Some highs and lows of being an Independent Author

There are many great things about being an independent author and having the freedom to control and publish my own books, but there are also times when things aren’t so wonderful. Here are a few examples of my highs and lows.

High – The day one of my books is released to the world.

After months of writing, rewriting, editing, rewriting again, formatting, working with a cover design and finally uploading it for publication, there is no better feeling than the day I release one my book to the reading world.

On that day, I’m both happy and nervous, because even though I might believe it’s a great story, in the end it doesn’t matter what I believe, it’s what the reader thinks, that really matters.

Low – Realizing that my book is just a needle in a haystack.

After three or four weeks on Amazon without selling a single copy, reality hits, doubt creeps in and I begin to think that all my hard work was wasted and my optimism misplaced.

I finally breakdown, lower the price of the book from an already low price of $2.99 to $.99. I pay one of the many on-line book promotion sites to promote my book, knowing from previous experience that I probably won’t sell enough copies to break even. It’s a hit or miss process, sometimes I’ll sell a few copies and other times I will have wasted my time and money, but if I want to sell some books, it’s a necessary evil.

High – First book review.

There is no greater or more nerve wracking feeling than reading the first on-line review of one of my books. It doesn’t matter if the review is a good one (although I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t hope it was) or a bad one, hopefully it’s a constructive one.

Obviously, positive reviews do wonders for my self-esteem. For a brief time I even begin to believe that all the long hours and hard work are all worthwhile. 🙂

Low – Waiting months or years for that first review.

I don’t know about other independent writers, but reviews of my books are few and far between. One of my books took almost three years before it received a review on Amazon. I still have a couple of books without any reviews. It’s a bit disheartening, but its part of the process, all I can do is be patient and hope that someday, someone will take the time to submit a few words.

High – Proudly giving away books to people I respect and care about.

It’s always cool to give away books to people I respect and care about, especially those that enthusiastically appreciate receiving the book. It’s also nice when they give me words of encouragements and acknowledge that they’ve read the book and thought it wonderful or just okay.

I don’t expect everyone to like everything I write, so I’m not hurt or disappointed if someone tells me they weren’t crazy about the story or that it wasn’t one there favorite books I’ve written.

Low – Acting like tumbleweeds in the desert.

What is very disheartening, is giving away books to people whose opinion you care about and never hearing another word from them. It makes me wonder if they bothered to read it and if they did, did they hated it, like it or what?

It’s not that I want their pity or want them to lie, but it would be nice to know that they at least attempted to read my book. I would rather have them say, that it wasn’t there cup of tea or that they don’t like mysteries or that it wasn’t very good. At least then I would know where they stand.

As an author I have hopes and expectations of the person I give the book to, but obviously they have no obligation to meet my expectations. I guess that’s the disappointing part of giving books away. Oh well, it is, what it is.


About jdonovels

Author of mystery stories and more
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