Tag Archives: self publishing

To #Free or not to #free – the question with varying answers

Today, author Ashley Fontainne illustrated her experience with a self-publishing option that may sound too good to be true.

free sign

She writes,

I have been asked this question so many times during the last two years that I’ve lost count (math is not my forte). The variable that dictated my response was when the question was posed to me. Confused? I know, so please let me explain…

When Amazon first started the KDP (Kindle Direct Select) program in December of 2011, I was still a fresh faced recruit in the publishing world. My first novel, Accountable to None, hit the virtual shelves April 22, 2011. Since I was a newcomer with no audience yet, sales were slow.

Imagine a turtle crossing the frozen tundra in Alaska during a blizzard–that slow.

(Okay, so I know that’s a turtle in the sand, but I couldn’t find an actual turtle in the snow–use your imagination).

By the time the announcement of this new option from Amazon arrived in my inbox in early December, I believe the tally of total book sales was less than four hundred. I had joined a few author/reader groups on Facebook, started accounts on Twitter, Goodreads and LinkedIn, etc., and generally just stumbled my way around while I watched and tried to learn from more seasoned authors.

So, the day the offer to sign up for the KDP program arrived, I read through the email to learn more about the program. You sign up for 90 days with your book, agree to allow Amazon to be the exclusive online retailer and in exchange, allow your books to be “borrowed” by Amazon subscribers of the Prime program. For each “borrow” you are in the pot for (at the time) a share of $750,000. Plus, you get the chance to list your book for FREE for up to 5 days during each 90-day period of enrollment. Sounded like a great program to me! Unknown authors such as myself would be afforded the opportunity to get their books in front of potentially millions of Kindle users when their book went from “paid” to “free.”

How did Ashely’s work do on the KDP program? Read her post here…

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The Circle of Books

Lately, I’ve come across a very beautiful thing. An author’s support ring. While seeking advice from other published authors charitable with advice, I learned something valuable: you get what you give. What goes around comes around. Pretty general cliché stuff, right? Nope, just a little truth that rings out in many settings.

You see, as indie authors quickly learn, putting your words into publication has become the easier part of the process. With enough money, the right software, the right publisher… you can successfully publish absolute drivel. Or a riveting, earth-shaking novel. Either way, nobody is going to even know you’re published unless you get your name out there. Even more… nobody is even going to care.

You need people to support you, who want to see you succeed. People who think you’re cool enough to recommend to others. People who will share around your Amazon link. People who can tell you where you’re messing up, and the best way to fix the problem so you can move on to greatness.

If I intended to publish for a group of 20 friends, I don’t need to go any further. If I intend to push my work out there, to test my limits, to learn and grow and play in the ranks of the many good authors out there, I need to do a little more work.

My author ring grows. It’s a warm, comfortable, welcoming place to be. They read my blog, and they respond. They offer valuable advice. They recommend books to read and review, which helps out either them or another in their ring. In addition to helping them, I’ve been highly entertained by some very worthy fiction.

And just today, Anna Meade from my author ring opened up Nine Muse Press, with that same intent.

It goes deeper, though…

Nine Muse Press also publishes!

This is where I clasp my hands in earnest anticipation… hope… daydreams… and admit I still have a lot of work to do. A lot of networking. A lot of giving before karma cycles about my way.

So far, Nine Muse Press has published one book, Edgar Wilde and the Lost Grimoire.

edgar wilde

Soon to come: Orison by Daniel Swensen. Hey… that book sounds familiar!

Orison

Is there any hands-clasping hope that NMP will publish Minstrel, or Heroes, or Legacy? I’m sure every other author in Ms. Meade’s author’s ring asked himself or herself the same question today, regarding their work.

I’m up for the challenge. Bring it on! Give me the books to read and review, the friendships to cultivate. Give me the constructive criticism I need to become greater. Someday, I’ll have paid my dues and will be ready for karma to come back my way.

Do you want to help out a newly published author? Visit NMP’s books page and download Edgar Wilde… it’s not expensive at all! I’m downloading it tonight.