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Musngs Of A Kindle Published Fiction Author

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Posted 28th April 2012 at 01:41 PM by Anita Shaw

As a fiction author unhappy with the process of becoming a traditionally published author, I began looking into self publishing back in 2001. I'd just gotten back my latest rejection letters--one agent actually sending me two of them. Guess she wanted to be sure I knew she had no intention of representing me!

The other agent added a hand written note, telling me not to give up. The story was good, just not what she was looking for. Actually, she wasn't the only one to add a note like that to a rejection letter. So, I at least knew I wasn't writing crap.

Still, I couldn't get anyone interested, and hey--I wasn't getting any younger. Maybe I ought to try selling the darn things myself, as others were beginning to do.

I have to say, here, that I do have one print book to my credit. I co wrote a novel that was traditionally published. But the experience was less than favorable to we writers. People believe that publishers do promo and marketing for all their authors. But that simply isn't true. They don't waste much time or resources on new authors. And our publisher didn't even do the little he said he would do. Needless to say, the book went nowhere.

Sure we did some promo of our own, but neither of us really knew what to do, or how to blow our own horn. Although, my partner probably did better than I did at that. I hate to self promote. Hate it!

But--over the years, I've come to realize that I have to get over that hump, somehow, and put my name out there. I formed my own publishing business to self pub my stuff. I buy blocks of 10 ISBNs--which really aren't enough, as you need to assign them to different formats. But, it's expensive. I have four novels, a picture book and a recipe book finished. I need more ISBNs!

If I just sold off my websites, I wouldn't need any numbers, and I know of quite a few writers who do this and seem to pull in readers. Especially those who give away their work.

I am always hoping of actually making money from what I write. And I have to say, that since I started this venture, I've probably made more from selling myself, than I did off that traditionally published book. Which isn't to say I've made a lot. With self publishing, I got to keep all the money generated myself.

Then, along came Kindle and Amazon's KDP. All right! I will give this a shot. So, I set up my account, and all my author accounts--I write under three pen names--and an Amazon affiliate account.

Let me state right here, that I have a lot of trouble figuring out pricing. When I first uploaded my work, I priced them as I had them on my websites. $7.97. And I sold a couple copies of each romance novel. I may have sold one or two copies of the hot pepper recipe book. Kids' novels were/are harder to get noticed.

So, then, I hear about John Locke and his .99 novels, and think, well, what the hey. Let's try it. Sold quite a few recipe books, and a few copies of the romances. One copy of the kids' novel, which was refunded.

Sales tapered off after that. And then, I get hit with the .99 just makes your work look cheap and of crappy quality. Okay, I suppose I understand that. Our print book was priced at $16.50. $12.50 for us authors if we bought from the publisher. (Yeah, big discount there!) And one of my novels is well over 400 pages were it to be printed. .99 does seem too little to ask. Yet, $7.97 was possibly too much.

I have them now priced at $2.99, and set for 70% royalties. Our royalty from the publisher was 6% each. I saw nothing from that deal ever, as my partner tried to recoup the $4000 he forked out for edits--which were, may I say, horrible.

So far, no sales. But, that is because I need to learn how to get the word out. Get more reviews and such. So, I may give the Review Sniper a look. I am on a very limited budget or I would probably buy ever Kindle WSO out there. I have already bought two or three, plus some other Kindle resources. I've learned pretty well how to format, and use the Mobipocket converter. I am comfortable with HTML and don't mind tweaking my stuff before conversion. Although, I have to say, TOC pages still overwhelm me. I need to spend some time learning how to best do those.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to master the promo and marketing aspects of this game. I'd love to be able to wrap my head around it so I could open my business to other authors.

That's another whole branch to the tree. . . .

One I need more research on. I'd like to be a royalty paying entity, but paying for everything out of my own pocket ain't happening right now. So, that dream is on the back burner indefinitely.

Anyway, I'm off to check out the Review Sniper again. And see what else I can do to get people both to my websites and to Amazon. Where's my trumpet . . .?
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