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Update On My Books and Publishing Experience With Amazon

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posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 02:18 PM
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So you want to write a book? Or maybe you already have but aren't sure what to do next?

A few years ago, I began this journey myself, and shared it here on ATS. I haven't been on the boards much this past year (at least, not posting much, but I am often browsing), largely due to the fact that I have been consumed with furthering what I hope to be a writing career. (as well as working a job and raising kids)

My first book out was Bloodline, book one in a young adult, scifi trilogy. WHY did I share the process here? Well, I was VERY active in the boards then, as I was on a bit of a hiatus from work, after being diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis. Writing became my source of building myself back up and feeling like I was worth something still. (my mild symptoms have not progressed so I have since gone back to work part time)

Bloodline, and the Forgotten Origins Trilogy was largely inspired by the many conspiracy conversations I took part in right here on ATS. The story itself is interwoven with SO many threads of ancient aliens/alternate history/ancient astronauts and myths/legends/prophecies, that it's like an ATS dream brought to life. I even got permission to reference ATS in the book, and JustMike.


Anyway, I completed the trilogy and then moved on to a middle grade mystery series, inspired by my childhood love for Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon.

It has been one heck of a process, and i continue to learn something new every day. I am slowly...VERY slowly, making progress and I would like to share some of what I have gleaned with you.

Here is a short list of the most important things you can do as self published author:

*Have a polished, professionally edited story.
*Professional cover. (This is AS important, if not MORE important than the story)
*Set up as many social platforms as possible and stay active
-Twitter
-Facebook
-Goodreads
-GooglePlus
-Pinterest
-Your own blog
*Publish through KDP and Createspace (ebook and paperback versions on Amazon. Yes,they are a monopoly, but a great advantage to the indie author)
*Get into the Kindle Unlimited Program, especially if you have full length novels
*Get out and pimp yourself locally. Attend book fairs/street fairs, and set up book signings.
*Get as many reviews as possible, but be sure to follow the T&C for Amazon. They are VERY strict
*ADVERTISE!!!!!!!

Here is a LINK TO MY AUTHOR SITE on Amazon. It is incredibly important that you build this site up, promote it, and keep it current. take time to go in and edit/modify the book accounts. This is key to getting your stuff in the search functions and algorithms on Amazon!!

The biggest mistakes I made starting out (and it set me back nearly two years), was not having a professional cover, not going through Amazon originally, and not having any social media set up or advertising. I thought that if I put my book out there it would just sell. MWAHAHAHAHAHA


The ultimate advertising site for an indie author is called BookBub. They are expensive and extremely picky about who they chose to advertise, but it is a dream come true for an indie author to get selected. They only take what they think are the best books in the selected genre, and that will sell. They are the key to my current success.

For whatever reason, I have NOT been successful in selling my scifi trilogy. It's good. I have nearly 80 reviews between the three, with about a 4.7 average, but still....it won't sell. BookBub won't take them. I love the covers, but I've come to the realization that they might still not be good enough for the VERY competitive YA genre. So...I am working on new covers.

However, they (BookBub), for whatever reason, love my kids series. They have taken two of them for free ads (28,000 free downloads between the two of them) and right now they are running a .99 cent ad for the box set. Yes...that is something else. WRITE SERIES, and then put them in box sets. You need to get as many books out as you can, in order to get noticed and get sales.

Anyway...my kids books are going quite well. The first one, The Mystery of Hollow Inn, has been a best seller in kids mysteries, and right now, the box set is a best seller in three sub genres. It was actually AHEAD of The Giver the fist day of its sale!

Having said that, I have still only made 400 this month, but you know what? Just a year ago, I was excited to make TEN dollars....so this is downright amazing for me.

If you have ANY questions, please fire away. I would love to talk with you about this process!


Here is a link to my box set that is on sale right now, if you want to take a look at it: The Samantha Wolf Mysteries



edit on 27-3-2016 by westcoast because: (no reason given)

edit on 27-3-2016 by westcoast because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 02:29 PM
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a reply to: westcoast

Glad its working for you!



