Monday, July 15, 2013

Guest Blogger: BRIAN "The Rogue Gentleman" DRAKE

Confessions of an Indie, or: It's like Making Sausages
By Brian Drake

Before we start, I must thank Evan for allowing me to hijack this space.

It’s not easy to write a book. It’s even harder to self-publish it, even with Amazon KDP. If you’re thinking about doing it yourself, or you’re following the “indie scene”, let me describe my experience so you can avoid my mistakes.

When I started self-publishing in 2010, there was always a nagging doubt about my work in the back of my mind. Reviews were kind, sales were okay, but I couldn’t help but notice that repeat business was slow. I released four books between 2010 and 2012. With each book, I sold less and less. A smart businessman looks at this situation and says, “What’s wrong with my product? Where is it lacking?”
 I yanked those four books and set them aside. For all I know they’re perfectly fine but I still have those nagging doubts that somewhere in the manuscript, there’s a problem that kept readers from coming back for more. Perhaps I’ll release them again later; maybe I won’t.

I yanked the books instead of improving them because I had a hot new idea for a series and I wanted this to be where my attention went. I wrote The Rogue Gentleman and set aside $1000 for production costs. I spent a total of $800 on two editors, one for content and the other for copy, and a cover artist. I released the new book, and…nothing.

Hmmmm. Well, I’m stubborn. Books 2 and 3 in the series are in progress and I have just released the first book in the series as a trade paperback. To coincide with the paperback release, the ebook version of The Rogue Gentleman is starting Tuesday the 16th and ending Friday the 19th.

There is no nagging doubt about this new book in my head because it has been edited, re-edited, and edited again by myself and the professionals I hired. The cover is top-notch. If you're going to do go the KDP route to release your material, spend the time and money to do it right. With those first four books, I was a do-it-yourselfer. I'm that way by nature. I work on my own cars, the house, etc., but this is one area where DIY need not apply. There's too much for one person to handle.

Here’s the story's description:

"International adventurer Steve Dane never should have set foot in Italy. Witnessing a young woman’s kidnapping, he is drawn into the decades-old vendetta behind the crime.

Hired by the girl's father, racing against time as her life hangs in the balance, Dane battles the mafia who want him dead and the police and international agents who want him out of the way. With the help of his lover, Nina Talikova, Dane plunges along a path that leads him past a mere kidnapping and into an ever-more complex world of high stakes, ruled by a powerful and mysterious woman known only as The Duchess.

Life, it seems, is getting cheaper than Dane could ever imagine and The Duchess has put a price on the ultimate weapon that will make it worthless. Only he and Nina have the power to stop a clock that is ticking away the life of both the girl and the world."

If you download the free copy, all I ask is that you leave a review on Amazon, even a bad review, if you dislike the story. I don’t think you will, though, unless action/adventure isn’t your thing. It’s action mixed with comedy and reviews have been very good so I think you’ll enjoy it indeed.

Amazon link:


Christine said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story about self-publishing, Brian. A very interesting read! I'm always curious what motivates people to buy books and (sadly) it seems that a lot of great, well-written novels get passed over for ones that have hype. Your book description sounds fun and I'd love to read it. A tough job to wrestle the Kindle away from my husband, but maybe I can bribe him with the story?!

Velda said...

This is cool!