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Self-Publishing Support Thread

(295 Posts)
APodPerson Fri 06-Jun-14 17:24:07

Hi all,

Following a number of other threads suggesting this, I thought I’d set up a support thread for us self-publishers (although traditionally published are welcome too of course).

The purpose would be for us all to support each other, share our books, tips and tricks that have worked, and anything else self-publishing related.

MNHQ have given us the go ahead, although of course we need to make sure we behave ourselves, and if it ends up being nothing but spam it'll get pulled.

So, Rule 1: No spam!

I suggest one post introducing yourself with a link to your books, and goodreads profile, twitter, fb page, website etc, but then no further links or any kind of self promo unless it is directly related to a question from another poster.

APodPerson Fri 06-Jun-14 17:41:46

I'll go first smile

I write urban fantasy (although not PNR). I've been published for just two months (woohoo!) and it's been incredible so far.

My info: My book - The Secret Dead
Facebook Author Page
Goodreads Author Page
My website

Best advice I can think of so far:
1. You can do almost everything for free. The exceptions are cover art and a good editor. Those cannot be skimped on.
2. Do a Librarything giveaway (it's resulted in 3 Amazon reviews, 4 on Librarything, and 4 on Goodreads)
3. Make sure you use proper Amazon keywords in your categories. Not all of them are actually recognised. Keywords here.

^Biggest tip^: There are a lot of sharks in the self-publishing waters at the moment - offering anything from 'publishing packages' to editing, that do nothing but take your money. If in doubt about a service, take a look at the Writer Beware website.

APodPerson Fri 06-Jun-14 17:44:00

Argh, pressed post instead of preview. Apologies for the funny links and extra ^. Doesn't say much for my self-editing skills, does it hmm

InMySpareTime Sat 07-Jun-14 08:03:37

Place marking so I can get to this thread from the app.

TunipTheUnconquerable Sat 07-Jun-14 10:01:35

Marking my place for now but I will probably come and join you properly in a while - my agent has sadly been unable to sell my book (though it got to the final hurdle with one big publishing house) so we're thinking about doing it as an e-book.

TunipTheUnconquerable Sat 07-Jun-14 10:04:31

Love your cover, PodPerson.
As a reader I totally agree about the importance of cover design....
How much did it cost?

ImperialBlether Sat 07-Jun-14 10:34:21

Hi OP, just looked at your book and it says you have one customer review, but there are ten reviews there. Do you know what's happened there?

ImperialBlether Sat 07-Jun-14 10:35:30

Yes, I like the cover, too. It's not the sort of book I read but it sounds as though it would be popular.

ImperialBlether Sat 07-Jun-14 10:37:55

This is my book.

I put it on Amazon in mid April at 99p. When I put it up to £1.83 it sold many more copies and of course the royalties are so much better, too. I've sold about 350 copies so far.

I did the cover myself using the Kindle template and a copyright free image.

ImperialBlether Sat 07-Jun-14 10:38:46

That's a shame, Tunip. If you publish on Kindle would you still have a working relationship with your agent or would you go it alone?

TunipTheUnconquerable Sat 07-Jun-14 11:27:08

There's a service called White Glove where you do it through your agent and they get their normal 15% and Amazon gives a bit of extra promotion in return for exclusivity. I need to find out exactly what my agent would do for that 15%, given that I'm perfectly capable of doing the basics of uploading and arranging design and editing myself, but there is someone in the agency who has it as a particular responsibility, so I suspect he'd be rather good at it and will have useful contacts.
I haven't yet made up my mind completely but I'm warming to the idea. I like the idea of doing it as part of a team, rather than off my own bat, and the sense that we're working together to build my career. (I also find it very heartening that the agency is on the ball with the epublishing thing since it seems to be the way the wind is blowing.)

Re Pod's Amazon reviews, I think she has one at but they also show you the ones from, where there are more.

Re selling more books at a higher price, I remember MmeGuillotine saying her sales went up when it was priced higher, as well.

