My first attempt at writing was a series of 49 short stories only a few pages long. I posted them for friends and family to read. As I was writing my friends and family encouraged me to continue. So, I took a leap of faith and self-published my books on Kindle Direct Publishing where I published Cry Havoc, The GRiM Clan and The Vendetta against Vendetta. My first intentions when I first self-published my books in e-book and paper back form was for my friends and family to read and leave it at that. But my enjoyment creating books grew with each book to the point where I wanted to share my books with more people than just friends and family. Besides not all of then enjoyed Science Fiction books.
Coming from an aviation background in the military and in civilian life for self-published over 35 years I really had no idea of how to let people know that my books even existed. So, I got an education, the hard way. I found that I needed to do a lot more work that just write a book. Marketing, advertising, getting reviews, taglines and how to write a short one to three sentence description to create interest for a potential buyer was overwhelming to me. I soon learned more and more as time went along, that writing the book is the easy part. I decided to work at not only my writing, but at the other less desirable things that go along with it. I first developed an advertising plan on a per-click basis, but soon learned the only one making money was the company I was paying per-click.
Then I did something that I should have thought of earlier, if I had only known. I used my Facebook groups to find some fiction/science fiction writer groups and asked them how they got their books in front of people. I learned three things from those groups that I would like to pass along to you. First, if you do self-publish you need to not only publish on Kindle Direct Publishing, but you need to publish on Apple Books and Barnes and Nobles self-publishing sites as well. Second, you offer your e-book for free to e-book readers. Third, you need reviews and a lot of e-book downloads to establish yourself as a top author. The more downloads the higher you are rated on these sites, consequently your book will more up in placement. It is like appearing on the first page of a google search. I don’t know anyone that looks past the first page of results. This is one way to get on the first page with your e-book.
I looked into trying some of the websites that say they can help you publish your book and there are some good ones if you have the money. They can charge anywhere from $400 dollars and up just to get your book just marketed by them, no editing, no design, just marketing. Some of the sites advertised are reasonable, most charge insane amounts. My preferences are to keep cost as close to $0 dollars as possible. But I am not looking for a fulltime income from my books. If you are not in the top 10% of authors you are not going to make a living writing either.
For me, self-publishing is where I feel I can share my work and make enough money to pay my bar tab, that’s all I’m looking for. If you want to invest money into your book, I would suggest you do your homework first. I had a publisher that accepted my book only to find out that it was going to cost me $2800.00 dollars per book to get them published and they wanted my plan to advertise the book. I said NO so quick I scared myself. Write for fun, the work comes in marketing.
Let me know your thoughts and if you have any experience in self-publishing please share them with us. Please follow my blog as well as my Facebook, Twitter and Amazon author pages. For every like I get a beer and I like beer so help me out. LOL.