Self Publishing – Show me the numbers!

A quick google search will reveal a plethora of articles claiming that self-publishing is the route for struggling authors to take in the new age. Just look at H.M. Ward who turned down millions of dollars in advances in favor of self-publishing. Or the million other success stories that seem to be cropping up all over the web.

Clearly those of us who are not yet millionaires are doing something wrong. Right? Well, that’s if the all the hype is to be believed. The honest truth is that these success stories do not account for the masses, and the majority of self-published titles are swept away and buried beneath an ocean of rubbish. Not to mention how rare it is for “successful” self-publishers to share their actual figures.

Okay, so maybe demanding to know someone’s income is not exactly tactful. But I’m not exactly the queen of tactfulness, so I will cross that line. We simply can’t ignore that this information is relevant. The few transparent blogs/threads I could find of self-publishers boldly exposing their entire process, expenses, and profits I absolutely devoured. And then I retreated to my corner in bitter disappointment when they stopped updating, returning to live vicariously through the google success stories overflowing on the web.

After months of wading waist-deep in that optimistic muck, I’ve decided it’s about time to get my hands dirty and figure out this whole process for myself. And I’d like to invite you along for the ride. You, the indie author who’s wondering what happens when an untested manuscript hits the kindle market. You who’s unsure where to even start when it comes to marketing and promotion. You, the skeptic who doesn’t buy into the hype. I am right there with you.

My name is Amber Feldkamp and I am an untried author with great ambition and probably a little to much optimism. This blog denotes the start of my self-publishing journey. I have a plan, a platform, a plot, and a promise: complete transparency. I offer up my successes and failures without complaint or censor. If everything goes to hell in a hand basket, you will be the first to know – well, after I cry into my husband’s shoulder for an hour or two.

Hopefully together we can learn what works and what doesn’t and if self-publishing really is a viable career path for the modern writer.

3 thoughts on “Self Publishing – Show me the numbers!

  1. Amber

    We live in an age of unparalleled opportunities via the internet revolution. It’s no longer uncommon for writers to get published solely off their blog posts. It happens everyday. As soon as I saw this post it caught my eye. Transparency is key.

    Put an info box on your about me page saying, ” want to work with me?” I’ve had my blog up for about 4 weeks now and have already been getting offers. Hold out. The larger your audience grows, the bigger opportunities and more leverage you will have.

    I’ve already revealed way too much. But you seem like you have a plan, which is more than most can say. All the best!!



  2. Check out Author Earnings ( This site was started by Hugh Howey and tries to take a monthly snapshot of Amazon and how self-published authors are a significant part of the total. There’s still no guarantee that self-publishing will lead to success. There are so many variables, but Amazon has leveled the field a bit by allowing an author (like myself) to put a book up on the same shelf as James Patterson and Stephen King. You still have to have a good story and a nice cover to start with. And, while I think that making millions is still very much for a very few, there are plenty of people who have been able to make a career out of self-publishing books. Prolific writers especially tend to do well because their audience knows that they only have to wait one or two months for the next book. It’s different for everyone, but there are more and more of us out there every day. No time like the present to throw your hat in and join us! 😉


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