Since making the switch from taking the traditional publishing route to independent publishing, I have had my reservations. Was being independently published just a ‘cop out’? Were the accolades the same? Would people still see me as a ‘real’ author…?
Although my time with a traditional publisher in the US was rather short lived, I never gave up the dream of having my other works published and find an audience. I am happy to say that yesterday gave me the answer I was looking for.
Over a decade ago, I thought I’d put my first full length novel (a concept novel, part of a trilogy) in its grave after five years of trying to find a home for it with the big publishing houses. There didn’t appear to be a way to publish it and there was no way to reach an audience. Independent publishing was still in its infancy, and the tools just weren’t there.
Yesterday proved that all wrong!
Thankfully, with some hard work and great networking, I was able to use social media platforms like WordPress, Facebook, and (mostly) twitter to promote my free book giveaway. Obviously, I was a little apprehensive and wondered if anybody would download a copy. The feedback initially from Amazon was rather slow: after six hours I had barely made an impact, rating about #63 in one category, but people were downloading my book!
By persisting and experimenting with different posts and tweets (not too many, mind!) my novel began to get more and more downloads and crept up the rankings ladder.
The independent writer-publisher network is huge, I found out. It was an exciting and humbling experience to see online friends – ‘virtual’ strangers (lol) – retweeting my book and pitching in to help spread the word. They had nothing to gain from helping me. I wasn’t paying for any promotion. Yet, there they were, these invisible friends, all playing a vital role in launching and promoting my work!
Awesome! Thank you all.
When I awoke this morning, I almost cried, my humble little offering had made it to #1 in one category and #5 in another…!!! I thought I must still be dreaming. While I was asleep, my social media friends were hard at work, not doing much you may think, just clicking and retweeting, but as a team effort WE DID IT…!!! YOU did it 🙂
The number of free downloads amazed me – in the hundreds! In only 24 hours, and counting. Now, I don’t expect my novel to become a bestseller – it’s not that kind of novel – it’s rather hit and miss, whether the readers will enjoy it completely. Now comes the tricky bit… will people post reviews? What will the reviews be like? Can I face the music, if the response is negative?
Right now, I’m up on Cloud Nine, and the potential negative reviews will probably bounce off, I’m reeling in the awe of having my book make it to #1. If you’d like to find out what all the fuss is about, it’s still free for a while, and you can download it here: 49q? The Enigma Continues.
So, if you’re an indiepub or are planning to publish a book soon, I hope this will give you the strength to carry onward, to stay positive and publish and promote your book. It can be done! With a little help from your friends… helping them out along the way (maybe you didn’t know how important that retweet or share really was)… Together as a united team of independent publishers we can continue to bring diversity and unedited creativity to the readership, letting THEM decide what’s worthy of publication, not the (often) narrow-minded editors of big publishing houses.
Again… THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH… YOU ROCK!!!
If you have a book you’re working on or needs a little more promotion, PLEASE let me help pay back all the kindness I have received with my launch and give you a push in the right direction. Contact me in the comments section, or send me a tweet! Good luck with your writing endeavors.