In 2015, I started the process of canceling my traditional publishing contracts and re-releasing all my books as an indie author. My reasons for the switch were detailed in two posts Goodbye Traditional, Hello Indie (Part I) and (Part II).
The process went more smoothly than I could have imagined, and I wanted to share the results:
1. I left myself 8 months to convert 6 books. Two months per book would have been easier as I was re-proofing as part of the process. The advice: Create a schedule and then give yourself extra time.
2. New covers had an instantaneous sales response. Covers do matter whether traditional or indie publishing.
3. My old reviews ALL carried over to the new books. All I had to do was ask Amazon to combine the old (publisher) and new (indie) editions leaving only the new editions visible. The same phone call also combined the kindle and paperback editions so that they’d show as one “tile” (the standard Amazon presentation).
4. Though I priced my ebooks significantly lower than my publisher did, I’m earning a greater per-book royalty. The healthier royalties now support further promotion, while the lower prices encourage more readers to try my books.
5. Promotions conducted on 3 converted books generated about 7,5oo downloads that kick-started a series of paid sales. As a traditionally published author, I couldn’t take advantage of promotions as I had no control over pricing and discounts.
6. I am now able to track my sales with a great deal of detail. This wasn’t an option when my books were under contract with a publisher. The publisher received complete data, and I only received sales volume data when I received my royalty checks.
As a traditionally published author, the most effective way I had of seeing how I was doing was to keep an eye on my Amazon Author’s Ranking, which looked at my sales performance as a whole versus by individual book. (Unfortunately, Amazon no longer offers these graphs). Here’s a look at how my ranking changed when I started the self-publishing journey. Numbers don’t lie!
My writing journey started with a traditional publisher, but I haven’t one regret regarding the switch to indie publishing. The industry continues to change and who knows what’s ahead. For now, being an indie author works for me.
I hope this series of posts is helpful to anyone deciding which way to go. Happy Writing.