Merrily we roll along, roll along, roll along…I’m honoured that so many of my blog-gy pals are stepping up to post guest pieces here, with nary a care as to the danger to their reputations…oh, sweet Lordie… The delight continues with today’s excellent piece by thriller writer, Stephen Edger, a successful independent self publishing writer…an inspiration to all of us who toil in this brave new Kindle-y world…please enjoy…
Ah, so this is where you live Seumas. This Abu Dhabi sunshine is delightful. Oh that’s very kind, I’ll have a small sherry with you, whilst we gaze out at the setting sun.
I wanted to share my recent experiences of independent publishing with you: I tasted the rainbow and now I want more…
Let me take you back to June 2011 (I built my time machine from a Skoda as I couldn’t afford a DeLorean). A young-ish writer inadvertently stumbled onto the Amazon website and spotted a link that said ‘Self Publish with us’. He did just that and ‘Integration’, the debut offering from Stephen Edger tentatively entered the world. In that first month 20 people downloaded a copy and the author was so proud. When he shared the joyous news with friends on Facebook, they laughed and thought he was joking.
Back in the Skoda, let’s fast forward to November of the same year, this author self-published his next offering, ‘Remorse’. At this point 260 copies of ‘Integration’ had been downloaded and a handful of positive reviews had been written about the work. The author thought he was onto a winner and could soon be making enough money from this book-writing nonsense to buy dinner (well, a packet of noodles and a loaf of bread). However, despite a small peak, sales remained slow.
May 2012, saw the author publish a follow-up (not a sequel, mind you) to ‘Integration’ that he called ‘Redemption’ (what is it with all these 1-word titles?). By this time, he was eagerly networking with like-minded writers via Twitter and would tweet daily about how wonderful his work was. To celebrate the launch and to reach a wider audience, the author gave away copies of ‘Remorse’ for £free (Seumas, you’re choking, are you okay?)
For 4 days over the weekend of 27th July, 7800 copies of the book were downloaded and it spent most of the weekend as the number-1 downloaded free thriller on kindle and in the top-20 free downloaded fiction books. The author was on cloud nine and hoped that if each of those readers downloaded just one further book, he would be quids in.
The day after the free promotion ended, the downloads of ‘Remorse’ continued, only this time people were paying for it! In fact for eight days after the free promotion, another 700 copies were downloaded, propelling Remorse into the top-100 downloaded thrillers and top-100 thrillers (downloads and paperbacks). At times the author was out-selling recognised authors like Jeffrey Archer, Jo Nesbo, Lee Child, Karin Slaughter and even Simon Kernick! The author had reached that golden pit-stop that all new authors dream of: he was a best-seller!
As with all good things, success was brief and after that initial week, ‘Remorse’ dropped out of the chart and is currently languishing amongst the ether. However, the author has not forgotten how good it tasted, riding on the crest of the wave with authors whose names people had heard of. His eyes have been opened to the true opportunities that self-publishing can offer and he is determined to continue writing and self-publishing in the hope of reaching that pinnacle once again. In fact, his fourth offering ‘Snatched’ will be published on Monday 1st October.
Although his time at the top was brief, he wants to share the dream with other ‘indies’ out there who are striving for the same goal. It’s possible, don’t give up on the rainbow…
Right, Seumas, I’ve finished my sherry now, I had better be on my way. I think I can hear matron calling. She says Sir Alex is on the phone and he is looking for some defensive cover for this weekend. He wants you in the UK by morning so you better start packing.
Snatched: due out Monday 1st October