Why I Unpublished My Books

Some of you may know that I self-published a series of children's books called Super Sporty a few years back. Well, I've recently made the tough decision to remove all my books from sale. This post is an attempt at explaining why.

Behold, my first little trash baby :P
(Stole this image from my bookstagram stash and slapped the cover on it cause I'm lazy)
When I first learned about self-publishing, I was just eleven, and didn't know what I was doing at all. I published my first book, Introducing Super Sporty, in the summer of 2011, with a scanned-in marker-drawn cover that had a water stain on it. Over the next five years, I published a total of nine main Super Sporty installments, a spin-off collaboration with my sister called Super Emmy, two short stories set in the Super Sporty universe, and an unrelated choose-your-own-adventure ebook called The Misadventure of Bolingbroke Manor. Along the way, I revamped my covers, created paperback editions, and learned to write to a deadline. The last book -- Super Sporty 9: The Wrath of Titanicus -- came out in December of 2016.

I learned a lot from those books, but fact is, I didn't have the resources to do them justice. It's particularly hard to succeed as a self-published kidlit author anyway, but I was a young teenager with a budget of zero. I had to do all the cover designing, formatting, and marketing myself. As a result, the books languished on Amazon, selling hardly any copies at all.

Recently, I've thought long and hard about where I want my career as an author to go. I may self-publish again in the future (perhaps some tie-in novellas or something), but I know for sure that I want a traditional deal. I want to see my books on bookstore shelves. I want to hold a beautiful hardcover with a professional cover design in my hands. I want a publisher behind me who can help me succeed, rather than going it alone.

Fact is, those self-published books weren't going to do anything for my career. They don't sell copies anymore; they're just sitting there on Amazon. If anything, they were baggage, diminishing my chances of getting an agent. So I made a very hard decision -- I hit the 'unpublish' button on all of them.

I can't undo my books completely -- Amazon keeps the paperback listings up so that third-party vendors with a copy can sell them, and Goodreads makes a point of never deleting books so that they can be a complete record of all books ever published. But at least I can take a step back.

I don't regret my self-published books, because they taught me a lot. But it's time to move on.

(NOTE: None of this is to knock self-publishing. I have mad respect for authors who choose to go that route and take on the huge burden of being your own publishing team. It's just not the route for me right now.)

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4 comments:

  1. That's understandable, to be honest. You were an inexperienced child when you started and now you're an adult with much more knowledge, so it makes sense that some hard decisions might be made when it comes to anything published back then.

    Good luck with your future endeavors!

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  2. I totally understand why you made this difficult decision. I am going to miss seeing Super Sporty on Amazon but I hope I have the chance to see other books written by you in the future.

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    1. I hope so too! Thank you for all the support you gave to Super Sporty. Your words always encouraged me <3

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