Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Guest Post: Melissa Pearl on Self-Publishing!

Hi everyone! I'm really excited for today's post. As I said before, Melissa Pearl just released her first novel. She decided to self-publish and has graciously agreed to stop by and talk a little bit about why she chose to self-pub and what it involves. So, let's see what she has to say!

It's All a Matter of Opinion

Writing is a subjective industry. You might love the book you're reading while someone else is ready to give up after chapter three. You might rave about an author while someone else lists multiple reasons why they'd never touch one of their books again.

The same goes with agents and publishers ... and trying to find that agent or publisher who wants your work can be the hardest thing in the world.

I had been trying for three years. I knew I had something that was good. My beta readers loved it and I even had an agent ask for a full manuscript. But nothing was coming to pass and I couldn't help feeling a sense of hopeless frustration.

Picking myself up after yet another rejection, I decided I would just keep at it, sending one query after another until someone finally accepted me. But then my brother suggested I investigate self-publishing. I rejected the idea immediately. Self-publishing was a cheater's way... or so I thought. He listened to my complaints and then said, "Personally, I think it's the way of the future for publishing. Have a look at some of the success stories and see if you change your mind."

And so I did.

And then I changed my mind.

I took my time researching every aspect of self-publishing. There are so many blogs out there! Smashwords was particularly helpful. After two months, I decided this was the path for me. In spite of this, I was scared of the idea. This could be an epic fail. I could sell ten copies and that's it. It could be a complete waste of time, but so could trying to find an agent.

You see, it's all a matter of opinion. I could either wait five years trying to find a publisher or agent who thought my book was right for them, or I could put my work out there and let the general public decide.

Actually putting a book online is not hard, especially if you are lucky enough to have a fantastic graphic designer who is willing to produce an awesome cover for you. (Amanda Crane, you are fantastic!). All you need to do is set up an account, edit (SO important) and format your book correctly, then upload your work. The instructions are there to help you and I followed them to the letter with no issues. It took less than an hour to upload my book and have it ready for sale.

Now, it's not quite that simple. I have a long, hard journey ahead of me. Marketing is REALLY hard and getting exposure is going to take a lot of work. But I can share that after only one week I've had four excellent reviews on Amazon, two 5-star reviews on Smashwords and four friends e-mail me to tell me they loved the book.

My main motivation for writing is offering people that chance to escape into another world and have a fun ride. So to hear that these people have had that experience already is a total thrill!

Don't get me wrong, I know that there will be people out there who hate my novel, but hopefully the percentage of fans will outweigh them.

Self-publishing takes a lot of work and effort, especially if you want to produce quality material. I chose this path because it meant I could get myself out there in my time frame. I am my own boss. I chose what to publish, when to publish, where I publish and how much to charge. I decided to go for 99c, because I figured that it was more important to get my work out there than make millions. Don't get me wrong, I'd LOVE to make a million, but I didn't feel I had the right to charge a higher price when I'm still just making a name for myself.

I am determined to keep improving my writing and therefore earn the right to charge more. I want to make sure that each book I produce is just as good, if not better than, the one before. I'm looking for reader loyalty—another right I have to earn.

So, give indie authors a go. You'll find some you love and some you'll never touch again, but it's a pretty inexpensive risk to take.

Golden Blood is a YA paranormal romance filled with fast-paced action and excitement. If you want to escape into a world of time travel, adventure and passion, it will only cost you $0.99USD :)

Gemma Hart never knows when her father is going to whisk her back in time. Her toes start tingling and she has a few minutes to find a secret haven where she can disintegrate and appear in another time and place. While “across the line,” her training and skills are put to the test as she completes a mission that will change history for the lucky few her father has selected.

Gemma's parents are adamant that secrecy is paramount to her family’s safety. If people knew what they were capable of, they could be "used and abused", as her mother always 
says. Afraid she might accidentally utter the truth and break the ancient oath of her people, Gemma spends her school days as a loner. Only one thing can throw her sheltered life askew... Harrison Granger.

Harrison never expected to talk to the strange Hart girl, but after a brief encounter he can't stop thinking about her. He begins a campaign to chisel away her icy veneer and is met with unexpected consequences. As he slowly wins this girl over, he enters a surreal world that has him fighting to keep his newfound love and his life.

Golden Blood can be purchased from Smashwords and Amazon Kindle.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share this book with you. I hope you enjoy it :)

Melissa Pearl

A quick note from Reece: if any of you have or will soon publish a book (self- or traditionally-published), I'm happy to host you and have you discuss your experiences and your book. Just drop me a line at reece dot hanzon at gmail dot com. See you soon!


  1. I love that cover, Melissa. And the premise is particularly intriguing. Really well done!

  2. Thanks, Maria :) I'm so glad you like it.

  3. Thanks for sharing your experience, Melissa. It sounds like your choice was absolutely the best thing for you--and it's always so good to have that assurance. Best of luck!

  4. Thanks, Faith. I love how supportive authors are of each other. I appreciate your comment :)

  5. Wow! Awesome insight, Melissa!

    Thanks Reece for introducing Melissa.

    Okay, love the cover and the story! Sounds fantastic.

  6. This is a great post! I've been wondering a lot of the same things about self-publishing, so thanks much to Melissa for the sharing her insights and tips. And thanks, Reece, for telling us about Melissa. The cover is gorgeous! Best of luck to you!