On October 27, 2011, I uploaded One Sheet Stories to Amazon.com, which marked the beginning of my adventures in self-publishing. Three years later, I have self-published a total of six e-books to the tubes so far: one non-fiction book and five super-short story collections. My works can be found on Kindle, nook, iTunes, and Kobo.
Like many other creative persons, I hoped that my creations would be well received. While the number of copies of One Sheet Stories that were sold that first year could be counted on one hand (it’s free now), my second book, The Rules of Tech Support, has sold over one hundred copies and was downloaded over four hundred times when I gave it away on Amazon.
One reason I write is in the hope that this endeavor can result in financial independence, but realistically it will take some doing. I have received a small amount of royalties. Not much, but enough for me to let Uncle Sam know, for what that’s worth. There are definitely no plans for me to quit my day job anytime soon. I have, however, gained knowledge from my successes and failures that I have begun to share with others.
I like to think that my writing has improved over those three years; the fact that I give away some of my earliest works for free now is a reflection on how rough some of those early stories were. As evidenced by the slow start, I may have been a bit premature in attempting to sell my works. If nothing else, I learned that I needed to package at least seven stories to justify the ninety-nine cent price tag. Lessons learned and all that.
My attempts to sell paper copies of my books were met with what I can only describe as a fantastic level of indifference (insert lamenting about how ‘nobody reads anymore’ here), but the opportunity to spread the word about my work and talk to like-minded individuals have made up for the lack of financial success. Luckily the financial costs are low and the potential for higher levels of success are there, so I press on.
Of course, there are things that I still need to work on; length in particular is something that still vexes me. I have at least one idea for a novella that I would like to complete someday, but only a few partially finished chapters sit unloved on my hard drive. I have also taken a few tentative steps towards writing different kinds of stories, but the majority of my works are still humorous (I hope). Marketing is another challenge that I am looking forward to addressing in the future.
As I enter my fourth year of being a self-published author, I can only hope that as I write and publish more, I sell more and who knows, maybe someday I will get to really say ‘take this job and shove it’ for good. As my fourth year begins, I have two follow-ups to The Rules of Tech Support in the works as well as another science fiction collection and of course, more furry stories.
Writing and publishing has been an adventure for me so far, and I hope that you (and many others!) will join me on what should be a fun ride in the years ahead. Thanks for reading.