Join the thousands of science fiction authors on KDP. Here are some of their stories:
"The best part of KDP is the continual growth when it comes to the business model."
Shannon Mayer, best-selling author of Immune
For many years, every time I said I wanted to be an author, I was told the following: authors don't make money, it's not a good career (just a hobby), and the only people who make good money are the 'big' names.
I was told to write magazine articles. Write for the newspaper. Teach creative writing.
I believe I am not alone in being given this kind of advice by friends, family, and in some cases complete strangers. After working for some time with an agent and experiencing the drawn out traditional publishing process, I decided there might be a better way to chase my dreams of becoming a published author.
So, ignoring all the 'well-meaning' advice, I published my first title in September 2011, and within a year had eight titles available on Amazon. In November of 2012, I released Priceless, the first book in what has become my bestselling series. I had no idea it would take off like it did, going to the Kindle Top 100 within weeks of its release and then staying there for almost a month. I had no idea my urban fantasy about a young, fiery woman who brings home children snatched by supernatural means, would resonate so strongly with readers.
KDP has been good to me, in ways I could have only dreamed about a few short years ago. In April of this year, I left my day job and was able to begin writing full time, something I'd been told for so long was not a viable option, even with the traditional world, never mind for someone who was 'only' self-published. But even better than that, my husband was able to leave his job this summer and begin to chase his dreams as well.
With Kindle Countdown Deals, I use KDP Select to further my sales and my reader base. What I perceive as the best part of KDP is the continual growth when it comes to the business model. I don't worry about 'keeping up' with the rest of the industry, because with KDP, they are always one step ahead of the rest. And for me, that is a pretty sweet place to be.
WOOL began as a short novelette, which I published through CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing. Within a few months, reviewers began clamoring for more. So I wrote what is now the Omnibus Edition, which has been as high as #13 on the New York Times Bestsellers list and #1 on Amazon. Ridley Scott picked up the film rights this summer, and the work is being translated into 23 languages. And no, none of that makes a lick of sense to me, either.
I published my first book with a small press. It was a wonderful experience, but I began to see that the success of the book would still depend on my fighting for every single sale. The process was a bit slow for my liking, and I wondered if I couldn't do some things myself (cover creation, pagination, etc.) without having to give up the rights to my work forever. That's the part that was most difficult for me: giving up full ownership of something I'd labored to create.
At the time, I was following the new trends in print on-demand and e-publishing. These changes meant two things for me, as a writer. First, books would now be in print forever, which made selling the rights to them a much dearer decision. Second, any aspiring writer could now access and afford the production and distribution of their works, which was never possible before. A new world was opening at just the time I was moving from writing being a hobby to a potential career. Amazon opened that world for me.
I received my share of rejection letters from agents and publishers, but that's true of any author. My main frustrations were that I had stories to tell, and I wanted to get them to readers. Not to force anyone to read them, mind you, but simply to have them available. The old system made that difficult. All I ever wanted was to have access to the market. That was it. I didn't care about favorable positioning or being face-out on a shelf or in a bookstore window; I just wanted my works to be available and affordable to anyone who might have a hankering for them. And that's what Kindle Direct Publishing has made possible.
"I have nothing but good things to say about KDP and Amazon. They have dramatically changed the world of publishing."
Bob Mayer, author of Atlantis
I am a former Green Beret having served with recon and Special Forces teams. I then went on to serve as a writer and instructor at the JFK Special Warfare Center & School at Fort Bragg. Needless to say I didnât have the typical writer background, but my military background inspired the content of my future writing.
I started writing all the way back in 1989 and I bounced around between the big six as a mid-list author, selling well enough to not be dropped but yet not relevant enough to be important to them even when I hit the NY Times Bestseller List. Iâve come a long way since then, and started a small publishing company in 2010, but was still with a Big 6 publisher. I made a decision that I was going to go 100% Indie in January 2011 and it really took off once I jumped in. From 347 eBooks sold that month, I ended the year with over 600,000 sold.
I have published over 60 titles and have sold over 6 million books (most since going to eBook). However, self-publishing is not as easy as it seems: It requires your devotion and attention. In my opinion itâs a full time job. Besides the writing, it takes a tremendous amount of time to do the promotion, marketing and technical aspects. Iâve got a few other authors that Iâm working with to get out there because they have to focus on the writing and we take care of the business aspects. I have Jen Talty to help me with all the formatting â in fact we even published a book about how we are doing this: How We Made Our First Million on Kindle: The Shelfless Book
I interact with the author community through Kindle Boards and with the readers through Twitter, my blog, appearances and go to other peopleâs blogs making comments. Joe Konrath and I post on each otherâs blogs; we try to build a community of readers. I think the most effective way of marketing my books has been linkage. To give you an example, I had a series (Atlantis) that was similar to the show âLostâ so I linked to the âLostâ page and blogs in a relevant manner and that helped my pageâs relevance tremendously from an organic search perspective. I try to link my books to something in media or something in history as I write Factual Fictionâstories based in history and facts with a fictional element thrown in.
I have nothing but good things to say about KDP and Amazon. They have dramatically changed the world of publishing. No longer is distribution controlled by a select few. Readers Rule! Iâve seen Amazon sell motorcycles! I wouldnât be surprised if they started selling other things no one would have expected, soon. And thatâs the key: theyâll figure out how to do it, because Amazon is active rather than reactive. Amazon was founded in 1994 and went online in 1995. Only 17 years online. I ask myself how much have I changed my business model in 17 years? Truly not much until January 2011 when I went 100% indie and committed to the eBook.