Writing, Among Other Things

My Experiences from Self-Publishing my First Book

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410OmiAnVgL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Publishing a book had been on my to-do list for a long time. I even had a few completed manuscripts lying with me, that I had submitted to a few publishers for their consideration. So, I decided not to go the self-publishing way with those stories.

Writing it – The Easy Part

Then, last year, I participated in NaNoWriMo again. Unlike the years before last year when I was not able to finish my novella, last year I was able to finish NaNoWriMo. I shared my novella with a few friends and, as is expected of friends, they liked it. Now, I had a story that was complete, edited, and needed publishing.

Publishing it – The Not So Hard Part

After looking at a few options available for writers interested in self-publishing, I settled upon Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) as my platform of choice. In the beginning it did look intimidating, but a couple of hours on the site and it seemed doable. A friend offered to help with the designing of the cover page, and that gave an additional boost to my desire to publish. It goes without saying that a good cover page is essential if you want your book to stand out among the many thousand books that are published on Kindle on a daily basis.

The rest of the steps are pretty easy, and KDP has been nice enough to publish a free guide on how to build your book for Kindle. Read the guide once, and I doubt if you will have any problem in publishing your book.

Marketing it – The Hard Part

The book was published on 22 March, 2015 and seeing it on sale on the Amazon site was pretty exhilarating. I used the Amazon Free Book Promotion for the first five days and during these five days more than 200 copies of the book got downloaded. That felt great. Here, I must also mention that Amazon has a great reporting page to keep track of your book downloads.

But, after five days, the downloads slowed down quite a bit, and that was a bit deflating. Making a profit from the book sales was never my motive, and I had kept the price at the lowest level that was allowed by Amazon. As a writer, however, I did hope for more people to read my book and let me know what they thought of it.

I did use Twitter and Facebook to let my friends know about the book, but I decided not to do it too aggressively as it would be seen as spamming. I also did not want to spend on advertising as I was essentially learning the ropes of self-publishing. So, in short,  marketing the book is turning out to be way harder than I thought.

I have set myself a target of selling around 2000 copies of the book, and I am one fourth there. I am not sure if the target will be met or not, but I am going to try.

You can help me meet the target by downloading the book here.

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  1. Gr8 work… 🙂
    Its always tough to start n Experience is gr8 Teacher.

  2. I like how you labeled writing your book as the “easy part” of the project. For those who have yet to experience the self-publishing process, one might assume that this is the hard part. It’s not. It’s actually the fun part. Marketing the book is the most difficult part of the process, so it’s necessary to prepare for this and have a plan.

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