Friday, 8 August 2014

Self publishing & me - an honest account

When I started this blog I wanted it to be an honest account of self publishing & I hoped any newbies who stumbled across it may find it helpful.

However as time has gone along I've not revealed my true feelings as I didn't want to appear unprofessional or moany but feel this therefore is not doing what I originally set out to do.   

In truth self publishing is creative, hard work, rewarding & a little lonely. Sales are slow & hard to come by. In the last 90 days I've sold 4 copies of The Awakening & 57 free copies of Origins were downloaded in my summer promo. I hope the free downloads might lead to some future sales but worry they may simply end up unread on kindles around the globe.
I'm not very good at blowing my own trumpet & in the early days received a bad review in America which seriously dented my confidence.

Here's the review -1 star

Most of you know by now that I am what I lovingly refer to as a "book masochist"; meaning that I will read pretty much anything I start all the way through, no matter how hard it is to get through, just so I can write a review on the entire book.
Unfortunately, despite the interesting synopsis and the cover of this book, this has earned the title of "First Book I Could Not Read". In fact, I made it a whopping 18% into it before I was forced to move on. Normally, I would wait a few days and try again, or just forgo the review entirely, but I feel in just that 18% I can write an honest enough review. After all, what I write may still appeal to readers of a certain taste. To me, this book reads as either a bad role-playing narrative, or as something that was written by a very inexperienced (and young) writer. I could not get into this story at all. I didn't care about the characters, what their secrets were, or how their story would end. Perhaps after reading for as many years as I have, I have become a bit of a book snob (I would like to hope this is not the case), but I need more to a story than this drabble.

Its a little upsetting my hard work is reduced to the term drabble & only 18% was read but I've learnt to brush it off.  You need a thick skin & a strong belief in your own product.
I love my book but have had periods of self doubt.
I've been working on the sequel & am really happy with it. I've included a lot more dialogue as this was feedback I received & love the ending.
Along the way I think you can get bogged down by KDP, Twitter, Facebook and updating your blog & forget how much you enjoy writing. Some people advise you need a strong presence online & others say don't post too often and annoy people. Its a minefield!!!
I've actually really enjoyed the blog side of things although I don't think mine is read much. This however doesn't bother me. I love my little blog.

Anyway back to self publishing I think I've forgotten a little of why I first self published. It was simply to share my story which consumed my thoughts & the sense of achievement. Obviously I wish it was being downloaded in larger quantities but the fact its out there & has some good reviews is amazing & I strongly believe the sequel is better.

I've decided to take a little step back. Not worry about stats, reviews, kindle countdown (which doesn't seem to work for me) & wait for my beta readers to come back to me & then polish book 2. Although my laptop is currently poorly & in the shop argh!!! Fingers crossed they can mend it otherwise book 2 will be delayed & I'm currently in the editing zone.

When book 2 is ready I've decided I'll do a proper one day book blitz launch & then fingers crossed it does well. If not I love it & am proud of it & that is the most important thing. After book 2 I feel I will have achieved what I set out to do.

I do have another teen book idea & have wrote 30000 words but am unsure if the present format works. I'd also love to write a holiday chick lit one day and have the beginnings of a book at 10000 words although that may never get finished or may end up for my eyes only. I enjoy writing & think I need to remember that & not the pressure I have put on myself. The pure beauty of self publishing is you are your own boss. No deadlines, timescales or limits. You decide & I think I needed to remind myself of that.
Sorry for the long post but hope someone out there will find it useful or interesting & if not I simply feel better for doing it.


Emma xxx


  1. Great advice. I'm an aspiring writer - though I'm not ready to put my stories out there just yet. I need my skin to grow a little bit thicker before I do that.

    I appreciate you taking the time to write this post - and I completely agree that you need to remember that you are writing for YOU because you ENJOY it. I get the greatest pleasure from putting pen to paper and losing myself in a world of my own imagination.

    You've published your first book by yourself, that is something to be immensely proud of! Congratulations!

  2. Thank you so much Poppy. I really appreciate your comment. Good luck with your writing & enjoy the journey whether you eventually self publish or go down the conventional route.

  3. I really love this post! I'm currently self publishing also and even though my first book hasn't come out yet, I can tell it's really difficult to get self published books noticed.
    I have periods of self doubt also, probably more then I would like to admit and I haven't even published yet. I don't think you should let one review get you down, not everyone's going to like your book. As long as you enjoy your story and have the passion to write it, don't listen to the bad comments. By the way I wrote this twice because my computer crapped out on me the first time so I'm sorry if for some reason I post twice

  4. Thanks for commenting Dylann and good luck with your first book. When you launch I'd be happy to do a promo post for you. I don't take much notice of reviews now but the review I mention in my post was about 7-8 months ago & it did upset me but onwards & upwards. In the last couple of months I've had some nice comments which is lovely.

  5. Hello Emma,
    Great post! Your post shows how important it is to believe in yourself. Thanks for sharing. Congrats on your first book!!

  6. Thank you Jccee for your comment. Glad you enjoyed the post.