KDP Author Tina Folsom: “Self-Publishing is a Hard Job”

Your Voice: KDP Author Tina Folsom

Tina Folsom, author of the Scanguards Vampires series, shares her experiences with Kindle Direct Publishing.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an author, thinking it was one of those romantic professions where you’d sit on a sunny porch with your (back then) typewriter on your lap and would soak up the world around you. Boy was I wrong!

My young mind had no idea of the rejections, the disappointments, and the challenges that would be thrown at me from all sides, and how all those influences could easily shatter a fragile mind. After months of being either thoroughly ignored or told vampires were indeed dead and the gods I had selected for my stories were not popular enough, I started doubting myself.

Had I really written good books? Did I really have a great idea for stores? After all, my vampires didn’t sparkle and my gods were unknown… It was time to look at alternatives.

Despite the numerous rejections I didn’t give up.

Even with the three jobs I held simultaneously (finance manager at a university hospital, CPA, and real estate broker) I wasn’t prepared to let agents and publishers destroy my dreams.

I started looking at other possibilities to bring my books in front of readers. So I took my gods and my vampires and turned my back on traditional publishing.

All the rejections only fueled the fire in my belly. I would go it alone!

I had heard about KDP, and, knowing I had nothing to lose; I started publishing on Amazon in May 2010.

Tina Folsom was born in Germany and has been living in English speaking countries for over 20 years, the last 11 of them in San Francisco, where she’s married to an American. http://www.amazon.com/Tina-Folsom/e/B003QHX9KM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

In a way I had no choice but to try it, because I had quit my job at the university hospital a few months earlier as I was unhappy with it. Simultaneously, real estate took a dive in California, and so did my income.

If I didn’t make any money with my books, come next tax season I had to go back working for a CPA firm; a thought I wasn’t too thrilled about. So what did I do?

I worked harder than I had in my previous three jobs combined.

In my first month on KDP I made $20.

It was a struggle to get visibility, to attract readers, to entice them to buy my books.

Most blogs wouldn’t review my books, because self-publishing was so new that it was still seen as vanity publishing.

It took a long time for opinions to change, for readers to try out independent authors, for blogs to review my books, but I think some of my traits paid off: persistence, continuity, and determination.

When something didn’t work out, I tried it a different way. I experimented. I changed covers, price, blurbs.

You name it, I’ve done it.

And I could have given up at any point during those first months on Amazon.

But I kept going.

My discipline helped. I continued to write book after book, and with each one I gained a little more visibility, a little more traction.

Self-publishing is a hard job.

It’s not for everybody, but for those creative minds whose other half of their brain is wired for business, it’s a great fit. I love it.

When I whine too much about how exhausted I am and how many things I have to juggle, my husband keeps reminding me: “Admit it; you would be bored if you gave your book to a publisher and let them handle it.”

He’s right. I absolutely love the levers I hold in my hands. The ones that define my success… – Tina Folsom


This book, The Spelling Bee for EFL Teachers, is for teachers of English Language Learners, ESL, EFL, & ELT. It is dedicated to the students in my EFL class, past, present, and future. I sincerely hope something within these pages will resonate within them and awaken the aspiration to become acquainted with words.

Words have power to do things.

Consequently, words are important in our lives, and we learn their spelling, their pronunciation, their definition, their part of speech, their collocations, their use in a sentence, their etymology, and above all, their friendship…


The Chilean National English Test [Kindle Edition]

SIMCE Ingles 2010: The development of the national English test in Chile coincides with my story, which is woven autobiographically into the larger story, a test which apparently resulted in only 11% of students able to achieve a passing score. This book will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will reveal secrets to you that you thought you already knew about tests, test-making, and test-reporting. More importantly, you leave the reading of this book with a renewed sense of confidence in who you are, and what you do…

The Chilean National English Test [Kindle Edition]

The Chilean National English Test: A Personal Journey [Paperback]

Book Details
Paperback: 82 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (March 26, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 147509809X
ISBN-13: 978-1475098099


