When I first started self-publishing with my book An Unexpected Diagnosis several years ago, I almost gave up on the idea of being an author. It was shortly after I received my first consignment of copies. Unable to wait to place them in as many book stores as possible, with the offer of signing copies as a promotion, I trudged around the city with my case of books. Over a couple of days, I managed to place a few in each of the bookshops I visited.
I waited with nervous anticipation for the results, but there were no requests for signed copies. There were a few sales, which encouraged me to think I might have a future as an author. However, I was brought down to earth by the owner of a hospital shop who informed me that one of the doctors had asked for a refund on his copy.
When I asked why, he explained that, although the doctor said he hadn’t read the book, he had noticed that it was self-published, and didn’t want to waste his time and money on a ‘failed writer’. He had assumed, apparently, that traditional publishing houses wouldn’t touch such material.
Such was the bias in the early years against self-publishing. And, no doubt, there was some evidence for this when print-on-demand encouraged some writers to publish their own books, without giving serious attention to professional editing and cover design, which could well lead to a ‘failed’ book. In other words, it didn’t match the standard usually presented by a traditional publisher.
In my own case, I decided it was all about the learning curve I needed to climb; the one that would tell me more about the indie-author’s path to success. And for what it’s worth, I’m now on that path, about to publish my fifth book.
Since those early days, the independent author can now call on professional help as good as any the traditional publisher would provide. In fact, BookBaby, one of the most successful indie-publishers in the business provided some interesting figures that support this. They show that industry experts believe self-published books make up over 30 percent of Amazon’s best-sellers. Quoting Kindle creator, Jeff Bezos, as saying over 1,000 self-published authors each earned $100,000 in book sales in 2018.
This is not to say, of course, that it is easy to achieve best-selling success, but it is possible, if a professional approach is adopted by the indie-author.
More information on self-publishing by BookBaby can be found on the Home page at: www.williamlongbooks.co.uk