Anyone who has followed JA Konrath's A Newbie's Guide to Publishing knows he's been talking up the power of e-book sales for a new generation of "indie published" authors--indie being the new term for self-published.
For years, the power-brokers in publishing have made the phrase "self-published" a big no-no, one of the few bad words we still have left. You were dirty if you were self-published. A hack. Stupid, too. You couldn't cut it with the big boys.
Now, Konrath says you're stupid not to.
I've waffled on this topic for a long time. I've stutter-stepped into Indie/self/whatever publishing with The Bottom Feeders, which surprisingly, has sold three copies this week to people I don't know. I've put Rock Gods and Scary Monsters out there. I've taken it down, fixed a few issues, and put it back out there (should be up again in a day or so).
I have two more books I'm planning to upload before the school year is out: The Last Days of the Springdale Saints and Borrowed Saints. All set in Springdale, my fictional home town. I had an offer from a small press for The Last Days of the Springdale Saints and I said no. I still plan to offer Borrowed Saints for free (because I made a promise), but it will be available to purchase, possibly with extras, on Kindle. All will be available through Smashwords. There might even be another self-released story collection next year or so. I'm going to release then in paperback, too, because I can and it's stupid, just plain stupid not to offer what I can to a potential audience.
I'm going to post monthly updates of my earnings and progress for the world to see. Because a) I have no shame and b) I'm sure plenty of people are curious about the experiment, too.
But I need help to make the big experiment work.
I noticed the strange uptick in sales of The Bottom Feeders after receiving a couple of reviews. Do reviews sell books? My results are inconclusive, but seeing stars under a title in Amazon.com does draw the eye. Besides, reviews, good or bad, gives an author something to talk about. If people are going to spend their money on your work, especially as an unknown, they need to hear your name a number of times before they give in. An author simply must talk about his/her book for readers to find it, and they have to find it before they buy it. I spent way too long feeling some weird shame spiral when I talked about writing. Whether this is my nature or a side-effect of the submission/rejection machine, I don't know.
But I think I can tell a good story, on occasion.
I'm looking for some brave souls to write reviews for my soon to be indie/self-pubbed books and post those reviews on Amazon when the titles are available. I know some of my dear readers don't feel all that great about self-publishing. I understand. Trust me. But I have to make my decisions based on what is right for me, right now. The future is the future, and no one knows how that will play out.
If you're interested, email me: aaron.polson(at)gmail.com. Sign up before the end of the month, and you'll be entered in the contest drawing.
Thanks. And good luck.