What I Learned Self-Publishing
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It’s been a little under a month since An Epilogue to Innocence published via CreateSpace/Amazon. It’s been quite a whirlwind of a month. Though admittedly much of what caused that month to go by had nothing to do with my book, there’s still been a lot of excitement and craziness I’ve had to deal with in that regard. I felt like now is as good of time as any to compile some of the thoughts that have gone through my mind since publishing.
I’ve put this post together in a Q&A format. We’ll see if it helps readability (not to mention my own organization of thoughts. Some of the items below are things I’ve learned myself, while others are interesting questions I’ve had people ask me. Those that have been asked to me are denoted with an asterisk (*) at the beginning of the question.
Was the publishing process as hard as you thought it’d be?
Yes and no. I was pleasantly surprised when Eat Your Serial Press originally picked up AETI for publishing. However, with them going out of business earlier this year, it threw quite a wrench into things. Kat Argo was extremely helpful in helping me get up to speed on what I needed to do in order to self-publish.
The majority of the leg work I ended up needing to do prior to publishing was formatting the book for CreateSpace/Kindle. That said, I feel like I’ve had to be a non-stop shill in order to sell the books I have so far. I’m pretty sure most of my Twitter followers hate me about now.
You said once that you want to break even on editing costs from your book. How many more copies do you need to sell?
It depends. I make different amounts of profit depending on if the book is sold via Kindle, via Amazon, or via CreateSpace. On top of that, it make different profit amounts if my books are sold internationally versus in the USA and Canada. As of August 6, 2016, here’s approximately the number of books I need to sell to break even.
- All copies sold through Kindle (US): 17 copies
- All copies sold through Amazon (US – Physical copies): 16 copies
- All copies sold through CreateSpace (US – Physical copies): 9 copies
That number goes up if the books are bought internationally or are bought on a discount, such as the Kindle Countdown deal I ran on July 27th.
*When is the next Kindle Countdown deal you’ll be doing?
I had planned to do one every month to give away the Kindle version of my book for free. The one I did in July netted 11 copies given away for free. Unfortunately, until I get to my break even point, I don’t know if I can do the giveaway deals once per month. I will likely do the next one in either late August or early September though, as I said I would.
*Will you sign a copy of my book?
This has come up FAR more than I expected it ever would. I had two people total ask me prior to the release — one of those was in person. Since then, I’ve had 15-20 people as for signed copies. I’m going to work on getting a PayPal button up on the blog (probably at least…more on that in a coming post) if you want to purchase a signed copy. Price and what not to be determined.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned throughout this process?
I’ve been very surprised to see how many people are willing to help me and share news about my book out of the kindness of their hearts. There have been wonderful reviews written about the books, tons of shares of Facebook and Twitter posts…it’s been great. I don’t even know where to begin with thanking people. It’s just been amazing.
What’s the weirdest reaction you’ve gotten to someone reading your book/founding out you wrote a book?
I had a co-worker who was stunned and flabbergasted that I wrote a book with sexual content in it. They were fine with it, just unsuspecting of it coming from someone they viewed as “professional”.
*Do you have a story in AETI you like most/least?
This is a simplified version of the actual question that was posed to me recently. The original question asked me to rank the stories in my book 1-10 from favorite to least. That generated a 500-750 word response about why I liked each story in the ranking I listed. That said, my favorite story from the AETI is either “Use As Directed” or “Tia”, while my least favorite is “Elk Ridge”.
What’s the piece of feedback you’ve received about AETI that you appreciated the most?
I had a reader send me a message saying how much she loved “Use As Directed” because it felt like she had finally found a story that accurately depicted what she had gone through with mental illness. I teared up a bit reading that message.
While not a piece of feedback, I did have a close friend send me an engraved pen with my name on it as a congratulations for publishing my book. That’s been the only time I’ve actually cried throughout this entire process. It made me so happy.