When I began to research self-publishing channels I of course had heard about Kindle Direct Publishing. The success stories from that platform alone made me believe that nothing could be more simple. Obviously I was more than a little naïve.
I mentioned my aspirations about writing to a former colleague who just happened to play tennis occasionally with a New York Times Best Seller. I did not have a completed manuscript, nor did I have a ton of materials which would help support my credibility, so the only advice that author was able to suggest at the time was “write a good story.” He did however direct me to www.millions.com through which I found the self publishing channel I selected.
I knew wanted at least one physical copy on my shelf, however I felt I would have the best chance for success through e-book sales. Additionally, while I was a huge fan of my kindle, I knew at least a few of my family members were Nook people so I wanted to make sure my book would be available on a number of platforms. At the time, Kobo wasn’t even on my radar. I have since learned since that it should be. (I am happy to report An Uncertain Faith was recently added to their catalog). My dad wanted it on iBook, but as Apple requires exclusive content he would just have to read a physical copy.
Now I am getting close to the halfway mark on my second project and even though it is a long way from a final draft (I still haven’t settled on the title yet either) I can’t help thinking about how I want to bring this one to market. Ok so maybe I am a little guilty of putting the cart before the horse, counting chickens before they hatch, etc. And yes, of course I would love to have a sweetheart deal offered my way out of nowhere, but I am at heart a long-term planner and need to have a realistic plan B and C. Do I stick with what worked for me once, or do I try a new path?
I know I still want to have a multi-platform distribution plan. Kobo may not have the same online presence that Amazon does, but it is the only reader supported by my brick and mortar channel. My seller’s rank also is not nearly as volatile there (which is both a good and bad thing). I definitely want an option that allows for physical copies as well. Print on demand is nice as it has prevented my garage from being overwhelmed with copies, but it has a price point which deters some would be readers.
My personal network was incredibly supportive when my first book was released, but I don’t know how deep that well will be again. People forgive a number of mistakes on your first attempt, but will they be as forgiving on my second?
Just in case any of you are finding yourself in the same place as I am here are some tips I have learned along the way.
- Recommended Word Counts for Novels
- Tips for Marketing your Self Published Novel
- List of free contests
- 3 Ways to Avoid Second Novel Syndrome (SNS)
Other authors out there – did you stick with what you knew, or did you try something new for book number 2?