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 02:32 PM
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pretty sweet.
definitely not easy.

i published mine on smashwords.
it was for sale on smashwords, barnes and noble, and the kobo store for quite some time.
im was(still am) pretty insecure over it though. sold a few copies. i gave a lot away. set up an authors page on goodreads. gave a lot of copies away to people my wife knows through her internet travels.
other than that though it didnt really do anything sales wise. i ended up taking it down.
im glad i wrote it and plan to write more. i will self publish on smashwords again to make it official and get my ISBN but probably only give it to people we know.
more of a personal thing for me.

the only way to read the kind of # i i actually want to read is to write it myself.

of course when i was writing it i had fleeting thoughts of it taking off like crazy and selling a ton of digital copies only to have a studio contact me for the movie rights. of course that didnt happen.
i think my story and the characters i created would make a fantastic flick though.

i figured if the chick that wrote 50 shades of grey could get mega popular with her dumb # that mine could too.
who knows? maybe if i didnt pull it down it might have.

keep writing my friend. we can never have enough books out there.



ive got the outline for the second book all fleshed out but i have not started penning it yet though.



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 03:07 PM
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a reply to: westcoast

Your amazing! I am on your author site now. I am going to buy one of your books. I just bought a book from JustMike another ATS person. I have only an iPhone and iPad. I am trying to figure out how I can read books meant for kindle on Apple products. Are you in iBooks? Your awesome! I thank you for being you!



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 04:20 PM
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Thank you for this post


As someone who is trying to write at the moment, your words are very inspiring. Though the thought of self-publishing fills me with dread, and I would love to be traditional and find a publisher, I feel that I would never be good enough for "proper" publishers and therefore would need to self-publish.

One of my oldest friends has written and self-published two books now, with the help of Kickstarter, and is beginning a third!

One day I will join you all!
Fingers crossed.



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 05:03 PM
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originally posted by: TinySickTears
pretty sweet.
definitely not easy.

i published mine on smashwords.
it was for sale on smashwords, barnes and noble, and the kobo store for quite some time.
im was(still am) pretty insecure over it though. sold a few copies. i gave a lot away. set up an authors page on goodreads. gave a lot of copies away to people my wife knows through her internet travels.
other than that though it didnt really do anything sales wise. i ended up taking it down.
im glad i wrote it and plan to write more. i will self publish on smashwords again to make it official and get my ISBN but probably only give it to people we know.
more of a personal thing for me.

the only way to read the kind of # i i actually want to read is to write it myself.

of course when i was writing it i had fleeting thoughts of it taking off like crazy and selling a ton of digital copies only to have a studio contact me for the movie rights. of course that didnt happen.
i think my story and the characters i created would make a fantastic flick though.

i figured if the chick that wrote 50 shades of grey could get mega popular with her dumb # that mine could too.
who knows? maybe if i didnt pull it down it might have.

keep writing my friend. we can never have enough books out there.



ive got the outline for the second book all fleshed out but i have not started penning it yet though.




This was one of my mistakes. I first published on Booktango, because I simply didn't know any better. I didn't even know that Amazon had a publishing option, and really, they had just started doing it a couple years before. As soon as I connected with other authors, and discovered the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), I switched over. I also tried publishing a couple of short stories on Smashwords, and was VERY unimpressed. I know that it's possible to do well going broad, but what I am finding from many other indie authors, is that your best shot (at least at first) is through Amazon.

I would REALLY encourage you to take a look at the KDP program. Look at my author site on Amazon (link labove) to see how I have it all set up, and what my covers look like. They aren't the best, but they are alright.

Keep writing, and have faith! It takes a whole lot of courage to put your work out there for scrutiny, and you have already accomplished that!!



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 05:04 PM
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a reply to: Quantum12

Thank you so much for your kind words!

If you are into scifi, I would suggest starting with Bloodline.


I do believe that Amazon has free aps, allowing you to read kindle books on your iphone. Try searching their site!



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 05:07 PM
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originally posted by: kaelci
Thank you for this post


As someone who is trying to write at the moment, your words are very inspiring. Though the thought of self-publishing fills me with dread, and I would love to be traditional and find a publisher, I feel that I would never be good enough for "proper" publishers and therefore would need to self-publish.

One of my oldest friends has written and self-published two books now, with the help of Kickstarter, and is beginning a third!

One day I will join you all!
Fingers crossed.


