5 Things I wish I'd known Before I Self-Published!


I started my perilous and miraculous journey into the world of self-publishing in August 2014. Since then I have published eight novels. Looking back on the past three years there are a few valuable lessons I learned along the way that I wish someone had shared with me. So, for the benefit of those starting their writing careers, and maybe for those who’ve been struggling, here are five golden nuggets of self-publishing, and dozens of silver nuggets, I’ve learned that may be helpful:  1: Before you start writing, pick your category and sub-genre carefully.  Amazon accounts for 65% of all eBook sales according to Forbes magazine. I write historical romance set in colonial America in the late-18th and early-19th centuries. Unfortunately, Amazon has no historical romance subcategory for American Historical Romance. An early May 2017 search on Amazon lists Historical Romance (47, 990 titles) as having the following sub-genres: Regency (13,262); Scottish (3,058); Medieval (4,126); Victorian (7,225); Ancient World (1,566); and Other (approximately 19,000). So, when I put my books in the “Other” category, they were competing with 19,000 books. And, even though the broader category of just Romance lists 26 sub-genres, my books don’t fit well into any of those 26 sub-genres of Romance either. The best I can do is put them in Western Romance – Historical (8,494 titles). Which means getting the right readers to see my books on Amazon is challenging. So study Amazon’s categories and sub-genres and find one that fits a time period you want to write about. Also, fewer books in a category means less competition.
It’s also a good idea to read as many books as you can in your category before you start writing. Not only will this help you become a better writer, you’ll get a feel for what’s already out there. You want your book to be unique and fresh. And you’ll see why writing techniques like using active voice, a consistent point of view, and a show-don’t-tell approach are so important.

Read the entire article in the June issue 2017 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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