More on the self-publishing journey/quest/sprint/race whatever you want to label it.
I just read How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months! by John Locke. Also read How I Sold 200,000 E-Books, A Guide for the Self Published Author by HP Mallory. At the moment I’m reading Smart Self-Publishing: Becoming an Indie Author by Zoe Winters.
There’s a lot of info in these books so far. Some of it is great. Some of it seems like sales filler. Some it is inspirational pep talk. Some of it is cold hard facts. I’ve taken what I can from these books, I’m keeping notes, and I’m being a diligent student.
Because I plan to self-publish very, very soon. And I want to do it well. I want to do it “right,” whatever that means. To me, it means having a plan, a goal, and the discipline to stick to it all.
Some pertinent things I’ve learned about self-publishing so far:
-Social media can take you only so far. There are plenty of readers out there who buy books based on the subject matter, the blurb, the cover, or the reviews listed right where the buy link is.
-Writing the best damn book you can, polishing the hell out of it, then polishing it some more, is your best strategy. You might make a splash or get some sales based on all the other factors (cover, plot, subject matter, blurb, etc). But if your writing sucks, you’ll eventually have equally sucky sales.
-Cover art is super important! Which is probably preaching to the choir. As a reader, I already know this. I’m a total sucker for a great cover. Couple the cover with an equally great blurb, and you’ve probably made a sale from me.
-The blurb is super important as well. It has to convey a lot of things in few words. I wrote cover blurbs as a freelancer for years, so I understand exactly what they are: a sales tool. The blurb sells the book, along with the cover. So make it snappy, true, and for god’s sake don’t have any typos or grammatical errors. When I see one in a blurb, that’s it–I’m outta there. No sale.
-I need a business plan for my writing. At least, I need an outline or a blueprint of how I want to approach my business. And this is definitely a business for me. I plan to make a living from my fiction writing, and a good one. I know as well as anyone what a dicey proposition that is: the market is fickle, you never can tell what will catch and what won’t, etc. etc. But I also firmly believe that having a good plan, having my publishing/marketing ducks in a row, will help me a heck of lot more than if I just throw my baby up on whatever e-publishing format you want and let it fly or sink on its own. Mama intends to be alongside her baby giving instruction and helping it fly high as much as possible, until it’s time to back away. And that time is not right in the beginning.
-As a wise person recently noted on a great romance forum I belong to, opinions are like bottoms–everyone has one. For my publishing career, my opinion is the most important. Although I’ll certainly be consulting with experts all along the way! Who are those amazing experts? Other self-published authors who’ve been there, done that, learned things the hard way sometimes, and are quite gracious enough to share their knowledge.
Okay, back to reading. Time to soak more information into my eager little brain.
Oh, and keep your eyes on this very blog here…I’m soon to post the simply gorgeous cover a wonderful cover artist did for Guardian Wolf. I am so, so excited to share it soon!