I get it. Time is tight. You’re already bogged down with work, and family obligations. How are you ever going to find five hours to commit to reading a book you’re not sure is going to solve your book marketing problems. It’s a dilemma most self-publishers find themselves in now and again.
Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.
Over the next several months I'm going to review seven books guaranteed to relieve your pain and help get your book sales back on track.
Write. Publish. Repeat. Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant, with David Wright.
The title pretty much says it all. The secret to making money as an author is to write a book, publish it, and get started writing your next book. Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but one book isn’t going to cut it if you want to make it as an indie author.
With that said, what’s the biggest takeaway from the book? “You can outwork luck.”
Seriously. Being a success as an indie author isn’t easy. Everyone likes to say, E. L. James, Hugh Howie, and J. K. Rowling were lucky. Maybe they were. But, what most people don’t see is the years of hard work each of these authors put in behind the scenes, and all the failed books these writers published before that good luck kicked in.
What’s that mean for you?
You can keep wishing for some good karma, but if you want to make it as a writer, you’ve got to pay your dues and make your own luck. The authors talk about an epiphany moment they had walking through Barnes and Noble. They compare a visit to the bookstore to being lost in a big city you’re unfamiliar with. You’ve got to follow the signposts to find the general section you’re looking for, and then once you’re there, it’s still a matter of poke and hope. Some books are face out so you can see the cover, but the majority of them are spine out, meaning if you’re lucky—you may be able to read its title. That’s when it came to the authors. “If a reader already likes you, a bookstore’s size is irrelevant.” Let that sink in for a moment. According to an article published in Digital Book World, an average Barnes and Noble store carries upwards of 200,000 books.
How in the hell is anyone going to find your book in that mishmash of books, videos, and literary toys?
It’s not going to happen, unless—you stack the odds in your favor. How do you do that? The authors suggest you can be wildly successful if you can muster up just “1,000 raving fans.” One thousand fans who will read every word you publish, tell their friends and family about your books, and who will anxiously await the release of your next title.
How do you do it?
The key to success in self-publishing is your email list. It’s how you stay connected with your fans. You’ve got to tell them what you’re doing, what you’re thinking, and what new and exciting projects are waiting for them in your pipeline. Many successful authors bounce book ideas off their mailing list. Steve Scott constantly polls his email list, asking readers what questions they have, what they would like to know, and he tips them off about sales on his books and books from his friends. Rob Cubbon does something similar, asking readers which covers they like best, and what information they want to know more about. Rob and Steve both publish quarterly income reports, letting readers see the ups and downs you’re going to face as an indie author.
You can do the same thing by building your own email list.
Keep in mind, everyone starts with one fan and grows their list from there. Each book you publish will attract a new group of readers, until you reach, and then exceed the 1,000 fan mark. Share your best ideas with your fanbase. Offer them free copies of your newest books in exchange for honest reviews. Share freely. Let them know about other books and events that may interest them, and they will repay you with loyalty.
Write. Publish. Repeat. Is a book every indie author should read. If you’re pressed for time, you can skip through the first hundred and fifty pages, and cut right to the meat and potatoes of the book. If you want the full experience, read the entire book.