Last week I had the chance to interview Ann Marie Novark about her first year of success selling 40,000 copies of her books. Now, today, I’m pleased to bring in another fantastic, super popular author, Terri Reid.
Most of us know the name, and she too just celebrated her first year of publishing. She also brings us the fact that she has sold 60,000 copies in her first year.
I think this is such perfect timing to have authors like this on my site because we are stuck in the mud of August. A lot of authors have been posting about how slow sales have been. And trust me, I’m in that mix too. August started out with the potential to be my busiest month but in the past week it has really died down on me.
I hope this post as with my others show that time is a huge factor here.
This was Terri’s original post from KindleBoards:
I published my first book, Loose Ends, in August 2010. Now, one year later, I have five books available and have surpassed the 60,000 copies mark. I LOVE being an indie-author. I’m grateful for the support that can be found here at Kindleboards and the willingness of other authors to share what they know. I’m grateful to Amazon (yes, I know they’re making money too) – for the risk they took to allow indies to publish through them. They opened up a whole new world for us – and then others followed suit.
I love the relationships my readers have built with me. They are honest, warm, caring, funny and impatient. They let me know what they like and don’t like. They encourage me to write more and faster.
This is a great adventure and I’m enjoying every step. Thanks for taking the journey with me!
What I love about that above is how sincere Terri is about her journey. I got in touch with Terri after reading that and she agreed to let me interview her:
What inspired you to become an indie writer?
Desperation. :) Actually, that’s not far from the truth. I owned my own business – a marketing and public relations firm. It was doing just fine until the economy decided to challenge us. My clients – mostly small businesses – had to cut back and so they cut marketing. There were no jobs unless I wanted to commute several hours. So, I had been working on a novel and decided it couldn’t hurt to finish it and see if I could get it published. While I was working on it, a friend sent me a link to a Wall Street Journal article about e-publishing. It featured Karen McQuestion’s story. She had several books she had tried to get published and had no luck – so she published through Amazon. The article mentioned she had sold 34,000 copies of her book. I looked at the demographics of the Kindle crowd and figured my book would be a good option for them. I also liked the fact that Amazon pays 60 days after the end of your first month because, really, I needed to make money. So, I didn’t even try traditional publishing – I just went straight to e-publishing.
60,000 is a lot of books… how were you first few months in terms of sales?
I sold 121 books my first month, 248 my second month and 989 my third month.
What would you consider your big break to be? (an interview, guest post, ad spot, etc.)
I think there were a lot of little breaks. :) Joe Konrath looking for a holiday best seller list just when I hit the right sales number, writing a paranormal mystery when paranormal mysteries are hot, having friends share my links on their Facebook pages, having new readers tell me about places like Goodreads and Shelfari. You know that quote from A Streetcar Named Desire – “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” Well, that pretty much sums it up – kindness from strangers ( or potential friends), friends and family.
What advice would have for an author who just uploaded their first book?
Get out there and meet people on the web through the discussion forums, through Facebook, Goodreads, etc… Come to a place like Kindleboards and learn from others. Share your successes with your friends and encourage them to share them too. :) I LOVE Facebook. Don’t get discouraged – but don’t be blind to good criticism. If several reviews comment on the same thing – there’s nothing wrong with revising and uploading it again. If one review says nasty things – ignore it. :) Believe in yourself and believe that you are going to be successful. I still laugh when I read Joe Konrath’s comments at my guest blog – “She’s clearly new at this, as indicated by her apparent belief that simply uploading a few ebooks would give her the income of a fulltime job. In fact, she didn’t even try to get an agent or a publishing deal, but thought that her first book would be good enough to sell on its own. And guess what? She’s selling like crazy. In fact, with no track record, no real marketing strategy, and what I view as somewhat unrealistic expectations, Reid’s ebooks are outselling many of mine, and she’s going to make $20,000 this month. So what can we attribute this to? A low price? Good writing? Luck? All of the above?
That’s why I love Reid’s story so much. She’s new at this (both writing and self-publishing) and perhaps a bit naive (like we all were when we started out) but she’s making huge money and selling like crazy.”
No one told me I couldn’t do it – so I just thought I could. No one said what numbers where realistic – so I just figured my numbers were normal. My expectations were that I would be successful and I was. I REALLY believe in the power of positive thinking.
How many books do you have out?
I have four Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery books out now (the next one is coming out in September) and “The Ghosts Of New Orleans” – a stand-alone book.
What are your plans for the rest of 2011?
Finish Mary O’Reilly # 5. :) And probably get at least one more done this year.
And what about 2012?
I need to finish the O’Reilly series – I think there’s a couple more books there and then I want start writing more on the Paranormal Research and Containment Division (PRCD) series – the Ghost Of New Orleans was the first in that series. I think I’ve learned enough about writing in the past year that those books should do better than the first one. I am talking with an agent – nothing signed – but I would love to see some of my books go to paperback. If the agent thing doesn’t pan out, I’ll be looking at Createspace to do it. I also have someone translating my books to Portuguese for the Brazilian market. I think I’d like to get them translated to German next.
I don’t have a site – but I have a Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Terri-Reid-author/179591462080204
Here’s my Goodreads Author Page – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4192570.Terri_Reid
There are so many amazing quotes in that interview… read it again if you have to. But one that stuck in my mind, the one that shows Terri’s true view and how everyone should view writing is: “No one told me I couldn’t do it – so I just thought I could.” How true is that? That’s how we all need to think. Nobody is kicking us off of Amazon, right? Nobody is kicking us off of Smashwords, right? Nobody is. So get out there, and do it.
(I also have to give a special thanks to Terri coming here. She’s one of the reasons I started my own journey back in the beginning of this year. And to be quite honest, I’m a little star struck being able to talk to her and am flattered beyond belief that she stopped by the site.)