This fall, I took the indie-publishing challenge and released my first book, Beneath A Silver Moon in digital format. I decided to try doing it myself, after less than spectacular results from my NY publisher and a small press. After all, the book had been sitting in my computer for years, wasn’t available in digital and only needed some work to get it into the correct format.
Actually, it took a LOT of work, because I had to retype the entire book. I now realize I could have paid someone to scan it and make it a digital document. But then, I wouldn’t have learned so much about my writing and how it’s changed.
So, I spent weeks retyping the book, made a few changes because I’ve learned a lot about action verbs and sentence structure. This book was edited by the way, by a big time NY publishing house editor. But there were things I wanted to change. And I could. One of the lovely things you can control when doing it yourself.
I also needed a new cover. I have a friend who is a graphic artist and designer. She’s very talented, (she designs stuff for True Blood), and when we met for coffee early last year she told me she would like to work on a cover design. This was a perfect opportunity for both us to learn together.
I decided to publish the book on Smashwords, which would put the book in Barnes & Noble, the Apple Store and several other outlets. They publish a FREE manual on how to do it, and my only advice is to follow every single step. That’s the key. Do all the things the manual tells you to do and you will be successful. Well, at least I was.
Then I joined Kindle Digital Publishing, which basically allows you to publish a book to the Kindle Store. Depending on the price of your book, you earn between 35% and 70% on sales.
I finally loaded the books in late October. I didn’t even check my sales for a few weeks. Not because I wasn’t interested, but because I didn’t know how. Thankfully, I found a Yahoo loop of Independent Published authors, and it was filled with great advice.
Sales started slow, but each week when I checked the report, they were growing. I’m now selling around 100 books per week, and last week I hit an Amazon best-seller list, (Western Romance), right between Nicolhas Sparks and Christine Feehan.
I also started to receive regular payments for the books, and I’m delighted to say while I won’t become rich, I am earning money on the book. And I’ve started the process for publishing my next book.
Indie publishing is not easy, there is a huge learning curve and you need to control a lot of things your publisher would handle for you. But, I enjoy that control and most of all I’m going to be able to publish the books I want to write.