From author Rachel Abbott via The Guardian:
Last week I looked at the complex set of spreadsheets I use to track my ebook sales and gave a whoop of delight: I had just sold my two-millionth book, something I would never in my wildest dreams have considered possible just over four years ago, particularly as the vast majority of those sales were achieved through self-publishing. Initially my most ambitious target had been to sell a thousand copies.
It’s been quite a journey, and all the more exciting for being so totally unexpected. There is no point denying that I became self-published because I wasn’t able to interest an agent in my first book. I had originally written Only the Innocent for my own benefit and pleasure, but I was encouraged by family to give publishing a go. I contacted 12 literary agents, and they weren’t all negative. At least two said they enjoyed the book, but it wasn’t the type of story publishers were looking for.
. . . .
In the last four and a half years, there have been some dramatic and brilliant changes in my life, but my initial vision of days spent doing nothing other than plotting and writing were way off the mark. The self-publishing model can look attractive because, depending on the price of the book, the author can take up to 70% of the proceeds of each sale – which is a bigger return that they would get through a traditional publisher. But it takes a lot of work to make those sales: when I started to follow my marketing plan for Only the Innocent, I was working 14 hours a day, seven days a week. For three months, not a word of a novel was written. Even now, with my fifth full-length novel, Kill Me Again, released on Kindle less than a month ago, I am still working similar hours – but I love the variety and the challenge.
I’d like to say that there has been a dramatic change in attitude towards self-publishing since I released my first novel. In some quarters that is definitely the case. But sadly there are still some influential people who believe that, first, self-published authors sell a lot of books because they are cheap (Kill Me Again is currently in the Kindle UK top 20 and only one book in the chart is more expensive) and, second, that if the writing was good, the author would be offered a traditional deal. Despite being placed 14th in the UK Kindle chart of all authors over the past five years – above many of my favourite authors – some festival organisers still believe I don’t have as much to say about writing and selling books as a traditionally published author, regardless of their popularity.
Link to the rest at The Guardian
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