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Friday, 9 August 2013

My 3rd self-publishing anniversary

This day three years ago I self-published Remix on Amazon.

Self-publishing wasn't what I really wanted. I believe I still hankered after the dream - an agent, a publisher, a stack of books in a bookshop which I could go and secretly gloat over, maybe a desk, a pen, a queue of fans... 

But the dream had made it clear it didn't want anything to do with me. I couldn't even get to first base and find an agent to take me on, though several trifled with me.

So I gritted the teeth, concocted a cover, worked out how to format for Smashwords and KDP, and committed to the move.

Back then - and how quaint it seems now - writers on forums would give dire warnings that you were using up your first publication rights (que?) and said no big publisher would consider a book once it had been self-published (pause for raucous laughter). They also opined that no book without the input of a publisher's team of editors, designers and marketers would A) be any good and B) sell any copies.

How wrong they were. Those of us who jumped in at that point caught the first wave of indie opportunity, a boom time that will never happen again.  So favourable to popular books were Amazon's algorithms in those days that Remix spent over eight months in the UK top 100. 

Now that almost everyone agrees that self-publishing is a valid way for a writer to proceed, it's way tougher to make an impact on the charts. Three years ago, I was lucky.

26 comments:

Timberati said...

Congratulations on your third anniversary.

Lexi said...

Thanks, Norm :o)

It doesn't seem that long ago that we were all on YouWriteOn together...

Maia Sepp said...

Congrats, Lexi!

Alan Hutcheson said...

The best thing is how productive you have been in the past three years. You are building a body of work that will serve you well when the coveted Breakthrough happens. Keep 'em coming.

Old Kitty said...

Happy third anniversary and good for you!! Take care
x

Lexi said...

Thanks, everyone.

Alan, I don't know about breakthroughs, especially with a capital B, but publishing is changing so fast, who knows what opportunities will crop up in the future? And books take so long to write...

Katharine D'Souza said...

Happy anniversary, Lexi. Looking forward to the next book.

Lexi said...

Hi K - I too am looking forward to the next book being finished :o)

Judith said...

Happy Anniversary and congratulations!

pruebatten said...

Congrats, Lexi.

It was your sheer guts and bravado that was an inspiration to me following you into the indie-world and what a success Remix was! You're right, the indie wolrd changes by the minute and it's like riding a mega-wave on a flimsy surfboard, but I wouldn't have it any other way and I know for sure that you wouldn't.

Raising a glass to you and saying a big public thank you!

Justine Windsor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justine Windsor said...

Lexi. You've done really well. I was very sceptical about indie publishing for quite a while. How wrong was I?

I wonder what things will look like in another three years?

(Deleted previous comment as asked something that you actually answered in your post!)

Lexi said...

Prue, I like the idea of crazy indies braving the waves on flimsy surfboards. I guess I do like it, or I wouldn't have turned down Trident Media. Cheers!

Justine, what interests me is what will happen to the Big Five, who demonstrate a spectacular inability to get a grip on current industry opportunities. Will they adapt or die?

Judith, thank you!

Pam Howes said...

Congrats, Lexi. Remix was the first Indie download to my Kindle and you inspired me to publish my first E book that year. I'm glad I made the decision I've never looked back. Thank you.

Lexi said...

Pam, I was inspired by Eric Christophersen - no doubt you and Prue are inspiring others.

The indie movement is spreading like a benign Zombie plague :o)

L K Jay said...

Happy third indie birthday! Lots of good points make in this post and a lot I can relate to. :-)

Lexi said...

LK, I could have done some ranting but celebrating is more fun :o)

Anna Hunt said...

Happy anniversary, Lexi, and I would say that it was much more than luck which took Remix to eight months in the top 100.

Thank you, not only for the books, but also for this blog.



M T McGuire said...

Wow, I thought it was a little longer. I think you may be right about things being easier but don't forget the most important thing, which was that you wrote a very good book! ;-) That is quite important.

Cheers

MTM

Lexi said...

Anna and MT, I agree the book's the thing, but what about fairy dust? That's even more important :o)

Anna Hunt said...

I've got dust, still looking for the fairies though.

Greta said...

Not luck, Lexi. Talent - and courage. Well done, you.

quantum said...

This definitely calls for a toast!

Here's to a lady with vision clear
surfing the waves of success.
Breaking new ground and defying convention
she spearheads the Indie charge.

With power in her pen making publishers tremble
I long to read more of her tales.
Raise your glasses dear friends
let us drink to success.

To a charming inspirational author
may her books sell for ever!

Bottoms up and down the hatch. LOL

Lexi said...

Thank you Q! Cheers!

I am a third of the way through the next novel - another third and I'll be quietly confident and racing towards the finish. Or possibly surfing...

fairyhedgehog said...

Congratulations!

I wish it was longer than three years because then I'd have more of your books to read ;-)

I'm not sure I believe in luck; I think it's usually more a mixture of talent, hard work, and seizing the opportunities that arise and making the most of them.

I'm not saying it isn't harder for indie writers now - maybe it is - but your "good luck" was in my opinion self-made and your success well-deserved.

Lexi said...

FH, I think it's all that plus luck. Though I believe persistence is most important of all.