Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Two self-publishing success stories

Self-publishing success stories like Darcie Chan's and Lucy Kevin's make me want to take a similar route.

Darcie Chan is the author of The Mill River Recluse, a highly popular literary novel that she self-published as an ebook after it languished in a drawer for five years.  Before putting it away, she had tried to get it published traditionally, but even once she finally found an agent, it didn't sell.  When she heard about e-publishing, she decided to try it, and the book has since become a bestselling self-published title.

Lucy Kevin is a pen name for a ridiculously proliferate author (12 titles in 18 months? seriously?!) who also writes under the name Bella Andre.  Bella Andre's titles are steamy romances, whereas Lucy Kevin's are lighter, chick lit-styled romances (and one YA title, Gabrielle, that seems to be exclusive to Amazon at the moment, even though I bought it from Barnes & Noble last year — perhaps she enrolled it into Amazon's KDP Select program to make it eligible for their lending library?).  Lucy Kevin has a new title out now called The Wedding Gift, which appears to be exclusive to Barnes & Noble.

Neither of these success stories came to be without a lot of work, though.  The article about Darcie Chan talks about how much work she put into marketing her book, and Lucy Kevin frequently attributes her success to her high output.  (It bears repeating: 12 titles in 18 months!  That's a finished novel every month and a half.  I wonder if she has ever heard of NaNoWriMo?)  She also talks about establishing relationships with booksellers and readers (a.k.a. marketing).

An interesting paragraph from the Lucy Kevin guest post:

Here’s what I’ve learned from it all so far: I really like not having to depend on one author name to maintain--and build--sales. Having two brands means I can build sales with new books while offsetting risks. We all know that diversifying our financial portfolios is a good money strategy. I’ve found that diversifying my e-book portfolio has not only been a good financial strategy, but as importantly, it had been a really lovely creative strategy, too.

I've heard this from other, similarly productive authors, as well.  Obviously I have to get through research and revisions first so that I can start on the next book in my series, but if I decide to start putting out books in different genres, I might try different pen names and personas, as well.


  1. I wonder if those 12 titles in 18 months are full-length novels? I downloaded a book from a prolific ebook author and discovered that he was uploading what would qualify as short stories. I vaguely remember reading an article about that being a problem, so some ebook distributors started listing the word counts. I don't think anyone minds paying 99 cents for a short story, but some author's charge way too much and misrepresent their works as being novel-length.

  2. I own all of the author's books published under Lucy Kevin except for her newest one, and all of the ones I have are full-length novels of 300-400 pages. I don't know about her books published under Bella Andre, but I agree, it's a problem with some self-published books. I looked at a couple tonight using the Nook's read in-store feature that were hardly more than short stories -- thank heavens I hadn't paid for them!

    I don't mind paying a small amount if I know it'll be a short story, but you're right, misrepresenting short works as being full-length books is a big problem in self-publishing.



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