Review of my Indie Author Journey and THANKS



I had people try it on another forum. You are correct. I thought Amazon was smarter.

It explains why I get sales from other parts of the world on the U.S. Amazon site.


It also explains why many writers got no foreign sales last month.

I didn’t, and I usually get a scattered handful. I didn’t even have any freebies in November.

Draft2Digital does get the URLs right, when they put them in - as in when they compile the document into an epub. I don’t use their interface with Amazon. I go direct

I just went wide again in October, so I’m still not getting much in sales. Takes a VERY long time to pick up after you’ve been gone.


That’s definitely a cool approach to try but I would wait until your debut, see if you have decent sales and traction, and see if you can get a 3+ book deal for the series you are planning.

My second book is a sequel to the first and part of the same trilogy. This is one of the reasons I didn’t bother with querying: it is EXTREMELY rare for a debt author to get a multi-book or series deal. I’m not saying it never happens, but I don’t even see epic fantasies like mine on MSWL’s often–I doubt it would happen for me.

But past a successful debut you have a WAY better chance. I’d shop it around and see if anyone bites, and if not: no worries, go indie. I’m heard horror stories of publishers botching debuts–I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen to you but if it does, do NOT let that be the end of your journey. My personal opinion is this:

It’s best of all to be successfully published and widely promoted by a large or successful indie publisher, with a thoughtful and supportive agent and editing team.

It’s next best to be a successful indie author with your own network of “pros” and betas who help you release polished books.

The worst: a publisher who selects then neglects your book, or a mad-rush to self-publish before your work is truly ready. If this happens you have to brush yourself off and try again; every failure contributes to learning how to succeed.


I think she’s right. 9More than 90% of my sales are domestic so I think it’s okay…there’s also a way to generate a third party link that goes to the right local page so you could link to your Author website and then use smart localized Affiliate links that auto-redirect to the right Amazon page. I’m still figuring out website stuff and haven’t even started to use Affiliate links but I’m pretty sure that would work.


Yes, I am only on Amazon. I am trying to master Facebook and Instagram ads so I am not beholden to the Amazon marketing machine, and can therefore “go wide” and profit. Without a good marketing strategy I think I would flop on other platforms, but I might try a BookBub + switch to wide before my third book is released to see if I can make it work, and also for a shot at being shelved in B&N (it’s a long shot but I won’t know if I don’t try!).


I have more sales on than any other Amazon market, but that might be because that’s the link I provide. But I have a large percentage of sales from the U.K. and quite a bit from Canada and Australia. I get much smaller percentages from DE (Germany) and IN (India).

The webmaster on the forum I asked people to test it sent me a private message. When he followed my link to that’s where it went (he’s from Canada). But when he logged into Amazon, it redirected him to CA (Amazon in Canada). However, it didn’t go directly to the novel. It seems it did a search because he said my novel came up third.

So when you’re logged in, Amazon knows where you live and takes the appropriate action. But if you’re not logged in, it simply goes to the URL you entered.

I’d love to know how to “generate a third party link that goes to the right local page.” Linking to my author’s page won’t work because I think it’s only on and not the other markets. It’s important to me because my domestic sales are much less than 90%.


Okay a sequel, then. Thanks I suspected that. Under the term of my contract, the publisher has first dibs on anything related to the world. Of course, they want to make sure the thing doesn’t tank before they invest more. I need to see if I can get them to bite or give me a refusal so I canget it out myself. I will definitely polish everything in that series (three novels and a novelette so far) as far as I can get it so I can pounce. I don’t think they will botch the debut, I won’t let them. Also, they are incredibly thorough (which is why it takes such a long time) and I will certainly run a full marketing campaign myself. I’m also planning to release the freebie novelette that gives a bit of backstory. Again, I’ll see if the want it and otherwise spruce it up and launch it.
Thanks for the kind words, that’s lovely. I’m pretty determined, but yes it would be nice if for my debut novel things didn’t go pear-shaped LOL


Good luck with your debut! Also definitely join Twitter, the #writingcommunity is very supportive of debut authors.


I’m already on Twitter, it’s great. That’s how I found my publisher. Do you have the same nick on there?


thank you for sharing this, and well done! :partying_face:


Fantastic, congratulations on all your success! Whatever help we provided here, fundamentally you wrote a book that resonated with readers because you wouldn’t have achieved what you have without doing that first. Very honored to be considered one of the posters here who helped you along, though.

Also agree on paying for quality cover art. Actually, I’ve come to believe that cover typography is nearly as important as cover art. I’ve started retaining a specialist just for the typography and cover layout because I think it gives books that extra edge that makes them just as visually appealing as trad books.


Thanks! That means a lot coming from you. Your success with Crimson Queen was so motivating, and also your prose is better than mine so I spend a ridiculous amount of time wishing I were Alec Hutson. (-:

I did end up hiring a graphic artist for the book layout and typography, which was an unexpected expense because I was like “I can add text in Photoshop!” Nope. I hired Daniel Comerci, also credited with my Soul of a Sith cover here on Wattpad which I used with permission and the working cover of Age of Asango, which was commissioned–I recommend him to anyone reading this wanting to work with a professional on a limited budget OR who wants original CGI-like art, his work is great.

I think together it turned out well, but I would like to know what typography specialist you retained for this if you don’t mind sharing. I am trying to do a limited edition dust jacket, mostly just for promotional purposes, but I need an experience book layout person who knows how to make a file for such a printing purpose.


No I’m @AuthorMattRussell on Twitter


Of course. I used Shawn King, who previously worked for Ragnarok books. Here’s his website -

His work is expensive, and he’s also quite busy. He recently raised his prices from 300 to 500 per cover (this includes print, ebook, and audio) because of the demand for his services. But a very nice guy, and he does terrific work.

You can see here on my first two books that his work has given it a nice, unique feel and branding that I think compares favorably with what the big presses put out.


Very inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing! I’m a teacher too and hoping to leave to make more time for my health and family.


It does not find you?


hi, can i just ask if posting your work on wattpad or other sites has affected you in a bad way?

i have my novel on several sites and there are two sites that have pirated my work.

i got one of them to stop posting new chapters of my novel, but the other site has copied the entire novel aside from the epilogue and there is no way to email them or contact them cus they have no email…

also, congrats and i hope that i will achieve similar success like you


This is a great story, and just shows that with enough work, self-publishing looks very rewarding. I will strongly consider it myself once I have multiple series completed.


Thank you for the write up! Hope you have a lot of success!