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

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.

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.



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:

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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! 🙂