At the same time the pair published another book, Catch your Death, which took off, quickly selling 1, copies a day. Self-publishing was big news in and TV appearances followed.
It was then that Mr Edwards decided to take the plunge. He quit his job for good and moved out of London, to the West Midlands where property was cheaper, to focus on writing. But again the dream was derailed. Bookshops were full of erotic novels trying to replicate the success of Fifty Shades of Grey and the London OIympics were on.
By the time the third book, All Fall Down , was ready to be released the deal had turned sour. We really were one unexpected bill from disaster.
A couple of hours later I hit refresh and I could see sales coming in really fast. The book started going up the rankings. I dropped the price to 99p and it kept climbing until it was number one. It was such an incredible relief. At its peak, the book sold 3, copies a day for two months. A psychological thriller set in Shropshire, it follows a detective on the case of a serial killer whose victims die smiling.
We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. At that range, your pricing is on par with a lot of books from traditionally published authors. If you typically sell well, and have a nice-sized platform, this could be the range for you. However, if you currently sell only a few books per month, you might consider one of the other pricing options.
Keeping your price in the lower range could make it more palatable to the librarian who has never heard of you. And again, they may order more than one copy, if patrons are asking for the book. All of this is complete and total conjecture, of course. For now, we really have no solid, data-based pricing strategy to recommend.
But the good news is that, just like all D2D distribution channels, you can change your pricing at any time. Play around with this, see what works, find your sweet spot. OverDrive is a bit different from our other distribution partners. The librarian becomes your customer, then, and through them your readers can get to your work.
So pricing may not actually matter. In fact, aiming for profit in the library space may not be your best strategy. Free books, in other words, all in exchange for taking the time to get a library card.
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They may not even buy every book you publish, unless someone asks them all. Making your books available to public, corporate, and school libraries will help increase the odds that a new reader will discover and love the work, and go on to read the rest of your catalog. They can encourage readers to join your mailing list, follow you on social media, and interact with you on book tours and online events. Readers who love a book will often tell everyone they know about it. I can report that, from the outside, it's surprisingly conventional.
Hocking no longer lives in that pokey apartment, but then she's no longer a struggling would-be author. She's bought herself her own detached home, the building block of the American dream, replete with gables and extensions, its own plot of land, and a concrete ramp on which to park the car. But step inside and convention gives way to a riot of colour.
If the author community banded together to demand a transparent and speedy process for exoneration in cases of false rank stripping, Amazon may listen. Eight months later and here we are. Hocking no longer lives in that pokey apartment, but then she's no longer a struggling would-be author. The decision to skip these important steps can hinder current and future sales. A quality control gatekeeper might quell the flow of those poorly written books from getting to the Kindles.
It is just before Christmas, and Hocking has decorated the house with several plastic trees bedecked in lights and two large Santa stockings pinned expectantly over the mantelpiece. The sofa is scattered with animals, some of the cuddly toy variety and others alive, notably Elroy the miniature schnauzer and Squeak the cat apparently they get on very well. She greets me at the door and, without preamble, we talk for the next two hours about her extraordinary rags-to-riches tale and what it means for the future of the book.
At 27, and with only a few months in the limelight, she is patently new to the fame game. She seems nervous at first, answering my questions in short bursts and fiddling with her glasses; but gradually she relaxes as we discuss what for her has been the central passion of her life since an infant. She was brought up in the Minnesota countryside on the outskirts of Blooming Prairie about 15 miles north of Austin. Her parents divorced when she was young, money was tight and there was no cable TV to wallow in.
I would go to the library, or get books at rummage sales. I got through them so quickly I started reading adult books because they were longer. I remember my mom giving me a box set of five books to last me all summer; I devoured them all in two weeks. It was a way, she now thinks, of coping with the depression that troubled her childhood.
There wasn't a reason for it, I just was. I was sad and morose.
I cried a lot, I wrote a lot, and I read a lot; and that was how I dealt with it. What went in had to come out. The child Hocking began telling her own stories before she could walk. She was forever inventing make-believe worlds, so much so that the counsellor to whom she was sent for depression concluded that her incessant storytelling was an aberration that had to stop.
Fortunately for Hocking, and for her many fans, her parents took her side in this argument, and she was never sent back to see him. At 12 she had already begun to describe herself as a writer and by the end of high school she estimates she had written 50 short stories and started countless novels. The first that she actually completed, Dreams I Can't Remember, was written when she was She was very excited by the accomplishment, and printed it out for friends and family, as well as sending it to several publishers.
I don't blame them — it wasn't very good," Hocking says. Hocking went on to develop an intimate relationship with rejection letters. She has somewhere in her new house a shoebox full of them. Yet she would not give up. She wrote unpublished book after unpublished book. This time it was bound to work. In she went into overdrive. She was frantic to get her first book published by the time she was 26, the age Stephen King was first in print, and time was running out she's now Once she got going, she could write a complete novel in just two or three weeks.
By the start of , she had amassed a total of 17 unpublished novels, all gathering digital dust on the desktop of her laptop. She received her last rejection letter in February Hocking says she hasn't kept the letter, which is a crying shame because it would surely have been an invaluable piece of self-publishing memorabilia. As far as she can remember, the last "thanks-but-no-thanks" came from a literary agent in the UK.
If that agent is reading this article, please don't beat yourself up about this.