A Self-Publishing Journey – Part 4 After The End – Never Stop Dreaming

“Writing is not just a process of creation. It is also a process of self-discovery.”

Christina Istrati

I’m starting to discover writing a book is the easy part. It’s all the stuff that comes afterwards which is the hard part. In my last Self-Publishing post (part 3) I talked about marketing your indie book and how to have an online presence.

So six months down the track, I thought I’d check in with a post about where I’m at as an indie author right now. How is Island Redemption selling? The answer is, not as well as I’d hoped. I have made a little over $50 in royalties. (which amounts to around 30 copies of my eBook sold) Which I’m proud of in some ways and disappointed in others. On the other hand, I’ve had hundreds fo downloads of my free novella, Island Souls, which does go to show that the freebies are definitely in demand. I’ve also just published my second eBook title, Chasing Bullets on the 20th of December. It’ll be interesting to see how that one performs in comparison to my first.

Originally, I chose to sign up to KDP select for the first six months, (which means your book is locked exclusively into Amazon for that whole period) but all their promotional hype didn’t seem to work very well for me, so when my KDP select came due, I went wide and published across all platforms instead. I did this by publishing on Smashwords, who distribute to all other platforms (except Amazon). So now I’m on Kobo, Barnes and Nobel, and available in all libraries and bookstores across the world. Smashwords also publish to the iBooks platform, but I decided to go direct to iBooks and set up my own account, that way I can see exactly how the book’s performing with them.

I hear so many other authors say, once you’ve published, it’s about keeping up momentum. To stay front and centre in readers minds. One way to do that is to publish more books as often as you can. The only problem is I’m not a prolific writer, but I do have a few more manuscripts tucked into a drawer I can pull out and tidy up. So my aim is to publish a new full-length novel at least every six months. So far I’m on track, with my second novel just out and a third one waiting in the wings, just needing a bit more polishing before it too can go out into the world.

From my blog post Self-publishing part 3, there were a few things I suggested as a good way to get the word out there. Here’s an update on what I’ve found works so far.

Freebies: Give away free short stories as a way to draw more readers into your world. I wrote a novella (20k words) using characters from my first book, Island Redemption and put that out as a free book. It’s doing way better than my paid book, with hundreds of downloads so far. I’m not sure how this translates across to sales for Island Redemption though, perhaps it’s attracted up to ten sales so far!?

I’ve signed up to Instafreebie, and put Island Souls and another short story available on there. If you sign up to the Pro version of Instafreebie (which costs $20/month) then everyone who claims a copy of your free story will also sign up to your newsletter in exchange for a copy of your free story. This is a great way to start growing your email list and has led over a hundred new readers joining my email list, currently on MailChimp.


Promotions/Using other’s networks: I participated in a really fun giveaway for Christmas. Annie Seaton, well known author of such wonderful books as Kakadu Sunset and Daintree just to name a few, set up an author blog hop with 30 authors participating. We all put in $5 each and came up with a grand prize of $150. We all wrote a blog post and each of us posted on a separate day leading up to Christmas eve. It was a great way to meet new authors, gain a new audience and perhaps even a few new readers. Annie Seaton used RaffleCopter to do the giveaway (which seemed quite easy and straightforward) It was a real learning experience for me, and now I believe I could probably do something similar on my own in the future.

Annie’s offer came to me through my contacts at RWAus (Romance Writers of Australia) and I know I’ve said this before, but I can’t stress enough how important this organisation has been in helping me along my learning journey. The contacts, the friends, the critique partners, the positive influences, even a shoulder to cry on, to commiserate with me when something goes wrong. If you write anything with a romantic flavour to it, definitely join this organisation.

I’ve also started listening a few very enlightening podcasts. The Smashwords Smart Author Podcast is really informative and helps shed a whole new light on the tricks of the trade to self-publishing and marketing your book, as well as ending a few of those wrongly-held beliefs and myths about becoming an indie author.


The other one I love to listen to while I’m out walking the dog is Joanna Penn’s Creative Penn Podcast. Joanna is a bit of a guru when it comes to self-publishing and all things to do with becoming an indie author entrepreneur.


Check these out if you get the time. And good luck on your self-publishing journey, one of the most exasperating but rewarding experiences of your life. I’d love to hear any of your tricks or tips on how to be a better indie author, so leave me a comment if you like.

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