I did not make a mistake publishing on Kindle. I am ninety-five percent happy with the way the book looks and one hundred percent happy that the book is available. My expectations for selling the book, however, have taken a slow and steady downward path toward reality.
First, two caveats. This is my experience, and may not be yours. Some people have done very,very well with Kindle publishing and some have done modestly well. Then there is everyone else. Also, my book has only been available for four months; sales could increase (or decrease) at any time and patience is a virtue I suspect many new Kindle authors are learning. (The second caveat was that things could change with more time.)
I dreamed of selling a hundred books a month. Now I’d be happy (and I mean it) if I sold five books a month. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but it adds up. The problem is that no one knows my book is out there (or your book either). And this isn’t a problem that only concerns Kindle writers, books get lost in the glut of brick and mortar bookstores too, but with electronic publishing you can’t physically go into the store and get your book and replace it with the cover facing out.
So, that’s the really bad side of self-publishing on Kindle. You may only sell twenty-five books. Total. Ever.
But (assuming your book is actually good), is it better to have it out there and available and PUBLISHED, or to keep it in a box under your bed. I decided it was better to be published. And you can fool yourself into thinking you are going to be one of the ones who makes enough money off this to live, for a little while. It’s fun to expect that to begin with. Just make sure you’re not going to be dangerously unhappy when it doesn’t happen.
So, obviously you can tell from the above that I’m not selling a lot of books. (Not yet, I say). But trying to sell has been a much needed and interesting education. Unexpected. Some of it has even been fun and I do recommend it.
Next blog (or the next), I will go into the mechanics of publishing to Kindle (what little I know of it). Best advice is to probably hire someone to do it for you. But you can do it all by yourself, even if you know little to nothing about publishing software.
WHAT I READ THIS WEEK–Jezebel’s Daughter by Wilkie Collins. Saw Unstoppable at the movies. All photos on this blog are by Roxanne Rix.