I 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