How my self-published book became a Canadian best seller in six months

melissapart2web

Part Two of my publishing feature in the National Post is out today! In case you missed it, here’s Part One which details my preparation of the manuscript.

A reminder: I’m hosting a live-blog discussion about self-publishing on Monday, December 17 at 10:30 a.m. EST with:

Tina Folsom: Her 16 self-published romance novels have sold more than 500,000 copies and made $1.5 million since 2010.

Mark Lefebvre: Mark is an author and director of self-publishing and author relations at Kobo Inc.

Steve Vernon: His young adult novel, Sinking Deeper: My Questionable (Possibly Heroic) Decision to Invent a Sea Monster is #16 on Quill & Quire’s top 20 bestselling children’s books in Canada. His e-book serial, Flash Virus, is available on Kobo and Kindle.

Please tune in on Monday and engage in the conversation!

WIthout further ado, my publishing feature:

After I clicked “publish” on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program, I sat back and waited for my life to change.

It was as if I thought self-publishing my teen vampire novel, What Kills Me, would be transformative: kind of like when Prince Adam raises his sword and becomes He-Man. Following six months of writing and spending about $2,000 preparing my ebook for publication, by the power of Amazon, I was now an author.

Except that putting your book for sale on Amazon feels like dropping a single grain into a bag of rice — you need to paint it green or point it out, or else how will anyone distinguish it from the rest? So nothing happened. And I felt no different.

“Death by 1,000 paper cuts;” my National Post article about how my vampire novel came to life as an indie book!

Illustration for the National Post by Steve Murray

Illustration for the National Post by Steve Murray

My journey as an indie author began in the National Post newsroom. My friends urged me to self-publish What Kills Me and the task seemed too gargantuan to tackle. Finally, my books editor, Mark Medley, suggested that I do it and write about the experience. Well, I can do that. That’s what I do every day as a reporter. Become an expert in [insert random topic here: flying squirrels, mergers and acquisitions, etc.] on a daily basis. I can learn about this self-publishing thing by doing!

The first installment of the two-part feature is finally published! And on December 17 at 10:30 a.m. EST, I will be hosting a live-chat on the National Post‘s website including Mark Lefebvre, director of self-publishing at Kobo, and Tina Folsom, who has sold hundreds of thousands of her paranormal romance novels. Please tune in to be a part of the discussion and to ask the experts all of your questions!

How and why I self-published, National Post, December 8 2012

It used to bug me when people said, “Oh, when I retire, I’ll become a writer, maybe publish a book or two.”

Really? Because when I retire I’m going to become an engineer —was my imagined reply, and presumably that of many writers before me.

They made it sound as if publishing a book was something easy, something anyone could do with the click of a button.

Now, of course, it is.

To read the rest in the Post, click here!