Your Voice: KDP Author L.J. Sellers
L.J. Sellers, author of Secrets to Die For: A Detective Jackson Mystery, shares her experiences with KDP.
I wrote fiction for twenty years without ever reaching a single reader. After crafting three novels and sending hundreds of queries, I finally landed a top New York agent—the president of Writer’s House. He called me soon after sending my manuscript out and said an editor at HarperCollins was about to make an offer. I was ecstatic!
But the contract never came. The marketers—bean counters, as my agent called them—thought the book was a risk. Five other major publishers gave me rave rejections as well, saying they loved the novel but couldn’t buy it. My agent gave up, and the story sat there, collecting dust on my hard drive for nearly a decade. A few months ago that novel—The Baby Thief—hit Amazon Kindle’s top 100 list, and became number one on the medical thriller list.
This is the power of Kindle Direct Publishing, where readers get to decide what stories they like and are willing to buy.
Here’s an even better example. Years after that first round of rejections, I wrote The Sex Club. Again, it took months to find an agent, then I spent a year working through rewrites and a change of agencies. Finally, the manuscript went out, and again six major publishers gave me rave rejections. One editor said she’d read the story in a single sitting. But nobody bought it because the marketers didn’t know how to label or promote it. Now because of KDP, The Sex Club is my bestselling book—with more than 100,000 downloads—and it has been at the top of the police procedural list many times.
In early 2010, before I launched all my novels on KDP, I was editing other authors’ fiction for a living, after getting laid off my newspaper job. I was depressed and worried about whether we’d be able to make our mortgage payments and keep our home. My dream of becoming a full-time novelist seemed farther away than ever. In July of last year I raided my small retirement account and started editing, formatting, and uploading my novels to KDP. By the end of the year, I’d given up my freelance business and was making a living selling ebooks. Kindle Direct Publishing changed my life.
– L.J. Sellers
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