I promised to give a more detailed update of my self-publishing journey in July. Since it’s the last day of July, my day of reckoning has come.

Where am I in the process?

It’s summer so I’m going to use a roller coaster analogy. You know that part of the coaster ride when the chain lift pulls your car to the top of that first, uber-tall lift hill? Well, I’m almost at the top of that.

Shutterstock, roller coaster, Image ID:197772362, Copyright: MyImages - Micha

What the heck is a “lift hill”?


  • The book:
    • Outline/Research/Buy 12 month supply of coffee, wine, M&Ms… whatever you need to power through
    • Write it! (if this is where you are, DON’T QUIT!!! It’s like getting off the roller coaster before it peaks on the lift hill. Don’t you want to ride the ride?! 😀 )
    • Edit/Revise: I hired Betsy Mitchell to help me and her comments and notes have been terrific. She’s worked with some amazing writers and I was really excited when she said she was interested in working with me. In many respects, it’s been a lot like working with my former editor, Jessica Wade (who I still miss!!). Betsy gave me a four page editorial letter and a marked-up manuscript. As I’ve done with each of my past manuscripts, I started with the localized, easy fixes and am working my way toward solving the bigger, more systemic problems. Revisions are less daunting that way.
    • Proof/Format
    • Design the cover
    • Create the book “extras”: praise page, copyright page, author’s note, discussion questions, acknowledgements, bio, back cover copy, etc.
    • ISBN
  • Distribution plan:
    • Decide what formats you want to offer (I want to offer both digital and print versions, although I might offer the print version a bit later… not really sure yet)
    • Decide where you want to offer your book (I still need to decide whether I want to enroll in KDP Select or go for wider distribution. Have thoughts on this? Let me know in the comments!)
    • Price. I haven’t set this yet but the digital version of Noon #4 will be lower than previous digital versions of books in the series (current Amazon prices for those, which are NOT set by me, are $7.99 for B2 and B3 and $8.99 for B1 – !!) If you have thoughts on price — what you’re willing to pay, what you think readers are willing to pay — let me know in the comments. The price for the print version of Pocket Full of Tinder, on the other hand, will likely be higher than the mass market versions for the first three books. But it’s still nice to have the option to offer print books.
  • Marketing plan:
    • Cover reveal: would be nice to do this when I have my pre-order links ready, but I’ll have to see if this makes sense once I’m at that point (hopefully, soon!)
    • ARCs / advance reviews: this one, I’m still thinking about. LOTS to consider – timing, logistics, etc…
    • Blog tour
    • Release day event
    • Other events: I mentioned already that I’m going to attend HallowRead. Due to my work schedule and the still-uncertain release date, I might just be hanging out in the audience, soaking up all the awesome genre goodness with everyone else. Will keep you posted though — and will let you know of any other places I might be this fall. It’s always fun to meet readers and other writers!!
    • Advertising: I’ll probably buy one/some, but gotta keep it reasonable. While I think ads can be effective in terms of letting readers know what might be available, I’m already worried about blowing my budget. I mentioned before that continuing the Noon series on my own might be a fool’s errand (not because the character, world, and stories aren’t compelling, but for business reasons). I’m determined, however, to release Pocket Full of Tinder and make it the best that I can!!

Newsletter winner

ROB L. won my June newsletter giveaway. Rob, I’ll be in touch! Everyone else, THANK YOU for subscribing! Sign up here.

Thoughts on my newsletter sign-up pop-up? Are any of you blog subscribers annoyed by it? I hope not! If I designed it right, it should only pop up the first time you visit and then you shouldn’t see it again. But let me know if it’s not working the way I think it is. Obviously, newsletter subscribers are really important to me, but I care about my blog subscribers and casual drop-in visitors too!

Hope everyone’s having a nice summer — full of reading, writing, roller coasters, and other favorite things!

Published by

Jill Archer

Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, genre-bending fantasy novels including DARK LIGHT OF DAY, FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE, and POCKET FULL OF TINDER.

16 thoughts on “July Update: POCKET FULL OF TINDER #SelfPub

    1. Thanks, S.C.! Appreciate the vote of confidence. I haven’t switched as seamlessly from trad to self-pub as some authors have, but I’m looking forward to releasing my fourth book on my own.

  1. I cannot wait for you to ride that roller coaster down!!! Good luck! (And, hurry up! Just kidding…I’ll be patiently waiting.)

  2. Hi Jill. My 0.02 cents regarding price: I’ve found readers tend to want to pay less, rather than more. Unless you are a “bigger” name with more of a track record, charging anything over $5.99 seems to be a deal killer with readers. I have the first in my series set to $1.99 and the next two books set to $4.99. They are not selling. (They’re full-length 80,000+ word books so I feel $4.99 is a fair price.) For my epic fantasy which is over 100k, I’m charging $3.99 currently but will raise the price to $4.99 after release day. Good luck!

    1. “I’ve found readers tend to want to pay less, rather than more.”

      No doubt. 😀
      But I think most readers realize we have to make something or we won’t be able to continue bringing them the books they love.

      Thanks for sharing your pricing strategy. I’m leaning toward a price for the ebook version of POCKET FULL OF TINDER that is between $2.99 and $4.99.

      My challenge is that I can’t set the prices for my first three. $8.99 for the digital version of a first-in-series book that was published in 2012 is ridiculous.

      When I start another series on my own, I’ll have more flexibility.

      Just signed up to host you for your book tour. Best wishes with YOUR upcoming release!

  3. Hello,

    Thank you so much for not only continuing the series (because I desperately want to know what happens next) but also sharing the journey into self-publishing (I didn’t realize what when on behind the scenes in regards to publishing). I will buy both the digital and physical copies when they come out. I still cling to the hope that you will release ARCs 🙂 Once again thank you so much for all of the hard work and effort you made into putting this book togerther.

    1. Thanks, Alexandra!! Really appreciate your support. POCKET FULL OF TINDER is happening because of readers like YOU. 🙂

      Will keep everyone posted. Have a fantastic week!

  4. I just finished the series this week. Yes, I read all three within a week. I found it on Goodreads. I have over three hundred books saved under to To Read – New Series Starter. I rely on Goodreads to find out what books are in the series. I assumed that this was just a trilogy and felt a bit disappointed finishing the last book. I decided to see if you have a website just to make sure there wasn’t anymore. I’m glad I did. I guess what I’m trying to see in a very disjointed way is, can you list book four on Goodreads? Just put publishing date TBD. I see that a lot. Sorry if this is something you’ve already addressed.

  5. I’m so looking forward to the follow up book in the series. Don’t give up! Also, wanted to let you know that I consumed your series on the Barnes & Noble’s Nook platform and I hope you will release the ebook to Nook. Thanks!

    1. Thanks, Alanna! This comment was very helpful. It’s always good to know where people are finding the books. I’m leaning toward a wider distribution, which would include Nook. Now I just need to figure out a way to get some hard copies to libraries in LA, NYC, Seattle, Chicago, Denver… 😀

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