After having a bad experience with my publishing company, I decided to take a step back.
I published my first book back in 2013 with a small publishing company. At the time, I was still working on writing my novel and was looking forward to having it published as well. The issues I had with said publishing company began to pile up that I was afraid of publishing another book.
I pushed my book aside and used that energy to focus on my studies; at the time, I was halfway through college.
One day, while watching Youtube, I came across a video – I know, sounds cliche – of someone who decided to take the indie author route.
I was afraid to self-publish. I didn’t know where to start if I decided to take the indie route. Not to mention the many questions I had. I couldn’t possibly make money as an indie author, could I? Where would I even publish my book? Would anyone even read my work? How would they read my work?
In 2015, I finished, or so I thought it was finished, my novel. I began sending query letters out to agents only to receive rejection after rejection. I literally stopped counting after twelve. ‘Market is too saturated with this genre’, ‘this isn’t the right fit for me’, ‘too many books out there with werewolves’. I pushed my novel aside and forgot about it.
Some time had passed before my grandmother asked me what happened to my novel. She encouraged me to keep trying. So, I pulled it up onto my computer, read through it before deciding to change it up.
This was going to take some time.
I spent whatever time I had in between classes going back through my book and cutting, adding, and editing. It was now 2016. It had taken me a few months before I was finished working on my novel – by this time, I had dubbed it ‘the-never-ending-novel’. I ended up adding over 22,000 (almost 23,000) words before sending it off to my editor.
While my editor looked it over, I thought I would research what it meant to be an indie author. I listened to success stories, I listened to authors explain why they switched from traditionally published to indie, I even watched videos on how to and where to self-publish.
No matter how many videos I watched, I had that nagging feeling that this was not going to work. Then another voice chimed in asking me, “Why not just try it?”
I pulled up a collection of short stories that I had been working on and decided to polish one of them up. Of the plethora of videos that I had watched, a few of them suggested that as an indie author you have the opportunity to publish short stories and earn a meager income from them.
I also learned that you should not just stick to writing novels. Publish everything: short stories, novellas, novels. The more work you have out there, the more you will become noticed.
It was late 2016, when I handed my short story over to another editor (I now have two editors). A month later, she hands it back with the requested revisions. It didn’t take me long to go through my last edits. Thanks to another video, I was able to teach myself how to format it to publish as an ebook.
I was now entering my last two semesters of college. I also learned that my grandmother had stage IV pancreatic carcinoma.
I held onto my short story for a few more months with the uncertainty of publishing it.
Finally, in July 2017, I got the courage to upload my short story into Amazon. I stared at the publishing button not wanting to click it. My heart raced and my stomach churned with nervousness.
Why couldn’t I just click that button?
Because once I did, it would be up for the world to see.
But, why would that be so bad, isn’t that what you wanted all along, to publish more books?
I clicked published. I don’t know why, but I screwed my eyes shut. I guess I was expecting my laptop to explode? After a few seconds, I stared at the screen. A box had appeared, telling me that it would take 12-72 hours before it would be live.
My anxiety had started to calm down a bit.
That wasn’t too bad now, was it?
No, it was pretty easy, actually.
A few days had passed before I checked on my newly published book. It actually made a few sales. Not bad. Maybe I should try publishing another one.
And thus it began…
One self-published book turned into six more, including the novel that I had once queried agent after agent on. It has been doing fairly well in sales. Though, after learning that people do judge a book by its cover, I am working on having another cover made for it.
I have since learned how to perfect my craft; my writing has improved, I’m learning new marketing skills each day. Most importantly, I have never given up on my writing. In fact, I continue to come up with ideas for new stories quite frequently that I know I will never run out of things to write about. I’ve built a brand for myself, creating a small publishing company, an LLC.
And who cares about what those agents thought. My novel is making money so, there obviously is still a market for said genre. I have since learned that you should write about what you want to write about. It’s true that there are popular niches out there. You just have to find the right one. Don’t be afraid to publish in a popular niche, as well as publish in others.
The more you have published, the more your work becomes noticed. I said that already. Maybe because it’s true, especially if you leave a link to your other works in the back and front of each book. If readers loved one book, they may check out another and another…
I no longer fear to self-publish my work. I’m earning an income doing what I love. I’m actually earning more now than what I was at that one publishing company. Though it’s a slow process for me, my list of published works is growing. I’m hoping that one day I can do this full-time. That’s a goal I look toward to achieving.
For a list of my published works, under my name and under my pen name, check out my website: www.twistedcrowpress.com