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Ten things I wish I’d know Before I Sold

February 16, 2013 | Real life

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Back in the day when e-publishers weren’t recognized as ‘real’ publishers, my first book sold to one of ‘those’ pretend presses.

Between 2007 and now, nineteen of my stories released as digital-first editions. Most of these titles eventually came out in print.

To my shock, the combined earnings for all print sales never equaled my worst selling e-book. The second shock was the lack of discernible correlation between positive ratings, reviews, and sales. Naturally I love five-star ratings, rave reviews, and fan mail. I’m still a bit baffled as to why the most critically acclaimed titles aren’t the best sellers.

Here’s what else I wish I’d known:

1) Matching a story with a reputable publisher who does well in the same sub-genre as your prospective book makes a big difference in sales.

2) Digital publishing would explode and with the revolution to virtual ink options for aspiring authors would expand exponentially.

3) A proof-reader and an editor make my prose much better.

4) Writing success mostly hinges on persistence and hard work, talent helps.

5) Anything shared on the World Wide Web remains forever. Presenting yourself and your work in a flattering, genuine light helps.

6) Contracting a story means ceding control of your work for the life of the agreement. Research before signing.

7) The more successful you become the more raves your books attract and the more rants. Read reviews if you must, but don’t take them personally.

8) Publishers, like all for profit businesses, are motivated by the bottom line.

9) Advertizing that costs the author money doesn’t pay. At least it never has for me.

10) Write the stories etched on your heart, polish them, and then find them the best possible home. That might mean indie-publishing, a small press, or a literary agent and a legacy publisher.

Now I write for two different e-publishing houses, I adore my editors and appreciate the team of experts behind each release. I have no plans to end either relationship. Yet I want to try self-publishing too. More about why, next Saturday!

The right to publish my first ten books reverts to me this year. My writing craft has improved a tiny bit since those stories released, so I want to have a go at polishing the earlier works.

This month I reissued an enriched and newly professionally edited Dalila’s Choice via Amazon’s KDP program. Indie publishing gives me lots control and all the scary responsibility for launching a book. I hope a few new readers discover and enjoy one of my old favorites. Wish me luck!

Posted by Evanne @ 4:00 am  

4 Responses to “Ten things I wish I’d know Before I Sold”

  1. Allie Ritch Says:

    Great post, Evanne.

  2. Evanne Says:

    Are you thinking about releasing an indie title? Inquiring minds need to know :lol:

  3. Allie Ritch Says:

    It has crossed my mind, but I’m undecided. A lot of authors have had great success with it, while a few have complained the formatting and work involved takes too much time away from their writing. I’ll be curious to hear how it works for you.

  4. Evanne Says:

    Amazon’s process is very user friendly. The manuscript went from docx to kindle with nothing more strenuous than a mouse click. Getting it ready to publish was a bit more work. :wink:

    Next month I’ll report on how sales went…


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