People say now that it was easy to sell back then, but publishing has never been easy. I’ve had agents along the way, four of them. I’ve also finaled and won writing contests. I’ve had close calls, where my book was under consideration and passed around to other editors. Agents have referred me to other agents. But that elusive sale to a NY pub just never came.
A few weeks ago, Connie Brockway wrote a great post about her decision to self-publish original work instead of going with a traditional publisher. She said “Over the last couple years, as print publishers have been facing numerous financial crises, it has felt like they’ve become less likely to buy a book that doesn’t fit snugly within the parameters of last month’s success and since last month’s success was dictated by the previous month’s success (and so forth and so on) there hasn’t been a whole lot of room left in which to play.’
That’s how I’ve felt. I write books that don’t fit parameters. There’s a quirk to my writing, and there’s a quirk to my characters.
Self-publishing was never on my horizon. I had friends who did it, and I hoped they’d do well, but I knew it wasn’t for me.
About a year and a half ago, I started writing the Industry News column for the RWA-WF group, which forced me to read the articles and blogs about the business. J.A. Konrath’s blogs were all about his e-book sales and experiences, and how well he was doing in it. So I knew times were changing and it was possible to make money self-publishing. But not for me. I remember posting a link on one of my Industry News post, adding that it would be something that would work for already published writers, because their name was known.
Then last April, Konrath posted an interview with Karen McQuestion. Karen is a Kindle bestselling author who had sales in magazines (like me!) but no book sales.
There went my excuse to not self-publish. About this time, Zoe Winters, a friend who’d been self-publishing in ebooks for a year and a half, started doing very well. Again, that took away any excuse I might have.
Cattitude until late in August of 2010. I got terrific reviews soon after. (I credit reviewers reading the debut book of an indie author to a good blurb and to the fact that they love cats. lol)I was in the middle of writing a book and had some other things going on, so didn’t self-publish
Despite the great reviews, my sales crept along in the beginning. I’ve since uploaded two more paranormal romances, Dead People and Dragon Blues, and one short story. In January, I was excited when I sold 500 books. For the month of March, I sold 1500 books.
I’m super happy that so many people are buying my books. Dead People, the first book of my Haunted Hearts series, is in the Kindle top 10 in the Ghosts and Gothics categories, which is very cool. I’m still not making a living wage, but I’m closer to it. And this is just the beginning! I’m writing the second book of my Haunted House series, my best seller. I’m hoping to have it online in two months. After that, I have other plans, other books to write and revise.
I’ve learned a lot during the last twenty years, met many fantastic writers, and reviewers, and readers. My goal is to make every book better than the last.
If anyone has any questions about self-publishing, feel free to ask. I’ll do my best to answer them. And I'll also be giving away an ecopy of my books to three lucky commenters!