It was 2010 when I first learned about self-publishing through KDP and CreateSpace. I was writing and I had stories to tell – most incomplete. The truth is that I hadn’t actually wrapped my brain around the way the whole process works. I have huge regrets about that now. If I had published then, I would have been one of the pioneers and developed a niche before the market was swamped with everyone who ever wanted to write a book – and let’s be honest; that is virtually everyone you’ve ever known. Right? When you finally get up the courage to tell someone in your life that you are writing on the side, and its followed by the obligatory questions; perhaps raised eyebrows, and interest in what you are actually writing it will many times come with the statement, “I’ve always thought about doing that myself.”
I will be honest. I thought that after I pushed ‘Publish’ I would get some quick results. I have a problem with my Cover Art. I may have a problem with my writing, but I won’t know that for sure until I have the cover issue fixed. The results have been less than stunning. When I listen to so many virtual over-night success stories through the KDP Select Author Feature I start to wonder what I’m trying to do and who do I think I am? Frequently, driving to work at 5:30 A.M. I will say to myself, “Don’t quit your day job.”
Most of the time I tell myself to believe that it can work and to keep writing because of how much I enjoy it.
I’m still sorry that I did not get on the front end of this back in 2010. Maybe you are new to self-publishing as well and wondering why what you have written is not selling as much as you would like it to sell. It seems that many of our Indie Writer friends who are successful found a niche and a reader-following, mostly through readers discovering them, reading their work, and then posting a good review. A couple dozen of those five star reviews and you will see some dramatic improvement in your position on Amazon. (I’m not there yet.) (I’m not even close to being there yet.)
I think another reason for some of the success stories, other than great writing, is that they found a niche – a little one-off market- that turned into a trend. Fifteen years ago you couldn’t imagine that people would get all caught up in the stories that revolved around vampires and werewolves. Right story, right time. Finding something that burns bright with the young adult audience seems to help.
Another week, another Sunday and I am going to receive my first KDP royalties this week. It will not be enough to buy a tank of gas for the car, but it is a start. I won’t stop believing that I can do this and it is worth my time, even though the truth of the matter is that even if I only sold ten books a year, (alright that would be depressing) – I would still write because I don’t know any other way to express myself.