1. More Confidence
Without doubt the best thing I've gained from publishing on Amazon has been a rise in my confidence as a writer. When I wrote my first book Jack Strong and the Red Giant I thought it was good, really good, and worthy of many an agent and publisher. How could they possibly reject it? Well they did - almost a hundred of them to be exact - and so my book remained unrepresented, unpublished, unloved, and ultimately unread. Was I wrong about the quality of my book? Were they right? What if it was all just a fantastical delusion? What if it was really rubbish? Like the titanic my confidence sank, straight down to the bottom of the ocean.
Publishing via Amazon helped rectify all that once the positive reviews started to pour in, giving my flagging confidence a bit of a boost. My book and its characters were striking a chord with nearly every reader - both friend and stranger alike - and I began to believe that it all wasn't a fantasy, that I was quite good at this, that I had a future in this business, that I should continue writing.
2. Contact With Other Authors
Another benefit of publishing via Amazon has been the other independent authors that I've come into contact with, authors who like myself have been rejected and turned away from the traditional publishing route. This has given me the opportunity to discuss my ideas on writing and theirs, as well as read their books. Whenever I participate in a review swap I almost always end up reading a book that I wouldn't necessarily have picked if left to my own devices, so it provides me with an opportunity to access many different kinds of book, whether they be fiction or non-fiction. Ultimately, this kind of exposure helps me to improve my own writing as I learn and grow both from what they do well and what they don't.
3. It's Made Me A Better Editor
Because my book is accessible to the general reading public it has made me aware of how a good author is also a good editor. I want the reader to enjoy my book for its plot, its characters, and its various alien worlds. I don't want them to be put off and negatively influenced by spelling mistakes, incorrect punctuation, or poor grammar. So instead of declaring my published book finished I'm always prepared to go back and re-read the manuscript (I'm giving it another edit as we speak) in order to clear up any mistakes that I might have previously missed. The added benefit of this approach is a better first draft, since I am more aware of correct punctuation and spelling etc.
4. It's Made Me Appreciate Marketing More
Books don't sell themselves - especially Amazon books - so it is vital that a successful author is also good at marketing and advertising their product. With today's social networks being so various and diverse there are many outlets for wannabe (and even not-so wannabe) authors to spread the word about their books to both friends and strangers alike. One vital thing I learned when launching Jack Strong and the Red Giant was just how helpful Facebook and Twitter were when it came to advertising my book. Since I'd gotten an eye-catching book cover designed by a seller on www.fiverr.com I found it relatively easy to spread the word and get people's attention via these and other social networking sites. After the launch I've found that maintaining a blog such as this one can be a great way to connect with other writers and readers and to keep the sales coming.
5. It's Made Me More Ambitious
Though it's been a great experience publishing Jack Strong and the Red Giant on Amazon I don't want it to stay there. Ultimately, like any writer, I want to find a better publisher with more of an outreach, so that Jack and his friends can be read by more and more people. With all the positive reviews my book has received (and they're still coming!) I've begun to realise that my book is not just quite good, it's also publishable and readable. And with luck, the agents and publishers that I send it to will see this too.
If you want to read more of my writing check out my book Jack Strong and the Red Giant via the link below: