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Join the thousands of teen and young adult authors on KDP. Here are some of their stories:
"In less than two months, Bound has exceeded the sales goals I set for the first few years, and it's thanks to Amazon and KDP."
Kate Sparkes, author of the Bound Trilogy
I've dreamed of being a writer since I was a child, and until a few years ago I assumed the only way to find validation and success was to grab the attention of an agent and sign a contract with a traditional publisher. I wrote short stories for years but was too afraid to submit them anywhere, and finished a novel for the first time in 2011. That was an exciting moment, but it would be several years before I had anything I would consider ready for publication. Depression drained my energy and inspiration, and I went through periods when I couldn't write. I had young children at home who didn't appreciate me taking time away from them to work on my projects, and there was always the feeling that perhaps nothing would ever come of this, that I was wasting my time. Still, I worked. I carved out writing time when I could, I revised, I had writers I'd met through my blog take a look at my story, and then I revised again.
It wasn't until about two years ago that I started to consider independent publishing. I had always thought of it as a last resort for writers who didn't have success with traditional publishers, but I learned that a number of fantastic authors were making it their first choice. I quickly realized that this was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted creative control of my work, to be able to write the stories I loved rather than what a publisher thought would sell. I wanted to choose the cover art, and I wanted to keep the rights to my work. I hired an excellent editor to make sure that the book was up to professional standards. Spending money on that felt like a gamble at the time, but I think it's the best decision I could have made.
My expectations were low when I published. I knew that it could take a few books before a new author found an audience, but I had faith that if I kept producing high-quality stories, I would eventually get there. I hoped to break even on costs, but knew that could take some time. I uploaded to KDP (a simple process even for someone like me, who's not great with computers), I had an on-line launch party, and I then expected things to stay quiet. It seems that I underestimated how well Amazon's recommendations work. Once the book gained a few sales and reviews, and Amazon started recommending Bound as an also-bought, things took off. It made it onto Top 100 Best Seller lists in a few sub-categories and climbed Hot New Release lists in the same. The little book I'd worked so hard on started selling to people I'd never met, and kept climbing those lists. More reviews started rolling in, proving that the validation that's most important to me comes from readers, not from publishers.
In less than two months, Bound has exceeded the sales goals I set for the first few years, and it's thanks to Amazon and KDP.
"I'm working my dream job, and I'm so pleased I chose independent publishing because it set me free to be the novelist and businesswoman I wanted to be."
Kate Avery Ellison, author of Frost
As an ambitious writer with a strong interest in the business side of publishing, the freedom of independent publishing-control over covers, titles, release dates, editors, and advertising-thrilled me. I loved writing, and I loved the idea of handling the business aspects of selling my books. Independent publishing could give me both. After stumbling across a blog post about the rising trends of self-publishing in 2010, I began daydreaming about the possibilities even as I tried to convince myself that it wasn't for me, and that I should continue my efforts to land a traditional publishing deal. Fortunately, I didn't listen.
I took the leap and put querying agents and editors on hold to self-publish my first book in the spring of 2011. Originally, I planned to continue trying for traditional publication as well, but by the time I'd released my third novel a year later and began to see a surge in sales that exceeded my wildest dreams, I abandoned that idea and focused entirely on independent publishing.
KDP has been a phenomenal experience. I have always received prompt responses to any technical problems. The site is easy to navigate, and the immediate feedback on sales is invaluable for evaluating marketing and advertising choices.
When I began writing, I relied almost entirely on my husband's income. Now thanks to generous royalties, strong sales, and monthly payment schedules, we could live solely off my writing. My confidence and creative energy have grown. I'm deeply satisfied with the direction my career is moving. I'm working my dream job, and I'm so pleased I chose independent publishing because it set me free to be the novelist and businesswoman I wanted to be.
"I realized that in order to sell books, potential readers needed to find them first. That's when I decided to put my books in KDP Select."
Rashelle Workman, author of Blood and Snow
I finished my first full-length novel in 2008. After receiving a contract with a small publisher in 2010 I believed my writing career was finally taking off. Then in 2011, right before my contracted novel was supposed to be released, the publisher went under and I was right back where I started.
It was devastating. But it was also a blessing in disguise.
I kept writing. Continued to do the basics: write, edit, and write some more. I got the rights to my contracted novel back and knew it was time to take my career into my own hands. Over the next few months I discovered other authors who were in the same situation I was and they were feeling the same as me. We decided to self-publish our novels together. In October of 2011 I took the plunge.
What started out as an exciting endeavor, one that I believed would skyrocket me into the million dollar sales category, quickly became a dose of reality. I realized that in order to sell books, potential readers needed to find them first. That's when I decided to put my books in KDP Select. Over the next nine months I continued to write, continued to publish, and wasn't afraid to try new types of books, including a serialized novel about an urban teen called Snow White and vampires. I went from selling ten books a month to selling thousands.
Self-publishing has been a rollercoaster journey full of ups and downs. It's a ride I wouldn't trade because I'm doing what I love, writing what I'm passionate about, and I'm in control of my career.