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Thursday, June 09, 2011

I published my first ebook (and you can too)

With all this talk about the shifting industry and the conflagration of ebooks, I felt pretty overwhelmed about figuring out how to actually publish on my own. 

Before I go further, I want to assure you that I talked with my agent about what I planned on doing, and she was fine with it. I'm still quite committed to traditional publishing, but there comes a time when you run into an idea that just doesn't fit the traditional model.

Some of you know that I wrote a blog called Wannabepublished for a few years where I freely gave advice on how to get traditionally published. When I let that go, I felt sad that I wasn't giving that information out anymore. Sure, I came alongside writers at conferences and as God sent folks to me, but I still wanted to do something with all that information.

So I uploaded all my posts into a word document and ended up with well over 60,000 words of useful information. I edited it, then went through a process to bring it to publication. If you'd like to know that seven step process, hop on over to my blog to find out how you, today, can publish an ebook.

The $2.99 book is called The 11 Secrets of Getting Published. It's basically me sitting across from you, telling you every single thing I can think of about how to get traditionally published. You can buy it on Kindle here, on Nook here, or in PDF here. 

It's been an interesting process. One fun thing is that I get instant statistics about how many books I've sold. In traditional publishing, I would find this out every six months. Another fun thing is that there are rarely returns. (I've received negative royalty statements because my books were returned.)

My next ebook will be Watching the Tree Limbs and Wishing on Dandelions, my first two novels that I now have the rights. I'm already super excited about the new cover for Tree Limbs. What do you think? A huge thank you to Tekeme Studios for their inspired work. (They did the 11 Secrets cover too!)

I don't think I'll become like some of those runaway bestsellers. But I will make passive income, something every novelist should have in her back pocket. There's a lot of up front work, but once that is done, everything is profit.

I know this isn't for everyone. But it has been an interesting process and I'm learning a lot. There's a certain amount of empowerment that comes in producing something yourself and seeing what happens. But there's also pressure too.

Q4u: Have you ever considered e-publishing? Why or why not? What holds you back? What do you like about ebooks? Dislike?


  1. Seriously considering this. I have an inspirational travel book that doesn't seem to fit anywhere. I've built a platform with my travel blog and the travel forums I belong to and I think it would generate some good sales through that. Trying to decide which publisher to use.

  2. I have a published eBook as well called Warrior Prayers: Praying the Word for Boys in the Areas They Need it Most.

    I have worked my tail off on this book :) Writing it was the easy part. Marketing it has taken every ounce of business savvy I have AND help from friends who have more. Marketing your "self-published" book is a strain, but a necessary one if you want it to sell. I released mine to a nice-sized audience and it has sold well, but I've worked hard to break through the walls of my own audience and move it out into others.

    I offer it as a PDF download from my sites and I put it on Amazon Kindle and have had good success with both! BUT I've had a terrible time trying to get it on NOOK. Terrible. Kindle was child's play in comparison with my experience with NOOK so far.

    Overall it's been a great learning experience. From paying to have it professionally edited, to working with a designer to create a catchy cover (Erin Ulrich, of Insight Blog Design is the BEST), to dealing with people and their needs myself, to time-management as a homeschooling mother. I've learned so much through the process that I know will be valuable to me as I move forward in this industry.

    Blessings Mary! I bought your eBook and I'm enjoying it :)

  3. Yes, Mary! You go, Girl. Love the new cover for Watching the Tree Limbs: perfect!

    I wholeheartedly support this endeavor and hope to do it myself.

  4. I absolutely consider self-publishing. I've been a self-marketing artist for over thirty years, so self-publishing a book doesn't seem like a huge step.

  5. It's empowering to read your stories and aspirations. Wow Brooke, you should write a post about your experience!

  6. Excited to see you doing this, Mary. I've published a devotional for writers called Abundant Rain (you can see the cover in the column to the left, another one for travellers, called A Traveller's Advisory, and a few short stories and devotionals. These are all at

    I love the idea of e-books, that we can make our work easily and affordably available to readers everywhere. It's a win/win!

    :)Marcia Laycock

  7. Mary, I bought your ebook last week but haven't had a chance to sit down with it. I'm looking forward to revisiting all your excellent advice and instruction.

    Question: I have the rights back on a previously pubbed romance. Should I acknowledge that it was previously published when I put it in ebook form? I know I have to get new ISBN number and new cover but I'd feel like I'm cheating readers if I don't tell them it was previously a Silhouette Romance. I'd hate for someone to buy it who has already read it. Your thoughts?


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