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After spending a good 6 months trying the traditional publishing route without success I decided to have a go at self-publishing. I did everything myself other than getting my daughter to read my book for constructive feedback.

I have to say that I enjoyed the experience of self publishing via Amazon. The KDP process takes you through it step by step and I even used their cover creator tool to develop my cover. My debut novel is now available on Amazon as an ebook and paperback, A Mother's Loss by Caroline Rebisz. 

Initially I have used social media to launch and in a couple of weeks have sold over 30 copies. Not best seller status by any means but it is amazing to read reviews. Any other suggestions on marketing are welcome.

  • Cover looks good - not particularly generic which is nice.  Glad you're finding your feet in self-publishing - there are several good master-classes and seminars of various kinds on the Jericho Writers site which give really useful pointers in  marketing.

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    • Well done for getting it out there, Caroline. I did the same thing a few weeks ago. Feels so good, doesn't it, after all that hard work? It's a tremendous achievement and you should be rightly proud of yourself.

      Three immediate thoughts for you: 

      Your pricing seems very low - can you make any money at 99p and £6.99? I would prefer to price higher and then drop for promotions (my book is at £1.99 and £8.99)

      I noticed that your book blurb on Amazon says 'unroots' instead of uproots. If you didn't mean that, then you might want to correct it as it's a very prominent place for a typo (if that's what it is) 

      Depending on your ambitions for the book, I'd recommend getting professional input for the cover and formatting if your budget allows. Cost me £1,050 (for both) that I may never recoup, but I'm really glad I did it. I couldn't have got anywhere near what they did for me (I used Formatting Experts, who I found on the ALLi pages and they give ALLi members a discount). Also, I had quite enough on my plate with everything else!

      As to marketing, I am at the early learning stage like you. Just tried a boosted Facebook post, targeted at the US market over 5 days and reached 3,400 people in the target group, with 112 clicking through to the KIndle book summary. Only cost $30 so 27c a click through which would have been great IF a significant number of people had bought the book (say 20 of the 112). Sadly that was not the case! Back to the drawing board. I am working on building reviews and have reached 18 now. Hope to try for a BookBub advert before too long but I know they're not easy to get. If I do, I'll try to hook it up to a Countdown or Free Book deal on Kindle ...

      Anyway, best of luck to you, Caroline.

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      • Thanks Alex - really useful feedback

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        • Congratulations! And thank you for sharing your experience!

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          • Thank you for sharing your experience in self-publishing. I was unaware that Amazon (KDP) had a facility to create a book cover. I like the cover of your book. Did you know the style you wanted to go for when you began the process?

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            • Hi Anne, I had a few ideas but when I got onto the cover creator part of the set up there were a number of photos to use and the creator also helps you insert the text / titles etc in the right format. being totally "unteckie" this really helped me. Yes you can get a professional cover but for many of us self-pubs we aren't likely to make money out of our novels so keeping costs down is important. Also each step of the process can be done and then saved so you can then go away and think about it before you click publish!

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