I’ve been a self-published author for some time now, with a total of six books being sold at a variety of stores around the world. And, overall, I do think I have had some moderate success.
However, as is often the case, my experience as a self-published author has also come with its share of lessons. And, most of those were learned as the result of me making some sort of mistake. In fact, there are three mistakes that really stand out, mostly because, had I known better, I probably would have had much more success early on.
First, I released my books too close together. I blame this more on impatience than actual inexperience. I had plenty of material already written and, once the first book was published, I couldn’t wait to get the next one released. As a result, instead of being able to concentrate on promoting one book, I had to divide my time and energy and my early sales weren’t as good as a result.
Second, I didn’t do a good job timing my releases. For example, I released my first book, “Love Poems for My Wife,” around Halloween and, predictably, didn’t see the sales take off as expected. In fact, the sales didn’t begin to pick up steadily until around Valentine’s Day. As a result, in hindsight, I now know I probably should have waited until at least the end of January to release that book.
Last, I sold them too cheap. When I first started out, I wanted to promote my books and, at the same time, had doubts about people wanting to spend too much on them. As a result, whenever I sold a book directly, I had a tendency to sell it almost at cost. As it turns out, the books sold moderately well at a higher price at Amazon and other stores. And, when I sold them, the books were signed. As a result, I now try to sell the books at least around the same price as everyone else is. Had I done that before, I would have made more money.
As I said before, I have had some success with being a self-published author and, while I haven’t made enough to quit my day job, it is something I do intend to continue. And, thanks to the mistakes I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned from those mistakes, I’m confident future books will have even more success.