For years self-publishing has been synonymous with bad. Many authors have it in their heads that to be lumped with the $2.99 crew on Kindle means you suck. Isn’t the traditional process of getting an agent, getting an editor and printing lots of copies the only way to prove you’re any good? I’m not so sure anymore. Dozen of success stories like J.A. Konrath, Amanda Hocking and your very own A.G. Henley prove otherwise. And I started thinking, what if I stopped taking no for an answer? What if I took my career into my own hands? What a scary and exhilarating thought.
I must confess I am a control freak. I love having every aspect of my life in my own hands. So, you can imagine how picking my own cover, writing my own blurb and keeping my own title appealed to me. I could also release when I felt like it, market how I wanted and leave my prose alone. I didn’t have to please anyone but myself. But then came the research. There are some fantastic resources for self-publishers out there. I picked a book called Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran. That book helped me through the process of formatting, which was harder than I ever imagined. I hired a top notch editor, cringing at the price, but knowing it might make or break my work. I hired a friend to do my cover art and was pleased with his work. I built a website, a facebook page and updated my blog. Then I released The Breeders and held my breath.
Since then, the most amazing thing has happened. Friends, family and even high school classmates I haven’t seen in fifteen years came out of the woodwork to support me. I sold almost 80 books in the first day (and outsold some James Patterson titles for a day!). I’ve been getting five star reviews from people I don’t even know. One friend has organized her book club to feature my book as their next selection. And my drive to write has skyrocketed. All it takes is a couple people saying, “When’s the sequel coming out? I can’t wait”, to drive you to your computer day after day.
So, in the realm of self-publishing, I feel like a success story. True, I’m not on the top one hundred and I certainly can’t quit my day job, but I’ve never been happier. My writing is in my own hands and I’m not taking no for an answer