My Adventure as a Mainstream Author Doing Self Published ebooks: Part I

Shelia M. GossMany may ask the question, if you have a publisher, why are you doing independent ebooks? My response is why not. I love writing and have been blessed that it’s not just a hobby, it’s a career. I am the Shelia Goss corporation and I have several divisions within the Shelia Goss corporation. I treat my brand like a business and for longevity in this industry, you must do so.

For example, if this was corporate America, I would work full-time for Company A, but I also have the option to do part-time work if I want to. Working part-time for Company B doesn’t interfere with my full-time job at Company A.

Why limit yourself as an author when you can have the best of both worlds.

Other mainstream authors, such as Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and most recently, Jackie Collins are doing it as well. It’s a win for the author and for readers.

I’m glad I did it. My ebook, LOVE UNEXPECTED, has been on the Amazon Best sellers list under the multicultural romance category every day for over a year. I got readers excited about my newest ebook release, The Commitment Plan by having a contest where readers helped come up with the ebook title.

In order to succeed at doing your own ebooks, you must make sure your ebook is professionally done. Readers should not be able to tell your ebook is self-published. Your ebook should be able to stand up against traditionally published ebooks. To accomplish that, make sure your ebook has a professional edit, professional looking cover and it’s been formatted correctly so it doesn’t look crazy on the various e-readers.

When it comes to pricing, make sure your prices are competitive. There are countless of debates going on about ebook pricing. Some are in favor of higher ebook prices while others frown on it and think all ebooks should be less than $2.99 or free. My best advice to you is to play around with the price and find a price structure that works best for you and your books because what works for Author A might not work for Author B.

Having said that, here’s my personal take on ebook pricing. I try to look at things from both the author and reader’s perspective. If the mass market paperback version can be purchased from the store at $4.98, then the ebook version of that book needs to be a little lower, which averages around $2.99. As a consumer, if it’s the same price, then I would rather have the paperback version. If the paperback version sells for $9.95. I would knock $2 off and sell the ebook at $7.95.

What about those books that are straight to ebook format and are not available in print? Now this is where it gets tricky.

For short stories, the price would depend on how short. If its 5000 to 6000 words, as a consumer, I think $2.99 is too much so the most I would pay is $1.50. I don’t think that devalues the work of the short story. I’ve sold short stories to magazines in the past and you only get paid once—average $250 for the life of that story as opposed to a continuous steady income. You would still make more than the $250 selling the short story yourself at even the low price of 99 cents.

If it’s a full length novel, and its new, maybe do an introductory price at a lower rate, but I think your regular price shouldn’t be lower than $4.99 for a full length novel.

Well, some may say, “Your novels that you have available as ebooks are $2.99.” True. Why? Because they are older novels that I re-released as ebooks. My newer books are with a traditional publisher.

I opted to do both traditional publishing as well as do my independent projects. I like to write short stories and have found my niche in that area. I also like having my older novels available to readers who only read ebooks and may not have ever read any Shelia Goss books.

The bonus, selling my ebooks independently has brought in a steady monthly income. I have the 1099 to prove it.

My journey is not every author’s journey. If you decide to try it, put forth your best effort. Stop back by next month when I share my experience with using the Amazon KDP Select program.

Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments field.

For a full list of the books in the Shelia Goss eBook Collection go to:

Shelia M. Goss is a national best-selling author and a 2012 Emma Award Finalist. She has over thirteen books in print and numerous of ebooks available. She writes in multiple genres. With unique storylines, her goal is to create “stories with a twist.” For more information, visit her website at

If you found this post useful, please use the Share links to spread the word to other authors.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Hello All, Dee here. I’ll be conducting a FREE eBook formatting workshop for people who are signed up for my monthly newsletter.
Topic: eBook Formatting Basics for Fiction Titles Cost: Free Date: March, 24, 2012 Time: 3-4 p.m. Central Location: Become A Successful Author Website (link and password will be given the day before the event)

Don’t have a copy of Become A Successful Author? What are you waiting for? Become A Successful Author will be used in the “How To Write That Novel” course at Chicago State because it covers everything from branding to writing to editing to formatting and uploading electronic and print books to marketing and so much more. Your time is money. Look at all the time, thus money, you’ll save by ending your search for answers: Purchase Become A Successful Author (eBook) for only $4.99 from: Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), Barnes & Noble  or print copies for only $7.99 by using the Contact page of this website and tell Dee know how many copies you’d like and shipping address. She’ll email the ordering information. Or you can purchase the print version from any book store for $9.99.

10 thoughts on “My Adventure as a Mainstream Author Doing Self Published ebooks: Part I

  1. Tiffany C. Lewis

    I am still on the outskirts of book publishing, so this is an often unspoken topic for me. I have always wondered how authors price their books. I know traditional publishers have a nice amount of say in it but I always wondered by independent authors price the way they do.

    What I always wonder is what the profit is like on .99? I recently looked into Kindle Singles so I kinda see how their royalties work but I, as a young reader and writer, never understood how .99 cents could be profitable for an author, even with lots of sales, because of the split in royalties.

    1. Shelia Goss

      Tiffany, at this stage, I would suggest looking more into going the traditional route. Just because I do my independent projects, it doesn’t mean I still don’t still go after the book deals with traditional houses. If going the self publishing route, please use google or search on the Become a Successful Author site for tips on what to do because self publishing is a business and should be treated as such. In reference to pricing on Amazon. If a book is less than $2.99 then the profit is 35 percent. If a book is priced at $2.99 or higher, the profit is 70 percent. All of that information is on Amazon’s KDP website.

  2. Pingback: My Adventure as a Mainstream Author Doing Self Published ebooks: Part 2

  3. Bettye Griffin

    This article is worth re-promotion; the information still stands. Shelia, you were my inspiration to indie publish back in 2009. I remember your success with your short story and how loooooong it stayed on the bestseller list. Continued success to you…and to me, too, since I followed in your footsteps!

Comments are closed.