Seven of my best and worst choices as a self published author.
Time has flown by!
I reached an important milestone in my writing career recently. It’s been 6 months since I published my first eBook! So in light of this auspicious occasion, I thought I’d look back at some of the best and worst choices I’ve made as a self-published author so far.
Best: Getting out there and publishing my work.
I still remember the first time someone purchased one of my Inspector Ambrose stories. It was amazing. Since then people have downloaded over 3,000 copies of my eBooks.
Worst: Spending too much time fretting over sales.
If I took all the time I spent fretting over sales and how I could improve things and actually spent that time writing, I think I would’ve got another story pumped out by now.
Best: Getting book covers professionally designed.
I went through Artcorgi.com (now Artforauthors.com) for my two Inspector Ambrose covers, and they helped to get interest flowing in my stories. Before then, I was relying on my own hack-job covers, which were average at best. A good cover makes a HUGE difference.
Worst: Waiting a long time to get an independent, informed critique of my work.
I was nervous about investing in a manuscript assessment, but I shouldn’t have been. It helped me in many ways, and will chart my path forward. I understand many authors may not have the funds to do this, and there are other places you can get critiqued for free, but I found that having a credible source reading my work was a massive asset, and worth every cent. Before I did this, I had nothing to measure my work against. Now I know key things I have to work on, which is helping me focus in the right areas.
Best: Paying for a decent website.
I took the plunge and invested in a web address early. but what really helped me was buying a package with WordPress that included all their premium themes – it was half price on Black Friday! I love the feel of the site now, and it gets a lot more traffic. My original site was too simple, and hard to navigate. If you’re not savvy with web design, I’d recommend getting a friend who is set you up with a teaching session. Something is better than nothing! Just avoid Comic Sans MS.
Worst: Leaving my second Inspector Ambrose story at $1.49.
When I dropped the price of The Vanishing Villa, I saw a massive (seriously, massive) lift in sales. I barely moved anything at $1.49, but at $.99 people are much more likely to give it a go. I wish I’d reduced the price earlier.
Best: Building my Twitter audience.
This part… took quite a while. But now I have an audience that engages with me regularly, and people actually click on the links and photos I put out there! I find social media quite easy to navigate, but if you’re a bit daunted by it, check out my post on what I did here.
Well, there we go! I hope you’ve found this enlightening. I’ll do a focus piece on getting a book set to perma-free on Amazon, which was also another great choice I made, but really needs it’s own article.
The bottom line is that I’ve loved my journey as an author so far, and I’d encourage anyone out there who’s thinking about self-publishing to give it a go.
You’ll love every milestone.