It's the 18th Day of Twisted, and unfortunately, Monday...the upside to this is that we have Artemis Hunt here, author of Snow White and the Alien (as well as many more titles), to brighten your morning! Enjoy!
I'm exactly 2 months into indie publishing, and it has been a heck of a rollercoaster ride. I didn't know what to expect. I guess I was naive. I was a traditionally published author before this, and sales tend to be very huge at launch, where you get maximal display on the HOT NEW RELEASES shelves, and bookstores give you front table space. So you make most of your sales in the first few months of your launch. I remember during one Xmas, I sold 100 books in one bookstore alone and climbed to the No. 2 of their bestseller charts.
Then after a while, your books get relegated to other shelves, and sales taper off. So it's all about frontage for traditionally published print books.
I indie published because I heard so much about it from Joe Konrath and Amanda Hocking. So I decided to try it. My first book that I indie published was SNOW WHITE AND THE ALIEN. I was avidly watching sales every day and being a nervous wreck about it. Finally, I couldn't bear putting all my eggs in one book, so I released 2 more novels and several short stories from my traditionally published backlist. All this happened within 2 months. I diversified in many genres - YA fantasy, romantic comedy, horror, erotica - just to see what would take off.
My sales look like this:
Aug (1 week): 14
Oct: 332 (as of time of writing, Oct 21st)
I soon discovered what took off quickly - erotica! I wrote several short stories under another pen name, and all within 6 hours each. I charged $2.99 for a 5500-word story, and they still sold! I diversified my platforms - I sold not only on Amazon and Smashwords, but All Romance Ebooks and Bookstrand. As a result, I made many sales on many sources.
My other books might take off later, or they mightn't take off at all. All I know is I didn't stop writing. I learned to do my own professional looking covers for several bucks each, using Dreamstime and Fotolia. As a result, I learned to keep production costs down. I never turned my back on traditional publishing either. I'm in the midst of submitting manuscripts to agents even now (since I parted ways with my old agent a long time ago). My longtime friend and beta-reader just got a $100K Big Six book deal on a book I helped her with, and so I truly believe we should diversify even on those channels - trad publishing and indie!
It can be done!
So all this is what I learned so far, and I wanted to share it with all of you. It's not all this or all that. Open your mind, and soon you'll find your niche.
Please visit my blog at http://artemishunt.blogspot.com/ for more stories :)