Self-Publishing While Grieving


So as you may know, I recently had a death in the family, and it’s hitting me hard. I didn’t really expect it, and we were really close. I was the first one in the family to find out, and thankfully I had my dad help me in making some of the phone calls including breaking the news to my mother.


Since that day, I’ve had no desire to write. I can still daydream and come up with ideas along with doing an outline but sitting down to actually write it isn’t happening. I know that quick releases is the best way to be successful when writing short stories, but I simply don’t have the energy.


However, I don’t want my business to go belly up while I grieve, so I came up with some workarounds to keep my subscribers and followers engaged. I figured I’d make this post to help anybody else who going through something similar:

While this list isn’t guaranteed to make me more money, it still provides people with content and is less intense than writing when you’re not in the mood.


Editing and Relaunching Books in Back Catalog


I have 50+ books in my back catalog, and not all of them are earning me a lot of money. Using, I can see which ones are earning the least amount of money and focus on those.

There are several ways to approach this: Content, Book Cover, Blurb, and Keywords

You can edit all of them or just one of them. Compare all aspects to top-selling books in your genre and see where you need to make changes.

Note: Chris Fox goes into more detail in his book “Relaunching Your Novel: Breathe Life Into Your Backlist”. It might also be useful to read his book Write to Market to learn how to best tailor your writing to the market you want to sell in.


  • For content, you can edit the book yourself or hire an inexpensive editor. I use RoseLark Publishing for my editing.


  • For book cover, you can redo it yourself using Gimp or Canva for FREE or hire someone on Fiverr to do it for you. I have used Gimp and Canva in the past, but most recently I used GermanCreative and OliviaProDesign.



  • For keywords, you can use Amazon in an Incognito Mode window to find the best results or use KDP Rocket (which costs $97). I do both. I was able to get KDP Rocket for a deal when it was on sale, and it helps me figure out which ideas might be most profitable.


After using one or all of these techniques, you can relaunch your book and hopefully get more sales from them.


Sign up to be an Amazon Associates Affiliate


Pretty much this is using referral links to make a small commission off of purchases. You sign up with Amazon and read the guidelines and restrictions thoroughly. For instance, you must disclose that you’re an affiliate, and you cannot use links in emails, ebooks, or other forms of offline media. How it works is if someone clicks on your link and buys something, for 24 hours, you get a small percentage of whatever they bought. For emails, you can create landing pages on your website, and put the landing page link in the email so you don’t violate the terms of being an Amazon Associate.


Review books on NetGalley


Part of being an author is reading other books, and you can get books in your genre for free on NetGalley in exchange for leaving a review. Once you sign up and put up all your information, start searching for books. Once you download it, read it, leave a review, and link it to the review on your blog/website. Some books have criteria for reviewers, so make sure you read the fine print. It can also help drive traffic to your blogs.

So far I have done reviews for Chasing Eva by Camellia Hart and These Wounds Run Deep by Ember Leigh.


Promote Author’s Works on


I went to a conference last year and learned about You sign up using your newsletter provider to sync your list with the website. You can offer Solo, Feature, and Mentions promos on your list for a price or for a newsletter swap. The website is not intuitive, and it takes some work to figure it out, but you can make money off it if you only accept money offers. You can also reach more people by doing newsletter swaps.


Rereading Books on Writing and Self-Publishing


Sometimes I forget all the information I learned for my business and need to go back and reread it. It can be anything from how to write emotion scenes, how to advertise your book for free, how to write to market, etc. Sometimes the brain needs a refresher on how to do things, so there’s no shame in taking the time to relearn something in case you forgot anything essential.


Here’s my list of books that I plan to read/reread:



This is what I plan on working on for the next month or so while I go through the grieving process. I hope this information helps you too for any hard times you might go through in the future as well.

Much Love, Dana Kenzi 🙂

Note: Dana Kenzi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for her to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Affiliate links are embedded in the title and book cover images, and clicking on either will take you to the Amazon website.