You never know until you put yourself out there! I would be happy to look over your manuscript, if you ever get to that point and want a BETA reader. (someone to read the work before you publish it)

There are also some fun options for finding a publishing agent, like #pitmad on twitter.

It really is quite simple to put your work up, as far as the on-line process. It is totally free (KDP Kindle Direct Publishing). The hardest part is the formatting, which Amazon has a free ebook to walk you through it. I do all of my own. If you want a good, affordable cover designer, I would be happy to make some suggestions for you!

Good luck, and don't give up on your dreams!



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 06:22 PM
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a reply to: kaelci

Kaelci has a really amazing book. I have a few chapters. You should contact westcoast and send her the chapters I have. A great read. Thank you for being who you are!



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 06:50 PM
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a reply to: Quantum12

Thank you
Maybe when it's a bit more refined! I am so happy you like it though, it is incredibly rough at the moment.



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 07:07 PM
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a reply to: kaelci

Every great author has a first rough copy.
Some books I want to drop after the first chapter!
Not your book!



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 07:35 PM
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a reply to: Quantum12

This is very true. It's always encouraging to read about the writing/publishing process from acclaimed authors. Most of them say their work is rubbish before it hits the editor.



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 07:35 PM
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a reply to: Quantum12

This is very true. It's always encouraging to read about the writing/publishing process from acclaimed authors. Most of them say their work is rubbish before it hits the editor.



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 07:55 PM
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a reply to: westcoast

Hi westcoast,

Despite their successes, there are hundreds of famous authors and writers out there who loathe the process of putting down words. The solitude. The long stretches of time away from any sort of human contact. The inability to think or talk about anything other than the topic at hand. And don’t even get me started on self-doubt, inner criticism, and writer’s block.

I wish you the best with your writing.



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 08:10 PM
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Thanks for your thread on getting books published. I just started writing a science fiction novel. Can you link me to your other threads, if you have any, about this process?



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 08:22 PM
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a reply to: Quantum12

Hmmm....that makes it sound rather depressing, which is simply not the case for me. In fact, it is the opposite. I find it therapeutic.

Perhaps the difference is the reason why they are writing? I feel, that if you cross the line from writing because you love to do it, to writing to make money...it just isn't going to be the same. I think this is why I prefer to be self published. I am writing for no one else but myself. I have no deadline but what I set for myself.

When I got to the third book of my trilogy, was WAS completely submerged and obsessed with it, because it was so complex. I still loved it, but I absolutely needed a break from it. This is why I am so focused on my kids books right now. They are simple stories, so much easier to write. They are also fun, light hearted and positive. They are not only a joy to read, but also to write. I love my characters, their antics, and the messages I am giving.

I write clean fiction. I have extremely strong moral boundaries when it comes to this sort of thing, and I refuse to write something that my kids can't read.

Honestly, if I were to ever get to a point where my writing made me depressed, I would stop. The whole reason I am doing is because I choose to. I want to. I love it and it is a positive part of my life!!

edit on 27-3-2016 by westcoast because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 08:24 PM
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a reply to: darkbake

I think this LINK should take you to everything I have put up recently.



edit on 28/3/16 by JustMike because: I fixed the link for westcoast's Thread page.



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 08:40 PM
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a reply to: westcoast

I am sorry. I should have added the famous authors who are writing to make money they have deadlines and pressure from their agent and the publisher. As you stated.

Your way is the right way. No deadlines no huffing and puffing down your neck.
Just to clarify my statement. I was not thinking.

I am in the film business here in Hollywood! I know the pressure writers are under.
Under pressure writers can produce the best work or their mind blanks.

Your the best...have a great evening in the Pacific Northwest...if you live In Seattle I am a big fan of Seattle!
edit on 3 27 2016 by Quantum12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 09:36 PM
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a reply to: Quantum12

I can't even imagine the amount of stress that writers who have huge contracts to write are under! I totally get what you were saying.


I am about an hour North of Seattle. Beautiful area, but it rains too much.



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 09:45 PM
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a reply to: westcoast

Ok I am happy you understand. I did not mean writers like you just the authors who get greedy making money just to please a publisher. They get depressed.LOL

I try to visit Seattle every year. I have to always make my way to the farmers market. Plus drive to Mt. Rainer
Take care. Have a great evening!
edit on 3 27 2016 by Quantum12 because: (no reason given)




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