peeps: Martin Crosbie
Martin Crosbie was born in the Scotland Highlands and now calls Cloverdale, British Columbia, on Canada’s west coast, his home. His debut novel, My Temporary Life, is an Amazon bestseller and has been downloaded over a hundred thousand times. Deluged with reader requests for more on one of his book’s characters, Hardly, he released My Name is Hardly, making it the second book of what is now his My Temporary Life Trilogy. The third book is coming out this spring.
Amazon itself has trumpeted Martin as one of its shining independent publishing success story examples, particularly of its KDP Select program, an impressive self-publishing accomplishment also picked up and chronicled by Forbes Online, Publisher’s Weekly, and Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper.
How Martin Got Started Self-Publishing
“Nobody wanted to publish me,” Martin says. “I was turned down by over one hundred and thirty agents and publishers, yet when I sent my book out to beta readers the reactions were overwhelmingly positive.” So he began researching self-publishing, and with the unfolding ebook marketplace, he quickly realized he could get his book into readers’ hands very quickly and efficiently.
He published My Temporary Life in December 2011. “It sold fairly well, but it really took off when I enrolled in Amazon’s KDP Select program in February of 2012. Utilizing KDP’s free promotion, I gave away fifty thousand ebooks in three days. Then, it went on to sell ten thousand copies in the next two weeks.”
My Temporary Life — now a trilogy — has since just kept moving forward, with new readers coming on board daily and steadily. The resulting benefits to Martin’s career haven’t been limited to writing books. “I’ve had numerous opportunities since I self-published. I speak at writer’s festivals, I’ve had book signings in local stores, I’ve taught self-publishing classes at online conferences, and I try to pay it forward by writing articles for indiesunlimited.com, a great site that helps Indie authors.”
“The most important thing,” Martin however admits, “is I now derive the majority of my income from writing. Yep, the book that nobody wanted helps pay my bills.”
Self-Publishing Tips and Observations
- “As my old writing teacher tells me, ‘It truly is a great time to be a writer.’ And, he’s right, it really is. As authors, we have opportunities that never existed just a few years ago.”
- “But with those opportunities come responsibilities too. Although the gatekeeper has been bypassed and we’ve found this awesome way to connect with our readers, we still need to make sure that our reputation as indie or self-published authors is as favorable as possible. We need to present our readers with product that doesn’t just have terrific content but also professional presentation too.”
- “We’re in the forefront of this publishing revolution, and as self-published authors we’ve been quicker than traditional publishers to make changes and embrace new technology and find that almost instant connection with our readers. For example, once I released My Temporary Life, my plan was to continue writing about the two main characters from that book. My readers had other ideas though. I received messages on Facebook, Twitter, emails, and even reviews that were posted, all asking for more stories about Hardly, one of the other characters. Ten months after releasing my first book I released My Name Is Hardly. I was able to produce a book that I’m very proud of, have it professionally edited, hire a cover designer to create a fantastic cover, and get it out to my readers. The reviews so far have been fantastic and that’s because I listened to what my readers wanted and produced a quality product.”
- “As authors, every time we put our name on our work it should be the absolute best that we can produce because somebody is potentially going to reach into their pocket and pay money for it, so there are no excuses. We actually have to hold ourselves to a higher standard than the traditional publishing world because there are people waiting for us to fall. And, nobody wants that. It’s too much fun being able to write and create and interact with readers.”