AlecHutson

Hey followers and friends, 
          	
          	It's been a long, crazy journey. Most of you started following me a year and some months ago, when I first started posting The Crimson Queen to Wattpad. You read the first draft of the book, and it was your support that helped me to finish and gave me the confidence to think I might have success outside of Wattpad. 
          	
          	It's been about six weeks since I published the final version of The Crimson Queen on Amazon, and I thought you might like an update. It's gone amazingly well. Currently on Amazon the e-book version of The Crimson Queen is ranked #12 in epic fantasy, #8 in sword and sorcery. That means the e-book version is selling better than the e-books for Game of Thrones and every Brandon Sanderson book. 
          	
          	https://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/digital-text/158580011/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_kstore_3_5_last
          	
          	The reviews have been great, if you're curious. 
          	
          	https://www.amazon.com/Crimson-Queen-Alec-Hutson-ebook/dp/B01MRTK9NF/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1485262606&sr=1-1&keywords=crimson+queen
          	
          	Queen is currently ranked #571 in the entire Kindle store. It's all kind of surreal, and it all started here. 
          	
          	Thanks again, and please if you enjoyed Queen sign up for my author newsletter at 
          	
          	authoralechutson.com 
          	
          	to get updates about the sequel and my other writings. 
          	
          	Take care. 
          	
          	Alec

LancefordMitchell

@AlecHutson Hello, I've finished "The Crimson Queen" and loved the book so much that I devoured "The Manticore’s Soiree" looking for more stories in this world.  I'm guessing that the "The Crimson Queen" character is the baby extracted from the ice in "The Fall Of The Raven Thane" story which is an awesome start to wondering about how she became The Crimson Queen. Additonally the "Cho Lin" character in your teaser "The Shadow King" was simply amazing and reminded me of many asian martial arts movies. The character "Vessa" in the story "Twilight's End" was OK, but not as exciting as other story lines like "Cho Lin" or "Keilan". So stop teasing us and release the full sequel, "The Shadow King"! The anticipation is painful. Do you have an estimated release date?
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DawnStarling

@AlecHutson Alec, I never had time to drop by until now. Congratulations on your ranking and completion of Crimson Queen. I'm sure you'll go successfully far and I look forward to see where you're headed, friend. Stay in touch. - dawn
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AlecHutson

@EinatSegal No, I'm sure you'll eventually break through. I've just been having fun with this, and learning a bit about publishing, so I thought you might try it with a book you're not actively sending around. Though of course I meant giving it a professional cover and editing; honestly, I think your covers here are professional quality. Basically the only expenses are covers (which I think you have already), editing (which your books probably don't need much of, maybe just a proofread) and formatting, which is really cheap and professional if you use Vellum. But anyway, do what want to do.
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adrianrojas666

Greetings!! Congrats on the success of your Amazon sold book, looks like things are going well for you! And in that regard I was hoping I wouldn't bother you with some questions. I haven't looked too deep into this whole amazon style book publishing thing but how does it differ from wattpad? Aside from readers buying your book, of course! For example does it tell you certain amount of reads you're getting or views, or rather how does one gain attention for even trying to begin an amazon book? Thank you in advance!

AlecHutson

@AlecHutson Sorry, beautiful books.
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AlecHutson

@adrianrojas666 I use Vellum to turn my word documents into beautiful documents. Check it out.
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adrianrojas666

@adrianrojas666 thanks for all the lovely information it's been helpful especially since I have my own novel all but ready though one struggle I've been finding is deciding how to work on margins since I do plan to publish through print--any suggestions? I know the Internet is also a tool I could use for this but even as it is I've searched around and find that I don't find what I'm looking for in terms of assistance 
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MissMysteryGame

@AlecHutson
          
          Hey Alec, you're doing what I hope to do, which is to self-publish my books to Amazon, and I was hoping you could answer a few questions about your journey.
          
          1. Why did you choose self-publishing over traditional publishing? 
          
          2. How much Wattpad support did you have before you moved your book to Amazon? 
          
          3. Did you self-publish it to Amazon while keeping your Wattpad copy at first, and then when you made the Kindle Select program remove the book on Wattpad? Or did you remove the book on Wattpad to begin with?
          
          Thank you!

MissMysteryGame

@AlecHutson Thank you very much for the reply! That was extremely helpful!
            
