Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Highs and Lows of Month #3 in the World of Self-Publishing

In some respects, this has been a disappointing month for sales.  I have the same sales volume I did in month #1, which is 1/2 of what it was in month #2.  I did, however, release my second novel (a contemporary romance titled Inner Moonlight) in the beginning of the month at a rate of $2.99.  So my monetary sales are actually the same this month as they were in month #2.

I also published Inner Moonlight in both Kindle and Smashwords.  After some days of disappointment, I took the time to explore Smashwords and learned that a) it would take up to two weeks before some of the vendors even listed my book and b) most vendors don't report their sales until the end of the month.  So now I am eagerly awaiting that report to get an idea of my very low publicity month will prove to be lucrative.

In the meantime, I am making some decent progress on the first book in the MaCall Prophecy Trilogy.  I am expecting that within the next week, as summer commences, I will be even more productive.  I am going to work my tail off in an effort to finish this first book by the end of June.  My goal is to have the entire series done by September 1st.  This means that the promoting takes a back burner.  

I will say, however, if you have had an opportunity to read either Bonds of Matrimony or Inner Moonlight, please take the time to write an honest review to either Amazon or Smashwords.  You can also contact me via my website to email the review so that I can include some on my website, as well.

Thank you all for your support!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May 8, 2013 - Ode to Self-Publishing ('s not actually an ode)

I just read this fantastic blog written by David Gaughran about the dangers of the supremely powerful vanity presses.  For years, I have been writing and writing and submitting query after query to agents and publishing houses.  And while I take the rejections and constructive criticism in stride and have hopefully improved my writing along the way, I become a bit irate when tragic celebrities are then represented by the very same people who rejected me.  Naturally, there's more money for the publishers when the "author" is a brand name.  I get that.  It's a business.

But it's not just a business for me.  I'm not making millions at all.  Hell, I'm barely making enough to purchase the occasional caramel latte that I crave a few times each month.  But the point is that after years of trying to get my writing out there, I now have nearly 3,000 people reading my work...after only 2 months.  Many of these 3,000 people downloaded my book during a free promotion.  This doesn't help my caramel latte cause.  But the point is that they are reading my work.

I can't lie, I would love to be able to see my books on a shelf in Barnes and Noble.  This has been my dream since I was thirteen.  But I cannot possibly express how thrilled I am to have the opportunities that self-publishing has afforded me.

Along the same lines as Gaughran's article, I am also disconcerted by the fact that two "publishers" have contacted me to offer to consider representation.  I'm not biting.  And here's why:

1.  With self-publishing, I write what I want, how I want, and when I want.
2.  When I want to modify something in a published piece, I can revise and re-publish.
3.  I can hire a cover designer and get exactly what I want.  (Laura Gordon did my most recent cover and was extremely talented, very prompt, and more affordable than most designers I have seen and contacted.  When I struggled to express exactly what I wanted, I fumbled through and Laura shot back a design that somehow met my vision precisely.  She is AMAZING!)
4.  I can price my books as I see fit, more or less, and monitor my sales as they occur.  I can track when sales are up or down and try to anticipate trends.
5.  I can market my books as much or as little as I want.

I wrote Bonds of Matrimony and Inner Moonlight myself, I got them edited, paid for cover design, and created all of the social networking accounts to being publishing.  I ran my own promotions and marketed the events.  I come home from my day job, enjoy some family time, and spend my evenings writing or marketing.  And after I get off the ground, a "publisher" will step in and take over, use all of my work and take a cut of my profits.  I don't really understand what they have to offer me that I can't handle myself.  What service am I paying them for when I am doing all of the work?

And with everything that I'm reading about even the Big 6, I honestly don't know that I would consider working with them, either.  Who knows?  I'm still new to this entire scene.  Perhaps when I'm making my millions, I won't want to be bothered with the nuisance of marketing.  :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6, 2013 - FREE Promotion Results

My second free promotion ran for three days, a Thursday - Saturday.  For my last promotion, I had 1,572 downloads in only two days.  This time around, I had only 1,173 downloads in three days.  It's possible that I had fewer downloads because my audience is dwindling.  But given that I write romance, it seems that the audience for free downloads would be considerably larger than 2,600 readers.  I have noticed, however, that my Kindle sales plummeted in the middle of April.  When I browsed the KDP community, it seemed that I was not alone.  So it seems probable that as sales were lower, free downloads might also have been lower.

Regardless, I have 2,600+ people in the world reading my work.  That is the fact that I need to remember.  Two months ago, I was only dreaming about others reading my work.  Now it's happening.  What had previously seemed a lofty dream is now a very attainable dream...thanks to the world of self-publishing.

So I'm now beginning work on my paranormal romantic suspense trilogy.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May 2 - FREE Kindle Promotion (Round 2)

From May 2 through May 4, you can pick up your FREE copy of BONDS OF MATRIMONY at!

I also invite any readers to submit honest reviews of the book either here in the comment section or on Amazon.

And if you enjoy Bonds of Matrimony, check out Inner Moonlight, a contemporary romance now available at Amazon or Smashwords.