When I read Marie Force’s recent blog post celebrating four years as a self-published author, it occurred to me that I should celebrate my own anniversary since I self-published Maids of Misfortune, the first book in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series, on November 28, 2009––FIVE YEARS AGO.
While Force’s success as one of the most prolific and high selling hybrid authors of today is truly remarkable––it struck me that I should honor the fact that when I self-published (with no traditionally published books under my belt, no fan base) I was doing something a little risky––a little ahead of the curve. In 2009, the pundits were still saying ebooks and self-published books were the route to failure, and J.A Konrath and April Hamilton were voices in the wilderness. So, when I clicked publish on that first ebook edition, I was taking a leap of faith. The first of many. And some of the most gratifying lessons I’ve learned from self-publishing have been to continue to take risks, not take no for an answer, and to enjoy controlling my own destiny.
Not that the success was over night. I just looked back and saw that at the end of six months I had sold 284 books copies of Maids of Misfortune in ebook and print, vastly more than I expected but certainly not something that promised an end to my day-job. I also had four very nice reviews on Amazon (three from complete strangers) that pleased me no end.
Yet, today, five years later, I have sold over 120,000 books (which includes just Maids of Misfortune, Uneasy Spirits, and Bloody Lessons, a boxed set of those novels, and a recent collection of my short stories––a far cry from Force’s 27 self-published books), and the first book, Maids of Misfortune, has over 740 reviews and has recently been issued in German by AmazonCrossing.
And I have also gained innumerable friends in the writing community and discovered fans of my series who love my characters as much as I do, perhaps the greatest reason to celebrate there is!
So in celebration, I am doing my first Raffle Copter Giveaway, just one more experiment in this world of self-publishing, offering copies of my boxed set, and collection of short stories and $25 Amazon gift cards to five winners. I hope you will enter, help me celebrate, and get some new books to read for the upcoming holidays! Just click here for a Rafflecopter giveaway starting Thursday, 11/20-2014.