Was it only this March that I announced to the world that I was publishing my first ebook and there would be another ten before the end of the year?
Seems like last week.
When I first announced it, it wasn’t 11. I thought, hey I’ll get ten titles out before Xmas, the idea being to get a firm footprint on Kindle in time for the holiday season increase in ebook buying. Then I looked at the titles I had and thought. I could probably do 11. Then I had the crazy idea to do 11 before 11 November 2011, because, hey, it’s a cool concept… Little did I know the amount of back breaking work it would entail.
But I did it. I published 11 titles in 9 months. Five novels, four novellas and two shorts.
Nine are published under my own name, while two are out there under pseudonyms, because half way through the year I came up with the idea of running an erotica imprint based around a certain character in one of my novels.
That’s what’s been so amazing about plunging into this indie-publishing world: I write a lot more than I used to and if I get a crazy idea for a new story or imprint, I can get it out there quickly and have people buying it almost as soon as it’s released.
And I’ve even got a paperback out. Through Createspace, I’ve been able to provide a paperback option for The Striker’s Fear of the Open Goal and have been getting plenty of orders for signed copies from football fans.
The UK audience are slowly buying my titles. I’m currently selling about 2-3 ebooks per day, but I know that number will go up. I’ve seen all those nice new £80 Kindles stacked up in Tesco. More and more people will have them this Xmas and when they do, they’ll be looking for ebooks to order.
So I see this as a serious career move. It’s already garnered Hollywood interest. Next year it will make me a living.
And I’m going to carry on publishing. I’ve got another five titles lined up for next year, plus I’ll be continuing with the Touchstone time travel series.
I’ll be writing at a more relaxed pace though. No more crazy deadlines.
But how did I do it?
1. Simple. I had most of my stories already developed, either as unpublished novels or screenplays. I’ve basically spent the year re-writing and editing. It’s sort of simply putting out my ‘backlist’ if you will, although with tons of re-writing.
2. I listened to people who were already e-publishing. I checked Joe Konrath’s blog every day to give me the regular kick up the arse I needed.
3. I bought Dave Gaughran’s Let’s Get Digital. It tells you everything you need to know about actually doing it: it analyses the revolution that’s going on in publishing right now, spells out the economic choices for you, tells you how to edit and format, and it contains the testimonies of 33 e-publishing success stories. It’s even available on his site as a free PDF. I still bought the ebook after reading it for free. It’s that good.
4. I had a team of writer/editor friends who were willing beta-readers. They spotted most glitches and offered a lot of constructive advice on each book. Thank you, guys. You know who you are and you are all gods and godesses amongst men to me.
5. I had a good book cover designer: Pete Bradbury.
6. Oh, and I wrote every day. Four pages was my minimum. It didn’t matter if it was 4 newly written pages or 4 edited pages. That was what I did every day. Some days I did more. A lot more (especially during the last couple of weeks).
That’s how I did it. And that’s how you can do it.