Slam-Dunk! My Self-Published Book (through BookLocker) Has Already Earned More Than My Traditionally Published Book! By Shannon Cutts

Slam-Dunk! My Self-Published Book (through BookLocker) Has Already Earned More Than My Traditionally Published Book! By Shannon Cutts
Print Friendly

I published my first nonfiction book in 2009. After a whirlwind courtship with a respected mid-sized publisher, and six ensuing months of editing and formatting frenzy, the book was OUT.

As in – In print. On shelves. Online. Everywhere.

The day it went live, I waited eagerly for the deluge of attention and profits. As nothing happened, day after day and week after week, I began to question my vision, my abilities, my audience, my agent’s and publisher’s belief in me, my sanity – everything.

The pressure to sell copies was tremendous…but it often felt like I was the only one working to make that happen. As it turns out, I actually was the only one working on it. About six months into the whole mess, the publisher canned my publicity manager and, in her place, they hired a blog tour management specialist to try to revive interest in the book.

Again, I got SO excited.

Again, nothing happened.

At this point, when I tell you that, a scant five years later, I once again pursued the path of traditional publishing for my second book, you might be tempted to stop reading. Please don’t!

I had only two reasons for seeking a traditional publisher at this point:

Fear. I was frightened of the unknown world of “self” publishing.

Insecurity. I still thought a traditional publisher had super-secret success-activating powers that I, as a humble author, did not.

After a grueling year of working with my literary agent (who had, by now, become a dear friend and mentor as well), she emailed me one day to suggest I consider self-publishing instead.

In her email, she included a healthy list of “pros” as her reasons for suggesting self-publishing:

  • I would retain creative control. This included control of the title and cover art, both of which I gave up (to my eternal regret) with book #1.
  • I would begin realizing sales profits from launch day one. There would be no advance money to pay back before royalty payments would flow my way.
  • I would be able to market MY book MY way to MY audience. I would face no ongoing arguments with my publisher over where my audience could be found and how to use available marketing funds to best reach them.
  • I could market on a dime doing what I do best. As a bonafide introvert, I thrive online – personally and professionally. I’m good at it, too – the online nonprofit I founded in 2009 now serves members in 43 countries and will celebrate its 7th birthday in 2016.
  • I would retain copyright and full rights to use my material in any way I wanted. I would also never have to deal with contractual restrictions on the use of my own words in other complementary products I might wish to create and sell in the future.

After reviewing this list of compelling pros, my sole remaining “con” (the lack of an author advance) scrounged up a white flag and waved it, and that was that.

It was ON. I was IN.

I began to research self-publishing options in earnest, one thing led to another, and then an author-friend suggested I reach out to Angela Hoy at In BookLocker, I found the true-blue-honest self-publishing partner and mentor I had been seeking.

Fast forward to October 2015.

I am standing in my home office, holding a beautiful shiny new copy of book #2 in my hands. Everything about THIS book reflects my vision – the cover, the art, the text, the layout and formatting, the photo gallery – I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of any project I’ve ever tackled before in my whole life.

Oh, and before I forget – I have already earned more from this second book than I have EVER earned from book #1! Happy author, happy bank account. Now that is what I call a win-win!

My new book! Check. It. Out.


P.S. Post a comment in the field below for a chance to WIN a signed copy!


Can Self-Published Authors Land Traditional Contracts? Heck, Yeah!
Should I Self-Publish or Hold Out for a Traditional Contract?
Top 10 Most EMBARRASSING Mistakes Made by Self-Published Authors, and How to Avoid Them
Do NOT Sneak Your Self-Published Book Onto Bookstore Shelves!

Shannon Cutts is first and foremost a birdie and tortoise mama. She is also a writer, speaker, nonprofit founder, mentor, lover of retro threads, and champion of all things (and beings) recovered and recovering. Love & Feathers is her second book. Connect with Shannon: Connect with Pearl:

Named a "Hot New Release" by Amazon, and ranked #7 in the Metaphysical Fiction category less than a week after release!

The Reporter: Part I - Rise and Fall and The Reporter: Part II - Redemption

"A real page turner. I can't wait to read the next installment."
-Debbie Martindale Behrends, The Elburn Herald

Nic Pappas, a reporter with the Palatine Star newspaper, is assigned to cover a cold murder case known as The Brown's Chicken Massacre. Pappas meets, and falls in love with, Mary Jane Santos, who lost her brother, Roland, Jr., in the tragedy, tempting Pappas to violate the ethics of the reporter-source relationship. Believing the only way to end his dilemma is to solve the case, Pappas and Santos make a pledge to catch the killers...

Copies of real query letters that resulted in writing assignments worth $2K and much more!

8 Responses to "Slam-Dunk! My Self-Published Book (through BookLocker) Has Already Earned More Than My Traditionally Published Book! By Shannon Cutts"

  1. Marsha  January 14, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Congratulations,Shannon. What you did took courage and grit. Seems to me that you learned a lot more about yourself due to Pearl’s presence in your life than what the title suggests.

  2. pamelaallegretto  January 12, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Best wishes on your new book. I agree, Booklocker is tops in every way. My historical novel, Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, is my first self-published book with Booklocker, But it certainly won’t be my last. Thanks for sharing your story!

  3. Prisqua  January 8, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    I’m self-publishing my very first novel. It should be out end of February. I’m terrified but also excited. If it wasn’t for self-publishing, I would have never done it.

    • Shannon Cutts  January 8, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      Hi Prisqua – how exciting! Congratulations! I love that you say self-publishing gave you the freedom to “go for it” – I read the synopsis of your new book on your site and it sure sound like a must-read! 🙂

  4. Diane Bray  January 8, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Shannon..I admire your courage to try again. Someday I shall take the self publishing plunge….signed..also a lover of retro threads….Diane, artist & writer.

    • Shannon Cutts  January 8, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      Retro is the best, isn’t it! 🙂 Sounds like you do have a book of some kind brewing in you….as well as plenty of courage to support it! Good luck to you!!

  5. Mary Lynn Bushong  January 8, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Well done, Shannon! You stepped out of your comfort zone and found a better place to publish.

    • Shannon Cutts  January 8, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      Oh wow – thank you, Mary Lynn!! I just never realized publishing could be an empowering experience – until now! It is definitely an experience I am glad to be able to share with others here on Writers Weekly! 🙂