How the Heck Did We Get Ourselves Into This Racket?

It all began at the end of July, 2010, when I got bored. I already had three
books selfpublished on Amazon. They sold the selfpublished author average of
four copies a month. I had recently received my latest rejection letter from
a small publishing house and was fed-up with trying to get myself published.
I decided to use my copious free time (I’m retired) selfpublishing the huge
pile of rejected material that was cluttering my PC.

My latest novel, First Son, a M/M Romance (or Gay Erotica), went on to sell
quite well. I self-published the remainder of my material and experienced
limited success.

Meanwhile, in another part of the house…

My wife, Melanie Jackson, is also an author. At the time I began seriously
selfpublishing, she was being published in paperback by Dorchester Publishing
in New York. She had been with Dorchester for 10 years, never made much
money, but was a moderately successful midlist author. However, just as I
started to experience some success, Dorchester Publishing came upon hard
times and termianted Melanie’s contract. She was a writer without a publisher.
She considered giving up writing, a career that she loved.

But then Melanie took note of what I was doing in selfpublishing and decided
to join me. During our first year together (which concludes at the end of
this month) we published 37 pieces (novels, novellas, stories, backlist books,
and trunk books).

Sales steadily increased through 2010, and then the week before Christmas our
sales started to go through the roof. Melanie’s Chloe Boston Mystery series
has been hugely successful. We have since added several books to this series,
created the successful Butterscotch Jones series, and are preparing the first
book in a third cozy mystery series.

Along the way we learned some painful lessons. For example, we never had our
earlier books edited. Not at all. I gathered them up and put them out there
to see what they would do. After all, this was all just an experiment and a
way to entertain myself. They weren’t meant to sell, and anyway hiring an
editor was too expensive for a book that only sold a couple of copies a month.
As a result, we’ve received several one star reviews citing copy editing
errors. Ouch.

So, what does the coming year hold. Books, lots more books. Melanie doesn’t
seem to be able to write fast enough to satisfy the craving for cozy mysteries.
Oh, and editing. Lots more editing ;-).

Feel free to leave questions regarding our first year selfpublishing and we’ll
try to answer them.

by Brian Jackson

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One thought on “How the Heck Did We Get Ourselves Into This Racket?

  1. I stopped by your blog today. Great post. Self publishing is definitely taking off. Apart from not having to deal with headaches from the publisher, they won’t go out of print which has been a big complaint of many of my author friends going the traditional route. I’ll look up your books.

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