How to Make a Living as a Professional Self-Published Author


The feedback I got on short stories on wattpad was basically, “Loved it!” or “OMG!” Not the kind of feedback that will make you a better writer. But short stories aren’t very popular on wattpad and when I joined wattpad I was a short story writer.

My most popular short story on wattpad got requests for, “More, more, more,” so I expanded it to an 84K-word novel. But I didn’t put that novel on wattpad. It’s for sale. Doing that, I learned the, “More, more, more,” needed to be appended with, “Free, free, free.” LOL

So I moved from short stories to novels and stopped posting stories on wattpad. I’m here for this club.

As an aside, I used to write comic scripts. I think they’re closer to screenplays than novels. Of course there’s the plot, dialogue, and description (what the artist draws in each panel), but I also had to do camera angles and perspectives (although maybe the last two are what the director does and not the screenwriter — don’t know).


I agree with all of this.


I think the thing about this is what do you mean by “adult”. Like, most of the popular books on here are actually NA or even with an MC a bit older than that, not YA, so adults would be the intended audience. Teens read them, of course, but the INTENDED audience was adults, not teens.

Also some people still get lucky. I did no advertising at all and my book has done immensely well in the little over a year it’s been up! So, most people have to advertise, but there are still some stories of luck every once in a while.

Also, yeah, no serious critiques! I agree with that! I’ve been trying to improve my English by using this site, but I would in no way use it for anything more than seeing if I had an audience if I actually wanted any “feedback” from this site.

My writing HAS improved since I’ve been on here, but it’s also because my audience has made sure I actually finished my first novel and my English has definitely gotten better! :blush:

I can see how it can have minimal benefits to people who are already published and are writing in their native tongue or something like that that :blush:


man is this dead…:frowning:


Geez, we need Schuyler to drop in and get everyone stirred up . . .




I hope that’s a joke. As someone who has been bullied & trolled by him for 4 YEARS I certainly don’t want to see him back here again. I nearly left Wattpad a few months ago because of his targeted abuse at me.


sorry, just thought id be sarcastic with Alec I’ll delete that post now. :frowning:

would you mind if I PM you for a few moments?


I have learned a lot not because of him, but because of the dedication thet people like you, @AlecHutson, @MichaelJSullivan and many others put into correcting that misinformation.

Fortunately now, I’ve been here long enough and been helped enough to recognize when an individual is spouting nonsense, but it’s all thanks to people’s collective efforts. You have all made a great difference in people’s lives!


I’m glad to help in any way I can.


Interesting article, thanks.
I wrote a graphic novel many years ago, but have never found a way to self-publish it.
Maybe I need to give Lulu $1100. That’s my only lead so far.

Tried using Patreon, but wasn’t sure what to do there.


Lulu has no setup fees. I’ve published books with them before and it costs me just the price of printing. Are you talking about using their editorial service or something like that? Because any of the vanity presses are (a) really expensive (b) don’t hire the best people and © don’t give them enough time to do a good job. Any editing or design work should be done directly utilizing freelancers.


Thanks for the response. Good to know. So there’s a way to publish without spending that much.
There’s also a site I bookmarked long ago called Blurb.
I’ve been trying to use their tools and have yet to get the hang of it.
Curious which company/website people here have used to get a book to print.


Blurb, from what I recall, is for making ebooks that have a defined layout (where you can control margins and placement of pictures and what not. I “think” a “blurb” book can’t be read on all devices (but that may have changed over the years). Most people use a flat .html and Calibre to generate the .mobi and .epub. These don’t have sophisticated formatting and the while book is pretty much page after reflow paged.

As for getting a book into print. Usually they are formatted using InDesign, and output as .pdf files which are sent to lulu, Ingram Spark, or the print arm of KDP (formerly known as CreateSpace.


I thought that was a no-no for ebooks. That you should let the reader define everything for their device.

How would that differ from formatting in Word and saving it as a PDF?


It is. Which is why most people don’t use blurb.

Word isn’t a layout program, it’s a word processor. Yeah, you CAN fiddle with margins and stuff but it just doesn’t have the control that InDesign has (which IS a layout program). I know people who have used Word, but its (a) time consuming and (b) doesn’t have as fine of control over spacing and what not. Personally, it’d take me five times longer to do it in Word than InDesign, but I’ve used InDesign a lot.


KDP offer a template for publishing in both book and e-book format. So you just copy and past the Word doc into it and it formats it. I used it for mine and it was a doddle.


Good point. I still do it “old school” but that’s just because it’s what I’m used to. Things have progressed so there are probably other alternatives such as you mentioned.


Thank you for the article! Really opened my eyes to self-publishing.


Thanks for the response. Wow, that sounds technical. Wish I’d majored in graphic design.
Then again, programs keep changing.
I learned Flash & some Photoshop, but can’t even find InDesign after downloading it.

Managed to make the book in Blurb. Maybe I should try print & eBook.
Looked into Lulu’s creating tools, but they seemed a lot tougher.
Heard Amazon might be a good option- sometimes the mega-company is easier to work with, despite wanting to support the smaller company.