Why I'm self-publishing

thaddeus6th

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One of the reasons I wanted to try a serial is that it enables regular releases without requiring a full-blown novel every time. Of course, serials are difficult to sell, so we'll see how it goes, but if Wandering Phoenix and Roaming Tiger can get going, then the number of sales for it to be viable will be much lower than what I'd need for a novel.

(Partly due to the small scale, regular release approach, but also because the writing style makes it a lot quicker to write).

Hoping to release it this month. /coughplug

Something that still bamboozles me is that my first book, Bane of Souls, is still my best-selling self-published effort. Over a thousand sales, with sod all publicity or swapping ARCs for reviews, and I don't know why. Cover art? Title? Word-of-mouth? I've worked more on every subsequent book in that regard, to no avail (I realise I'm no marketer, but for Kingdom Asunder and other books I did get early reviews up, and good ones). Maybe it was simply the 99p price point.
 

Nick B

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@Brian G Turner why not try a go at a free promo? Are you still on kdp select with Gathering? We did one free kdp period and picked up several hundred new readers, some of whom I count as (hopefuly) people who will want to read the series.

I also now have Primordial as a permanently free novelette, to try and entice people to go on to reading paid books.
 

Brian G Turner

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why not try a go at a free promo?

I've been tempted to, but IMO it makes no marketing sense without anything to upsell to. However, I might do something in a couple of years when the third book in that series is released - that way, any new readers have the option to read more, rather than simply hit a dead end as they would now.
 

Nick B

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I thought the same thing...however it did bring in a continued sale trail afterwards too, and I figure another couple of hundred readers now is good enough and the possibility of doing it again at the release of book 2... Though we are more likely to just do 99p week, and a book barbarian promo, and any others we can I am trying to get us to 50 reviews on Amazon.com before we release book 2 though, so that we can do a book barbarian promotion for Rift on release too, possibly as a two book deal even.
 

Jo Zebedee

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blah - flags. So many flags.
Almost every overnight success really has someone behind it who has worked for years on craft before they "hit" it.

One thing self-publishing favors is writers who can put out good books frequently. A book a year, or one every couple of years is going to be very hard to market, and things move so fast the readers have gone on to something else. I'm experiencing this difficulty myself, because I haven't been focused enough to write the books and publish them. It's something I'm struggling with, but making progress. My goal is four novels a year. I might actually make it this year, if I don't screw myself over.

On the first point, honestly - no. Several of the best selling writers I know (in the self published world anyhow) hit it with their first book. Some then used the income to edit and bring out a stronger version. But I'm afraid it is possible just to get a book that gels with the audience. :)

I'm a quick writer. I used to be able to do two books a year without much sweat, and this summer I'll have book 5 out around 2 years after my first book. But I defy people to keep doing this, while promoting other books, and with any sort of life or, crucially, job. Four novels a year always, always shows to me, mostly in the lack of depth. I'd ask yourself what you'll do next year when you're knee deep in managing them and your readership are expecting the same again.

Set something that's doable without killing yourself and you'll still be fine in the market. (Or, ignore me. I may know nothing. :))
 

FibonacciEddie

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... I am not adding much new to this thread, my perspective as follows... most writers will need to do (at least) two or three full books to hone their craft... from the Self Published world (I am not an expert) but Luke Smithered knocked it out of the park with The Stone Man (on, what I think is his first book... but who knows how many scripts he wrote before he pressed publish)... but other big sellers I know (self pub) in SciFi (e.g., Andrew Morgan, Vessel / Craig Falconer, Not Alone) were on their 2nd or 3rd books when they wrote a biggie ...

but against that (unfortunately) ... I have read some really excellent books that appear (based on 50 times Amazon reviews indicator) not to have sold many at all... so you have to be good, trained, and lucky...

I'd only suggest becoming a writer if the pleasure you get is from telling stories, and not solely from an income stream viewpoint

the dry answer... is that if all you want to do is to make money... write Romance Trilogies... if it has to be SFF, then make it Vampire SoftPorn, or Alien Abduction Romance... just check out the best selling lists
 

Nick B

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Yeah, the whole 'I was dominated by a musclebound alien' thing seems to be huge at the moment.
All the massively muscled alien men look perfectly human though...
 
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Vaz

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From erotice writers I've spoke to on other platforms the money can be huge. They put up eight to ten thousand word novellas every two weeks and they can sell for 2.99. Also, from what I've read, erotica customers are not fussy. The standard of stories I've personally read have been bang average. Sex does sell though.
 

Nick B

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10k is within the novelette range. Longer than a short story, shorter than a novella.
 

Cathbad

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Cat's Cradle

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The 40k figure seems like an anachronism...like something Campbell might have told Asimov, or Heinlein back in the 50s. :)
 

DZara

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Good reasoning - if the benefits of traditional publishing are going away, why go there? Doesn't make sense. I self-published my own novel as well, and working on marketing it. Good luck to you, Brian.
 

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