THE LIFE AND TIMES OF AN INDEPENDENT PUBLISHED AUTHOR

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF AN INDEPENDENT PUBLISHED AUTHOR

It’s been a little over a month since I self-published my first novel, Bangkok Shadows, available on Amazon Kindle as an e book or paperback. Click here to go to the Amazon book page.

When we talk about independent or self-publishing, we really mean those words. Everything that a traditional publisher would do for an author must be done personally by the self-published author. Editing, proofreading, formatting for publication, cover design, all must be handled by the author, usually through the services of contracted professionals. Same with registering and protecting copyright. And of course, there’s the six hundred pound gorilla in the reading room: promotion. I don’t care how good your self-published novel may be; without promotion, no one aside from a handful of close friends, are ever going to read it. 

I have been navigating the rocky shoals of promotion, and eventually there will be a post dedicated to this painful process. But the average reader has little interest in such detail, so let it suffice for now to state that there are plenty of people out there ready to take your money, promise the sky, and deliver nothing. On the other hand, there are bargain sites which do help and are honorable and transparent. In my short life as an independent publisher, I’ve experienced both. I must be doing something right, as the novel is selling better than most and all reviews, public and private, have been five star and glowing. 

Unfortunately a self-published author has to keep on promoting so long as they wish to gain readers and sell books. After a while, it seems that the book takes on a life of its own and will sell because so many people have tweeted or retweeted, or shared Facebook posts, or passed the word on to a friend. I have found that successful authors on Twitter, both self-published and with traditional publishers, are often quite generous and retweet, post and spread the word about a new novel that catches their fancy. I’ve been fortunate to have this happen to me several times this past month. In the relatively small-ball world of self-publishing, this is more valuable than all the tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram photos, e mails or text messages you can pay to have delivered to the promotion-weary world at large. 

If there is any solace, it may be that these days traditional publishers are prone to pass promotion responsibilities off to the authors, especially new or low selling authors, on whom the publishing houses are loathe to spend much money. 

So what’s up next? Well, I intend to get to work on a second novel featuring Glenn Murray Cohen and the NJA Club, with Bangkok again a backdrop and almost a character. It is something I’d like to do as I feel familiar and comfortable with my characters and they still have a lot of life left in them. Several readers have expressed a desire to see more, and that is a real motivator. I figure that when the second book comes out, it will likely renew interest in Bangkok Shadows.

I also plan to write more short stories, in several genres, and post many on this blog. Since I started promoting the novel, traffic to this site has mushroomed, and at this point, I may well reach more readers here than in any small literary magazine. 

Much as I love the suspense/mystery/thriller genre, and much as I love writing about Bangkok, like every writer, I live under the delusion that somewhere within me lies the next Great American Novel, and it has to be what we call “literary” (a fancy way of saying not a specific genre) and deal with the human condition and emotions. Sooner or later, my entry will surface. 

The introductory offer for Bangkok Shadows is about to come to an end. One can only sell e books for $.99 for so long (paperbacks are $7.99).  Starting in July, the price for both  the e book and paperback will be raised to reflect market realities. Buy now at the introductory price.

If you liked Bangkok Shadows, please leave a review on Amazon to let others know why. (It will also make me feel good!). Click here to go to Amazon page to leave a review.

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