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First time author takes his dream from the drawer to the Kindle bestseller list

When God’s Lions was released in November 2009, author John Lyman decided to do one thing every day to promote his book. But the most successful thing he has done to market and sell his book was learning to upload it to Amazon’s digital text platform.


“It’s not all that easy to make it look professional, so that’s where AuthorHouse can help,” Lyman says of the eBook version of God’s Lions.

In a little more than a year, God’s Lions has catapulted to its genre’s Kindle bestseller list, which ranks eBook sales on Amazon’s Kindle device.

Pricing your eBook affordably and competitively is also very important, he says.

“I had a lady who wrote to say that she loved my book. She went on to say that she lived on Social Security, and that if my book had been priced any higher, she wouldn’t have been able to afford it,” Lyman says. “Don’t be ruled by greed and let those people slip away, because receiving a letter from someone like her is a huge reward that transcends financial gain.”

Ignoring the Naysayers

Ignoring the warning that a self-published book would never get a review in a major newspaper, Lyman budgeted a few hundred dollars to send copies of his book to several major papers.

“I got lucky when the reviewer from the Arizona Daily Star actually read my book and gave it a good review,” he says.

With that publicity, book clubs asked him to speak at their meetings. And a few independent bookstores agreed to host Lyman’s book signings.

Soon after, a CEO of a grocery chain in Texas discovered God’s Lions and wanted it sold in his stores. When bestselling author Ron Franscell gave the book a rave review on Amazon, that kicked things into high gear.

“I noticed a sharp rise in sales immediately afterward,” Lyman says.

It’s also important to be creative, Lyman says. Try getting your book sold in hospital gift shops, grocery stores or even airport gift shops, which is Lyman’s next goal for his book.

The positive reader reaction for God’s Lions has inspired Lyman to write a sequel, which he says he will also publish through AuthorHouse.

“Indie books are breaking out, and agents are finding that they are no longer the gatekeepers to the publishing world. Individual authors now have a voice, and for very minimal up-front investment, you can become a published author,” says Lyman. “But remember, if you don’t get it out there, it’s just a dream lying in a drawer somewhere.”