One of the best things you can do as an indie is network. Get to know the people in the field you’re entering. This is great advice for any field you enter. If you don’t have contacts in the field you would like to get into, then how the heck is anyone going to vouch for you or keep an eye out for an opening for you? Nobody knows if you’re qualified, or even if you’re any good.
One of the things you have to consider when you enter your publishing career is when you’re going to put out your books. It’s a good idea to pick a release date early so you can start prepping for your release with advanced reviews, preorders, scheduled promos, and an effective launch.
Some authors have success publishing whenever they’re done with their work in progress (WIP), so their publishing schedule is pretty willy-nilly. Some years they publish five books, other years they only manage to finish one. The result is that your readers are less likely to stick with you because it doesn’t seem like you’re as devoted. On the flip side, they might also be too consumed with new material that they want to take a break from buying books in order to work on the to-be-read (TBR) lists.
While perusing through KBoards a while ago, I came across this article written for Digital Book World. The author, Tom Chalmers, argues that self-publishers need to slow down their publishing schedule and focus on perfecting each book before releasing.
I’m inclined to agree. Some authors pump out books every six weeks. Sure, some of these “books” might not necessarily be full-length novels, but that doesn’t mean it takes any less energy perfecting it. While indie publishing is on the rise, there are still a good percentage of self-published books that still have the self-published stereotype tagged to it.
Today we’re going to talk about your author photo. This is the photo that is listed in the back of your book by your “About the Author” section. Author photos are by all means not required. But having one will certainly help put a face to a name. It will also make you more approachable to your readers and if you use the same photo throughout your social media accounts and your various author profiles (Goodreads, Amazon’s Author Center) then it will help your readers know that the various accounts you’ve set up are exactly who they’re looking for.
Everyone has their own entry story. What led you to enter into this Independent Author business. Well, here’s mine.
As an author, I often get asked (usually by my publishing friends from grad school) why I chose to self-publish, especially after spending a year and a half learning the ropes of traditional publishers. I actually made the decision to self-publish in the middle of grad school, after an eye-opening first semester. Let me explain…
Ask any self-published author about the three key things to achieving success as an indie and you’ll hear:
Write the best book you can
Write an intriguing and solid blurb
Have a cover that demands attention
These things are essential. #3 draws people to your book, #2 draws them inside, and #1 draws people to leave outstanding reviews for the next customer. Even if you have no marketing plan and don’t promote the heck out of your book, having the three essential keys above will almost assuredly result in successful sales. (Success to be determined by the author…)