empathy I felt towards them for all the things they went through.

On a high note I can’t recommend this book enough to anybody, a great work of art depict beautifully yet simply reflecting on lives of North Koreans and their struggle.

4,7/5 stars

                           Buy Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea on Amazon
Buy Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea audiobook on Amazon