The world has changed.
If you want to be a successful Indie writer these days, you need to keep up. You are your own publisher, and need to be seen as a professional.
I can't guarantee that you'll have success by following the suggestions in this book, but these are the things that I've done. By learning and executing on these marketing techniques, I've built myself up to be a successful mid-list career and punching well above my weight class.
Topics we'll cover:
•The Author as a Brand
•Active versus passive marketing
•Looking like a professional on the web and in person
•Narrowcasting and the future of social media
•Physical media and books
•New services you can take advantage of
If you are a new publisher just starting out, or an experienced hand who woke up one morning and discovered that the old tricks didn't work anymore, this book is for you.
The Business for Breakfast series contains bite-sized business advice. This is a 201 level book, with intermediate-level advice for the professional.
Be sure to read all the books in this series!
Once writers have success in the industry, they face a choice: should they keep doing what they've always done or should they grow creatively? Creative growth is risky: your fans might not follow. But without it, you don't gain new readers. Leah Cutter spends a lot of time in real life expanding her own horizons, so she's the perfect person to take us on a journey of growth for the professional artist. – Kristine Kathryn Rusch
First things first, I need you to take off your Author hat and put on your Publisher hat.
Yes, that means you.
What follows is not for the author. If you can't separate you: the author, from you: the publisher, you have bigger problems than I can help you with. I will occasionally address things that are author-specific, but the plan is to always return to how to market your writing as a publisher, rather than what you should write.
Second thing, I HIGHLY recommend you read the Business For Breakfast book: The Beginning Professional Publisher. I'm not going back over that document, so anything that appears in both places is purely accidental on my part.
Third thing, this book is more or less entirely dedicated to Indie Writers engaging in the Independent Author/Publisher Revolution. There are folks out there who are dedicated to following a Traditional Publishing Career Path. Almost nothing in this book will help you, because those folks are still trapped in a business model that dates to the 1970s or maybe 1980s and is dying under the weight of bad decisions made then, an inability to understand that they need to do to adapt now, and their impending doom at the hands of corporate bean counters who demand a higher return on investment than publishing traditionally can get (14% when 7% is historically reasonable). In short, they are eating the seed corn today (2019) and if you don't reconcile yourself to that, you might never have any career as a writer.
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I'm not going to sugarcoat things here, because most of you would prefer a straight answer that helps you with your career over someone blowing sunshine up your *****. I also swear occasionally, and I'm not sure how much of that language my editor will retain, so the previous line might be starred out by the time you read this.
Understand this: The world has changed.
Today (January 2019), we are in the middle of what my friends and I have loosely calculated as the seventh phase of the Indie Revolution, going back to about 2007 when Amazon launched the kindle as a full thing.
Each phase generally rotates around some new technology that makes things easier, either for the author, the publisher, or the reader; from the first kindles that allowed us to put up books without having to go through Traditional (New York City) Publisher. There is no agreement on the individual breakdowns, so I won't try to list them, but the release of the Vellum software and the rise of Do-It-Yourself Bundling on BundleRabbit (www.bundlerabbit.com) changed things tremendously by putting power in my hands, and that's the current phase. I'll talk more about them later on, and by the time you read this, we will have probably moved on.
Some of what I say here will be outdated soon. Probably not as much as the next volume I plan to write (Marketing for the Intermediate Publisher), because this book is intended to nail down the basics and those really don't change much or quickly.
I can't guarantee that by following all of the things I checklist below you will get rich and famous, but I'm pretty sure I can guarantee your failure if you don't. That's because these are the basics that separate the café dilettante in their berets from the professionals. If you aren't trying to understand at least this much, then you aren't serious.
In a brighter vein, many of these things should be things you nod at as you read, because someone else, somewhere, came along and gave you good advice on how to handle your Indie career and you listened. Go you.
So, Author hat off. Publisher hat on.
Or, as we liked to say back in the bad, old days: get in, sit down, shut up, and hang on.