Information on specific sales data is about e-readers and ebooks is often hard to come by, especially from self-published authors who may not have their books listed with some of the major book tracking companies. New surveys about the process for self-published authors, however, have provided a closer look at how the experience and the sales have made an impact on authors and influenced their feelings about publishing. Some numbers have shown that as many as 67% of self-published authors fully intend to repeat the process with their future works, with most of those authors already deciding that their as-of-yet unwritten books will be self-published, bypassing the traditional industry altogether.
Good e-Reader interviewed celebrity author Patti Davis this week to talk about her experience with self-publishing her first title, and how that experience influenced her decision to self-publish her newest book, a haunting YA story called The Blue Hour. Davis first experimented with self-publishing for her last novel, ‘Til Human Voices Wake Us, following her frustration with the traditional industry after her eight previous books had been published.
“One of the things you learn from self-publishing is what we’re supposed to think as authors, that you’re in it for the long haul. The mindset of conventional publishers, that if a book doesn’t sell like gangbusters two weeks after publication you’re a failure, is ridiculous. That’s just not how it usually works or how creative endeavors work.”
Davis spoke at length about the challenge and power of social media as a vital tool for marketing and promotion, and outlined the level of work that goes into selling one’s book. It’s a known fact that so much of the work of being an author–whether traditionally or self-published–is in reaching out to potential audiences, and that traffic generated can carry a book in terms of sales for years to come.
“It’s not like, ‘Well how did your book sell,’ like it’s all over now. It’s still selling. When this book came out, sales of that first [self-published] book went up. I’m still getting attention for my book and for myself as an author. Only now, I’m not being reviewed as ‘The President’s Daughter,’ my work is being reviewed. It’s not about what I did thirty years ago when my father was President, now it’s about my book.”
That frustrating feeling of being seen as a celebrity first and an author last was a significant factor in Davis’ decision to self-publish through CreateSpace and KDP, and she very clearly stated that all of her work now will be self-published.
“I knew when I published ‘Til Human Voices Wake Us that I was not going to go back to a publishing house. It was always an anxiety producing experience for me, so I knew that I had crossed a line into another phase of my work as an author. And if a publisher was willing to give me a $300,000 advance, that just tells me that I’m able to earn that money on my own.”