peeps: Luke Romyn
From his nineteen years of experience in the security industry, Australian Luke Romyn must have some really interesting real-life stories to tell. He has, after all, worked in “Australia’s roughest pubs and clubs to protecting Mickey Mouse and the Disney crew from the overzealous jaws of tenacious toddlers.” He’s worked in the field internationally as well, performing an eclectic collection of duties, such as closely protecting UK celebrities in Fiji and chasing feral pigs and snakes out of Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks’ The Pacific jungle film set.
Putting his expansive imagination to work on top of that, Luke then parlayed that colorful background into a booming writing career. Four of Luke’s books have been category bestsellers on Amazon — such as Beyond Hades: The Prometheus Wars — with over 220,000 copies distributed to date. And there’s no sign that he’ll be slowing down anytime soon.
How Luke Got Started Self-Publishing
With his first book a number of years ago, Luke was “determined not to travel the self-publishing route.” It was during a time, after all, when “nobody really had any faith in ebooks, most scoffing at the idea that they would ever gain any sort of foothold in the industry.” He did find a publisher, one that specialized in both ebooks and print (for their better sellers).
Although he was one of the publisher’s bestsellers, his “sales were hardly spectacular.” But it was now a few years later, and Luke wasn’t blind to all that was happening in the industry. “Fast forward… and look at how attitudes have changed,” he observes. “eBooks are not only respected, they’re often preferred due to their low cost, versatility, and the ability to share on nearly all your electronic devices — from PC to phone, not simply ereader devices.”
It didn’t take much for a good friend and fellow author to convince Luke to try his hand at self-publishing. By that time, Amazon had already transformed the market with its Kindle and Kindle Direct Publishing program. And Luke liked what he saw, in particular how the market now allowed “self-published authors not only a place amongst the big-sellers, but a chance to also outsell them.” The indie publisher’s “vanity publishing” image had been minimized, and instead, the route was now “seen as a chance to control your career right off the bat, not bending to the whims of those who might make or break your career simply because they felt the market was trending elsewhere.”
Luke has had to wrestle with a few things on his indie publishing journey — “trials and tribulations” he calls them — but he’s glad to report that his writing career is now gathering momentum. “I’m far from rolling in money,” Luke says, “but when I can now sell as many books in a single day as I used to in a year, what’s not to like about self-publishing?”
Self-Publishing Tips and Observations
- “eBooks, in all formats, are here to stay. I think we can all agree on that. Whether Amazon will continue to dominate is debatable, but they’ve definitely set the standard — like iTunes did for downloadable music.”
- “Some people have made predictions that big publishers will wither and die against the onslaught of the self-publishing maelstrom, and the merging of four of the big six publishers would indicate they are indeed suffering, but I hardly think they’re done for. At least not yet.”
- “What we’re seeing now is a complete restructuring of the industry. Amazon wanted to make a point to publishers, to show that the power no longer lay solely in big publisher’s hands, and they accomplished it impressively. More than anyone else, Amazon have morphed the once laughed at ebooks into a thing almost everyone has tried. With free promotions from incredible authors becoming a common occurrence, why wouldn’t you check out what’s on Kindle? Just as CDs and DVDs still exist (and LP records if you remember back that far), paper books will survive for a long time to come, just as traditional publishers will survive, but in the end the profit and control available from self-publishing will overcome the convenience and all-encompassing grasp of traditional publishing.”
- “After all, is there anything big publishers provide that can’t be purchased as a separate service? Their greatest resource has always been their reputations: when people sift through the quagmire of books available, they’ve always been able to look at the products of these major publishers as quality. However, as more and more authors turn to the greater returns of self-publishing, the line begins to get a lot hazier, until finally it will disappear completely. And then what will the companies who used to rule the industry with an iron fist have to offer?”
- “In the end a middle ground will ultimately be found, and we’ll all know where we stand. In the meantime, right now is a great time for authors to get out there and get known. If you’ve ever dreamed of getting published, stop dreaming and do it yourself. With a little bit of research and time it’s surprisingly cheap and easy to make your words immortal, whether on paper or electronically. In the end you simply don’t have anything to lose. What started out for me as a whim has since turned into a career I absolutely love.”