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So disappointing. If only I had waited until the 23rd, but I still wanted to have a couple days to get ready for my own holidays—and had literally done no shopping or baking to that point. But I also saw sales barely what they were with my fourth release 15 months earlier in mid September. Hope your sales continue to skyrocket. Kally, thank you so much for the wonderful advice. I think, for many reasons, I will never do another December release. It pretty much dominated my entire holiday season! People had told me that December releases were big sales but other indies this year told me Dec.

What kind of hours have you put in doing the admin blogging, organising Netgalley and ISBNs and stuff and how much have you made after paying yourself an appropriate wage for doing that? I also appreciate I may be wrong on how this works, or it may vary in the US. My father always taught me to quantify everything, so as a self-publisher I want to get paid for writing, for publishing, AND I want to make a profit after that. Also, the moon on a stick. I have not calculated the amount of time spent promoting the book though I doubt it would be much more than if I had traditionally published.

Authors are expected to do a lot of their own promo from their publishing houses. Other than querying bloggers and managing the Netgalley myself mostly a fraction of the time I spent, honestly I would have done everything exactly the same. And many trad houses are not allowing the distribution of e-ARCs by authors, only through Netgalley or Edelweiss. But yeah, as is always the case, you make more money, you have to pay more taxes. Just comes with the territory. Hi — sorry for the delay in replying. I began on the other day but lost it before I could post.

I have a background in marketing, so perhaps I can shed some light on why I at least would tell authors not to distribute ARCs. I might not want you being reviewed on YA sites, for instance, even though plenty of those reviewers review non-YA books. Author promo — you mean blogging, tweeting, book signings etc?

By the time a publisher had got it on the shelves, you may have found it much more difficult to break out. Just my opinion. I started self-publishing in , so have a little more data behind me. Time spent? My first 7 months writing to get the first three books out third book is usually the charm, or was back then, and getting them out fast was my objective , I probably worked hour days, 7 days a week with maybe two days off the whole 7 months.

Even today, I rarely take days off, but my writing days are much shorter. I may tweak and revise those days—or just spend the day marketing and getting reacquainted with family. My first year, I only had income for three months first book went up in August. My first full calendar year, though, I made five figures a month gross. I took the month of January off from writing and spent time on Facebook but mostly just talking about my sister who had had major surgery.

Facebook is my support network and my fans are VERY supportive! So I hardly call it marketing, but some might. The rest of the year, I probably spent 12 hours a day working on either writing or promoting. I have no doubt Brenna will be reporting numbers like that for income, too, given how well she did her first month. Everyone asked me in the early days how I did it and what was my marketing strategy.

I had no business plan, no marketing plan, I told them I just went on Facebook and talked. And I still do that daily! All the best, Brenna! And Dor, may I ask which country you are in? I need to build my international presence and might be interested in your services. My e-mail is kallypsomasters gmail. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Thanks for all that awesome info.

This market is all about word of mouth as Kallypso so astutely pointed out before. I had over requests and only approved a little over of them. It was very time consuming. Putting out teasers, interacting on social media. I did not do a blog tour i. I was invited by people I already knew to do a couple guests posts or interviews. Mostly my marketing was about letting the book speak for itself which is why the eARCs were so important to my plan. I have no formal background in marketing at all. So there was no need to approach booksellers about my book.

Why would there be? For my genre, print sales are a fraction of the ebook sales. Were your referring to an indie self-published book? What do you base the statement on? I see no weakening in the market at all. The readers are the readers and they know what they want: GOOD stories. Most readers pay very little attention to the manner of publication. Anyway, thank you for your insights. Like I said, I have no formal marketing background but maybe, in this case, that worked to my advantage.

I figured all that would spill over from people reading and loving the book. Wow, Brenna!

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I need to put more effort into sending eARCs maybe. I probably sent 20 each of my first three books. Oh, and definitely spot-on concerning the paperback vs e-book sales. Paperbacks are just to give my most avid fans something tangible to put on their bookshelf. Or to create a shrine for them as a couple of my readers have done. LOL Most of my readers get the books as e-books. The cost of having that signing at a Manhattan hotel FAR killed any profit—but the 30 readers who showed up and I had a blast at my paperback launch!

Some authors spend their huge royalties on Prada shoes. And my friend knows who she is, if she happens to read this. Never underestimate the power of the book to speak for itself. You have such die-hard fans who LOVE your books. I see how they do wonders for your marketing. I figured it cost me nothing but time to get those eARCs out to the ideal audience. Avid readers are amazing people who are so passionate about the stories they read.

Readers are such awesome peeps. First, congratulations! Second, I hope you know how much new authors appreciate you sharing your story. Hey McKenna, thanks for coming by and commenting on my blog. I wish you lots of luck on your publishing journey. Take care! Congratulations, Brenna! You are an inspiration to all of us authors! Thanks for commenting on my blog. Brenna, thanks so much for sharing all of your data with us. My publisher closed suddenly in late July due to the death of one of the owners. I already had the luau launch planned for the third book in my humorous romantic mystery series, so I jumped in, heels first, into indie publishing, releasing all 3 books in six weeks including re-editing, cover art, formatting etc.