APodPerson Sun 08-Jun-14 06:15:59

That's interesting regarding the pricing. I put it at $0.99 because I've got the next in the series due out in the next few months, and was focused on getting readers rather than making money. Hmm, maybe it would be worth putting it up then.

Yes, my reviews are mostly on Amazon US. Most of my sales have come from there too.

My cover was from here:
I can't remember offhand exactly how much it was - around $70? It was premade.
If anyone is looking for covers though, there's a great site here. I've dealt with them before, and the man who runs it is lovely.
I'm going to be changing mine in the next few weeks - I do like it - but I wanted to go for something a bit more genre specific.

TunipTheUnconquerable Sun 08-Jun-14 14:40:03

Definitely worth reading more about pricing, I think.
Having said that some people say pricing it too low sends out the wrong message (because people think it must be crap if you're only charging 77p for it) I read something yesterday ( can't remember where, sorry) saying that when you have a series you should price the first in the series low to suck them in then charge full price for the second. The article also talked about bundling, so you save if you buy both together. I don't yet know what the mechanism would be for that on Amazon, though.

ImperialBlether Sun 08-Jun-14 14:53:47

I read that too, Tunip - must have been reading the same article!

I don't think you can do bundling on Amazon, can you?

SirRaymondClench Sun 08-Jun-14 14:59:07

Marking my place. This is a great thread!

APodPerson Sun 08-Jun-14 16:50:22

I don't know if anyone's seen this from Mark Coker at Smashwords with regards the pricing thing.
I saw him give a lecture at Kingston Uni recently. He comes across as a really nice guy, and enthusiastic about books.

APodPerson Sun 08-Jun-14 16:55:09

I don't think you can do bundling so you get multiple files on your kindle on Amazon the way you would on other sites, but I read a thread recently (can't remember where) about how authors can do 'boxsets'. The impression I was left with is that the only way is to upload a single document with all books, but have your links in front, so effectively it's only one file.

ImperialBlether Sun 08-Jun-14 18:58:01

Has anyone put an age rating on their Kindle novels? I haven't but wonder whether I should.

InMySpareTime Sun 08-Jun-14 19:24:53

I haven't yet, I have linked books as a series though. Age rating is not that relevant to my Fairytale book, I might put one on the YA novella though.

InMySpareTime Tue 10-Jun-14 14:33:22

The app kept logging off when I attempted to post links, so here goes:
I'm a professional children's storyteller and author, though I also format ebooks and write copy for 11+ exams when book sales are slow. I have self published an ebook, and teamed up with a local publisher for my latest two titles (one awaiting a cover) which have both ebook and paperback versions.
Short Story Lady (my website)
I have two titles out currently: "The Strangeling's Tale", and "Drabble Folk and Fairy Tales". Here they are on Amazon and Smashwords.
I'm due to publish "Memoirs of a Madcap Cyclist" as soon as I can agree a cover design with my publisher and my illustrator.
I'd second the advice about doing most of it for free, but not skimping on illustrations/cover art and editing/proofreading. It's a steep learning curve at first, but once you've got the hang of it, it's all fairly easy to work with.
I wrote a short free pdf guide to formatting ebooks here which I hope you'll find useful.

APodPerson Wed 11-Jun-14 13:38:06

InMySpareTime I'd never heard of a drabble in that context before. I may have a new favourite word smile
Do you also have print books? It seems the sort of thing that would lend itself to print very well.

InMySpareTime Wed 11-Jun-14 13:50:41

The Drabble diaries are in paperback, I will print the Strangeling once I've written the other two in the series.

TunipTheUnconquerable Wed 11-Jun-14 13:54:47

Imperial, have you thought of making yourself a Goodreads page?
I don't use it myself but I'm going to have to learn because apparently teens get their book recommendations from there more than they do Amazon. I think it could get you a few more readers.

TunipTheUnconquerable Wed 11-Jun-14 13:57:22

....and as if by magic the very next page I went to after here had someone saying 'I get almost all my book recommendations from Goodreads'!

Abra1d Wed 11-Jun-14 14:08:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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