The IWSG question of the month is: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?
But today I want to come clean about what I see in the tricky world of publishing, in particular, self-publishing.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING and selling books. (Not much, but I'm not overly insecure about it, just realistic.)
I formatted a book for Amazon just to test how it all worked. It stands alongside other compilations which include a story of mine. I received some great reviews for Under the Tuscan Moon, my vampire fantasy, but haven't sold many copies. I'll definitely be trying traditional publishing for my Paris novel.
This is my self-pub story...(not an episode of Law and Order).
- Formatting on Amazon is not hard if you follow their intricate instructions, just tedious. I always planned to hire someone to format for me, but as I said, I wanted to try it for myself at least once. Tick. :-)
- Amazon is very helpful, answering emails quickly and doing what they can to help you which is opposite to what I've read on some blogs. Tick. :-)
- Their 75% royalties only eventuate if you price your book high enough. :-(
- Setting up a bank account for receiving those non-existent royalties is a right royal pain. No doubt it's easier if you live in the US. I really think Amazon is for American citizens, so Donald Trump will most likely leave it alone. :-(
- You don't sell any/many books unless you make the first few pages of Amazon searches and how do you do that? A lot of spamming I'd wager. Or friendly bloggers could get together and all buy each other's books on the same day. :-(
- Self-publishing is difficult for people who hate self promotion or are basically lazy or don't care less if they sell a book or not. It takes a lot of effort to crack the market as exhausted authors will tell you. :-(
- Self-publishing works best for people who don't need sleep or are already traditionally-published best-selling authors (name recognition). :-(
- Do you have any help to offer re selling books that you're willing to share?
- Are you happy with Amazon if you're self-published? Do you sell most of your books through them?
- Do you have a marketing plan?
- Do you see social media as an important marketing tool? (A future post).
While you're here, I'll do a plug for Write...Edit...Publish who announce their new challenge today. Please think about joining us if you haven't before or if you haven't for awhile. A new challenge comes out every second month. Check out the schedule at the top of my sidebar. There might be something that catches your imagination.
THIS MONTH, Back of the Drawer (not your average Valentine's challenge). Tell us your interpretation in a poem, a flash fiction piece of 1000 words or less, a non-fiction piece detailing your personal experience or someone else's experience, write a script, draw your dreams, or post a photograph or a photo essay. The genre is up to you. The artistic choice is completely yours.