An Author’s Regret: Why did I publish my book?
Note: The story ‘An Author’s Regret’ is based on several true stories and has been fictionalized in order to protect the identities of those who inspired it.
Ahmed always wanted to be an author. He was really excited to write and publish his first book, but had no clue how publishing works. In February 2009, at the young age of 21, Ahmed had completed writing his first book. It was a 250 page novel entitled “How the night speaks to me“.
Ahmed was really excited at what he had produced and immediately began sending manuscript copies to several publishers. One by one, Ahmed’s hopes and dreams were dashed as publisher after publisher either rejected his manuscript or did not reply at all.
Ahmed began to think that perhaps he wasn’t destined to be an author. That he should stick to his day job and put aside his dream of becoming a published author. Then something happened…
Ahmed Gets Published
In March 2010, a new publishing house contacted Ahmed with an offer to publish his book. However, as he was a new author and not a proven commodity, they made the following deal with him:
- They will pay him a set fee of $2000 for the book as well as 100 copies of the book.
- They will become the copyright owner of the book.
- He will not receive any royalties from the book.
Ahmed looked at the contract multiple times. He was sure that it felt off, but it was his only option. It was either this or not be published at all. Reluctantly, Ahmed signed the contract and signed off his rights to the book.
One year later, in March 2011 after a lot of hassle and long wait, his book was finally published and available to the public. He collected his $2000 and managed to sell his one hundred copies for an additional $2000. Altogether, he made $4000 of his first book, not bad!
The Best Seller
Ahmed did not write another book for a few years. He did not feel like writing when he realized that all that hard work did not really bring in much money. He wondered how other authors made a living of their books and decided to just focus on his career instead. This went on for several years.
During the next five years, How the night speaks to me become an international bestseller. Over one hundred thousand copies were sold worldwide. The publisher celebrated and made a lot of money. Ahmed’s family celebrated having a best-selling author in the family.
On the surface, Ahmed seemed happy but deep inside he felt regret and resentment. Even if the publisher had offered him a 10% royalty rate, he would have made an additional $10’000 on his book. Instead the publisher was profiting off his hard work, while he struggled to make ends meet.
In 2014, Ahmed had an awesome idea for a new book, and excitedly sat down to write it. Within four months, he had produced a really awesome new Self Help book on Time Management. But he was reluctant to publish it. His last experience left him with a bitter taste for publishing and he knew he had another Best-Seller on his hands.
Ahmed’s manuscript sat on his PC for months, as he struggled to find a way to publish it which seemed fair and profitable for the author.
Then in October 2014, he discovered an online course in Self-Publishing. He enrolled in the course for $500, and learned many new things including the following:
1) How to generate ideas for books
2) How to write a book in 60 days
3) How to design his own covers
4) The different methods of publishing
5) How to self-publish his eBook
6) Digital marketing through email, Facebook, blogs, Google, and others
A New Era
Ahmed was really excited with what he had learned and decided to go ahead and test it out. In April 2015, he started a new blog and built up an online following of loyal readers. These were people who loved his writings and appreciated his hard work. They were just one thousand people, but each of them were important to him because they truly appreciated and benefited from his writings.
Eventually, he built up the courage to Self-Publish his eBook on his blog for $10 a copy. Each of his loyal readers purchased a copy and he made $10,000 in the process. Furthermore, he was now in direct contact with his readers, receiving feedback from them on the book, improving further editions based on their feedback, and gaining ideas for new books from them.
Slowly over the next two years, Ahmed wrote more and more books. Eventually self-publishing over a dozen eBooks. Each sold thousands of copies and Ahmed was able to transition from the working class to his dream of a fulltime author.
Ahmed regretted publishing his book in 2011. Even today it still stings, as the book continues to sell thousands of copies every year, and he will never see a single cent from it.
But he did not regret investing $500 in the online course on how to self-publish. He did not regret starting his own blog. And he did not regret self-publishing his eBooks.
Today Ahmed lives a comfortable life, benefiting thousands of readers while doing what he loves as a source of income. All it took was one online course that changed it all for him.
Interested in Self-Publishing?