I realize the title of this post seems random, but that’s the kind of month I’ve had. It began with a complaint from a reader, a case of Shingles (I didn’t know what it was so I ignored it at first) and the joyful process of refinancing our house. (I mean, does anyone really need to know that much about you?)
I have to say that getting an email from Amazon about complaints from a reader was a lot like getting a letter in the mail from the IRS. There was the initial heart in the throat sensation as I wondered what I could have possibly done to trigger a complaint. There were four complaints about The Devil’s Own Luck from this reader. Fortunately, only two were valid–‘you husband’ instead of ‘your husband’ and ‘t hree’ instead of ‘three’–and they were easily fixed. But the communication made me take a closer look at both books and I decided that The Bewitching Hour and The Devil’s Own Luck could use some improvement.
The first thing I did was change my covers. Though I liked my previous covers, I never felt like they were quite right for the genre of Regency Romance and after hours of searching in Dreamstime.com (I’m in love with this site) I found graphics I thought worked better. Both books have also been reformatted and a few additional typos were found and fixed. I’m really happy with how they came out. Yvonne Betancourt, who did my formatting, www.ebook-format.com suggested that I go ahead and put out the trade paperbacks (I don’t know why I drug my feet on this) so we’ve been working on that, too. They’re almost done and I’m pretty stoked with the results.
I’m almost nine months into self-publishing on Amazon. I’m not getting rich but I’m also not complaining. They deposit money into my bank account every month and will continue to do so as long as somebody is willing to read my books. I’ve decided I want to see how I do with Smashwords and various independent sites, and since Amazon’s KDP Select program requires an exclusive for 90 days, I didn’t renew it. My books are still on Amazon, but won’t be available on the Kindle Lending Library and I won’t be able to take advantage of the free promotions the Select program offers. There are two schools of thought on this. Some writers think KDP Select is the best way to go, others believe it’s best to have your books on as many sites as possible. There isn’t near the competition on Smashwords but they also don’t have the customer base that Amazon does so I have no clue what will happen. I’ll keep you posted.
My experience on KDP Select has been, overall, pretty good. Self-promotion may always be slightly outside my comfort zone, but I’ve gained insight into the business of self-publishing and that’s boosted my confidence. I’ve made more money than I’ve invested, so other than advertising, any checks I get from now on, will be profit.
If I had to take everything I’ve learned over the past 9 months and condense it into one single thought, it would be,
Follow your dreams, but take your brains with you.
Over the next few months, I’ll be blogging about my experiences with Smashwords. Rather than posting every week (something I haven’t done in a long time) I’ll be posting original content about twice a month and will reblog as I run across other posts I think are valuable.
Catch you later!
Have a great week!