I published my debut novella CRASH on the 20th June 2013. I have high hopes for a career in self-publishing based on what I’ve seen to be a successful publishing model. It seems that the main advice for being successful is to - 1) Write good books. 2) Keep writing. 3) Don’t spend too much time promoting your first book because you don’t have any more work to sell.
I’ll be honest, I’m still at the point where I check my sales figures obsessively. I’ve opted to put my first book on all platforms because I’m yet to have anything to lead readers onto. I see giving my book away at the moment as a waste of time, but I do wonder if I’m missing out on the Kindle lending library downloads. (Does anyone have any experience of this?) Once I have the second book in the series, I will put my book on hold with everyone but Amazon and register it in KDP select. I will then start using one book to generate sales for the other.
First Month Sales Figures
So here are my sales figures as of today - Amazon = 76 copies. Smashwords = A few sample downloads and one addition to a library. Kobo = 1 copy (which was today).
It would seem that not only was Amazon the easiest place to upload my book to (I still haven’t got in the Smashword’s premium catalogue - Grr!), but they are responsible for all but one of my sales. Today is the first day - so far - that I haven’t sold a copy on Amazon (although I do keep checking).
I’m happy with the figures. It’s more than I expected with just one book uploaded. It’s paid for the cover and some of the edit and I realise that sales will be something that will come down the road when I have more books to sell. My second novella is with an editor at present and the third one isn’t far behind.
I’ve had generally positive reviews and I’m trying to get more by giving a few copies away to review sites and readers who are willing to review.
My first negative review hit me quite hard, but now the book has been out there for over a month, I already feel much more thick-skinned about it. If a negative review is helpful then I will take everything I can from it. If it isn’t, then it’s personal taste and there’s nothing I can do about that. I’ve had plenty of positive reviews and feel happy with how my book has been received.
Overall Experience of Self-Publishing
I’ve already had highs and lows in my first month but I’ve stayed focused on the plan - Get a series out in the world and then make people aware of it. I feel much braver about the whole process now I’ve made the first move and I’ve earned more money this month than in my entire writing career.
Onwards and upwards.