365 days in self publishing and what I’ve learned so far

The 20th of July 2012 was for me a small anniversary. One year ago with a cry ‘lets see what happens when you do this’ I published my science fiction novel The Nameless War on Amazon for the Kindle. So 365 days on where am I?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nameless-War-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B005DTO04K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328569613&sr=8-1

To date 5484 copies have been downloaded. Of these 2057 went through Amazon.com, 3420 through Amazon.UK with the remaining 6 via the European Amazon sites, finally in the past week the paperback version has begun to go live (one copy sold so far).  It’s been a fun ride and I would like to pass long my top three tips to any others who are considering taking the self publishing plunge.

1) Professional editing is a requirement not an option.  One of the huge advantages of the kindle self publishing is the capacity to reach the world without heavy upfront expenditure. It’s tempting to go solo or rely on the assistance of friends and family. It is also a mistake. Without doubt those last two are important but they should be viewed as a supplement to rather that replacement to professional help. Now when I say Editing what I mean is copy editing – error finding in short. Content editing is something different and for the first timer, I’m not entirely convinced of its usefulness. So make sure your editor knows they are there to find errors and what medium the resulting work is going to be published on. On the whole finding a good editor is a hassle and expensive but believe me, it is a necessary one.

2) Reviews are important but take them calmly. If you look around the net it isn’t hard to find writers who have managed to make a holy show of themselves by taking reviews badly. Yes there are Trolls in them thar hills but here are also people who honestly and without malice just won’t like your work. Accept it and move on or – as I have occasionally done – shout abuse at your computer screen until you feel better.

3) Niches are your friend, sub niches are close friends.Small niches aren’t to be feared, far from it. It is a lot easier to make a big splash in a small pond and the tighter the niche the smaller that pond is. I have in the past year noticed that while Amazon.UK has Military Science Fiction and Space Opera, Amazon.COM only has the latter. Which means on Amazon.COM my book is sharing digital shelf space with big names like STAR WARS. Which frankly is not to my advantage but for the time being there is nothing I can do about it.

 

 

Well I think that is enough from behind the curtain, my next post will be the start of a series on Ships of the Fleet.

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