Selling books and eBooks with a Dash of Inspiration


A recent Publisher’s Weekly article, How To Succeed at Self-Publishing,  zeroed in on self-published author, Victorine Lieske. Her ebook romance, Not What She Seems, sold 150,000 copies and blew up the best seller lists. She talked to Publisher’s Weekly about the secret of her success.

“I do most of my marketing by doing market research and figuring out what needs to go into the book to make it appealing to my audience, rather than trying to sell it after it’s done,” she [Lieske] says.

Lieske goes on to say that the reason her self-published ebook stormed the best seller lists is because Amazon started recommending it. She’s written a short book about her observations and conclusions she has drawn about her wild success.

Whether that happened because she dropped the price of her ebook to $0.99 or the fact that she wrote a book that fits into the her chosen genre without any overlap into any other thus making it easy for Amazon to pop it into his algorithms, is unclear from the account in Publisher’s Weekly. For those details as well as a guide to what worked for her, you’ll have to pick up the short guidebook she wrote on the subject: How to Find Success Selling eBooks by Victorine Lieske.

First off I want to congratulate Victorine Lieske for her success. You inspire me to work harder and longer to get my ebook out there. Thank you for that.

I’m going the self-publish route. That’s no secret. Between grief for my sister, worry about my father who is recovering from a stroke, job and financial stress, I just haven’t the energy to jump through any more hoops. I’ve reached my limit. Traditional publishing, from all I have read, is either a mine field or an obstacle course depending on how you look at it.

Why not wait until life quiets down and then approach publishing? My sister’s last request chafes at me. Feb. 22, 2016 marks the two year anniversary of her death. Before that date comes around again, I must publish my best effort. I must. I can’t visit her grave with a fist full of regrets and nothing to show for it. Not again.

She never asked me for anything except this one thing. How can I possibly deny it when it’s something I want deep down for myself? You see the quandary?

Self-publishing I can treat like any other project for work. I am a project manager by trade and I’ve got the mindset for it too. So that’s my road, paved by promises and a lot of sleepless nights.

The article in Publisher’s Weekly recommended by my cousin-in-law had a siren’s appeal for me. Victorine Lieske had surveyed the road and reached its end. She had produced a guidebook to help fellow travelers. How wonderful is that?

Then I read the rest of the article and my excitement waned. I’m not convinced that there is a formula that works for everyone. What works for one, may work for another. Or it might not. Even Lieske admits that her guidebook is full of advice drawn from what she thinks is causing her books to sell. The keyword there is thinks. It might be the price or the the genre. Romance sells. That’s why there’s so much of it.

Just because there’s a market for something doesn’t mean I want to write about it. I’d have to acquire a love life before I take a crack at a romance novel. Since I haven’t dated anyone since my sister died and there aren’t any prospects, that isn’t too likely. Though I won’t rule it out completely. The cute guy at work might quite smoking and notice me. Or I could go somewhere other than work, interact with real human beings and meet a nice guy. It’s possible. However I do turn into a hermit when my checking account dips into the red. Unfortunately, that’s more and more often lately.

I write fantasy and I always will. I don’t care if three or three million people read it. I have to write what I love and I love fantasy and sci-fi too. I haven’t learned nearly enough physics to even make an attempt on speculative or science-based fiction. I’ll get there because I’m curious but it’s going to take awhile.