Friday, 5 January 2018

Celebrating 10 Years as a Self-Published Author

Lynette Ferreira 2018

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Can you believe it's been 10 years already?

I feel so excited, but I have a few things to say as I start my 10th year being a self-published author.

First off, let me start by apologising. In the last ten years, I have often made promises of stories to be released and then it just didn't happen and for that I am truly sorry, from the bottom of my heart.

I have a (not so good) reason, though. When I started this journey in 2008, I self-published My Recycled Soul (Recycled Souls) in paperback with Lulu Press. Back then there weren't many options to be self-published, but me, maybe I have some Viking in my DNA because I like to tread where no-one has dared to venture before. 

Then... at the beginning of 2010 there was this whole new universe opening up before me. The world of e-books. I uploaded my stories to Smashwords (Recycled Souls, The Great Divide and FWD) and then the rest of my stories followed. 

However, as ebook-ing evolved so I had to evolve and my first (home-made) book covers bugged me, so they had to change. Sadly, this triggered a kind of OCD in me, and I kept changing and changing so much that those first books I have written has had so many cover changes they must feel like chameleons.

Then as the world of e-books expanded, so my options of distributors grew larger and larger. So, what did I do? Well, I moved all my e-books from Smashwords to Amazon. Amazon was the place to be back then. If your books weren't being sold via Amazon, you might as well toss every word you've ever written into a giant black hole.

However... I then decided to move all my e-books to Lulu Press, then I moved them back to Smashwords, then I moved them to Amazon, then... I am sure you get the picture.

Any kind of moving is hard work and I also kept forfeiting my rankings trying to find the place where my books and I belonged. Each time, I had to start from scratch and re-format everything. The more books I had the longer it took. In between all of this I even moved from South Africa to Northern Ireland.

Now, after 10 years, this is where I draw a line in the sand.

There will be no more cover changes or moving
from one distributor to another.

It took me 10 years, but I have (finally) decided I want Smashwords to distribute my e-books, so that they can be widely available and also at libraries (although you have to go to your library's website and request they order a copy if it isn't already available at your library).

I am happy with Author's Republic to distribute my audio books. They are easy to work with and they distribute widely.

I am happy with Lulu Press to distribute my hardcovers, because their binding & printing of hard covers is just beautiful!

I am happy with Createspace to distribute my paperbacks, because their binding make my books look like paper books in any bookshop.

It took a lot of fumbling and searching, and terrible mistakes but I am certain I have found my forever distributors for my stories.

Also, the covers my stories have now, won't change ever again. At the moment, I love them all and if in six months some new trend comes along, I solemnly declare I WILL NOT change them.

My one & only New Year's resolution is to let things just be the way they are. I don't always have to keep fixing everything.

Secondly. I spent hopelessly too much time on social networking, marketing and promotions. There'll be less of that this year.

Last, but not least. I have always said my books will never be more than 0.99c  This is a promise I had to break. Sorry!! but a girl's gotta eat.

However, during the month of December 2017, I worked really hard setting up a new website (Read with Lynette Ferreira) where you can sign-up to read all my stories for free, and if you loved reading it you can then buy a paperback copy (only if you wanted to own your own copy).

I am still uploading the stories, but they will all be there and because it is sign-up/log-in I don't have to worry too much about pirates stealing my work or people taking my story and re-writing them with different names, etc. when I post it publicly here on my blog or when I posted them on my old website (that's another sad story of swopping and moving).

Because I will not be moving books around all of the time, endlessly, continuously, I will have more time to actually write and so stories will be released on the days promised.

Thank you for putting up with me, reading my stories and for being with me on this journey!