How’s Self-Publishing Going?

Self-publishing has been quite the struggle, while at the same time, it’s come with an extreme sense of accomplishment.  I dove right in with very little research to begin with, reading half of a self-publishing book (The Well-Fed Self-Publisher) and information on self-publishing websites. From there, I decided to give it a shot and post my book for sale through CreateSpace.com.  I’m not normally an impulsive person, but when it comes to trying something new that I wouldn’t typically do, I tend to act on impulse. It’s strange, I feel, but it adds a little mystery to who I am as a person.  Oddly enough,  people who know me well won’t actually be surprised by it. From day to day, I am predictable as can be.  But if you know me well, I’ll jump on an opportunity out of no where and make it happen.  I don’t know if this was necessarily the right thing to do with something so large as Self-Publishing, but I am glad I did regardless.

I am celebrating this great accomplishment: I sold 20 copies of Tearing Honor as of yesterday!  Originally, I expected to sell 10 copies, since I entered the publishing world so unprepared.  Look how much I surpassed that! How can I not celebrate completely reaching past my goal?  Thanks to you all for helping me in my achievement.  I treated myself to a lovely day out in Providence with a friend from college (it was a year since the last time we hung out).  And now I have some beautiful espresso cups to show for it (I may need a life if I’m so excited about that…)

Now I am struggling with trying to get people who read my book to post reviews on Amazon.  If I can reach out to more people with my book, why not?  That’s my goal at this point. I have read many articles since publishing on various aspects of self-publishing, and it seems that people are more likely to check out a book if it has reviews.  At the moment, only my father has posted a review.  At least there’s that, it’s nice seeing my family being so supportive of my new quest to become a semi-known author. I’m considering sending out some copies to reviewers to help me out a bit.  That seems to be the path most authors have taken to become known.  Is it worth it?

Then there’s the whole Marketing aspect of self-publishing.  I have never taken a Marketing course in my life, and have only learned from reading articles and working in retail.  While visiting my friend in Providence, we were discussing Grad school and our writing progress.  I inspired her to start writing more plays and potentially publish some in the future (which I hope she does!).  In return, she inspired me to attend Grad school somewhere in the near future.  I determined that if I want to continue along the route of self-publishing, that perhaps I should obtain a Marketing degree.  Yes, I will need to do more research on it before I decide this is the right route to go. But if you have any suggestions for what is the most useful education for self-publishing, please do share.  I am torn over whether or not I should obtain a Marketing, Business, or a Creative Writing degree.  Which is the most useful?

So all in all, I am very pleased with the progress I’ve been making on the publishing front.  I’ve been receiving positive responses from my readers left and right (and even some tips for future novels).  I’m so glad everyone has been enjoying Tearing Honor, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

-Renee

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About Renee

I'm a self-published author searching for her place in the publishing industry. I seek out inspiration through yoga and the world around me to transcribe into my writing. I work retail in the daytime and escape into my writing at night.
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8 Responses to How’s Self-Publishing Going?

  1. Katja says:

    Congrats on your sales! Was a bit disappointed to see there’s no ebook, but it’s coming I hope?

    Think the best advice is to see how the indie authors who have succeeded, have done it and try to learn the best parts from them. Lots of them speak about the self-publishing side.

    I don’t have any first hand experience, since I’m still on the writing process. Good luck on your path. 🙂

    Oh, one more thing though: I’m always rooting for choosing the subject you’re actually most interested in, since you’re probably spending a big chunck of your life doing it what you decide to study, so “most useful” will just lead into dissatisfaction without actual interest.

  2. Renee says:

    Yes, the ebook is on its way. I just need to get Tearing Honor all formatted properly, then I’ll have it up for sale. I will definitely make an announcement!

    Thanks for the tip on the studying front. I’ll put some thought into it. It does make sense to focus on what I’m most interesting – being passionate about something is more important than whether or not something is useful. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Enjoyed the post, as I’m planning on self-publishing myself. Zoe Winters (a self-published author) said that she got reviews on Amazon by offering readers free copies of her e-books on the condition they put a review on Amazon. Of course some people didn’t do the review but she said most did and it was really boosted her sales.

    Good luck!

    • Renee says:

      Thanks! Great to hear you’re looking into self-publishing too! It’s a lot of work so far, but enjoyable at the same time. Zoe Winters seems to be doing well, as far as I can tell. I was considering sending out free copies of my book, but that was before it was an ebook. At the time it seemed unreasonable, since getting print copies actually costs a good amount of money.. and then shipping copies out adds on. But now that I’ve published Tearing Honor in ebook form, I’ve realized that I can easily just send over free copies to people for reviews. Thanks for the tip! I’m just wondering if it’s too late to do so, if I should’ve done it sooner. I hope I, and many others, have been helping you decide what you’d like to do when you self-publish.

      • The great thing about an e-book is it’s never too late. It’ll be on the virtual shelf forever. 🙂

        You were also wondering if sending your book to reviewers was worth it. Apparently book review blogs were what sent Amanda Hocking skyrocketing to fame and fortune so I’d definitely say it’s worth a try.

      • Renee says:

        Thanks for the encouragement. I’ll be seeking out reviewers for sure, just needed a little push. Should be an exciting experience!

  4. Klane says:

    Hi Renee,

    It is interesting to hear how you are grappling with promotion. I would say that at heart writers are writers, not promotors. (And obvious statement, I know.) But if you think about, you got into writing to write, not to do business schmoozing. An option for you might be to find someone who is more into ‘promoting’. That will give you more time for writing (which is what you really want to be doing anyways, right?)

    I’ve got a friend and family member helping out with promoting my stuff. (They are not writers per se, but are interested.) We’ve only just begun, but so far they have come up with some great ideas and put quite a bit of effort. They have found out how hard this promoting can be(!) 😉 Meahwhile I get to focus on the writing side, producing more content and doing that part of this that I enjoy most. What’s in it for them? A share of the profits. Pretty simple.

    If nothing else, we get together regularly and discuss the challenges. Makes you feel a little less isloated/ frustrated, if you know what I mean.

    Another option could be a review swap. You talk about offering free e-book copies if poeple will review it. Pitch a swap to other authors. (There are thousands of them out there.) ‘You review mine, I’ll review yours.’ Seems a deal where everyone wins.

    • Renee says:

      Thanks Klane! I would love to just focus on writing. The past few months, I haven’t had as much time to do so because I’m been working on building relationships online in order to promote my novel and writing. It would be great to find a friend to help out with the promotion aspect, since I clearly am not a huge fan. Recently, one of my friends has offered to edit my writing, so I’ll at least be saving some time there (and getting some useful input). Next step: find someone to promote my work. I like it. I’m glad you’ve found someone to do that for you;n hopefully that’s been really helpful for you.

      I was looking into offering free ebooks for people to review recently. Seeking out reviewers is going to take some work, but I think that will definitely help make a difference. I hadn’t though of review swaps perse. Great idea! Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

      -Renee

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