Monday, May 30, 2011

600 and Counting

Wow is the best way I can describe my self-publishing experience. I self-published two of my books, Wild Montana Sky and Starry Montana Sky, on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, and Smashwords four weeks and three days ago. Today I just hit 600 books sold. Wow! And that's without doing much publicity except mentioning it on Twitter and Facebook. Plus some of my friends posted about the books. I've also mentioned my experience to some of my friends, and they've been kind enough to buy the books. Thank you, dear ones.

This week, I've finally tuned into the Amazon top 100 lists. I didn't pay attention to them because I assumed I wouldn't make one. At least not at this stage. Then, Friday, one of my friends ended up on the Historical list. In checking it out, I found I was there too. #93. I don't know how long I've been on the list, maybe a couple of days. Since then, I've gotten as high (that I've noticed) as #80 and as low as #97. Wow! I can't believe I'm on an Amazon top 100 list!

What's the best thing about self-publishing? I'd say there's several:

One is control. I was able to tell my cover designer, Delle Jacobs, what I wanted, and she delivered. I love my covers. I'd never have a say in a New York publisher cover. I've held back from attempting to sell to small presses except for a couple that do great covers. I didn't like the covers most small presses put out (although that has changed with so many great people designing covers now) and didn't want one on my book.

The second is I love that people, many whom I don't know and will never know, are reading my books. I hope they are enjoying them. For books that have languished on my computer for years, to have them available to the public, is so wonderful. My first fan letters--one from my writing teacher and one from my uncle--brought tears to my eyes. Wow! My mom is reading Wild Montana Sky right now on the Kindle my brother and I bought her for Mother's Day. I think only a book by her daughter would have gotten her to try an ebook reader. Now she's loving it.

I have a great group of friends, members of the Wet Noodle Posse. We were all finalists in 2003 in Romance Writers of America's (RWA) Golden Heart contest. A few of my friends are ahead of me by months when it comes to self-publishing. Others are preparing their books. (You don't want to self-publish a book that's not well edited.) We are all having the best time, and it's brought us even closer.

So if you have a book that you haven't been able to sell, in spite of selling others, or winning contests, or good feedback from editors, consider self-publishing. And if you own rights to your previous books, then do it. Do it now!