[Heather’s note: I’ve been following the recent self-publishing
adventure of science fiction romance author Melisse Aires. When the rights of one
of her books reverted back to her, she gave it a new name, a shiny new cover,
and re-released it through Amazon.
During subsequent email exchanges,
she shared some of the details of her experience with me. I was amazed at her
results and thought her strategy might be of interest to authors and readers,
especially at a time when the fiction distribution system is rapidly changing. Therefore,
I invited Ms. Aires to blog about her findings and she generously agreed to
tell the story behind her new self-publishing venture.
Plus, details follow the post
regarding how you can obtain one of her free sci-fi romance ebooks at Amazon!
(limited time offer)]
Change, My Journey to Self Publishing
A few years ago I started a series I was excited about.
Stand alone scifi romance stories set in a wide, wild galaxy. Four brothers to
start with, then later I would match make all their friends in this open ended
series I called Diaspora Worlds. But due to the roller coaster ride that
is digital small press, I ended up with the rights back to a 35k novella, originally
titled Cybot Awakens, actually the first in the series. I had moved on
to new stories so it just sat in my cloud of writing files. One day I would get
around to doing something with it.
I had heard of self publishing, even had an out-of-contract
short story on Amazon and Smashwords. It made a tiny bit of money but nothing
exciting. One day an online cover artist mentioned she had a sale so I went and
looked. One of her covers looked just like the couple in my novella. I
commissioned a cover and even got it at a sale price!
So then I had the book and the cover sitting in my
cloud. I was working on a SFR shifter story and in general keeping busy. I’d
started a story about Genteel Ladies with robotic parts, for fun. But I got
stomach flu so stayed home from the Day Job one Wednesday. Why not upload the
book to Amazon? So I did, with a new title, Her Cyborg Awakes. Amazon
had a program with free promotion days, maybe I could use the novella for a little
free advertising. I set it up to run for free over Memorial Day, which just
happened to be the upcoming weekend.
It did well for free! I ended up with 6k free downloads. It
also picked up about five reviews, good ones, a better amount than any of my
other Kindle books received. My other books also had a boost in sales.