After watching some other semi-pro writers go through the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing system to some success, I decided to try it myself with a novel that I LOVE, but that was getting absolutely no agent-love (after a few years of submission.)

Thus, I submitted Tiger Lily , my historical fantasy novel to Amazon KDP in April.

And waited….and waited….and sold like a dozen copies to my friends and family.

Funny thing is nobody wants to buy a book that has no reviews (imagine that.) So I started searching Amazon ranked reviewers (I’m number 7617 today myself) for people who professed to like Fantasy and who accepted ebook/self-published novels for review. I also searched the Indie Book Reviewer list for likely candidates for Japanese historical fantasy and gave out free copies trying to solicit reviews.

I got two reviews after about two months, and thus on July 10, did my first Amazon KDP Freebie promotion. Following the extremely helpful advice of Ruth Nestvold, I submitted a week beforehand info about my freebie to various blogs and websites, and had the good fortune to also have a few author friends/acquaintances from the neo-pro online community Codex do some interviews.

The interviews didn’t seem to have much affect. However, the freebie definitely had an effect. After a month of 2 sales beforehand, in the 3 days since the freebie I have about 27 sales and 20 “borrows” from the Amazon Prime Lending library, as well as new entries and ratings on book websites Shelfari, Librarything, and Goodreads.

It’s a strange and narcissistic pleasure to see random strangers rate/review your book. Even if its a low rating, it doesn’t seem to bother me as it meant they interacted with my writing enough to care to post a response online!

It seems the way to keep the ball rolling is to have more work online.

So there’s the rub. Do I continue writing and polishing and sending off to agents to try to break through traditional publishing routes? Or do I start putting all my finished novels on Amazon?

Should I skip over the next two novel projects I have in mind (fleshing out my short story in the anthology “Japanese Dreams” about Nisei in WW II Hood River, Oregon as well as a YA novel about a group of urban explorers?) and write a sequel to Tiger Lily?

So many questions to mull over, so much time wasted refreshing my Amazon reports page….

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