A self-published author's diary, Self publishing, Self-pub corner

A Self-Published Author’s Diary: Let’s start, shall we?

Good morning…I don’t know why I start with “Good morning”. Especially because I’m writing this post (and email) during a stretch of several days. Like, right now, when I’m adding this sentence, it’s evening here.

Plus, you may be reading this in a lot of different places and time zones…But anyways, here is it is “Good morning”: the sun is shining through the window, Plato the Dog is snoring on the couch and I have a lot of things on my to-do list. Including starting this weekly email…which will also be available in French.

If you’re interested: you can sign up here. for the English version and here for the French version…I’ll be sharing parts of this newsletter on my blog but I might not share it on my blog every week, while when you sign up for my weekly email, you’ll receive that weekly email directly to your inbox…

Why start a weekly email about self-publishing?

After all, I am not one of the big names nor am I making thousands dollars a month and the main reason I am able to still focus on my business is thanks to my husband and his job. I mean, granted, there’s also a pandemic and due to my stem cell transplant, I’m still considered to be in the segment of the population that needs to be extra careful. But I am able to take all necessary precautions thanks to my husband and his job. Others might not.

Anyhow.

I’ve been sharing some behind-the-scenes in my Instagram stories but (a) the reach very much depends on the algorithm and I don’t post regularly enough on social media I think to make the algorithm work in my favor, (b) After not being on social media very consistently over the past several years, it sometimes feel I need to start from scratch, (c) this might be helpful and/or entertaining and/or interesting to my readers, (d) I am currently changing the way I am working on my publishing career, (e) And yes, since I will also be talking about my books, maybe I might gain a few more readers. :-), (f) sometimes it feels like I’m talking in a void…

And did I mention there is a pandemic and that I haven’t interacted face-to-face for more than 15 minutes with more than 4 people (counting my husband) in almost a year?

And at least, when I write a blog post or a newsletter, it feels like my words may reach someone,

I feel the same way about writing my books, but there’s no instant gratification when it comes to writing novels or even short stories. I don’t publish them right away. There’s an entire process behind them.

I do receive emails from readers and I need to print out them and make an album out of them, because reading them always makes me smile.

And I know that for some authors, where I am at my career is a place they long to be. And for some other authors, they wish for something different. It’s all about expectations and I guess where you are in your writing journey.

Some self-published authors who started publishing around the same time I did have quit (for many different reasons – have I mentioned how lucky I am for my husband and his support?). Other self-published authors have risen to the top of the charts, mostly due to their hard work and business savy and marketing strategies and yes, a bit of luck. But honestly, that bit of luck wouldn’t be anything without the hard work they’ve put behind the scenes and the amount of novels they have written that are so good readers can’t get enough. And some are like me, continuing to write and publish, trying out different avenues and strategies, readjusting their goals…

See? I am musing right now. Thinking out loud. Typing…out loud? I thought about starting a patreon or a podcast, but writing seems to be my favorite mean of expressing myself and sharing information. Don’t get me wrong, I can talk, talk, talk about a lot of different subjects. And since I used to work as a press officer and an adjunct, I am used to and enjoy presenting on a variety of topics. And I am good at it. But…musings in writing? That seems more like something I can do on a regular basis. And I might read this out loud and actually add it as an audio file at some point.

What do you think? Would you like this as an audio file too? Let me know 🙂

What I am currently working on:

