Today I’d like to welcome a guest blogger to my blog – a young Californian writer called Daniel Wallock who has just started to self-publish his work. Self-publishing isn’t my area but I can see it’s making massive strides in the publishing world and becoming a real force to be reckoned with. I thought I’d ask Daniel why a young writer like him would chose to self-publish his work rather than going down the traditional route of looking for a publisher and an agent. Thanks to Daniel for coming along today!
I never thought I would self-published.
I didn’t ever imagine getting a cover, an editor, and all of the stuff that came along with the decision to self-publish. It started about two months ago while I was doing a writing internship at the Kim Maxwell Studio in Ojai, California. The internship was very simple. I got to the studio and then had to figure out what I to do with myself for the next seven hours. The first few days I wrote poems and flash nonfiction. About a week into the internship I was on a walk with a friend and I was ranting about how I just wanted to be read.
I kept saying, “I don’t want to wait. I have a dream and I just want people to read my stories.”
My friend who is middle aged turned to me and said, “Don’t wait. You have a story to tell! Go share it.”
I looked at him and yelled, “F*** waiting! I’m going to self-publish.”
It was that simple.
Within twenty-four hours I had a cover designer. The story was previously professionally published which made the publishing process a lot easier. Within forty-eight hours I had my story professionally formatted, lined up with blurbs from serval different authors, and it was published on Kindle. The next few days I contacted every news station and news paper from Santa Barbara to Los Angles. Of course almost everyone of them didn’t respond, but one or two did. I was featured in an online news paper called Edhat, and I had a few interviews set up with other organizations.
The first few days of publishing my short book entitled Right-Hearted: Finding What’s Right With a Wrong-Sided Heart, I had received around two hundred free downloads.
For the week after publishing I went on a promotion streak! I posted the book all over the internet and I tried to email all my contacts asking them to download the book. I even spending some money on websites like Fiverr.com to promote the book. All day long I thought about different ways I could promote the book. I was obsessed with getting more downloads. Each day I wanted to rank higher on the free bestsellers list then the day before. The book became my life; it still is.
After two weeks the book had been download 1,400 times in five different countries!
This is when I decided it was time to get the print version ready. It took about $100 to get everything including formatting, design, and finalized edits until the book was ready for print. I ordered a few different sets of proofs because each time I got one I noticed a few errors I had missed before. The process was awfully annoying. Having to wait six days for the proof, then reading it to find errors, and then paying for another proof. This helped me realize next time editing has to be way better before I order the a proof copy.
The day the book came out I found out that it had been download, and or sold in around ten countries!