Four years ago I entered a new universe called “Indieworld.” I started my writing career at the ripe age of fifty-eight. I knew nothing except that I was going to write a story and my kids would upload it onto Createspace and voila! I was going to be the next J.K. Rowling. Little did I know that I would have to morph into five other professions to make this indie thing work.
5 *Hats* A Self-Published Author Needs To Wear
Hat One: Be A Writer
They say to write about what you know. While that is true, if you want to be successful (in other words, make back some of the money used to illustrate, market, and produce), you have to write about things that the rest of the world wants to know. You may love pirates (guilty), and if you are willing to spend the funds to create your pirate world and not reap the benefits of your investment, that’s perfectly fine. However, if pirates are done, you have to find what is undone!
They say in Hollywood give me the same thing, but make it different. Sounds easy, right? Well, it’s not. The reading public doesn’t want the same thing. You have to find stories and characters that people want to read about. Oddly enough, I wrote the Captain No Beard series because I enjoy a good swashbuckler or two, but it is my two non-fiction series that are bringing in the bucks. Who knew? So, while I tapped out of pirate stories at ten, I am currently up to 29, or maybe it is thirty, non-fiction culture and history books that are doing just fine.
Tip: Read blogs, look at what is trending, find a subject that is fresh and write about it.
Hat Two: Be A Book Reviewer
Be prepared to review other people’s work. One of the least expensive ways to draw attention to you is to become a reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, or a blog. Pick books to review, make it fun and interesting and it’s almost a teaser to your writing style. I have read some terrific reviews by writers that made me want to look up their books and see what they could do with a plot. Michael Collings comes to mind. He writes the most amazing reviews, which made me want to read his novel. I was not disappointed with his book!
Hat Three: Be A Blogger
Write a blog. Look for interesting articles. I like to post book reviews and news about my own books on mine. If you have a blog, you are able to invite other writers to your website and in turn they will hopefully promote you on theirs. When my social media guru advised me to begin a blog, I told her I was afraid I’d have nothing to post on it. Well, oddly enough, we have so much to post. We use Facebook, Twitter, and other social marketing sites I never knew existed. I am now a social media maven of a sort—as long as someone is there to upload for me, I’m in business.
Hat Four: Be A Self-Promoter
Be prepared to write articles. Comb the Internet and leave no stone unturned in your quest for inexpensive ways to get word of your book out there. There was no road map for me. It was all trial and error. Little did I know there was a wealth of books with lists of things every indie author should know. I tried so many things, that I said I could write a book about it. Guess what? I did. I spent a few weeks with my social marketing partner and, using Google Docs, we were able to write a book for the uninitiated. I wish I had this book when I was starting out. It would have saved me some serious money I wasted on ads to nowhere and useless promotion.
Hat Five: Be A Listener
Get a good beta-reader. I have a crew of them and they tell me when I have to move in a different direction. They never stroke my ego and are invested in me, because they love reading and books as much as I do. I trust them and have put aside projects that they saw would waste my time. Sometimes you can’t see the forest from the trees and a good beta-reader is there to pull you back before you fall into a ditch.
What I have I learned: No man is an island, it takes a village to write a book, you gotta have friends, and so on. In other words, writing a book takes teamwork, a dependable group of people and resources to help keep your creation from going off course and finishing what you need to do on your journey.
Publisher’s Synopsis: Social media guru, Julie A. Gerber and award-winning author of forty-three best-selling books, Carole P. Roman, team up to travel the winding road of self-publishing, promoting, and marketing a book. Join these two experts as they share their vast store of experience in an easy to read book. Learn why you need a beta reader and the importance of a good editor. Make a list of what you need to do when choosing an illustrator. Compare the many ways to promote your book. Navigating Indieworld will end up being your travel guide as you journey from writer to published author.