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Thread: A Very Small Fish Jumping Into a Very Big Pond

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  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    A Very Small Fish Jumping Into a Very Big Pond

    Well, I did it. I took the self-publishing plunge.

    My first short story, "The Price We Pay" went live on Amazon last night.

    I'm not holding my breath for instant fame and riches on this one, because I didn't engage in any marketing efforts and I can't even find myself on Amazon. When I search for "M.H. Lee" it says there are no matches and then shows me search results for Lee.

    Well, I'll do with AZN what I did with Google and my blog. Just keep posting new material until it has to acknowledge me.

    I have six more original releases scheduled between now and December 19th and then I'm going to release higher priced collections of the stories in the week before Christmas.

    I think I'm moving my timeline up a bit, though, because it took more than a day for this one to go live and I'd hate to miss that big Christmas Day bump.

    I've discussed a lot of my decisions/thoughts on my blog, but figured I'd give a few highlights for anyone considering this route.

    Covers: I decided to go basic because I wanted to do this as cheap as possible and I didn't have any stunning imagery to put on a cover. Plus, my writing is mostly speculative fiction, but it veers into contemporary almost literary fiction at times and I figured it was better to create a consistent brand for my publications instead of covers that are representative of each story but don't work together.

    (Basically, someday I hope that I'll have readers who are willing to follow me wherever I go, even if that's outside of their chosen genre preference. Haha.)

    Why: I've submitted about eighteen different short stories to the pro-paying markets over the last year and half and received almost sixty rejections. Some were very nice personal rejections and some were second round rejections, so I figure the stories are decent if not pro level quite yet. And I figured I could start submitting to semi-pro markets or I could self-publish. Self-publishing held more appeal for me because there's a higher upside if a story does do well.

    What: Mostly speculative fiction short stories. My work breaks down into two different types. I'm publishing my stories that are around 5,000 words as standalones and then my shorter works in groups of about that length that I'm calling "Quirky Quickies."

    This is how I described it on my blog: "The Quirky Quickies are going to be small collections of my shorter stories. Most of these are either “idea stories” or humorous. The standalones are generally character focused and have more fleshed out concepts. You can think of the quirky quickies as cotton candy–a little lacking in substance, but enjoyable if that’s what you’re looking for– and the standalones as a tasting menu at a restaurant–not necessarily what you would’ve ordered on your own, but interestingly complex and layered. (I hope.)"

    So, there you have it. I'll try to update this thread once a month so people can have another data point on results, but it may be really depressing to admit how few copies I've sold. So, if you don't hear from me again, assume my sales numbers were less than ten per month.

    (I figure I can coerce at least five friends or family members into buying it.)
    Last edited by M. H. Lee; 11-01-2013 at 06:56 PM.

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