Celebrating Independence Day as an Independent Author

Summerfest_2008_fireworks_7109I just wanted to note that I count the July 4, 2010 holiday as my independence day as an indie author. It was that weekend that the Kindle Nation Daily offered my newly written short story, Dandy Detects, as a featured “Kindle Short.” At this stage of the “ebook revolution” there were very few places an indie author could promote her work, and I was very grateful for the opportunity. I had published my first historical mystery, Maids of Misfortune, just over 6 months earlier and I had sold 268 copies in the US Kindle store. I had made enough in sales of both the ebook and print copies to cover my costs (mostly professional covers for my novel and short story), but my sales were not nearly enough to let me quit my day-job (part-time teaching, which supplemented my retirement income.)

Then came that Kindle Short promotion over the July 4th holiday. As hoped, people who read the short story on the Kindle Nation Daily website went on to buy the novel, and over that weekend I sold over 70 copies of Maids of Misfortune (an enormous number in those days) pushing it to the top of the historical mystery bestseller list and making me a mover and a shaker on Amazon for a day. Maids stayed on the top of that list for the next year and a half, and since Amazon.com had just made the option of getting 70% royalties for books selling at $2.99 and above, I made enough money in that time to truly become an independent author, quitting my part-time teaching job to become a full-time author.

As a professional historian I am well aware of how complicated the issues are that surround the divining the “true” meaning of our nation’s independence movement, just as I am aware of the complex issues involved in defining what it means to be an independent author. But in very simplistic terms, in the past two years I have made more each year in sales than I made at the peak of my career as a community college professor (which might also indicate how much our nation values higher education–but that is another whole topic). This has given me the freedom to write what I want and to spend time helping other authors achieve independence from the traditional route to publishing. And for that, I celebrate the day.

M. Louisa Locke, July 4, 2013

9 thoughts on “Celebrating Independence Day as an Independent Author

  1. If I believed in God, I’d pray to him every day for your continued success, dear Mary Lou. Your selflessness in helping other Indie authors is much appreciated. Food for thought: an author colleague of mine said he believed that success for male e-book writers was limited compared to female authors. He said the vast majority of readers were women, and lamented that only a small minority of them were attracted to thrillers. He maintained that the number of readers worldwide was imploding because other distractions were occupying the minds of the young. His was an ultra-pessimistic view, but I wonder how others regard the situation. A happy Independence Day to all my American friends. If our old King George hadn’t fouled up, you’d all still be members of the British Commonwealth!

    Roger Radford : radford46.wordpress.com

  2. Congratulations on your success in the indie market! I’m still hitting the bumps and turns, and valiantly forging ahead, with the help of pros like you!

    Morgan Mandel

  3. Bravo! That’s all I can say. I’d stand and clap, too. Thank you for your success stories and your optimism. Peace to you.

  4. Your expierence with indie author has reduced the confusion in me about treditional publishing and indie style. Thank you for the post. I have read your other posts too, they are good so started following your blog to get more interesting things out of it.

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