            My book is more of a YA story at first, but by book 2 it grows quite dark. Even book 1 has mature themes and uses the f bomb. 
            
            On Wattpad I certainly bill it as YA but I think I could twist it another way for another platform. I don't think trad pub would like the cursing and some of the other elements of sexual identification/exploration, either, particularly in later books where the characters are older. 
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AlecHutson

@MissMysteryGame
            
             3. I deleted the book off Wattpad and enrolled it in Select (which is likely what you should do as a first-time author, if you self-publish. Again, only a few Wattpad readers will follow you to Amazon. You'll need to start building again from the ground up, but it's even more rewarding as these readers pay you money for your book!
            
            A quick aside - glancing at your profile it looks like you write YA fantasy. Just be warned that YA fantasy is still dominated by trad-pub. I'm not saying self-publishing won't work, but self-publishing is much easier when looking for adult readers.
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AlecHutson

@MissMysteryGame @MissMysteryGame Hey. Nice to meet you. Sorry, super quick answers as I have to run to class soon. Anything that's not clear, ask. 
            
            1. A few reasons. After taking a long look at the traditional fantasy market and what books were being published, I came to the conclusion that the big publishers were not looking for the kind of fantasy I write - which, I'll maintain, is actually still very popular. Grimdark is ascendant in adult fantasy, even though the new Grimdark releases are not doing well. I also found the entire query process idiotic and a lot of agents really, really rude when I dipped my toes in. I don't like groveling in front of people, especially when I'm the one who brings the actual item of value to the partnership. Also, I'm not seeing many new fantasy writers emerge in traditional publishing. If you look at Goodreads ratings for books, you'll see that outside of a few hyped releases every year, there's much more chance to get readers in indie right now than trad. 
            
            2. Very little. My book had maybe 3-400k reads and had peaked at #2 in fantasy. I would say maybe 10 people from wattpad bought my book. There's very little crossover, far as I can tell.
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writingtomuses

AlecHutson@ Hi Alec, I am following your thread about self-publishing. Thank you so much for all the information you are sharing with other writers. It has helped me a lot. I will self-publish my book in October. Do you know, by any chance any successful writers of middle-grade fantasy? They say it is very very difficult to earn money in this genre for self-published authors.

writingtomuses

@AlecHutson Thank you very much!
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AlecHutson

@writingtomuses Hi! I'm afraid most of my experience is with adult fantasy and writers - you could contact Sarah KL Wilson - she used to post on Wattpad before self-publishing, and she's more YA but she might be familiar with middle grade as well. 
            
            Really nice person, as well. She wrote the Teeth of the Gods series on Amazon, which recently got a coveted Bookbub
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writingtomuses

@AlecHutson Hi Alec, I would like to ask you whether it is necessary to create a professional advert to run ads on Amazon, or can I run them just with my book cover? I’ve tried to find information about it on the internet, but it was not helpful, not even on Amazon. Can you recommend any site that explains how to runs ads for Kindle books? Thank you in advance.

writingtomuses

@AlecHutson Yes, thank you so much for your help!
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AlecHutson

@writingtomuses Hi! I think you're talking about Amazon Marketing Services ads. These show up as 'sponsored products' on the pages of the books you want to advertise on. You just need your cover and a hooky blurb that might entice readers to click on your book's cover and take them to your page. Here's a quick overview I found:
            
            https://selfpublishingadventure.com/my-experience-with-ams-ads/
            
            Is this what you were looking for?
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writingtomuses

Hi Alec, is it very important to have a professional quality formatting/conversion from MS Word to Amazon Kindle format? I am about to self-publish my book. One company has quoted me 49 USD to do the conversion. Another company will do it for 100 USD, but they guarantee 100% satisfaction and they will make any changes until I tell them that the formatting is ideal. Thank you in advance, DV

writingtomuses

@AlecHutson Thank you so much for your tips! I really appreciate it. 
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AlecHutson

@writingtomuses Yeah, IMO every aspect of your self-published book should be as professional as possible. If you're skilled with computers, you might be able to use free programs like Calibre to format your own book. But if you're not, I would definitely either have a professional do it or look into buying a copy of Vellum, which is a very easy to use and professional looking ebook software (200 USD, but you can use it for as many books as you like). 100 USD seems a bit high just for Kindle formatting; I think you should be able to get multiple revisions for 50 USD, honestly. Unless they are doing a very bespoke design.
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