Making Progress on my Self-Publishing Adventure

The dreams are never like this. In the dreams, I don’t have to work hard to sell even a few copies of my novel. Everyone reads a tweet, follows the link and reads the marketing blurb, checks out the sample, likes it enough to buy the rest of the book, and enjoys it so much, they write a five-star review. Within months, I’m out of debt and being talked about in e-publishing circles as the next Joe Konrath.

Reality is a little different. In reality, I bust my ass sending three to four tweets a day on the book and several more on the blog, try to update my Facebook daily, put free loss-leader stories out on Goodreads, Smashwords, and my website, and post solicitations to my friends.

And I get a few sales.

If you’re dreaming about being a self-published author, this is the big, romantic story you’re probably in for. Work hard, scratch out a few sales. Work some more.

Fortunately, I haven’t had any illusions shattered. I knew full well this was the most likely scenario. Oh, I dreamed about being an overnight sensation, but I figured I was going to have to scrape and claw to earn one to two sales at a time.

And let’s face it, Konrath is making a truckload of money e-publishing, because he spent years busting his hump selling his print books. He used book tours, the internet, and sheer willpower to slowly build a following. He has an enormous platform. I’ve been at this since October.

But if I’m not an Amazon bestseller yet, I am making progress towards 2012 being The Year of Phythyon’s Rise as an Author. Last week, I got a four-star review for State of Grace on barnesandnoble.com. The reader didn’t leave any notes to help sell the book, but he or she did rate it four stars out of five.

Today, I landed a second four-star review at the Have You Heard Book Review blog, and she was kind enough to cross-post her review to Amazon and Goodreads. And the Kindle Book Review blog has agreed to review it as well. So I’m making progress on getting it read and reviewed, which is absolutely key in the Brave New World of electronic book publishing and buying.

In the meantime, I’ve been working this week on getting State of Grace formatted for print-on-demand publishing through CreateSpace. I am hoping to get it sent off to press by the end of the week, so that the book will soon be in print for those who prefer hard copies.

My short story, “The Coronation of King Charles III,” has made it through the final stages of editing. The cover should be completed by the end of the weekend, so, with any luck, it will be available for sale next week.

And I continue to write away at the next installment in the Wolf Dasher series, Red Dragon Five. I just finished Chapter 17 today and figure I’m somewhere between 40% and 50% done.

STATE OF GRACE -- Earning four-star reviews and on sale for 99 cents!

When I set out on this journey to become a self-published author in October, I viewed it as an adventure. It is still is. I see no reason to be discouraged that I am not melting Amazon.com’s servers with explosive sales of my debut novel. I knew this was going to be a long path and that it would take time to build a following.

The beautiful thing about e-publishing is nothing ever has to go out of print. The more products I publish, the more likely it is someone will find something they want to buy. And the only thing that will ever stop them from buying and reading more is having read everything I’ve ever published. I’ve got time to make this happen.

Of course, it would still be nice to be one of those overnight sensations you read about in the newspaper (online version, of course!). So if you’d like to make that happen, State of Grace is on sale for 99 cents right now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. After you’ve read it, write a four- or five-star review and tell all your friends to buy it. After all, I’m working hard, but I can always use some help.

This adventure remains fun and fulfilling, but it would be more fun if reality was a little closer to the dream. 😉

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