As promised last Wednesday, I have a very special guest today, a wildly popular indie author and fellow blogger, M. Pax. She's here to share some valuable advice for finding success as an indie author from her experience with the release of multiple books in the past few years. Thank you so much for being here today, Mary!
On Being an Author-Publisher
He asked me to talk about what I’ve learned as an indie author to-date. So, I’ll share all the bounty and scoops I’ve learned.
Recently I heard a great new term for indies – Author-Publisher. Which is true. We not only write, we publish. We handle the creative and all the business. I’ve been at this two years now. Just this past summer my writing ‘habit’ started to support itself, meaning I don’t have to sink anymore money into it to publish my next book.
Here are six things I’ve learned that may help you:
- Have a business plan with a budget. Know what you will spend your money on and do not deviate. Know at what points you can consider expanding. Reinvest all your earnings in your business. Don’t spend it at Amazon. ie, When I began making $40-60 a month at Amazon, I invested in new cover art. Know at what income points you will expand your team and invest in improvements.
- Have a marketing plan. How are you going to get noticed? What worked for me: keeping The Backworlds permanently free, releasing book 2 shortly after and keeping the price low. If you do not make the impact you wish, you can change your plans as you go along. But do have one before you start. What works and doesn’t will very from book to book and author to author. Never give up.
- Make good use of that network on blogs, Twitter, in person, Facebook, etc... Recruit people to help you get the word out. Lately, I’m finding this blog swap thing to be my preference.
- Find a reliable team. You should hire an editor. It’s the most costly aspect of publishing for me, but it’s worth it. I now have an editor who edits only and was recommended by a trusted friend. Do get recommendations via private communication. Just because an author credited someone as editing or creating a book cover, does not mean the author would recommend that vendor. This is where networking and friends really come in handy. Hiring out my book covers came early on in my business plan and was worth the reinvestment.
- The trifecta of publishing – title, cover, blurb. Play around with these and categories until you find something that works. I had recently rewritten my blurbs to match key words in google searches and on Amazon to optimize my visibility. Know what? It seemed to work, but then I noticed some typos so I updated them again. My sales spiked again. What does this mean? Write two blurbs, swap them out on Amazon and B&N every 4-6 weeks. Something about that makes you temporarily more visible.
- Social Media – Be active, be consistent. Pick what you love and concentrate on it. I love Twitter. I talk to people. I RT people. I have fun. I’ve gotten to like FB more and have become more active on it. I have a presence at LinkedIn and Goodreads – I’m there but not involved. I’m also on Pinterest which I find really useful for gathering images to help inspire what I’m working on. Another practical use – for the newest Backworlds cover, I sent my graphic artist to the album so she was inspired by the same images I was. I also use Wattpad and upload a new chapter/read every Tuesday.
I hope some of the lessons I’ve learned help you. What about you? What great lessons do you have to share?
Beyond the Edge
For two years Craze’s dear friend, Lepsi, has been missing. The murmurings of a haunted spaceship might be a message and may mean his old pal isn’t dead. The possibility spurs Craze and Captain Talos to travel to uncharted worlds, searching. Out there, in an unfamiliar region of the galaxy beyond the Backworlds, they stumble upon a terrible truth.
Meanwhile, Rainly remains on Pardeep Station as acting planetlord, dealing with the discovery of her lover’s dark and brutal past. Alone and questioning her judgment, her introspection unlocks more than heartache. Latent protocols in her cybernetics activate, forcing her to face a sinister secret of her own.
In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendents to survive in a harsh universe. This is the fourth book in the science fiction series, The Backworlds. A space opera adventure.
Now, as I also mentioned last Wednesday, today is a blog swap, so I'm over at Mary's blog today. If you've got a few more minutes to spare, then be sure to come over and say "hi!" THIS WAY TO THE M. PAX DIMENSION.