  1. Switching some of my French-speaking, German-speaking and maybe Portuguese-speaking books to Kindle Unlimited. Why? I haven’t published a new original book in more than a year and so the sales have been dwindling on all platforms and I am getting the rights back on some of my German and Portuguese translations. Plus, by looking at the overall sales and revenues in the last three years for my books in French, I did have a jump in revenue a few months after the hype of release week when I put those books in KU. By the way did you know that Kindle Unlimited has a different name in France and there’s a whole legal story behind it about the right of publishers to set e-book prices and there were quite a few articles about it back in 2015. I found this fascinating and will definitely read more about it. The TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT French version has also never been in the French equivalent of Kindle Unlimited soooooo…waiting for the other platforms to delist LA PEUR DANS LE SANG, LA PEUR DANS LES YEUX and LA PEUR EN PLEIN COEUR and off they go into the French equivalent of KU.
  2. Working on two new bilingual books…I had a lot of foreign-languages editions of my books up on Babelcube. And I got a lot of the rights back on those books. And my revenue currently comes mostly from my bilingual books. So this means, I need to format, format, format and publish, publish, publish. I’m currently working on the English/Spanish version of A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER and the German/English version of ALWAYS SECOND BEST.
  3. Started Mark Dawson’s class on Ads for Authors: I have been wanting to take this class for years. Literally, years. It is definitely an investment. But it has already helped me, when it comes to my newsletter and making efforts to expand my newsletter subscription in other countries, such as France, where my books have been selling the best – especially as I’m currently drafting several stories. Some of which I am planning to release this year.
  4. Trying to find ways to reach more audiobook listeners. Megan Carter narrated FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT and SEE ME, SEE ME NOT and those audiobooks are good. Really, they are really good. She’s an amazing narrator and I am so so looking forward to have more listeners discover those books. You can just listen to the samples (FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT sample and SEE ME, SEE ME NOT sample). From a self-publishing/business perspective, I also want to make that Megan gets her fair share of downloads. We did a Royalty-Share Plus contract on ACX, meaning that I paid her a lower rate PFH (per finished hour) but we share the royalties on the books. So for me: I want to (a) recoup my investment, (b) make a profit, (c) make sure Megan also makes on this book at least what she would have earned if I had paid her her regular PFH rate.
  5. Going wide with the audiobook of A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER: what does going wide mean for an audiobook? That means that instead of listing my audiobook via ACX (which is the Amazon platform and only makes it available on Amazon, iTunes and Audible), I am using Findaway Voices and it will be available in libraries, Google Play and so many more places.
  6. Back to training my dragon…I bought a copy of the Dragon Naturally Speaking back in 2016 and didn’t use it a whole lot. As I am currently writing short stories (ghosts! witches! vampires!) with Susan Dennard’s story-a-month challenge and want to write a prequel novella to the rom-com I’m finishing revising, I need to draft faster. Drafting faster means getting the story out faster because I have noticed that I do much better in revising if I figure out the novel as I draft it. Yes, I am now more of a plotter than I used to be but there are still areas that I discover only once I have the story drafted.

So, this is what you might expect in my weekly email. More info about what I’m reading about the self-publishing market, results in some of my marketing methods and trying out different platforms…Some random thoughts about going wide / Kindle Unlimited, writing methods.

I’ll be sharing more about training my dragon (the transcription …), the ups and downs of self-publishing, more of a glimpse behind-the-scenes…and I’ll be crossing my fingers that, that way, I can connect more with readers and writers and people around the world, wondering about self-publishing or my experience with self-publishing…after all some people still find this blog by looking up ideas on self-publishing from years ago. A lot of things have changed in the self-publishing landscape. A lot of them haven’t. I’ll share with you how I think I became somewhat of a success in France with my self-publishing books (it has to do with a lot of luck and timing).

Okay, that’s it for now.

Did you enjoy this post? Do you want to help support me and my writing? You can forward this blog post to someone who might be interested, sign up for my newsletter ( sign up here. for the English version and here for the French version), buy my books…

Or simply leave me a comment…

Don’t hesitate to ask a question in the comment and sign up for my weekly newsletter. I’ll answer questions weekly as well. 🙂

Talk to you next week. 🙂

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Self publishing, Self-pub corner

The One Where You Can Ask Me Self-Publishing Questions…

I’ve decided to do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a slightly modified version to fit my November goals. You can find me here if you’re on the NaNoWriMo website. For those of you who may not know:

National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a daunting but straightforward challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel during the thirty days of November.

Now, each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand-new novel. You may know this mass creative explosion by the name National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo—but that’s not all that NaNoWriMo is!

(…) It’s a start-up incubator for novels (books like Water for Elephants, Fangirl, and WOOL began as rough drafts in November!). It’s a teaching tool, it’s a curriculum, and its programs run year-round.

Whatever you thought NaNoWriMo was, it is more than that. (Source: https://nanowrimo.org/about-nano)

Right now I am still finalizing my adult rom-com and will continue to do so in the coming weeks. However, I am planning on also writing a few short non-fiction books about self-publishing.

This won’t be about how to become a millionaire thanks to writing or how to become a bestselling author (because I’m neither of those).

It will be more related to questions you may ask yourself before self-publishing (why, how, is that right for me, what are my expectations and what are my goals and what are my dreams), during self-publishing (the process, the options…), looking at foreign markets, what has worked for me, what hasn’t and what I have learned.

Because I’ve learned a lot in the past six years. About a lot of things, but I’m still talking about self-publishing here. 🙂 I’ve become a hybrid author (self-published and tradionally published). I’m getting a lot of my rights back from my translated works in the coming months.

I’ll share some of my stats (paperback vs ebook, countries where I am currently selling the most…), definitely a lot of behind-the-scenes and reality-checks and hopefully usefully answers some of your burning questions (again…about self-publishing).

So…do *you* have any questions about self-publishing? Or about my years as self-publisher?

Don’t hesitate to add them as a comment to this blog post or fill out the message form below to send me an email.