Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes
Lately the media has been in a tizzy about successful self-published authors and their books. But guess what? The success of these self-published books is coming from writers who were already established in the traditional route and were successful in the traditional route. Little is there spoken of on the unknown authors finding success with the self-publishing route, unless you’re selling like JK Rowling, like Amanda Hopkins or J.A. Konrath. But there are plenty of unknowns finding success with the self-publishing route, and even though they’re not making millions, they’re still selling enough to arguably be considered bestsellers in regards to sells. Now I haven’t read all these books. I perused Amazon to find self-published books with good ratings and and a decent amount of reviews to justify buying the book. I’m not too concerned about the Amazon Bestseller ranking. I would say 80 or more reviews usually means the books are selling relatively well–but, of course, most people who buy won’t leave reviews. I chose five of them, and some of these are on my Wish List. There are many, many more that you can find on Amazon. At first glance you can’t even tell they’re self-published, but a mere glance at the publisher can tell you whether or not the book is self-published: if the authors use their name as the publisher or createspace or another self-publishing entity, such as their own publisher, it is usually self-published–so that’s how I was able to tell these ones were. Here are the five books:
This is Tess Oliver’s Camille. Has 90 ratings and 4 star reviews. Tess Oliver is her penname. I actually interviewed her back when The Corner Club Press had a blog. She told me she simply threw up an ad and saw her sales begin to steadily rise, but this was when the e-reader was steadily rising in popularity, so back then it was probably easier to get attention. But the last time I talked to her, she told me she had the interests of a few agents. Nonetheless, she was a complete unknown before publishing Camille. You can find her book here.
This is Megan Thomason’s ‘daynight.’ This book has 142 customer reviews and has a 4.5 star rating. This is also her first book, but her fourth written one. You can find it here.
This is Samantha Durante’s ‘Stitch.’ It has 119 customer reviews and a 4.5 star rating. This is her first novel as well. Notice a trend here? Some self-publishing advice blogs will tell you to keep publishing and you’ll eventually rise in sales. Perhaps these people are so far lucky, but look at their cover photos, read the blurbs, and also look at the reviews they have for their books. You can tell these authors marketed big time before releasing their books. You can find her book here.
This is K.A. Robinson’s ‘Twisted.’ This book has 194 customer reviews and a 4.5 star rating. This is the author’s second novel. Her first novel ‘Torn’ was on Amazon’s Kindle Top 100 for a month. You can find her book here.
This is Mayandree Michel’s ‘Betrayal.’ While this book does not have 100 reviews, it still has 92 and a 4.5 star rating. This is her first published book and is in ‘The Descendants’ series. I wanted to put this book up here because in spite of not yet having 100 reviews, the cover is phenomenal and eye catching, a great example of what aspiring self-published writers should strive for when creating their cover art.
Now granted all these books are young adult books and written by women, but I can assure you I wasn’t deliberately looking for women. My recommendations just give me young adult books because they’re what I primarily read, and female writers because that is who primarily writes young adult. But these authors alone found success with self-publishing, and while many probably don’t, many also do not find success with the traditional route. So study the crap out of self-publishing, market hard, work your butt off on your cover, edit the crap out of your book, and keep marketing, even after the release of your book.