What Writing a Short Story in a Day and Publishing it on Amazon Taught Me

My long term goal is to eventually own a small press that helps fledgling writers break into a very competitive industry. I realized while I’m writing and querying my work with publishing houses, that I might want to try my hand at self-publishing.

What happens when you write a story, do your own editing, formatting, cover art, and do not pay for advertising? You get on what one of my author friends calls “the friends and family plan.” Your friends, the tried and true ones, at least, will buy your story, but no strangers are going to pick it up.

One of my friends said that this isn’t ever going to make a front page of Amazon even if you search for the title because it has a naked person on it. It is an artfully covered naked person, but naked, nonetheless.

My first mistake was labeling it erotica. Yes, there’s sex, but it’s more about the main character and supporting character’s unhappiness with their choices in life and love. Candace fell in love with the wrong man and completely lost her identity as a stay-at-home mom. Memnoch fell for a charismatic leader, followed Lucifer into a rebellion and was sick of his job as a cross-roads demon bargaining for souls. Instead, he bargains for Candace’s adoration. He knows this will damn her so it’s still technically doing his job, but he’s upfront about it. There is an explicit sex scene, but erotica, it is not. Candace finds salvation not only of her life, but her sense of self and her soul in Memnoch’s arms.

If it were erotica, it would be centered around the sex and the affair with the demon, but it’s more about Candace gaining the courage to no longer live a lie. The theme is it’s never too late to undo mistakes and change our lives, no matter how deeply enmeshed we are in the consequences.

So far, the story has had complete read throughs of all 35 pages on KU, so at least I’m keeping my friends and family engaged. The story has also received at least five outright purchases. Thanks, big spenders!

The benefit of having written it under a pen name is that whether it does well or not, Adoration is not associated with my other work…Unless, you’ve read this article.

Have you self-published with and without an editor? What was your experience?





Published by TJ Deschamps

Tammy loves to build worlds with words, exploring themes the effect of diaspora on the generations born elsewhere than their ancestors with the backdrop of tech or magic and dragons (sometimes both). These stories are inspired by her own family's immigrant experience. She's queer and many of her characters fall somewhere on the LGBTQIA spectrum (though that is not the focus of her work). She's married to an engineer who dances. Together they are raising three precocious teens in the Seattle suburbs. Two of her children are neurodiverse. Her experiences have taught her much about the world, its beauties and its injustices. All of this comes through in her fiction with a healthy dose of absurd humor.

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