Soy Un Maestro: I Am A Teacher [Paperback]

I am a teacher, and I teach in Chile. This year a new Teacher Career Law, defining the teaching profession in terms of increased prestige, attracting more applicants from higher performing students, an obligatory enabling exam, higher salaries, fewer hours teaching in the classroom, and higher responsibilities wil be passed, hopefully. This book totally supports the idea that a good law is needed, and now is the time to pass one, even if that law is not yet perfect. We Teachers have such a long way to go, and this is clearly a tremendous step in the right direction. To celebrate, all of the funds received for the sale of this book will go to support the EdCamp Santiago free conference for teachers in Chile. Thank you, in advance, for buying this book. May God Bless You…

Soy el más afortunado de todos quienes trabajan. A un médico se le permite traer una vida en un momento mágico. A mí se me permite que esa vida renazca día a a día con nuevas preguntas, ideas y amistades. Un arquitecto sabe que si construye con cuidado, su estructura puede permanecer por siglos. Un maestro sabe que si construye con amor y verdad, lo que construya durará para siempre.

Book Details
Paperback: 170 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (July 3, 2012)
Language: English/Spanish
ISBN-10: 1478176520
ISBN-13: 978-1478176527

Soy Un Maestro: I Am A Teacher [Kindle Edition]

Soy Un Maestro: I Am A Teacher [Kindle Edition]

How to Coach A Debate Team [Kindle Edition]

This book contains all you need to know to successfully coach a debate team. You may need to convince students that debate is a good idea, though. Here are six reasons:
1. Debating ability is a valuable skill.
2. Debate utilizes useful English.
3. It is a unique way to teach grammar.
4. It develops critical thinking skills.
5. It introduces global issues.
6. It develops research skills.

A more powerful reason to coach a debate team is given to us by Dr. Martin Luther King: ““Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace… If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation…” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – 1964 Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech


The International Baccalaureate [Kindle Edition]

The International Baccalaureate [Paperback]

The global search for high-quality education, embedded in high-performing education systems, has taken on mythical proportions, almost resembling the alchemists’ quest to turn common metals into gold.

It is my hope that the present day search for global education, equitable and providing equality of opportunity for all, shall not cease until the “gold” we seek, has been found.

I therefore dedicate this book to all the educators, researchers, parents and students the world over, who strive to achieve this elusive goal,high-quality education for all the citizens of the world.

In this endeavour, it is my belief that the International Baccalaureate merits a closer look, based on their more than 40 year history of delivering consistently excellent results.

I add that all of the reflections and views in this book are mine alone, unless otherwise noted, and can not be attributed to my employer or any other organization I am affiliated with, past or present. For any errors or oversights, I bear the complete responsibility.

Amazon Author Page: Thomas Jerome Baker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He is the Coordinator of the English Department at Colegio Internacional SEK in Santiago, Chile.

Es una red que reúne a Profesionales de la Educación preocupados por desarrollar y fortalecer las capacidades de sus comunidades educativas, a través de la creatividad, la innovación y el emprendimiento.

Thomas was recently selected for membership in the Comunidad de Innovación Escolar of the Foundation Telefónica and Foundation Educación 2020.

He is the Co-Founder and Co-Organiser of EdCamp Santiago, free, participant-driven, democratic, conversation based professional development for teachers, by teachers.

Thomas is also an ex member (2010-2011) of the Advisory Board for the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL), where he currently serves as a reviewer and as the HETL Ambassador for Chile.

Thomas enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. Thus far, he has written the following genres: romance, historical fiction, autobiographical, sports history/biography, and English Language Teaching. He has published a total of forty four (44) books overall.

The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family, his wife Gabriela, and his son, Thomas Jerome Baker, Jr.

About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
This entry was posted in Baccalaureate, Connectivism, Culture, Debates, Education, Education Technology, EFL, Higher Education Teaching & Learning, Interviews, Music, Reading, Reflections, Research, Sports, Teaching Tips, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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