peeps: Lexi Revellian
For years, UK author Lexi Revellian actually resisted writing — she figured she’d never be as good as Jane Austen, so why bother. Eventually she reached the reasonable realization that nobody is as good as Jane Austen. So she started writing — and couldn’t stop.
Her real name is Lexi Dick, and Lexi Dick’s job is designing and making jewelry and silver. It looks like she’s no slouch at it either, having made pieces for Margaret Thatcher, 10 Downing Street and Her Majesty the Queen.
But in her Revellian persona, Lexi is an accomplished self-published novelist. How accomplished? The over 60,000 ebooks sold kind of accomplished. And counting.
How Lexi Got Started Self-Publishing
Lexi, not unusually, never expected to be a self-publisher. Remix was her third novel, and the one she believed would prove to be her entrée into the world of traditional publishing. Readers at peer review sites liked it; Lexi knew she had something and gave herself a year to find an agent, with self-publishing merely the backup plan in case she didn’t find one.
Well, she didn’t find one. “Four agents requested the full typescript, two having approached me,” she says, “but they all passed on the book. And how lucky was that? By the time I turned my back on traditional publishing, it was mid-2010, the dawn of the golden age of indies.”
In the next two years, she sold over 40,000 copies of Remix alone. “I sometimes wonder how many copies a big publisher could have sold through bookshops,” she muses, “but even had one signed Remix, he probably wouldn’t have believed in its potential enough to make it a best-seller.”
Self-Publishing Observations and Tips
- “Over the last few years I’ve watched the publishing industry move from denial about the changes going on to an unwilling recognition of how important digital and self-publishing is. They’re still getting it wrong — look at Penguin buying up Author Solutions in order to cash in on naive indies — and they still tell themselves all writers want a trad deal even as midlisters abandon the ship. But their heads are now out of the sand and they are gazing around, blinking at a transformed landscape.”
- “Don’t publish too soon. Your first book is unlikely to be the best you are capable of, as it’s the one you learn to write on.”
- “Get other people’s opinions, and consider them with an open mind. Be prepared to make changes, but ultimately the book will go out with your name on it, so trust your judgement.”
- “Edit, proofread and format with precision. No excuses.”
- “Get a good cover that is genre-specific.”
- “Spend time on making your blurb punchy.”