Fortunately there are wonderful folks that I could outsource to as well as friends who brought me copious amounts of chocolate while I put in 18 hour days. But the sales are great and I love, love, love, receiving my royalties on time! Cindy, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I highly recommend chocolate for coping! And I agree that getting those royalties monthly My first check will come in March!

Followed a link from a blog, to another blog…to this wonderful place. You are the bomb! I have always said indies are the new pioneers; the epitome of the American dream. I read stories like yours and I am so inspired! Simply awesome. Off to Amazon. Got to support a go-getter! I wish you all the best of luck in your journey. Hope you like the book. Thank you, Paul. Truly appreciate the kind remarks. More and more self-publishing is becoming an accepted and respected business model.

More and more self publishing authors are taking time to develop their craft and professionally polish and present their product. We have so many choices we never had before. I saw a mention of ARCs Advanced Review Copies and wanted to put out an alternative means of getting early reviews with a new release. I did ARCs in the beginning to blogs that do reviews. This time, I only offered them to the bloggers who hosted me on my day, stop release tour.

Oh, well. Anyway, I suggest that you find a group of your most avid fans now that you have some with a book out! Your street team members will spread the word via social media really quickly. I kid you not! They also promote me online via social media.

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When you have some physical swag pens, bookmarks, and buttons are most popular with mine , send welcome packs to all and extra supplies to those willing to physically hand out items. In addition to reviews from street team fans, some of my earliest reviews were posted by my beta readers readers who had provided feedback to me during the process of writing the book. Also, I had three volunteer proofreaders on board with my latest release who gave the book fresh eyes just before it went out because my 5-person editorial team and I were bleary-eyed at that point.

A couple of those gave me reviews. So the praise was legitimate. Hope this helps, Brenna and others!


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Thanks, Kally. You bring up a good point that ARCs should probably be handled differently by follow-up books. Sometimes, though, ARCs can be ready to go before the final production is in place for other things like the creation and proofreading of the print book, etc. But yes, all things to consider!

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. It helps so much to know what works for other authors. I am just a reader and now a fan of yours, but I was interested in your blog post. I received an ARC of your book and loved it, gave it 5 stars and posted my reviews on amazon and goodreads. The outcome of this is I will purchase your books in the future because, boy, you can write! Well done on your success. Thanks so much for your kind words and for posting on my blog. Please stay in touch! All best. My first book Love Bats Last launches Feb 4th and your story keeps me going!

Go away doubt! Thank you! How exciting about your book release! I wish you all the best of luck. Hope that helps!

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Thank you, Karen. I wish you all the best with your writing and your publishing journey! Keep writing. You are a brave woman to turn down an easy thing and go for the riskier path. But dang, girl, great choice! Thank you, for posting not only your dollar info, but all of it, thought process, rights details, etc.

Thanks for your kind words, Marcia. I hope my detailed explanations and figures are helpful to others who are in the process of deciding their path to publication. I so acknowledge that! Thanks again for your comment!

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All the best to you. Thanks for the terrific info and view into your process. Gives hope for all of us indie authors. I wish you the greatest success! Thanks for the kind remarks, Rich. Like I said…I was just paying it forward here to all the amazing indies who have been doing this for years! Thanks for being so generous and open with information about your personal experience. Looking forward to reading your work! Amy, thank you for letting me know that the GH finalists have read the post and are discussing it. The reason I put these 2 blog posts out here was that I wanted to open an honest discussion about going indie as a viable path to publishing.

However, there is NO reason we as authors need to accept contract terms that are not in our best interest. It all comes down to believing in your work and believing in yourself, whichever way you decide to put your work out there. I honestly had never considered self publishing this time last year, but I started to find out and hear from others what they were accomplishing and it really impressed me.

There are so many wonderful indies out there willing to share their knowledge and what has worked for them. I encourage you to approach authors you admire. Or seek out publications on self publishing, websites and forums. I wish you all the best of luck in your research and in your path to publication. Hopefully you and your fellow finalists will have your award-winning books out before long! Wow, what a wonderful ride you had in your first month. I am both proud of another Indie taking a stand and winning, as well as a little jealous of your first month sales. The Indie community is so supportive and sharing your story is helpful to all of us, so thank you for that.

I am in a group of indie writers who had a boxed set out in December and our sales were so far beyond our imagination. Kelly, thank you for the kind comment. And yes, the indie community is a great one to belong to. We all help each other out. It really is an exciting time to be an author. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. To keep up to date on new releases, please subscribe to Brenna's newsletter by filling out the form below. Also learn about new and upcoming books, appearances, signings, special promotions and giveaways! For updates on Brenna's upcoming releases, sales, excerpts and extras, sign-up for her mailing list below:. Carey Baldwin on January 12, at pm. Brenna on January 12, at pm.

Thanks for all of your support. Billy on January 14, at am. Nan Dixon on January 14, at pm. Thank you for sharing! Deanna Roy on January 12, at pm. Prioleau on January 12, at pm. Many congratulations on your success as an indie author! Now I must pick your brain! Good luck in your future endeavors! Hey R. Thanks for the well wishes! Good luck to you on your journey. Prioleau on January 13, at am. Retrieved December 12, Metro UK. Retrieved February 9, The Independent.

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