My self-publishing journey: Establishing a stronger connection with readers by having more books in

Photo Credit: Nadya Buenavista

“Your first book may not sell.”

For indie writers and first time self-publishers, this can be a hard pill to swallow.

After putting tons of work in writing your book and spending money to hire professional editors, book cover designers, book formatting experts, and marketing companies to get your first book out the door and into the homes of millions of readers all over the world, the last thing you wanted to deal with is the looming possibility that you and your book will suffer from obscurity.

But that’s the truth.

For fiction authors who dream of achieving the same success reaped by indie bestseller Amanda Hocking who earned millions from her first self-published paranormal books during the golden days of Kindle Publishing, success as a first time novelist these days may be a little harder.

And for those who have no more than one book to share with readers, the path to success is even more difficult.

New York Times bestselling fiction author Joanna Penn wrote, “One book is not enough to build a career as a fiction author ...” in her book Successful Self-Publishing: How to self publish and market your book in ebook and print. According to her, having more books in the market enables the author to establish trust and build a stronger relationship with readers.

But what about E.L. James who hit the jackpot with her self-published erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey?

Well, while Ms. James’ success is a one in a million deal which happened during the height of Kindle Publishing in 2011 - following the success of the Twilight trilogy by another indie bestseller Stephanie Meyer- Fifty Shades of Grey was also released as part of a trilogy.

With that said, I begin to wonder.

I only have one book in the market.

FOBOLOUS is my first and only novel up for sale, trying its best to compete with the saturated market of romantic comedies and women’s fiction out there. So far, it’s holding up but only because I’d been trying my best to get my target readers’ attention with the marketing strategies I pick up here and there - from reading tons of books on self publishing and marketing fiction.

Below are the ones I’ve read recently and recommend.

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book

Let’s Get Digital: How to Self-Publish, And Why You Should

Your First 1000 Copies:The Step-By-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book

When I started writing FOBOLOUS and eventually decided to self-publish, my only goal was to have my very own novel so I could make my family proud and to make my longtime dream of being a published author finally come true.

I didn’t think about writing a second book or a sequel because I was traumatized by the amount of work, time, and resources I’d invested on my first novel.

But now, I guess, it’s different.

I’m inspired not because I’m focused on earning more money from having additional books in the market although selling tons of books is vital in the ultimate success of any writer.

As mushy as it may be, my inspiration comes from my old school romantic notion of being a successful novelist and it has a lot to do with my readers.

After seeing the positive reviews on FOBOLOUS by readers who loved the story of James and Janelle as much as I did when I wrote the novel chapter after chapter, I was overwhelmed with an inexplicable sense of fulfillment and worth.

It’s every writer’s dream to create a story from the deepest alleys of our imagination and have others read it from start to finish but what’s even more fantastic is when readers discuss the plots and characters - with such passion, enthusiasm, and delight – as if the events and the characters that we created are real.

That is awesome.

And just for that, I’m convinced, I am writing a sequel.

And others more for the long haul.

Check out my novel FOBOLOUS.

Rainne Mendoza. 2016

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Copyright © 2019 FOBOLOUS by Rainne Mendoza