I guess in this day and age of self-promotion, I shameslessly join the herd. As a twice self-published author, I have been getting a lot of feedback, of which I am extremely grateful, that I not self-pub my third novel. Yes, it's a follow up story to The Reunion Reaper, titled Death in the Valley, but many, and not including friends, have suggested that I get my manuscripts professionally edited and pursue the traditional route. This is indeed a dilemma because there appears to be good arguments on both sides that say A, self-publishing is the wave and here to stay given our digital age, and B, notoriety can come via traditional publishing only. Hence my dilemma, what to do?
As a self-pub, we all know the product can quickly get to market; whereas, the traditional route can take years. So, as mother used to say, "Patience is a virtue." But how patient can I be?
I feel very confident about my editing skills relative to grammar/mechanics/technics; however, it would appear most prudent that I have a copy editor look at the story holistically. I am, and have been, a self-taught person. I, dare I say it, pride myself on learning things on my own. But I am truly at a crossroads. I am prepared to begin my fourth novel, yet another in the series, so benching Death in the Valley for a while does not seem all that bad, but I do have a small following clamoring for Death in the Valley because of my Ralph Cramden big mouth that touted its completion.
So, here is the purpose behind this entry. If anyone knows of anyone in the industry that would be willing to take a look at my manuscript, I would greatly appreciate any information sent my way. I know we all have dreams of being the next best thing, and perhaps I am asking the very question that every other person out there is asking as well, but I have not been one to market myself.
In advance, I thank you for reading this, and if anyone can assist me, I would greatly appreciate it. Have a great day!
First of all, I would concentrate on making sure that your first 2 books have the best chance of selling. Then with the money you make, you could hire a good editor.
For example, I noticed that you don't have your Kindle and your print versions of Reunion Reaper linked on the product page. This divides your market, and when you get reviews (as you did for print) they don't show up for your Kindle. You haven't used Amazon's Author Central, which is another way of getting some publicity. You also don't have any tags, which is a way to get your book noticed in Amazon searches.
For suggestions you might look at my 7 tips for selling on Kindle that I did as a guest blog
There are also websites like Scribd and Authonomy where you can put up your writing and get free critiques, which is a start, to get feedback.
If people are suggesting that you need to go the traditional route because they felt your books needed more editing, then the real message is that your books needed more editing, and frankly if that is true, going the traditional route is not going to help you. Nowadays, agents aren't going to look twice at a self-published author that hasn't sold alot, with a manuscript that isn't polished. They only bet on sure things at this point. Better to work on getting even your already published books polished. Get those friends so help by pointing out areas of improvement, point out errors etc. Then thank them all in your dedication!
One of the great things about self-publishing is you can take down the book, change the cover, correct mechanics and formatting errors and put it up again, and none of the new potential buyers will know the difference. Big authors like Konrath do this, you can too.
I am speaking from some experience. I self-published a mystery in December of 2009, and it has sold over 10,000 copies, I now have made enough money so that I can plan on paying an editor for the second, and not have to use the 10 beta readers I had and the years of revisions that it took to get the first book in such good shape.
Good luck to you, and I hope this advice helped.
M. Louisa Locke
see my blog: The Front Parlor
M. Louisa, I hate to bother you again, but there are a few things I needed further clarification on. First, thank you so much. I had no idea that I didn't have tags for my book. I thought for sure I had them. Anyhow, I do have an author central page, but I am confused about the product page. I could not locate it. Also, how do you transfer reviews from the book over to the Kindle page? Again, any help would be greatly appreciated.
As for the other information, I will check those out. As always, thanks and cheers!
First of all, what I meant by author page, is if you set up a profile with amazon author central , then you can put up a picture, an about the author, and even have your blog posts automatically be uploaded to this page when you do a new post. See mine as an example.
Second what I meant by product page is the page a person gets when the put in your book title. You should see book cover, and then Customers also bought, then Product Description, then Product details.
If you contact either the createspace staff, or the Kindle staff (or both), tell them you have a book in both paper and kindle, but that the product pages aren't linked and you need them linked, they will know what you are talking about. Once they link them (check out my page-you will see that both Kindle and Book are listed), the review will show up no matter which edition the person clicks on.
Let me know if this helped.
Mary Lou, , again, thank you. Everything seems to be in order now. I have done what you requested and things are beginning to appear on the pages you suggested. In the past I did the "Look Inside" feature in order to boost possible sales, so I feel I have done just about all I can in that area. I also joined "Shelfari" in order to cross market/expose my book as well.
I hope that I can call on you in the future should I have any other issues or concerns. You are very knowledgeable and I appreciate that.