Yesterday, AJ and I were talking about self-publication (we do this a lot lately, since Three of Swords was released on 9/1 and Power Exchange will be out soon) and somehow got around to discussing All Romance eBooks. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, they are a huge online seller of electronic books.
My publishers placed my previous titles there, and I wondered if it was possible for me to get ToS listed. ARe has sold a lot of my books in the last year. I wanted to take advantage of that. As in just about every case where a question needs an answer, I immediately went online.
I found out instantly that yes, I could register our publishing company, Voodoo Lily Press, and through them, add ToS to their books for sale. So I filled out the forms, ARe did what they do, and within an incredibly short amount of time, VLP was registered and I could add my book.
Before proceeding, I had to prepare ToS in various formats for sale. I couldn’t use the copies created by Amazon’s Kindle publishing, nor could I use Smashwords formats; they frown on that, ya know.
I decided on three initial formats: mobi, ePub, and PDF. These seem to be the most common and would cover just about everyone’s needs. What did I use? Calibre. It’s a free program that offers ebook conversion from certain formats to the most popular ebook formats.
Mobi and ePub went well but the PDF copy looked like crap so I ended up doing that in Word, which did a terrific job with it. I only had to add the cover photo. Both PDF and ePub are text searchable, which makes everything easier for the reader.
Making ToS available for sale on ARe took a while because I had to fill out various fields, some of which required looking things up, but eventually, I figured it all out and voila! my new book was available for sale.
I was beyond thrilled.
First thing this morning, I logged in and checked ARe records. I SOLD FIVE COPIES overnight!
You have no idea how exciting this is to a writer. Going through publishers, I never know how well or badly I’m doing until about a month after the quarter ends, when they send out a statement.
When you self-publish, you get the news right away that you’ve sold a copy or three. To prevent myself from going crazy, I limit myself to checking no more than twice a day. ;/
How do I feel so far about my first foray into self-publishing? PRETTY DAMN GOOD. The word is slowly getting around that Fenraven has a new book out, and several online reviewers have agreed to write something up in the next few weeks, which will help me even more.
That’s the worst of it, you know. Getting the word out. Making readers aware the book exists. If you aren’t prepared to do some serious self-promo, don’t self-publish.
That being said, I spent one day formatting ToS for Amazon and Smashwords, and contacting a slew of online reviewers. I added the book to my author’s dashboard on Goodreads. Another couple hours were spent preparing and uploading ToS to ARe. And of course, I talk about it now and again online.
I’m sure there’s more I could and should be doing, but I’m still learning. Blog hops are reputed to be good for this, but I haven’t had time to figure them out yet. Guesting on other blogs is done a lot, but feedback tells me this doesn’t do much and that takes time I don’t have. If any of you have other ideas, I’m listening.
Btw, ToS already has two five-star reviews on Amazon, and no, I didn’t ask them to do that but I would! I mean, why not? If a reader enjoys a book, it only takes a couple minutes to whip off a review so others know what you think. Another reader, on Goodreads, also gave it five stars. *fingers crossed the reviewers are that kind*