All about self-publishing

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All about self-publishing
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For any self-published authors and those curious about self-publishing to share ideas, tips, gripes and successes! 

Now I am busy learning how to market.

The important lesson I have learned is that one must have a detailed marketing plan in place before one publishes. I am seriously considering whether to relaunch.

Initially, I had a quick try at presenting my work to agents. My excuse /reason for giving up and self-publishing is that I wanted to publish in the 100th anniversary year of the events told in my book. These took place in 1919.

My experience to date is similar to Keith Short's. Nearly 200 sales, a dozen excellent reviews. But sales are hardly one per day now. So this is a common problem.

Why can't I see the tail end of some of your comments?

Hi. Does anyone have any experience and tips they would be willing to share on the best way to approach Book Bloggers to review your book? They must be inundated with requests. How do you get yours to stand out? 

My feelings and experiences to date are similar to many of those in this group. My self-published debut novel started OK on Amazon and attracted a dozen positive comments, but the sales soon dried up and it sank to the bottom of the Amazon sea. The sequel is now with a dozen agents and a couple of small publishers and has so far attracted a few nice rejections (if there is such a thing), in some cases encouraging me to submit any future projects. I've also had a request from a new publisher (listed in the Writers' and Artists' Handbook) to send them the full MS. I've done that but subsequently discovered that they are a 'hybrid' publisher (somewhere between traditional and self). Does anyone have any experience/knowledge of hybrid publishers?

I know that self-publishing no longer bears the stigma of vanity publishing, but I still have a huge desire to be traditionally published if possible. I am warming to the idea of self-publishing if I can't get an agent/publisher and I fully accept that it will cost me, in terms of edits and what have you. And there, really, is my problem. Such an investment does need actually to be an investment. How will anyone discover that my product is well-produced and not self-indulgent dross? A side issue I have is that everything I have read about self-publishing indicates that the best way to succeed is to write a series. I plan to turn my rom-com into a series at some point but most of my WIPs are fairly gritty women's fiction.

You can add me in. Writing and publishing is hard work but if you grind away it can be done. I have an Amazon published book and it has a dozen excellent reviews both from the UK and abroad. The cash cost of publishing is practically zero. But sales are limping along and I am totally confused as to where to turn. Wherever one turns there is always someone, or some organisation willing to take a little bit more money from you to show you how to do it. So far such funds have not been well spent. For Indies it seems that mailing lists are the key. My mailing list is limited to friends and business colleagues. Selling a copy to each of these will not influence sales statistics very much. I am confused by Facebook/Instagram and Amazon's own advertising and marketing options and do not understand how to evaluate them. So now in desperation, I am exploring the option of agents. Anyone offer advice? Anyone else suffering the same problem?

Ditto to Elizabeth

I'm trying to go down the traditional publishing route first, but I know how very difficult it is to find a publisher for one's work, and I am interested in hearing more about how best to go about self-publishing and marketing books oneself. A number of people in a local group of which I'm a member have done this, but despite putting in a lot of effort, most still find it very hard to sell very many books. It will be interesting to discover how other people find the process and what tactics they employ to reach readers and sell their novels.