Wednesday, December 4, 2019

10 years an Indie Author: guest blog by Marti Talbott

This past July marked my tenth year as an Indie Author, but my writing life began long before that. Before I retired, I had three finished novels, Seattle Quake, 9.2, The Promise and Broken Pledge, all of which I had submitted to traditional publishers who kindly sent me a file folder full of rejections.
One day I discovered “Mighty Words,” a website that let authors upload manuscripts and allowed readers to post reviews. Seattle Quake 9.2 had just made it to the top twenty when suddenly, Mighty Words disappeared never to be seen again.
Writing was in my blood, so after I retired, I wrote a Scottish short story called Anna, and made it free to read on my website. I found Public Bookshelf, a website that allowed me to post the story with a link to my site, and began to write more short stories about my MacGreagor Clan. By the time my short stores numbered twenty, I was getting over 10,000 views on my website a month.

By the time Amazon started their upload program, I had three novels and twenty short stories ready to go. Of course, I wasn’t the only one. Hundreds, maybe thousands of authors frustrated with playing the traditional publishing game, discovered they didn’t really need a publisher. Not only that, Amazon paid authors 70% while trade publishers only paid 10% at best.
Those were the good old days. Unfortunately, the more polished and professional the competition became, the more I realized I needed to improve. What? My books weren’t perfect? Far from it. Today, those early books and those that followed have seen multiple proofreads and edits as late as just last year. Even now, someone tells me that on page 36, line three there is a typo. It’s frustrating, but it’s all part of the game.
Between July and December of that first year I sold 777 copies of my books. I discovered more sales outlets such as Apple, Nook, Kobo and eventually Google Play. The next year I added more books and sold over 24,000. Writing and publishing an average of 4 books a year, my highest was 56,000 in 2014. And then – the good years were gone. The competition steadily grew, promotion became more difficult as well as expensive, and one or two bad reviews meant certain tragedy for many a new author.
To date I have written over 50 books, updated the cover arts multiple times, changed my blurbs until I found something that tempted readers to buy, and tried dozens of ways to find new readers. In the end, the path I took to become published was well worth it. I can safely say that people all over the world have read my books, and that’s a very gratifying feeling.

© Marti Talbott 2019

About Marti Talbott:

Marti Talbott  is the author of over 50 full length novels, all written without profanity and sex scenes. She lives in Seattle, is retired and has two children, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. The MacGreagor family saga includes The Viking series, Marti Talbott's Highlander's Series, Marblestone Mansion, (Scandalous Duchess series), and The Lost MacGreagor Books. Her mystery books include Seattle Quake 9.2, Missing Heiress, Greed and a Mistress, The Locked Room, Love and Suspicion, and The Dead Letters. Other Historical novels include The Promise and Broken Pledge.

The historical novels are available on AmazonNookAppleGoogle Play, and Kobo.

The mysteries are exclusive to Amazon and are in Kindle Unlimited.

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