The aspiration was always there for Melbourne-based C.J. Archer (Carolyn) to be a writer. A lover of history and fantasy from as far back as she can remember, she wanted to tell stories. In her twenties she began seriously putting pen to paper and having published a few short stories, started knocking on publishers’ doors. Despite acquiring an agent, the global financial crisis hit and Carolyn, manuscripts in hand, hit a wall.
“I knew I was ready,” Carolyn explains. “My stories were ready for an audience.”
A naturally independent person who likes to retain control, when Carolyn first heard about Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), her interest was piqued. KDP is Amazon’s self-publishing service which enables authors to self-publish in both print and digital formats. Authors that publish through KDP retain their copyright and can get to market fast, distribute globally and earn royalties of up to 70%.
“It was such a good fit for me.”
Having worked as a technical writer (and hating it!), Carolyn took some time off work when she gave birth to her second child. It was upon his entering school in 2011 that she knew it was now or never. She invested in some cover art for her edited manuscripts and took the leap of faith.
“That first year, I earned as much as I would, had I returned to my job…. And then it just took off.”
Today, Carolyn, under her pen-name C.J Archer, has sold almost two million copies of her books, with half of those sold through KDP. With KDP granting authors up to 70% of their royalties, successful authors who self-publish can make a serious income in a well-respected field.
Of course, royalties are not the reason Carolyn writes. Along with her need to create entertaining stories, is a desire to connect with readers who truly understand her. And boy, has she found her readers.
A USA Today bestselling author (multiple times) of historical fantasy and historical mystery, Carolyn sells not only books, but merchandise - and has fan pages dedicated to both her and her characters.
“I would never have reached this audience, especially in the US, without KDP,” explains Carolyn. “Amazon levels the playing field for an Australian author to reach international audiences. It has been absolutely crucial to my success.”
As an independent author, Carolyn maintains the copyright to all her work and has total control over her own career. She looks forward to releasing a new book in December this year - her first in the mystery genre - and continuing to release her stories for many years to come.
“I provide escapism from the real world,” states Carolyn gratefully. “I want to entertain, to offer respite, to take readers away from the news, from the real world. Particularly at the moment. It’s so important to have that outlet to simply entertain.”
Carolyn is one of thousands of Australian writers who are self-publishing via Kindle Direct Publishing. To find a new book to dive into or explore other Australian Kindle Direct Publishing authors, please visit Amazon.com.au. If you are interested in self-publishing please visit https://kdp.amazon.com