Excerpt from the author's blog, CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP: 7 LESSONS I LEARNED IN THE SEVENTH GRADE
2. First appearances do count.
That’s a cliché, but when it comes to books, it’s true. I still meet self-published writers who say that they will invest in a professional cover when they are more successful. To me, that’s a bit of circular logic- you will increase your chances of being successful if you have a professional cover. To be clear, for me the definition of a professional cover is not necessarily one for which you’ve paid a lot of money to someone. That is a means to the end. A professional cover is one which when put side by side with the bestselling books in your genre will not disadvantage your work in the eyes of potential readers. If you really want to be successful at self-publishing, ask yourself whether your covers can meet that benchmark, and if not- then either polish up your design skills or invest in the best cover designer you can afford.
The author generously shared his sales number with other writers on KB Writers' Cafe.
I have no issues sharing my numbers- it was the transparent sharing by people by Konrath that got me to start self-publishing in the first place by showing what was possible. I finish my first year self-pubbing on Amazon in February 2012. As of Jan 2012, I had ~78000 sales and 7669 borrows. Am hoping (fingers and toes crossed) that when Feb closes, I can end my first anniversary with 100,000 paid downloads (sales+borrows).
What keeps me inspired (and writing) is seeing the even more incredible success others in your list have- just goes to show that in the case of indie publishing, there really is no upper limit.
Highlighting some of the author's books:
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Link to Top 100 Books Ranking (by genre) as rated by Readers