peeps: Ken Brosky
With an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, it looks like Ken Brosky had a pretty clear view of what he wanted to do with his life. He reports that he’s had more than a dozen short stories published… and probably around 200 rejections. He’s also done some books, and he reports that “those have been rejected even more.”
But he sure has had a number of successes, like the popular Young Adult series, The Grimm Chronicles, with co-author Isabella Fontaine, where the lovable characters in the Brothers Grimm stories have all come to life … and have all changed for the worse. Corrupted. And Evil. Now that’s got to read stuff!
How Ken Got Started Self-Publishing
“Freedom of format.” That’s what Ken thinks drew him and Isabella to start putting out The Grimm Chronicles on the Kindle. “I envisioned this series as something fast-paced,” he says, “with each episode coming in at around 100 pages (now they’re at 130 or so, which makes this more challenging!) and being released every two months. That’s an incredible turnaround time that you just can’t get from a traditional publisher.”
They most certainly did not want to see the project rejected or held back and delayed by one traditional publishing reason or other. “After the first episode started getting good reviews, all thoughts of traditional publishing were temporarily put on the back-burner. At that point, we weren’t interested in going through that years-long process. On the other side of that coin, we also couldn’t have considered this option if we didn’t have fellow writers willing to be our editors to ensure that we could put out a professional, high-quality piece of work.”
Even with the success of the series, with the pair already hard at work on Book 8 at the time of this writing, Ken says the process is still as much fun as ever. “I can’t help but check those Kindle sales figures on a regular basis. It’s been almost a year since we started this but I still check the sales every day. It’s fun. It’s exciting because most of that money goes in our pockets. It’s not a huge amount, but it’s consistent, and that’s what makes it so fun. When you put out a print edition of a book, publishers promote it a bit and then it stays on the shelves for a few months and then it typically disappears. But even with tens of thousands of new Kindle books appearing every year, we can always ensure that our book is available.”
Self-Publishing Tips and Observations
- “[P]romoting it… that gets a little trickier. The more books appear on Kindle, the more convoluted the market gets. That means authors are going to have to step it up and ensure that their work is found by avid readers.”
- “It’ll be interesting to see how Amazon approaches the ebook market ten years from now when there are just so many books out there that it gets overwhelming, but my guess is that the books that sell are going to be the most visible. That means prospective authors are going to have to make sure they’re doing some legwork with promotion.”
- “Don’t be afraid to spend a little money. I use Kindle Nation Daily’s book promotion services because it gets the name of our book out there for prospective readers. Book promotion works well, and it makes your titles visible. This is going to keep getting more and more important as the years go on.”
“I also think it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to invest in the newest Kindle. It’s more advanced than the original Kindle, and there’s room for experimentation with books. This is an avenue that few writers are going to take advantage of because of the steep learning curve.