Indie Authors: It’s Your Way or the Highway!
By Rob Watts. Follow @RobWattsOnline
Undoubtably, you—my indie author friends, have scowled the internet over such time in search of the magical words of wisdom from the self-appointed experts on the “proper” ways to publish and market your books. You’ve no doubt stumbled upon countless blogs that tell you YOU HAVE to be on such and such social media site. YOU HAVE to publish exclusively on Kindle. YOU HAVE to have your books available digitally accross every eBook distribution platform. YOU HAVE to design your book cover this way or that way. YOU HAVE to market yourself on Twitter between the hours of 8:43am- 11:27am. YOU HAVE to offer giveaways and special promotions, all before sundown on a certain date—and on and on and on!
Look, there is a lot of great advice out there from authors who have dug through the trenches and fought the good fight in the publishing industry. I’m currently digging and fighting alongside the rest of you out there. The one thing I’ve learned along the way is that advice obtained from “experts” should be taken with a healthy dose of discretion. They don’t always have your best interest at heart, but rather your attention—especially at the end of their blog posts which direct you to the “this program is a $750.00 value but available today for just $250.00” link at the bottom of the page.
My point here is to be cautious. There are many bloggers out there looking to take advantage of hopeful authors in search of professional publishing, agents, Bestseller lists, and so on. Beware of the click bait. I don’t begrudge anyone making money, but there is a fine line between legitimate author services and charlatanism.
Bottom line? You yourself know what’s working and what’s not. If your marketing on social media has grown stale on Facebook, try getting aquatinted with Twitter or GoodReads. If you only want to market and make available your book to Kindle exclusively, go for it. Many indie authors have found great success by doing this. If you want to branch out and use other ebook distribution platforms, by all means, try them out—as many as you can. Kindle is perfect for genre fiction and freebies, but iBooks is popular with fans of books with illustrations, graphs, and other useful reference material. EBSCO is a new service that makes your material available to libraries. FlipKart distributes to ereaders in India. It’s worth researching the marketplace. Your particular book might have an untapped audience elsewhere in the world—places where Kindle simply isn’t reaching.
Don’t be a facsimile of someone else. Take the reigns of your writing career and be an individual who stands out. Pave your own way and do things that ultimately work for YOU…not what someone else claims will work for you. You’ll save a lot of money, time and ultimately, your sanity by carving out your own niche and comfort zone in the world of independent publishing. Good Luck!!