On Self-Publishing

Harper’s Harpings – Crushed Spirit



My Romance Novel Loving Lilly has been on sale a week and it has been a hard week.

Writing this novel took a while for a myriad of reasons and when I finally pressed the button to upload I was beyond excited.  The days that followed were hard, I had expectations but didn’t expect to be crushed inside 48 hours.

I sold quite a few in the first few days, as I said in my previous blog about Amazon refunds, but then the refunds came, more of them and more still.  I then got my first review and it was one star.  The review didn’t make much sense but it was her view and so be it.

Now I am not one to wallow (well I did wallow for a whole day, not even Jaffa Cakes placated me).  So I wrote to Amazon to ask why my book was receiving 50% refunds.  I know my book isn’t shit, too many people have said privately how much they loved it.  So there had to be another reason.

GraceHarper-eBook CoverThere was, incorrect book bought, it seems there is another Loving Lilly out there that people are buying.  Amazon were quite lovely in their reply to me and double checked the formatting of my book to ensure it was ok, and it was.

I now have two reviews one for 4 stars and one for 4.5 stars (and it for my book and not the other one) and that has made me feel a whole load better.  But for this first week when I had a whole load of publicity planned I felt crushed. I was offered a lot of cuddles and I could have quite happily travelled to go and get them.  The support system I have around me stopped me from giving up, those few words written on FB, Twitter and privately did lift me.  However the final thing

How could I publicise the book to say “It’s out, Loving Lilly is ready to buy, just go 1-click, Nook it, iBooks it” when the only review said it was rubbish.  That would be ludicrous.  I had total faith in my story, only because it was the story I wanted to tell, if the story isn’t liked then I can’t help that.

Now that things have settled down I can start to shout about my book, but I have to say I have lost my ooomph to do it.  The paperback is also available but I have not said a word.  Ridiculous really, as a writer I should be more thick skinned but in reality I am not.  I bared my soul and wrote the story, there are more parts to the story to come, four at the moment and I am writing them each evening when I have the time.  It won’t stop me writing but this experience has faltered me in publicizing it.

I was given advice over a year ago when I published books under another name and those three pieces of advice were:

  • Don’t read your reviews, ever.
  • Don’t track your sales any more than once a month.
  • Don’t bother yourself about ranking.

I failed big time, had I followed their advice I would not have put myself though the upset of the one star review which has now disappeared along with the sales and refunds.  If I had waited a month I would have been none the wiser.

Thanks for reading



Harper’s Motto: You will not be everybody’s favourite flavour, but that’s ok, because they will not always be your favourite flavour.  Be who you want to be and you will attract the people who will support you no matter what.


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