View Full Version : Aaaand my family have discovered self publishing

01-21-2013, 09:30 PM

So, me selling my work on fiverr is working out well. I'm making a pittance on each individual piece of work I sell, but I'm selling such short, simple stuff I don't mind. And it's helping me build up a portfolio, which will help me get better paying jobs in the future.

I did make a couple of small mistakes. I shared the first couple of short stories I'd sold with family, and announced that I was selling them on fiverr on social media, to celebrate.

And now my family are all clamouring to tell me about this thing they've heard of, where you can sell your books on Amazon and it doesn't even cost you anything! They heard about this one guy who uploaded his book and sold 100,000 copies! And I could stop giving away my picture-book stories for a mere $5 at a time and sell them myself, instead. Of course I could just draw the cover and the pictures for the inside and scan them into the computer - I'm really good at art!

They've even gone so far as to describe the main person I'm selling to as though said person is a thief, or a conman. And have suggested that there's no reason I couldn't just "keep a copy of the stories and upload them yourself, anyway".

Sigh. So well meaning. So sweet. So not useful.

How do you guys do it? How do you explain to your family the hows and whys of why their idea won't work without it sounding like you're dismissing their suggestions out of hand? I mean, in time self-publishing through Amazon and the like is definitely something I'm considering! Just not with the stuff I'm writing now. I'd rather have a guaranteed modest paycheque than a small chance of a larger one. And something solid to stick in the gap in my CV while I'm unemployed.

01-21-2013, 09:39 PM
How do you guys do it? How do you explain to your family the hows and whys of why their idea won't work without it sounding like you're dismissing their suggestions out of hand?

I've found a ball-peen hammer to the toes to be an effective deterrent. :)

I don't share my plans for my writing or my writing in general with my family or friends. And that's pretty tough for me, becuase as anyone here will tell you, bunny, I'm a giver. It goes against my nature not to share. :D

That may not be the best or healthiest solution, but it works for me.

Silent Rob
01-21-2013, 09:53 PM
And that's pretty tough for me, becuase as anyone here will tell you, bunny, I'm a giver.

The medical term is 'vector'.

I tend to nod and smile when people tell me all about self-publishing success. Sometimes I laugh maniacally.

I appreciate that people are taking an interest and trying to help and I'm certainly not knocking people who've had success this way, but as a sociopath I don't think I'd be much good at the marketing effort that must underpin it. I usually let people say their piece and promise to look into it and that normally seems to do the trick.

The good side of this is that people are taking what you do seriously and trying to help, even if it's misguided.

01-21-2013, 10:10 PM
I generally roll my eyes and remind them not to believe everything they read on the internet. For the most part, they stop bugging me at that point.

01-21-2013, 10:13 PM
Thanks, guys. Yeah, you're probably right. This latest round of our-descendant-is-totally-a-genius-and-will-be-a-millionaire-if-she-does-X will probably die down in a month or two. And in the future I'll be sure to only share major successes, and only AFTER THEY HAVE ALREADY HAPPENED.

So far I've just responded with "Mmm yes, that looks interesting, I'll check it out". I'm just feeling burnt out with it because, in the space of an hour, I had three separate 15 minute conversations about it. One with my nan, who discovered this wonderful new thing, one with my grandad, who wanted to make sure I knew that nan had discovered it because he wasn't sure if she'd told me and one with my mum, who was told about it by nan and grandad and knows I have already been told by them, but thinks it's a really good idea! Cannot wait for the next time I speak to my aunt...

01-21-2013, 11:09 PM
Definitely only tell people about your successes after they happen. Because things happen so sloooowly in publishing, whereas the questions from family and friends happen so very often in comparison.

You might be able to say, "Oh yes, I've researched it, thanks. There's a lot more to it than you've heard, and I've decided it's not as good an option for me as what I'm already doing."

01-21-2013, 11:38 PM
I'm lucky. Family and friends don't tell me how to things in epublishing, but they do frequently ask, "How is the book going?" Then I have to explain I haven't sold very many. It's all about marketing and so on and so on. But I don't mind. It tells me they care.

Cliff Face
01-22-2013, 02:33 AM
Yeah, I should stop talking about my plans to family...

A few months back I suddenly decided to self-e-publish. Now I think I'm going to go back to subbing to agents, because in the massive edit pre-self-pubbing I made the book a lot better, so why not try?

Of course, I had told the whole family I was going to self-e-publish... So I've been fielding questions for 2 months about it. Usually my answer is, "Yeah, I'm still editing."

*joins the group not telling anyone anything* :D

01-22-2013, 03:15 AM
I think my family and friends are tired of hearing about my writing adventures. After ten years, they barely ask anything about my writing anymore and that is fine with me.

01-23-2013, 02:03 AM
LOL. Oh man, your family sounds like my mom. Well meaning, but oblivious. She was telling me how much "money I could make on Amazon" too if I just worked it. Not quite.

I think (some) sites like that can be a good tool though for beginners. I haven't self published anything yet, but I'm just starting the research. There's a lot of great potential out there (once I do actually finish my WIP).

I've never heard of "fiverr". Something for me to check out.

01-23-2013, 03:26 AM
My family is totally oblivious to my writing endeavours and totally clueless about self publishing so me thinks I'm blessed.

Last year I sold 348 How-to eBooks, I'm selling them myself and of the four I've written my bundle pack of the four books sells the best, all with very little effort or marketing on my part.

I use a secured digital download source ejunkie.com and put the code for direct purchase on my websites and blogs.

I had one of my eBooks on Kindle and in the three months it was there three copies sold, so I pulled it, it wasn't worth the effort.

01-23-2013, 03:00 PM
In his book The Successful Novelist, David Morrell warns writers never to tell people that you are a writer, you will be inundated with inane questions and advice, almost always from people who are clueless about the publishing industry. And certainly never mention it when you are in an enclosed environment, like a plane.

Unfortunately, I read this when it was too late. :gaah

Now I tell people that I'm a Cost Accountant. They give me a weak smile and change the subject. :D

01-23-2013, 11:57 PM
And lucky me, I'm going to be spending a week visiting my parents in February!

Really, I am lucky and I miss them and am looking forward to it. But I'm having to add more and more things to the discussions-to-avoid list with my family and writing was safe until now!