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Monkeyboy

Adventures in self publishing

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Thought it might be interesting to have a self publishing thread as recently it's become a much bigger thing where some authors are making a living wage from it, and others have hit a goldmine. Obviously, not everyone does, but at the very least they can make a few pennies to supplement the wage from their day job. I know a few forumites in here have dipped their toe into the self publishing world and thought it would be nice to hear about their experience of it.

 

I read in one thread (wish I could remember which one) that one guy sells a couple of books a week, but his mother sells a thousand copies a week of her own book. If you've written a book and self published it, drop a link in the thread so we can collect them all in one place. I'm sure it won't be seen as spamming, as I imagine quite a few people would be genuinely interested to check them out.

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I've got several available on Amazons Kindle store. Linky

 

The facts books was me just playing around with some ideas, I was hoping they'd make a fortune but I haven't sold any :lol: I spent a very long, hot summers day wandering the streets of Glossop to get piles of photos for it too!

 

The hardest part of doing self published books is getting reviews, not worth buying them as its too obvious but most readers can't be arsed. Thing is it all stokes the same market, the more you have the more chance of getting noticed or bought.

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Well done Keith, I admire anyone who has the gumption to write a book and go through the self publishing system. I'll be sure to buy a copy of your 101 Amazing Facts About Videogames. But I think the book about Glossop may be a bit too niche for me!

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On 08/09/2017 at 10:59, Monkeyboy said:

I read in one thread (wish I could remember which one) that one guy sells a couple of books a week, but his mother sells a thousand copies a week of her own book. If you've written a book and self published it, drop a link in the thread so we can collect them all in one place. I'm sure it won't be seen as spamming, as I imagine quite a few people would be genuinely interested to check them out.

 

That was me!  My Mum's book has slowed down since then, but she sold about 15,000 of her first book. She's followed this up with other ones but it's a total mixed bag. One of her books never sold any and was a complete failure, then it sold 70 copies in one week, then back to zero again, and we never could work out why.  The thing I like about self publishing is that it's free to do, so if you have an idea and like writing then there's nothing to lose from self publishing it, as long as you have the skills to make something that makes sense to the reader.  There's some absolute guff on Amazon, but if you can write something that people like then why not go for it?

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On 22/07/2018 at 21:21, dumpster said:

 

That was me!  My Mum's book has slowed down since then, but she sold about 15,000 of her first book. She's followed this up with other ones but it's a total mixed bag. One of her books never sold any and was a complete failure, then it sold 70 copies in one week, then back to zero again, and we never could work out why.  The thing I like about self publishing is that it's free to do, so if you have an idea and like writing then there's nothing to lose from self publishing it, as long as you have the skills to make something that makes sense to the reader.  There's some absolute guff on Amazon, but if you can write something that people like then why not go for it?

 

I'm guessing she didn't so any advertising or anything, just uploaded it? What genre did she publish in?

 

Also, do you mind sharing a link? If not, no worries.

 

Pretty awesome though. 15000 copies is a hell of a lot.

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18 hours ago, Monkeyboy said:

 

I'm guessing she didn't so any advertising or anything, just uploaded it? What genre did she publish in?

 

Also, do you mind sharing a link? If not, no worries.

 

Pretty awesome though. 15000 copies is a hell of a lot.

 

She wrote about Workhouses and what it was like to grow up in one.  I guess it found a market through recommendation because whilst it definitely has faults (my mum writes for fun and the text would be ripped apart by a professional critic) the content seemed to strike a chord with people and she has over 100 reviews, the overwhelming majority giving it 5 stars and really liking it. There are a couple of reviews critical of the writing itself, but the book is only 99p, people seem to really like it and I'm proud of my mum for doing it. I won't post a link here, because someone is sure to download it and rip it apart for the technical quality of the writing rather than the content.

 

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The main point about self publishing for me, is do it for the fun, because there's absolutely no way of knowing what will appeal to people and what won't.  I know someone who wrote their book, stuck it on Amazon to see what would happen and sold loads.  I also know someone who wrote their book, sent it to a professional proofreader company, made changes, rewrote sections, made their perfect book that they are proud of, paid a local artist to create a painting that was scanned to make the cover, paid for an ISBN or whatever you do to make it so that you can sell it in bookshops as well as Amazon, basically ended up a grand out of pocket to make something they were extremely proud of and never sold a single copy.  You could knock out a book and sell a million, or work on something incredible and never sell one.  It's all a game, and fun to play, but don't be disappointed if they don't sell.

 

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On 08/09/2017 at 11:12, Lorfarius said:

I've got several available on Amazons Kindle store. Linky

 

The facts books was me just playing around with some ideas, I was hoping they'd make a fortune but I haven't sold any :lol: I spent a very long, hot summers day wandering the streets of Glossop to get piles of photos for it too!

 

The hardest part of doing self published books is getting reviews, not worth buying them as its too obvious but most readers can't be arsed. Thing is it all stokes the same market, the more you have the more chance of getting noticed or bought.

Just checked out your 101 game facts book on Kindle Unlimited ... Do you get paid for that?

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33 minutes ago, Anne Summers said:

Just checked out your 101 game facts book on Kindle Unlimited ... Do you get paid for that?

 

No :lol: I was trying something new. Was considering doing a series across lots of different things (hence the one about Glossop) but gave up and forgot about it!  Though I did spend an afternoon walking around the hills and town taking loads of photos in the middle of a heatwave, was actually a lot of fun!

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11 hours ago, Lorfarius said:

 

No :lol: I was trying something new. Was considering doing a series across lots of different things (hence the one about Glossop) but gave up and forgot about it!  Though I did spend an afternoon walking around the hills and town taking loads of photos in the middle of a heatwave, was actually a lot of fun!

Wow, so Kindle Unlimited is actually Amazon giving away a load of self published stuff and not paying the authors for it? 

(I only have it as a free trial, don't think I will be keeping it !)

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4 minutes ago, Anne Summers said:

Wow, so Kindle Unlimited is actually Amazon giving away a load of self published stuff and not paying the authors for it? 

(I only have it as a free trial, don't think I will be keeping it !)

 

Sorry didn't say it properly.  You do get a few pence if someone reads the book on Kindle unlimited, its often a good idea to give stuff for free on their as it can bring a few readers if the sales don't work out. But you have to have a book listed for a minimum price of 99p for that to be the case.  But the person hs to read it properly as the app reports how many pages they went through, so can't just buy and skim.  So it can be worth posting smaller books on there.

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I've been doing self-publishing for a few years now. I publish short stories that, in a more civilised time, might have been described as "saucy". It started as a bet, but I realised that I was okay at it and didn't stop. At the moment, I make a fairly consistent $400-$500 a month, and about half of that is from page reads. I don't publish a huge amount these days, mostly just enough to keep the back catalogue going. It's not quite passive income, but I hope to get there eventually and have, on occasion, entertained fanciful notions of quitting the day job and trying to do it full time.

 

So if you're thinking about doing it, whether it's smut or a more respectable genre, I definitely recommend it. The quality bar is pretty low and the market is pretty forgiving, so you can learn your craft with a throwaway pen name if you need to. It's also worth reading one of the many guides for the genre you settle on, as some genres have very exacting expectations (I'm looking at you, romance). But generally, if you have some imagination and can string a decent sentence together, you should be able to make some money. And there's honestly nothing better than hitting that publish button and seeing your work out there and being sold to the world.

 

 

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