Getting your work published is a long process. When traditional publishers do not accept your work, you’re left with little or no option. These days, self-publishing has given hopes to many. Not every self-published book is a success, but it depends on how you define success.
While there are numerous articles on this topic, I’ll write about my personal experience with self-publishing. I’m not going to discuss about royalties here.
In the first half of 2016, I decided to get my work published. I wanted to publish a book of poems. Since I wanted to give out only a part of what I write and not the whole, I decided on publishing a chapbook. In the first half of 2017, I was done organising the pieces I wrote years back and those written recently, edited them, made a manuscript, and finally reached the stage of publishing. It took me a long time to write and select pieces to publish! As I hadn’t told many people about it, I seemed to be impulsive. I had only let people know about a week before published.
There are many options for you to choose from. At the end of the article, I’ve provided useful links for you.
Kindle Direct Publishing can prove to be an amazing platform only if you know how to use it well. Kindle Select is a tricky option. It may and may not lead to good sales. If you opt for it, you will be enrolled for 90 days. So, choose carefully! Select can be great for you if you’re already an established author. There are promotions to choose from, but those will not run for all 90 days. Free book promotion is what I chose and it can only go on for 5 days. You can choose the dates. If you’re not a known author, think carefully before you join Select. With Select, you book becomes exclusively available on Amazon. You cannot have it on any other site. However, after 90 days you get the option to enroll again, unless you’d chosen automatic renewal.
Exclusivity is a big debate in the world of publishing. Personally, I think having a diverse platform helps you and your readers too.
KPD doesn’t let you keep your book perma-free. Perma-free is when you give your book away for free for as long as you want. With Amazon, you have to choose a minimum price to sell your book at.
Again, perma-free is another debate. It can work wonders for new authors! Think like this: why would anyone buy your book unless you’re well known? You need them to know that your book is amazing and for that, perma-free works well. Some people may hesitate to buy your book if they don’t know who you are. It’s a good strategy.
KDP places your book only on Amazon.
As soon as my Select enrollment ended, I went on to Draft2Digital.
Draft2Digital is another good medium for new authors. It distributes your book to various platform. However, it doesn’t distribute it to Amazon. You can keep your book perma-free on it. iBook, Barnes and Noble, etc. are some platforms where it distributes your book.
My observation was that giving my book away for free was doing me more good than setting a price on it. I’ve sold more books on Amazon for free than on any other platform.
I don’t define success by numbers. Hence, making money wasn’t my aim. For me, success is when people love what I write.
Blue Ashes hasn’t sold in millions, but whoever has read it has liked it, found inspiration from it, and given a good review of it. That is success to me.
Of course, everyone’s experience is different and nobody can be certain what works for them. It’s all about experimenting. So, if you’re looking for getting it all right, don’t lose hope. You never know what works for you.