A reflection on 2022 as a debut author

Bye bye 2022 and what a year it was!

I’m still tying to process that I can say ‘I’m a published author…’ It’s still a bit mind blowing that I somehow managed to publish three books on Amazon and one free short story. 😁

▶︎What did I publish?◀︎

The Sky Saga

Book 1: The Cardinal Sky (Aug 31)

Book 2: The Scarlet Sphere (Nov 9)

Sky Saga Prequel

Book 1: Broken Sky (Nov 16)

Sky Saga Short

Reliance Sky

▶︎How have the books been Performing?◀︎

The Cardinal Sky:

Honestly, better than expected. I thought I would be lucky to make $30 in my first month and it outperformed my expectations by more than three times! I was honestly thrilled, and the reviews were generally good too… until… I got a couple of negative reviews that completely killed my sales. As a reader I do look at reviews too, so I wasn’t surprised that when Cardinal Sky dropped to an average of 4 stars I got zero new readers for a few days and even after that sales were slow… Luckily, a couple of angels took a chance on my book and loved it AND left reviews!! Which started to bring my average back up. And now it is sitting at a healthy 4.4 on amazon with a total of 45 reviews.

The Scarlet Sphere:

Started out amazing! I had my biggest month when it launched and a lot of reads but unfortunately in the second month I had the same problem I had with The Cardinal Sky. And I got a nasty 1 star review which completely killed my average. And while the average on GoodReads is ridiculously high, it’s unfortunately the average on Amazon that influences sales. And I noticed that the low average of Book 2 has even affected the sales of Book 1, which makes sense. Why would you start a series that has low ratings on the second book? But after a month of completely stressing over it, which was hindering my ability to write (the fragile ego of a new writer), I decided to just let it go… c’est la vie. There is not much I can do about it. I’ve asked people to leave more reviews but I can’t force them to, so I’ll just keep plodding along and hopefully the average will come up eventually like it has with Book 1.

Broken Sky:

Surprised me by getting a #1 number release tag, but other than that, it hasn’t really made waves. Even being on the top 100 lists in Amazon doesn’t seem to draw in readers, and out of the 3 books I’ve released it has sold the least.


It’s been huge learning process to self publish. And extremely mind blowing that people are reading and enjoying my stories, some people at least 😉. Right now authoring is a very expensive hobby, and I’m very much in the red, and with the way the Sky Saga is performing, even with the promotions I’ve tried, it doesn’t look like it will ever be a huge money earner. Therefore, I will need to explore other options to allow me to continue my author journey. If you have been following my release schedule for the Sky Saga, you may have noticed the push back in release dates and that is purely because I need to raise more capital to be able to have the books professionally edited and proofread. Each book costs one to two thousand to produce and while I’m trying to cut costs by making my own covers from book 2 onwards, it will still be quite a while before I can even dream about breaking even with this series.

▶︎What I wish I did instead?◀︎

A lot of things! Even going as far as to say starting with a series that was more closely written to market than The Sky Saga which has been extremely difficult to find a target market for. If you have some ideas please drop me a line but so far it’s been a lot of trial and error.

What might’ve helped is building up my newsletter subscribers before my debut and releasing my free short story (reader magnet) before as well. Another thing that I have learned is the true importance of a large street team (ARC review team). Currently mine is still very small, and as another author pointed out… If I had a lot of reviews with the launch then the one or two random low ratings and reviews wouldn’t affect sales as much. Unfortunately, I’ve found it extremely difficult to build up an ARC team.

Build up my social media presence more, and spent more time figuring out how to do that!

Written the whole series before publishing! Which would’ve been a huge endeavour but would’ve made it easier to change things in the story if needed. Also, I could’ve used the rapid release strategy more effectively.

▶︎What’s coming up in 2023?◀︎

For The Sky Saga:

I will not drop The Sky Saga even though it is not performing. There is a chance that sales will pick up once more books are released 🤞 But the release schedule will be slower. Book 3 is still on schedule for March 28, but Book 4,5 and 6 have been pushed back. Also, the prequel series has been pushed back slightly too.

To help raise capital:

I am in the process of writing and planning out a more to market PNR dragon shifter series, written in 1st POV. If all goes well, I plan to rapid release mid this year. Hopefully, if readers like that series they may check out the Sky Saga as well.

I’ll also be starting up a pre-made cover design service, to break up the writing a bit. I’ve found I absolutely love designing covers and am not half bad at it. Currently, I’m still in the process of setting up the website, but if you’re interested you can check out what is there so far, Silver Mist Designs.

And here’s a couple of draft samples ☺️

I think I’ve waffled long enough. If you have questions about self-publishing or any of my books, I’m happy to answer them in the comments section.

That’s all from me for now.

Happy 2023 and may you have a fantabulous year!

2 thoughts on “A reflection on 2022 as a debut author

  1. Thank you so much Andrew! I truly appreciate your kind words and encouragement. I’m so glad you have enjoyed the progression of the Sky Saga and my writing. Hopefully, book 3 and beyond will live up to your expectations 🙂 Thank you so much for sticking with me all these years. If you have any feedback for the series I’d love to hear it, or if you’d like me to write a story about something I’d love to hear that too 🙂 Hope you have a great 2023!

  2. Hi. I’d just like to let you know that I have thoroughly enjoyed you sky series so far. I followed you from free read to paying for the books and I’m waiting for the next release.
    I enjoy the flow of the writing and way the story unfolds. I’m also enjoying the evolution of you writing

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