I can’t believe it’s been 6 months since I self published my first novel, Visions of Zarua. Here’s my summary of the good and bad of self publishing.
The ebook went live 16th November 2015 and the paperback went live 14th December 2015.
I had pre-orders in place for the ebook so sales were very good on the first day, and a few days after as well.
I was terrified, excited and nervous, but looking back I was also completely naïve thinking life would change for me overnight. I wasn’t expecting an instant hit, but I did think things would move faster than they have.
My favourite things about publishing:
1.Sharing my book with the world. 2. Calling myself a published author. 3. Seeing the reviews from people who have taken a chance and bought my book, and also from those reviewers I’ve contacted directly. 4. I still adore my book cover and love looking at the poster I have above my desk.
I’ve had some wonderful reviews on Amazon and Goodreads – I wish I could share each review here, but will have to satisfy myself with sharing a few of my favourite quotes instead.
‘It’s so lovely to read a book that is a stand alone completed tapestry… I definitely recommend you give this book a try as it’s a real all in-one fantastical adventure story.’
‘Wonderful fantasy meets mystery!’
‘Dark sorcery with slithering secrets… Visions of Zarua casts a shadow of excitement giving the fantasy genre a nice little jolt.’
‘Thrilling and dark fantasy novel… from the very first chapter I was hooked. Overall I just love this book… I can’t wait to read more of the author’s work’
‘Enjoyable read with a hint of classic “who dunnit”…’
‘A brilliant read… would recommend to anyone who likes murder, mystery and of course fantasy’
‘The perfect amount of epicness… one of those fantasy books that can please any reader’
‘If you want a great book that takes you away from the monotony of daily life, then this is the book for you’
‘Gripping, well written story…the intertwined stories kept me gripped until the end. I recommend, even if you’re not a fantasy fan!’
‘…putting this book down, because of the non-reader-friendly-world I live in, made me unhappy. Mrs Rogerson deserves standing ovation for her debut novel… I will applaud with pride and appreciation. Visions of Zarua was simply a story that I love.’
I’m very happy with these stats so far – 5 x 5 star and 4 x 4 star reviews on Amazon. 5 reviews and 7 ratings on Goodreads.
Least favourite part of self publishing:
Trying to get noticed when you have a non existent marketing budget and very little clue on what works best.
Methods of advertising I’ve tried:
Discounted ebook price – I tried this twice. Over Christmas the reduced price resulted in a handful of sales and the second one just before Easter resulted in a couple of sales.
Goodreads Giveaways – Good and bad. Visions of Zarua is on over 800 bookshelves because of the giveaways. The worldwide giveaway was much more successful than UK only, attracting 2062 people. However the postage costs involved are high and I haven’t sold any books because of the giveaway as far as I can tell.
Facebook Ad – I received a handful of new followers on FB, but no book sales.
Mslexia magazine Ad – No sales.
Goodreads Ad pay per click – Paid $10 which is used up as people click the ad. So far my ad has supposedly been seen by over 4K people but no clicks and no sales.
Anyone have any suggestions for other places to advertise?
Unexpected benefits of self publishing:
I started a blog to have an online presence, but I’ve found I really love blogging. I’ve met lots of interesting people through blogging and because of it I’ve also become a reviewer via Rosie’s Ambers book review team. I’ve been able to share my photos and rediscovered my love of photography. I’ve also shared recipes and places I love through the #AtoZ blog challenge and #WordlessWedneday photos.
It’s a lot of work for very little gain and the hard work doesn’t stop at publication. I haven’t had a pay cheque yet, though I still need to declare myself as self employed.
Knowing all this, I would still do it again. It’s a wonderful feeling to publish your own book and even better when a review tells you someone enjoyed it. There aren’t many better feelings to be had, although a million pound publishing deal wouldn’t go amiss.
I’m running a one day book blitz via Brook Cottages on Saturday 4th June with a Rafflecopter giveaway. Please join in and share if you get the chance.
Call for help:
If you have read Visions of Zarua, would you consider leaving a review on Amazon, goodreads, smashwords or any books sites that you normally use. It really helps my credibility as an indie author and helps others decide to buy my book. I also love to read your feedback.
If you are inspired by these wonderful reviews to pick up a copy of Visions of Zarua, here are some purchase links:
Amazon UK Amazon US Kobo Smashwords
Now if I ever hope to publish my next book, I have to finish writing the damn thing. Please leave any comments and suggestions you might have and I’ll get back to you.