Publish Yourself This Year

Hello, starting this thread to meet new people who are interested in self-publishing. I’ll be working on a short story compilation here on Wattpad, then going through KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) services to self-pub later this year. Anyone interested in posting their own journey/updates in the self-pub process. Questions and tips are highly encouraged, especially from those who’ve gone through the steps to self-pub on Amazon already.

I look forward to meeting you! Keep up the writing.

oof. i self-pubbed on amazon once and i highly recommend not to

Hello there! You did? Can you tell me what your experience was like?

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there was… really nothing to experience ? like yeah, a few randos got my poetry book, but it just felt dumb

i highly recommend just getting traditionally published. agents know the market, know the works and stuff

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I see. Yeah, I feel like without me going out of my way to market myself (which I’m bad at, and don’t have all the twitters) then it’ll just kinda sit there and grow cold. Hmmm. I suppose you’re right. I still might learn the ropes of KDP, and others, because it might be valuable to know even if I decide not to do it. Thanks for your perspective. Helped a lot!

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i mean, let’s say you self-publish on KDP. like you do you, right ?

here’s the problem: if you do, trad publishers don’t want to publish work that’s already been published by another party, even if it was just yourself. which means you’re nullifying your chances of getting traditionally published, too

Yeah, I suppose it comes down to profits and whether you can market yourself appropriately. You might get more exposure doing traditional pub but the self-pubs nab 70% profit on all sales. Which even at 2.99 might still be more than a traditional sale would get you. I don’t know the specifics but that’s a reason I considered it at least.

it’s not only the exposure, but the knowledge of the industry. a traditional sale isn’t by per book; it’s by thousands of books.

if a traditional publisher doesn’t publish someone’s book, it’s not because they don’t like it. it’s because there’s no marketability for it. you just won’t get sales

Interesting. I wonder, is it like the game industry? The only example I can think of is how Gamestop bought $1 billion dollars worth of call of duty games in order to have them in stock on day 1 for consumers. So technically COD “sold” 1 billion worth of copies on day 1 but that doesn’t mean all of those games were purchased by people on day 1. Does Barnes n Noble do the same thing? Not sure if that is related.

I’ve been on Amazon for four years now. What I learned is:

  1. Self-publishing is a business, not a hobby, and takes a lot of time, effort and investment to work.
  2. You’ll need a lot of books, like 6 or more, or even better, a series, for you to get any traction. It’s all about the read through now. Because…
  3. It’s a pay-to-play game now. You have to market and promote and run Amazon and Facebook (plus a bunch of others) ads like crazy. It takes money to make money.
  4. It’s totally possible to make money selling books on Amazon. Lots of people do it. I’ve interacted with quite a few of them.

To start, I suggest this book by Chris Fox:
Six Figure Author: Using Data to Sell Books: Write Faster, Write Smarter
All of his books are awesome. Read them.

Mostly, however, if you’re serious, I very highly recommend Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Formula 101 course. Google him and the course and do some research. Mark is the King of self-publishing on Amazon (I think he topped $1M earned in 2019). I am not affiliated with this course other than I was a student for two years.

Peace.

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Thank you for sharing! That’s a lot of good info. I’ll look into Chris Fox and Mark Dawson. And yes, I can definitely seeing it being a numbers game that takes a lot of effort. I’m definitely not postured to dive full force into it if that is the case. I appreciate the input!

What type of stories do you find to sell the best on Amazon? Do you have any that outperform the others?

I follow MD Massey on FB and I asked him what his strategy is. He gave me a list and #1 was: write books people want to read. Basically, that means write TO market (not write then market). You have to give readers what they want - and what they’re not already drowning in.

I direct you to another one of Chris Fox’s books: Write to Market: Deliver a Book that Sells (Write Faster, Write Smarter 3)

This book changed everything for me and brought me to realize that the reason (well one of them) that I wasn’t succeeding was because I wrote books I wanted to read, not what readers want to read. I avoided tropes like the plague, but painfully learned that tropes exist for a reason. You have to give readers what they want.

This is my next plan: write to market.

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That is some pretty deep advice.

@thestormfallen I think self-publishing is a great idea. I’m curious to hear writers’ experiences in self-publishing on Amazon.

I have a death wish to self pub 20 x paperbacks and about 100 x ebooks in some form by the time I bite the dust.

To date, I have 1 x paperback and 7 x ebooks live on Amazon, Kobo and Google Play.

I’m about to complete 1 x paper back re-release for May/June. Then going to finish off one book, posting as ebooks I go, and release it for paperback at the end.

My self publish schedule has me working on pumping put books to August next year. That’s not even scratching the surface of my series book plans.

Plus I’m about to finish off a paid (kind of) contract this month for a historical fiction LGBTQ story for another story sharing site.

Yeah. I’m definitely publishing myself this year :grin:

I’ve never gone through their dedicated program. I have no problems using Amazon as my printer and distributor. I only plan to use them for paperback. As I find I generate most of my ebook sales from Kobo and Play for my story types. My sales are tiny, but I have had sales. The cut I’ve received after withholding tax isn’t too shabby. I’m a non US peep, so I pay the extra tax.

The cons of self publishing is doing everything yourself. If you’re after sales as a focus for self publishing a story, then it’s best to get a basic understanding of Marketing, and especially digital marketing.

Self publishing needs to be treated as running a Sole Trader business. It’s best to adopt something of a business plan that will carry you through from concept, delivery and production stages for 3 years at least. Have some start-up capital and realistic view of profits or losses. I recommend doing some primary and secondary research into the book market for your genre.

Good luck!