Are you thinking about taking the leap and self or indie publishing? Publishing (in any format) is risky and scary. I can’t make that any easier. But, I published 30 Days Without Wings and Breaking Eselda in May, so I have some lessons I have learned in this short time. Take what you need and ask questions if there’s something else you’re wondering.
- BE READY-None of the rest of this advice is going to be relevant if you aren’t absolutely ready for what you’re getting in to. The book has to be ready. Edit, edit, edit. Take it to beta readers. Edit again. If it is not ready, it won’t succeed no matter how good the rest of this is.
- COVER DESIGN-Spend the time and money to get a cover you’re going to love. You will use this cover for everything so it is best to have one you believe in. If you are REALLY good with photography, you can attempt it on your own (I designed the cover for 30 Days, actually) but I wouldn’t recommend it otherwise.
- MARKETING PLAN-When you have a book come out you’re going to need to think about how to market it. What are your plans for getting the book out there? Do you have a large social media presence? What places around you will you call about stocking the book or holding events? Is there a class or seminar you are interested/qualified to host? If people don’t know about your book they can’t read it!
- INVESTORS-Look, whether you like it or not, publishing a book is a business. You are going to have to market yourself and have a plan for how you’re going to get the book out there. Put together a pitch that includes your marketing plan. Sit a few people down and offer a chance for them to invest in you and your business. Don’t take investments you are not comfortable with and always lay out a plan for how/when/if you are going to pay them back.
- SELL, SELL, SELL-I don’t mean get your publisher to sell. I mean obtain a license to legally sell books in your state/area and sell them yourself. I have more sales from my author facebook page than from any website there is (even though I’m available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble). I also have more events and festivals open to me because I’m legally authorized to sell books myself. I don’t need to depend on others to sell them for me. It has opened doors. This is probably the most important thing you can do!
- EVENTS-Even after people are buying your book, they will need/want a reason to interact with you. Create a calendar of events where readers can interact with you through social media. Some of the events can be sales, readers can let their friends who haven’t read your book know you’re offering a great deal! Other events should include things like character facts, question and answer sessions, or contests. People who get a chance to interact with you are more likely to talk about you to other readers. Isn’t that the point?
- REVIEWS-You need them whether you like it or not. Don’t buy them. You want authentic reactions to your books. I reached out to reviewers and offered them a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I also tried to remind people on my facebook page to leave a review. This is not a perfect plan and not everyone will leave a review. I’ve sold over 100 copies and barely 1/10 of those have turned into reviews. But it doesn’t hurt to ask.
- KEEP WRITING-Amidst all the craziness that is marketing, you still have to write more. Now that readers have read what you have to offer and are invested in you as a writer, they will want more. Keep building that fan base and give them something to come back for!
That’s all I have for today, but if there’s something you’re curious about drop the question below and I’ll do my best to answer it!
Thanks for reading!