Saturday, October 22, 2011
Bob Mayer's 9 Keys to Indie Publishing Success
2. Know what your platform is, especially in social media. My blog, Write It Forward, is designed to be an advocate for authors and readers.
3. However, for a new author, write more books before worrying about putting a lot of time into promotion. There’s nothing wrong putting a first book up, but remember, most traditionally published authors didn’t sell until manuscript 2, 3 or 4. So don’t worry about sales on that first book. Don’t waste time promoting. Wait until you have three books published, then start pushing the promotion. Have patience. This is a marathon, not a sprint. The authors who will succeed are the ones who are looking three to five years ahead and not worried about what they sold today on Kindle.
4. The next point is this: don’t let emotion make your decisions. We all have strong feelings about books and writing and bookstores, etc. That’s fine. Put them in a box. Focus on reality. This is a business. Numbers rule, not emotions. If you want to succeed in the new world of publishing, you have to deal in reality. I recently had a romance editor at a major house tell me they were following the technology and I was rather stunned by that. One of the keys to our success in the Green Berets was to act rather than react. Starting my own publishing company two years ago has allowed me to be ahead of most of the changes and to build. We went from selling 347 eBooks in January of 2011 to 100,000 monthly.
5. Pricing. It’s the key advantage I have over a traditional publisher. All our books at Who Dares Wins Publishing are between $2.99 and $4.99. We have two titles at .99. Regardless of what you feel about the .99 price point there is absolutely no doubt there are many people who troll for books at that price. We view them as hooks—Atlantis at .99 is the hook to get people to read my science fiction; Eyes of the Hammer at .99 is the hook to get people to read my thrillers. Pricing has allowed me to have two of the top ten titles in science fiction on US Kindle, UK Kindle and Nook for months now. I’m not even considered a science fiction author. But my Area 51 and Atlantis series are good, priced reasonably, and have covers that . . .
6. Different than regular print covers.
7. Develop a process as a writer (I discuss this in The Novel Writers Toolkit) that you constantly refine and improve upon. Write this process down and update it every so often.
8. Lastly, understand that if you want a career as an indie (or even traditional) author, you are running a business in the world of publishing. I took all I’ve learned over 20 years of traditional publishing and 2 years of indie publishing and put it into Write It Forward: From Writer to Successful Author because there is no ‘training program’ for authors on the business side. Stay up to date on what’s going on.
9. Lastly, lastly, it’s the most exciting time to be a writer. You have more opportunities than ever before. All the best to everyone!