• How Did This Happen?

    Posted on April 23, 2012 by in Publishing

    I’ve tried to be very honest as I’ve navigated the whole indie publishing thing.  I will be the first to confess, I don’t really know what I’m doing.  I’ve tried to rectify that as best I can by reading various blogs and posts, and seeing what popular authors in my genre are doing.  But sometimes, despite my best efforts, things have gone wrong.

    I freely admit I asked people who had read Redemption prior to its publication on Amazon to contribute reviews on the site.  I only reached out to people I knew for sure had read it–no distant relatives willing to put in a good word, simply because I was family–readers who had told me privately they’d enjoyed the story.  I’d figured why not tell other people the same thing.

    I found out belatedly that’s frowned upon and was accused of writing the reviews myself.  I didn’t, but the accusation still stung.

    I opted to go with KDP Select because I couldn’t judge how willing people would be to buy a self-published book by a no-name author.  I thought maybe I’d stand a better chance of people reading the book if they could borrow it rather than buy it.  I thought, in the end, word of mouth might be my friend and result in sales later on down the road.

    But then I found out there are a lot people who aren’t exactly what you’d call pro-Amazon.  They fear the company’s reach and power, and worry about a monopoly in the e-publishing space.  A valid fear, I suppose.  Yet at present, I have to say I’m really happy with the KDP platform, its ease of use, and the royalty arrangement they have.  I understand, however, that if Amazon corners the market there’s no incentive for them to continue being generous to authors.

    I’ve made other mistakes too–errors in formatting I would have sworn weren’t there; buying a Word Press theme I didn’t like as well as this one, which I got for free; choosing the wrong sites to solicit reviews from; not being as active on Facebook/Twitter/Good Reads/this blog as I probably should be.  The list goes on and on.

    And yet today, somehow…Redemption hit #1 in three genre categories:  Gay Fiction, Gay & Lesbian Fiction, Gay Romance.  It;s occupied that spot nearly all day and currently sits at #667 overall in the Kindle Store.

    If you could have heard my mumbled, “Oh, my God…” when I first saw the listing this morning, you would perhaps realize how surprised and pleased I was/am.

    I’d love to take credit for this, but I think the person who’s most responsible is Wave at Reviewsbyjessewave.com.  I don’t know how I got so lucky, but he/she (I’m not really sure…) was willing to review my book.  Despite not really being a fan of slavery fic and being leery of indie publishing in general, he/she (I feel terrible that I don’t know Wave’s gender) took a chance and wrote a beyond kind review of Redemption.  On top of that, he/she was patient with me and far nicer than he/she needed to be when I messed up.  I can’t express how grateful I am.  That support doubled my sales this week.  I can’t prove the correlation, but I know it’s so.

    So thank you to everyone who has purchased, read, reviewed, rated and told their friends about Redemption.  I really hope you enjoyed the book.  Please know you’ve absolutely, positively made my week.




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