Independent publishing takes perseverance, time, guts, and high self-esteem. It also takes money if you need to hire people for services such as book file setup, cover creation, and editing.
I’m fortunate that I work as a professional editor in my day job and that I have graphic design experience. Because of these skills, I am better equipped than some indie authors when it comes to setting up my own book files and creating my own covers.
Editing is a HUGE step in publishing a novel. Reader reviews can be brutal, and nothing spells amateur quite like publishing a book full of grammatical errors and typos. Of course, no one is perfect. Even major publications will have typos. It’s just inevitable. Thankfully, there are tools and strategies to help. These are a few things I’ve learned. Continue reading
Part of being an author is marketing. Both traditionally and independently published authors have to deal with a lot of our marketing efforts. We have to maintain websites, keep our social media accounts updated, speak at events, and just generally sell our writing—our voices. By nature, a lot of writers are naturally introverts, which creates a bit of a dilemma when we’re required to promote ourselves.
Indie authors face the unique challenge of marketing with little-to-no budget. And unless you’re Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, even some traditionally published authors face the same problem. We must handle a certain amount (or all) of our marketing on the budget set forth by our day jobs. That’s right—most indie authors have a day job to pay the bills and write during our limited free time. Some might be fortunate enough to have a spouse or significant other who can pay the household bills and allow the writer to pursue their craft full time, but this is rare.
So, what do I do to advertise? I maintain my website and try to publish blog posts regularly. I try to post regularly on my Twitter and Facebook pages. I review all the books I read on Amazon and Goodreads. (How can I ask for reviews if I don’t write them myself?) I’m still resistant to starting an author Instagram, but that might be something I do soon. I hold book signings at a local indie bookstore during some of the quarterly art walks (when there are more people downtown) and hold sales on the Kindle versions of my books periodically.
I rely on word-of-mouth and book reviews more than anything because that type of advertising is free. It’s one of the reasons I am often asking people to post reviews of my books on Goodreads and Amazon. Those reviews are extremely important for authors, especially indie authors like me. My advertising and expense budget is tiny. Less than $500 per year.Continue reading
I originally set a goal on Goodreads to read 100 books in 2019. When I surpassed that goal before the end of the year, I upped the goal to 125. As of December 31, I have read 150 books in 2019. This does not include how many times I’ve read my own books or read books with my daughter. I recently reread “Caroline’s Lighthouse” and “Jordan’s Sister” just to review why I write. I published “What I Learned That Summer” in August, so I’ve read through it several times in the last year while getting it reading for publication.
That’s a lot of books! Here’s a collection of the covers from this year.
With this many books, it’s hard to come up with a top ten, but here goes. Below are my top ten for traditionally published.