I have been published for a month as of today.
I love seeing those words. Writing a book was always one of those things I never really though I would accomplish. When I finally got over that hurtle (which is all in your head), I never thought anyone but me would read it. The more I looked into the various forms of publishing, the more I realized the odds were stacked against me. Self-publishing looked like an interesting avenue but I was concerned about having to do everything myself and what it would look like if I failed.
As of right now, I have sold 92 books. That is roughly three books a day. I’m not even off the newly released list yet, and that could and probably will tank my sales once that happens. Still, I’m very happy with that start. In fact, I’m very happy with Amazon, KDP, and self-publishing in general.
First of all, I’ve made a profit. The cover cost me eighty bucks and I beat that out the middle of the second week. I had the cost for the website (not the blog, enathansisk.com) and my P.O. box and I beat those out as well. I get more hits on the site, and am steadily making more sales. I am working on publishing more material, which should reinforce that.
I don’t go through the community forum on KDP that often, mainly because I’ve never been much of a forum user to begin with, but also because is it a shit storm of the same few questions. It amazes me how many people did no research, NONE AT ALL, before deciding to publish their work. There are a few brave souls who are on the forum all the time, and they’re harsh, but in just reading for a few weeks, I realized they have to be. People put up stuff that I wouldn’t want to see in a comp class, let alone for sale. They attach ridicuous prices on ridiculous lengths with ridiculous covers, and then blast the forum for not getting sales. People are expecting to make hundreds of thousands, arguing with anyone with any piece of advice. Probably sixty percent of the forum is just looking for affirmation, people putting up the link to their book, wanting to hear one thing, and then outright rejecting anything they don’t like.
My point is, if you are going to do this, know what you are getting into. I have a list of blogs at the bottom that are my favorite resources for publishing info, self and otherwise. I think I’ve put these up, at least in part, before, but I can never do that too much. Read their stuff, a lot of it, I mean hundreds, if not thousands of articles, about what to look for, look out for, expect, etc.
You can’t expect to be a millionaire overnight. Could happen, just like you could win the lottery. Probably the same odds too.
Dean Wesley Smith is the extreme side of self publishing and he will tell you thinks most other wouldn’t dare. He has some great advice on writing and business and should be a part of anyone’s blogroll who is looking at self-publishing, even if you don’t agree with everything he says.
Kristine Katherine Rusch holds pretty much the same slant as Mr. Smith, which makes sense since they’re married. I actually prefer her stuff to his. She does a post on writing as a business every Thursday that is probably the best thing I read from my blogs each week.
Chuck Wendig is a hybrid author, and a pretty damn good one at that. His slant, to me anyway as an outside observer, is traditional. But he is a massive advocate for looking at all options and has some great posts on writing and publishing.
If there was any one blog to rely on solely, I would say it was the Passive Voice. Passive Guy posts stuff from around the web, usually twenty or thirty post a day. He’s actually how I found a good bit of the blogs I’m listing. His slant is definitely self-publishing, but he always has a valid reason for that perspective and posts stuff from other sources that are more traditional.
The grand puba of self-publishing, he started doing it himself when it was shunned and has built a very successful career that way. Go through his backlist, I’m serious.
David Gaughran has several books on how to be more successful with self-publishing and his blog is a great source for that as well.
Kristin Lamb is still a bit new to me, but she gives great advice on both writing and publishing.
Lindsay Buroker is a fantasy author with a great series. She started in the beginning and has great advice.
Joel Friedlander is a self-published author but he also sells several services. He has been working with both traditional and indie authors for years helping to design and market books.
Mike Shatzkin…honestly, I don’t really know what he does. He’s an analyst of sorts whose family has been in the publishing industry for near a century (if not more). He has a traditional slant and its more of a macro look at the industry as a whole (and really, really dry), but essential data.
Writer’s Beware is the resource for looking out for scams. If you have to pay money to do anything, visit them first. Also, on a side not, Ann Crispin was one of their founding members and a prominent science fiction author. She passed away last week after a long battle of cancer. I’ve never met or contacted her, but through her work we have all been protected. May she rest in peace.