I’m looking forward to joining the growing ranks of those established and respected authors who have also had the courage to sever ties with their publishers and go completely “indie”. We’ll all be bravehearts together in the publishing revolution!
I kept that resolution, of course, reclaiming and re-publishing my five books. And I went on to publish another seven. So now I have a dozen self-published books, comprising three biographies, three novels and six short story collections – all listed here on Amazon.
Two years down the line, it’s probably a good time to review what I’ve managed to achieve in the brave new world of self-publishing. How have I fared as an indie publisher? What does my report card look like?
Well, there’s the measurable stuff to begin with – the statistics. So far, almost 300 paperback copies of the books have been purchased, while worldwide paid Kindle downloads have exceeded 3,300. (The latter figure doesn’t include the many thousands of Kindle copies that have been downloaded for free during my frequent Free Book Promotion periods.) In total, therefore, there have been some 3,600 actual sales.
Then there are the book reviews. To date, my self-published books have accumulated 88 reviews on Amazon UK (of which 78 are 4- or 5-star) and a further 61 on Amazon US (of which 52 are 4- or 5-star). And on Goodreads they’ve just notched up their 100th rating, with an average rating of 4+ stars.
Now, because I have nothing to compare these figures against, I’m not sure what they signify. Is my self-publishing performance poor or average or even good? I don’t know.
What I do know for sure is that every one of those sales and every one of those favourable reviews produced a little burst of joy for me. And I do know that I really like this self-publishing lark. Everything I need to price, promote and keep track of my books is at my fingertips, only a click or two away. Everything is under my complete control. And when it comes time to publish the great Scottish novel (next year, hopefully), I won’t have to wait in someone else’s queue, fit in with their priorities, put up with their excuses and (yes, sadly) even listen to their lies.
In fact, I’m so confident about the self-publishing process that I’ve also been publishing books – a couple of dozen at the last count – on behalf of some of the regular contributors to the McStorytellers short story website. But that’s another topic altogether, which I’ll blog about in the New Year.
Meanwhile, in keeping with the whole self-help ethos, I’d like to have a go at self-marking my report card. Not a bestselling author by any means, I think it should say, but moderately successful. Hasn’t quite got the hang of how to market his books effectively. Overall, could do better.
Happy Hogmanay everyone!