How many of you writers out there began by self-publishing on Amazon or another forum? I must admit that when I first started this journey, my only goal was to finish writing a book. To be honest, I had no idea what I was going to do afterwards. It was only when I’d completed the first draft of my manuscript,’Jenna’s Journey’,that I started to wonder ‘what happens next?’ Fortunately talking to other friends who had been on the same journey, it seemed realtively straightforward to go down the self-pubbed route and more importantly, it wasn’t too expensive either. At that point I hadn’t even thought about submitting to traditional publishers, mainly because if I got rejected at that stage I knew I wouldn’t have the confidence to continue.
So, I sent my manuscript out to Beta readers,set about creating a presence on social media and when I was sure that I couldn’t get the book into a better shape, pressed the submit button on Amazon and waited to become a millionaire. Joking aside, the first few months on Amazon were dire. I’d priced the book too cheaply to benefit from the 70% royalty and I hadn’t completed the paperwork to avoid paying US tax even though I was a UK resident. I hadn’t done any kind of launch marketing either so all on all sales were slow.
The turning point came when I set up a blog site and started reviewing other writers.Slowly I built up a relationship and got my name out there. Things really changed with the second book, ‘Sophia’s Secret’. By now I was a lot more media savvy and had built up interest beforehand as well as doing a promo day and book launch. Sales started to improve and I was happy with my books. At the back of my mind though was the thought that many non-writers and a few writers too had that ‘you’re not a proper writer unless you’re published.’Now, I’ve read some fantastic self-published books and some awful ones, just as I’ve read good and bad traditionally published ones. Nevertheless, I decided that with some good reviews behind me, now was the time to test the water. I knew that there would be some rejections, after all it’s an incredibly competitive marketplace. I told myself that it wasn’t necessarily my writing that was being rejected, it could just be that my book wasn’t right for that particular publisher at that time or perhaps they had enough books in a similar genre and weren’t taking on any more. I persevered and finally got an offer to publish my first book. Of course, I’m hugely excited and proud but it doesn’t make me a better writer, just hopefully a more well-known one.
I’d love to know if you had a similar writing journey?