Becoming an award-winning independently published author took a lot more work than I had ever imagined. I'm no marketing mastermind . . . or at least I wasn't when I started this whole self-publishing adventure. Some of it was pure luck in the beginning, but now I know the ropes. And I hope my advice helps you on your journey to doing the same!
Think about a book you loved. I'll bet my own weight in Harry Potter or Jack Reacher novels that it was a character that earned your love. Maybe several characters. A group of friends. A family. A pair of lovers. A man and his sworn enemy. A boy and a kestrel.
Every book is a startup business. A book needs a mission statement, a book marketing plan, and a budget. As an indie author, these are all your responsibility, making you an entrepreneur. Do you have the traits needed for becoming an indie publisher?
Publishers have been raising funds from the reading community for centuries, dating back at least to the seventeenth century, when a subscription model was used to produce works of literature such as the first illustrated edition of Milton’s Paradise Lost. In the last decade, crowdfunding has gone digital, and become a major source of funding for creative projects. Even more than raising money, crowdfunding can be an incredible way to connect with a community that will love a book, even before that book is made.
Every month I speak to authors who are on the fence about abandoning their search for a traditional publisher in favor of going indie. Their concerns vary, but their top two reasons not to independently publish are fronting the money and their deep-seated desire to be legitimized by outside forces within the publishing industry otherwise known as traditional publishing houses.
Four in ten people suffer some form of visual stress when they try to read print. They may hold the book at arm’s length, squint and look away from the page frequently; they may develop a headache; suffer nausea; or even have a migraine. And chances are that one of those four people will be dyslexic. Visual stress and dyslexia are ever-present issues for a lot of people, and are not usually addressed in book production, but as an indie author, I realized they can be.
I recently performed an editorial review on a book that came to me through IngramSpark, and when the author, Dave, decided to move forward with editing services, I cherry-picked it. Our schedule was tight, and a week or so later, I recommended 2,523 total edits and offered 78 comments . . . only some of which he decided to accept.
On this day, internationally recognized as a day dedicated to expressing our love for one another, we on the IngramSpark team would like to write a little love note to our first love: books. And you can't have books without authors, so this one's for you too, authors! We love books so much that we decided to make careers out of helping authors create them and share them with the world. We believe in the power and value of books (above all) and the magic that authors create every time they publish one, but on a more personal level, this is why we love books and authors:
Independent publishing has been around for hundreds of years. Whether it’s a small indie press that sees value in an author’s work or an author using a contemporary platform to self-publish, it takes a truly entrepreneurial spirit to achieve successful independent publishing.