Becoming A Successful Indie Author

The Indie Academy #23.pngWhen I first started writing, all I ever heard was ‘you’ll never make any money’. For some people that is true, but that stigma puts a false limit on writers.

So many people accept that as truth and never even try to rise above it because they genuinely think it’s pointless.

But now that I’m more involved with the author community, I KNOW that old chestnut is actually a load of crap.

You CAN make money but first you have to believe it’s possible, then you have to work your ass off! So many authors are happy to share their journey and there are thousands of books and podcasts out there telling you step by step how to do it. So keep digging, keep learning and make this dream your job!

Here are my top 5 author podcasts:

1. The Creative Penn

2. Self Publishing Formula

3. Self Publishing Roundtable

4. Writing Excuses

5. Sell More Books Show

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Make sure your book reaches enough people to catch fire!

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As authors too often we sit back and think, ‘If my book is good enough it will find success.’ But the truth is that’s not good enough. 99% of successful authors busted their ass to get there.

If your book is well written readers will talk about it, but first you need to make sure it reaches enough people to catch fire.

Don’t feel disheartened because you’re not an instant bestseller. The majority of bestsellers hit that rank because of good marketing.

We spend good money on editing, we’ll invest in great cover art because we know it sells our product, but don’t forget the advertising budget. Obviously the more you have to spend, the better, but it doesn’t have to break the bank.

Make a COURAGEOUS decision and book promotions with your new release. STACK those ads and climb the Amazon rank. If you don’t know where to find cheap book promotions – ask.

We can arrange them for you if you’re short on time, but if you need to save money where you can it’s easy enough to do it all yourself!

Don’t be a needy writer…

A lot of writers are introverts and love to be alone with their work. That’s what makes us good at what we do. Unfortunately, that also means we’re not so good at promoting ourselves because we don’t enjoy standing on the rooftop chanting our own name.

But the truth is, readers don’t really want us to chant our name anyway. So what do they want?

If someone follows us on social media, they don’t want to see the same link to our Amazon page posted each week. Sure, they need to know where to find our books, but this needs to be done in moderation.

When you think about it, posting that same link over and over is sending the message that it’s all about the author and their sales. Don’t be the needy one in this relationship. Put your readers first. Always. Constantly remind yourself that marketing works best not with a ‘what can you do for me?’ attitude, but ‘what can I do for you?’

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Make readers feel important.

Reward them for joining you. Offer them book teasers, run competitions for them or let them choose character names in your next book and most importantly, show them that you’re a real person, not an automation that tells them where to buy your book.

Treat them like you care and they’ll find your books on their own.

And remember, social media presence is just one small part of promotion. To be honest, it’s not the part that’s going to sell the most books. Certainly not when you’re a small fry anyway. Don’t invest all your time on the internet and burn yourself out.

Network with other authors, run cross promotions and book paid ads (these don’t have to be expensive). If you’re not sure where to start find an author who’s doing it right and ask them for advice. Although authors are incredibly busy, so many of them love helping like-minded people.

If you’re an author looking for help, you’re welcome to join The Indie Academy Facebook Group where we talk about book promotions and meet other authors.

Now go and treat your readers like they mean something!

The Sea of Indie Publishing Has Deep Waters

 

Writing a book is hard work so if you’ve made it to the finish line, you’re already a success. You probably have a bunch of friends and family who are super excited about your new journey and you may have figured out how to publish your book. Everyone who knows you buys a copy and some of them will even share a post for you on Facebook. You’re super excited. Your time has come. The first couple of weeks pass and your sales suddenly stop. You’re wondering why you’ve lost momentum and no one can find your book. You continue posting on social media but no one reacts, and no one buys your book. What went wrong? You feel disheartened and after months of the same, you give up.

Sound familiar?

The sea of Indie Publishing has deep waters and sometimes you feel like you’re out there all by yourself and you have no idea which direction to paddle.

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When I first started out, I read all the blogs, listened to all the podcasts, I knew I needed to book promotions and connect with readers, but I had no idea where to find readers or what kind of promotions to book. I worked part-time so I could write and didn’t have enough money to go crazy on advertising. Did that mean I was doomed to fail?

One thing I wish I’d known sooner, was the importance of networking. Indie authors are an incredibly generous bunch and they’re often thrilled to share their successes and failures with you. We might not have big publishers but we’re definitely not alone. Once I made a few writing friends, doors finally opened. I realised there were so many options out there and they didn’t involve me selling my car to run an ad.

There are cheap promotions out there. In fact, there are free promotions out there. And there are plenty of readers searching for your book with no way to find them. If you’re tired of trying to navigate on your own but you can’t afford a big promotional campaign, there are ways to work with what you have.

I know so many new indie authors struggle with this as they float aimlessly in their one man boat. So I created The Indie Academy. A brand new venture that helps indie authors find their way.

I’m offering a whole range of services, from super cheap promo bookings, mailing list help, social media set up, even good old fashioned advice. Basically, you tell me what you’re trying to achieve, I tell you how much it’s likely to cost and you set your own budget. Even if you can’t afford what I recommend, I’d be happy to point you in the right direction!

Click here to visit our contact page if you’re interested in services, or if you just want to join the academy and network with other authors, join my private Facebook group. Everyone’s welcome ♥