My Self-publishing Experience
I didn’t abandon OS, fellow faithful bloggers, it was more like OS abandoned me. I believe the settings on the brand new computer in my apartment in Trinidad had a lot to do with it because I got through a couple times at the library but then I misplaced my library card and before I could figure out how to adjust our computer settings we lost access to the internet, so there. Without going into details, I’ve been very busy since returning to Venezuela and have only visited OS a couple times. I was told that OS is dying but except for Facebook where I opened a page to advertise my novel I haven’t found any other place I’d rather be.
My journey into self-publishing started a year ago on the Kindle platform. After weeks and weeks of studying their pages on everything from formatting to tax info, rights, conditions, and everything in between, with lots of help from the Kindle team I finally got it right and hit publish. A paperback version was next on the agenda but before I could contemplate doing that I had to travel to Trinidad to do stuff that couldn’t be done from our base in Venezuela... like apply for a new passport since my old one would have expired in a few months. Then it involved getting a photo copy of the new passport notarized in order to apply for a US tax number. The US IRS site said two months, and exactly two months to the day my tax number arrived. The next step was submitting the W-8BEN form to Amazon. All the while I was getting my manuscript ready for CreateSpace, another daunting task. The folks at CreateSpace were very helpful as well so another milestone was reached when I received my proof copy... O happy day!
When that day arrived I thought my work was over but I was about to learn it had only just begun. Marketing... I hadn’t bargained on that. I stupidly thought to myself: Self-published equals self-selling. Millions of people use the internet, right? They’ll see the beautiful cover, read the blurb and go wow! I must get this! Right? Of course, it hasn’t been like that at all. I’m not trying to be facetious nor am I being conceited about my book. I’ve had a few encouraging reviews from people who have read it but the review that I value most however is that of my 87 year-old aunt who is very critical and outspoken, and doesn’t mince words for anyone. As we say in Trinidad “she doesn’t put water in her mouth”! She liked it and that’s enough for me.
Sales started slowly but promising, then I read where you can get a lot more exposure by sponsoring a free promotion which I did (stupidly) for one day. The only good thing about that was seeing my book reach the top of the best-selling list on that particular day. Three hundred and twenty-one persons downloaded my book for free and instead of boosting sales it had a crippling effect. Not only that, but several who had bought the book returned it (for those who may not be aware of it, when a book is returned the author doesn’t receive a royalty payment). Returning a book I’d bought is something I’d never do no matter how boring or tasteless… I think that’s tacky. Luckily I photocopied my first royalty cheque and had it laminated for posterity just in case I don’t receive another one! LOL……
(P.S. For those who sent PMs, I couldn’t respond because I was locked out of OS.)
Coffee With Milk: a love story is available here: