Self-Publishing, One Month In (And I Need Reviews!)

So here we go. A month (and a week) into self-publishing. I’ve received a few messages from some of you guys asking for an update on my self-publishing adventure. Truthfully the reason escapes me, because there are probably thousands of blogs out there that have this exact post, but I guess you guys like me. I’m kidding. You have to read this.

latenightFirstly, before we get into the self-publishing part… I need reviews. I really, really hate begging for reviews, because I feel like, well, a beggar, but I really do need reviews. If you’ve read Buried Hope, please just try to take five minutes of your time and leave a review on the US Amazon site. If you’ve already done it, thanks. I don’t care if it’s good or bad (well I do hope that it’s good but you’re free to your opinion). I just need more reviews. Why? Because logistics. I’m planning to release Buried Hope 2 in 2-3 weeks, and I’m going to put Buried Hope on a 2 day free run when the second book comes out to draw some more eyes. When writers do free runs, it’s best when they try to have their books promoted on as many of the popular blogs as they can. The two biggest book-promoting blogs are Pixel of Ink and EReader News Today. Getting on either of these sites (or both of them) during a free run pretty much guarantees several thousand people will download your book, but since they’re both so popular, it’s hard to get listed on them. The more legitimate reviews you have, the better your chances are to get listed. So if you’ve read Buried Hope and you want to help out, please write a review, which I’ve conveniently linked here. Okay? Okay.

Richest Beggar

Okay. Now with that out of the way… let’s start. Let me answer the question first that some people have asked: Why did I self-publish exclusively on Amazon? Because of something called KDP Select. Basically, it’s a deal where you agree to keep your book exclusive to Amazon for 90 days, and in return Amazon will give you 5 “free days” that you can use to help promote your book. During your free days, they’ll put it on the lists and in front of more readers to give you more exposure. For a first-timer who doesn’t really have an audience and doesn’t want to deal with messing around with all the other retailers (just yet), it’s a pretty good idea.

So. I’ve sold 106 books since Buried Hope was published. At $0.99 I’m making 35% royalty, because if you list your book at lower than $2.99 you make 35% royalty (while $2.99 and above grants you 70% royalty), which means I can take someone out to a movie for all that I’ve earned.

Now I know how that sounds to you unblooded lot. Horrible. I’d agree if I didn’t know what I was expecting, but thankfully I’d done my share of research beforehand. For anyone interested, here’s a thread on a self-publishers forum where they talk about how much they made in their first three months. A lot of them who are currently supporting themselves solely through their writing income made squat in their first three months (and longer). Here’s another thread where writers are talking about their sales for this month; it can be depressing or inspiring, depending on how you look at it. Some of them are doing amazingly (f*cking erotica), while others are doing not so well. What I’m trying to say is… I think I’m doing above average right now.

All in all, I’m really really happy that I broke a hundred sales in the first month. Just to sum it up, I’ve done absolutely no promotion other than my blog, and a Cracked article where I got my byline to include a link to the book. That article gave me about 30 sales, I’d say. I’m hoping that after I do promote the book a bit and put it on a free-run on the last week of March/first week of April, I’ll have something more interesting to report to you guys. I’d like to think a few of you are writers who might be considering self-publishing, so these posts are genuinely for you.

kewl_mag_shirley_temple_400There isn’t much else to say. Don’t go into self-publishing with unreasonable expectations. There are a few stories where people just take off out of nowhere, and as much as I’d hoped that my book would be one of those few, I didn’t let myself get devastated by the slower reality. There might come a day when I am supporting myself decently off my self-publishing income, and while today is not that day, that shouldn’t stop me from doing this.

I’m closer today than I was yesterday, and I’ll be closer tomorrow than I am today.

That’s all for this post. I’m going to start updating this blog much more regularly with my writerly ideas, because I’ve been quite slack lately. If you have any questions, anything that I forgot to cover that you might want to know, please feel free to ask. And review, damn it.

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10 thoughts on “Self-Publishing, One Month In (And I Need Reviews!)

  1. At the very least, you’ll have an extra review by the end of the weekend, once I get around to it. Also, glad to hear that part 2 will be coming out shortly, since it means continuing something I liked.

    Also also, your hesitation to ask for reviews reminded me of a TED Talk video featuring Amanda Palmer about asking for donations when they’re the only thing that supports you. I highly encourage you to watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMj_P_6H69g

    Good luck on your writing! We’re all looking forward to what’s coming.

    • Hey Dexter, I saw your review. It was amazing; a part of me feels like I didn’t deserve it, but thanks. And I’ll get back to your chapters in a day or two 🙂 It looks good so far!

  2. I get a lot of free kindle books from freedigitalreads.com. I don’t know how it compares with the two sites listed, but you might want to see about getting promoted there as well.

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