So far - 4 months after self publishing

So far - 4 months after self publishing

I thought I'd start a blog about my Indie Author Journey, I'm 4 months in.

I have no idea if my books will make it, if I'll sell a lot or a few of them, if I'll ever attract a publisher, but I do know how committed I am and I am fully aware of the potential journey ahead of me. It's why I chose to self publish and literally do it all myself to get my first book off the ground.

It helps owning a design company and being a Shopify partner and prior knowledge of publishing, although it was still a steep learning curve.

In my own mind and when I talk to people about it I refer to my books as 'my hobby' I guess that way it removes any pressure of anticipated success.

My first book The Swimming launched in Nov 2023 and I'm happy that people bought it for Christmas and have continued to order the odd book online, I printed 100 which is an expensive way of doing and I have 25 left so I will soon be reprinting it but I'll go for 200 this time. Not many of course and now starts the really big job of promoting it on social media and with retailers, as of mid Feb 2024, I've got it selling in 3 small retailers, all children's and gift orientated shops and all fairly local to me to start off with.

I've got it listed on Amazon, but because my book only has sixteen pages it can't be published by Amazon which will dramatically affect my chances of selling it. Instead I have a seller account where it is listed. Not sure there is much I can do about this as I don't plan to increase the page count, because at the moment it suits me perfectly. Finding out how selling on Amazon works and especially for books just about blew my mind and I'm supposed to be ever so slightly technically minded! clearly not in this case, but I got there.

My book is registered with Nielson Books so I have a universal barcode and now getting it into other stores such as Waterstones is my next hurdle. I've contacted countless 'ideal' shops for my book but never heard back,  which I sort of expected and countless types of outlets, societies, groups etc. and again never heard back. I come from this world of product rejection so I just take it on the chin as always, you have to come to expect it.

Book no. 2 is now ready and I will be launching that around Easter! With a Christmas book out during the summer so I have it ready in the run up to Christmas. I then don't plan to launch anymore books until well into 2025.

I have set my Instagram page up karenwilbournbooks and it's going ok, connecting with countless authors and lots of people wanting to charge me to promote my book... of course! Although it's not a lot of money so I might dip a toe in.

I am visitng the London Book Fair in a few weeks for the first time. I am well versed in exhibitions but this will be very different and I don't know what to expect, but I'm looking forward to it.

Finally for this first blog I've also started visiting primary schools to read my book to the children, this must be one the best ideas I've had as the kids love it and it is such a wholesome joyful experience. I plan to visit at least 1 a month within Leicestershire.

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