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
Featured KDP Books
The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher
Olivia Kaspen has just discovered that her ex-boyfriend, Caleb Drake, has lost his memory. With an already lousy reputation for taking advantage of situations, Olivia must decide how far she is willing to go to get Caleb back. Wrestling to keep her true identity and their sordid past under wraps, Olivia’s greatest obstacle is Caleb’s wicked, new girlfriend; Leah Smith. It is a race to the finish as these two vipers engage in a vicious tug of war to possess a man who no longer remembers them. But, soon enough Olivia must face the consequences of her lies, and in the process discover that sometimes love falls short of redemption.
My Seinfeld Year by Fred Stoller
You’d know Fred Stoller if you saw him. He has appeared on practically every great sitcom you’ve ever seen – Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends, and Murphy Brown just to name a few. But he has never been a regular on a series, always the guest star. He longs to find a showbiz home. Instead, he is a television foster child, shuttling from show to show in the vain hope that one will finally agree to keep him. “My Seinfeld Year” tells the hysterical and bittersweet story of what happened when Stoller finally got a shot at the showbiz stability he’d always dreamed of — as a staff writer on one of the biggest television shows in history.
Collision Course by S.C. Stephens
Lucas had it all—popularity, a devoted girlfriend, a brotherly best friend, and a loving mother who would do anything for him. His life was right on course to be successful and fulfilling…until the crash changed everything.
Late at night, during a sudden downpour, three young lives are lost and Lucas, the lone survivor, is left to face the consequences. Surrounded by swirling gossip as to what really happened that fateful evening, Lucas now finds himself an outcast. Shunned by former friends, condemned by the people of his small town, and riddled by his own guilt and self-hatred, he struggles to find hope, find peace, and maybe, even find love.