Category: A Writer Musing

14 hour days, marketing and dealing with snobbery: my life as a self-published bestseller

Rachel Abbot, Author of Kill Me Again (Image from The Guardian)

“I’d like to say that there has been a dramatic change in attitude towards self-publishing since I released my first novel. In some quarters that is definitely the case. But sadly there are still some influential people who believe that, first, self-published authors sell a lot of books because they are cheap (Kill Me Again is currently in the Kindle UK top 20 and only one book in the chart is more expensive) and, second, that if the writing was good, the author would be offered a traditional deal. Despite being placed 14th in the UK Kindle chart of all authors over the past five years – above many of my favourite authors – some festival organisers still believe I don’t have as much to say about writing and selling books as a traditionally published author, regardless of their popularity.

But that’s a minor gripe, and I am happy to trade the occasional (and diminishing) lack of recognition as a serious author for the unbelievable support that I get from readers. Nothing thrills me as much as hearing from people who have read and enjoyed my novels – readers who probably don’t know, and couldn’t care less, how I am published.”

Source: 14 hour days, marketing and dealing with snobbery: my life as a self-published bestseller | Books | The Guardian

Reviews: Just How Important Are They?


So you’re looking to buy a brand new TV.  You know, the one that fills up the whole wall and looks like you can actually smell the flower on the screen if only Smell-A-Vision had been invented at the same time as Hi-Definition.  You’ve probably already seen the TV you want at the store, and now just need to do one more thing before you hand over your credit card.

Most likely, you’ll probably check the reviews.  How many stars did it earn from the majority of customers?  Any complaints?  Any regrets?  Smell-A-Vision model coming in oh, 2018?

Yup, most of us, and me most of all, would probably — most likely — check the reviews.  We probably do it, not just for big-ticket items, but for movies, plays, vacations, airlines, restaurants, even pizza or that latest noodle place that just opened down the street.

And books.  Yup, books.  Especially indie books.

While there are those who’ll buy a book without reading reviews, like the latest Stephen King release, many people will read reviews first before shelling out a few dollars to have the book downloaded to their e-readers, especially for an author they know nothing about.

Indie authors like me.  Or that author you’ve yet to meet.

So if you like a book — any book, even Stephen King’s or Neil Gaiman — please take the time to leave a review.  Share your thoughts about what worked for you, and what didn’t work.  Just a few sentences will do.  Every little review does help.  And with Amazon cracking down on reviews they believe have been bought (and rightly so, some are bought) or written by friends and family, reader reviews are harder and harder to come by.

New cover!
New cover!

Today, I discovered I had new reviews for my free-to-my-blog-readers short story, The Accidental Christmas (it’s really a year-round story, and I’ve yet to come up with a new title but I do love it the way it is).  And reading them made me smile.  One, because I remembered what inspired me to write it (a trip to the Christmas tree lot with my 5-year old who picked, of all the trees in the lot, a 3-footer), and two, because it leads me to another story, one that deals with PTSD and the power of second chances.

So if you’ve read it, I’d love a review on this and any of my other books you’ve read.  I’d also love to see what you thought of this 8100-word story.  And who knows?  Maybe, future readers can read it and say, hmm…maybe I should check out this new writer.

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