Paperless Back Writer
If you read my last blog about self-publishing, you may have thought it all sounded quite difficult. The initial capital outlay required to print the paperbacks can be substantial and there is no guarantee of recouping the money through sales. ISBN’s and sourcing a printer can be a headache, so what if you could get your book “out there” with minimum cost and effort?
I’ve never really embraced the concept of the digital book. There had been many success stories but like anything, not everyone can become a bestseller. Amazon make a shed load of cash from the hundreds of thousands of people who sell a handful of copies. Aside from this, I’m not keen on the idea of reading a novel from a rigid slab.
However, curiosity got the better of me. All I needed was an Amazon account. I signed up for free and once I’d read the publishing guidelines it didn’t take long to format the book and insert the page breaks into my Word document. It was then just a case of uploading the file and waiting for it to become available.
I chose to experiment with my latest novel, Digging Deeper. Having already released it as a paperback, I was curious to find out if making it available on Kindle would add anything? It wasn’t going to cost me, so I decided to sell each copy for just a £1 (even with Amazon clearly wanting a cut of the profits).
And so there it was … on Amazon … available, ranked as #300,000 and not 1 copy sold. I made a cup of coffee and thought I’d tell the world, through Facebook and Twitter that Digging Deeper was available for £1. I went to bed.
To my amazement, I woke up the following morning to discover that it had moved up to #85,776. I needed to tell the world. I tweeted some more, Facebooked friends. Two hours later it had reached a sales ranking of #17,546. There were re-tweets, friends told their friends, momentum gathered. By the end of the following day, Digging Deeper had reached #87 of all books available in the horror/thriller genre on Kindle, outselling the likes of Stephen King and John Grisham.
Now, this may have lasted for a matter of hours but without really trying very hard I had broken the top #100. However brief, it had become an instant success and the secret would have been to keep the momentum going.
It was an experiment, maybe something to consider with the new book, but it had given me an insight in the possibilities. If I was prepared to put more time into the marketing, maybe build up a snowball effect with more and more retweets on Twitter, then who knew where it would lead.
So if you’re looking to self-publish but not sure where you start, releasing a Kindle edition might be the way forward. After all, it costs you nothing to dip your toe into the publishing pool, and you might be surprised with the results.