There are SO MANY things I didn’t know about before I started down the road to self-publication. Research I did along the way was… good and bad. There are things I wish I knew right from the start and some things that if I had run across sooner it would have saved me a lot of aggravation. On top of all that, there were some things that I found the “DO THIS”… just because you should; with no – how to, for this reason, or even a why. Some of those things I did, because they came from an “established” author and I figured they new best. Right? Later I found out some of the things that were a “do this”… were not for me. They just did not fit, or I learned more after the fact.
Then there were the things that No one tells you…. You just have to kind of discover it on your own. Or its there and you – just don’t talk about it. It is like someone giving you the good and the bad… and letting you find your own ugly. Not fun! So I am going to try and do a few posts that are honest. Things that I think some people should know, and that are also things I never read about or heard about. Then all I can do is pray that the people that need to see some of them, before they walk down this ever growing road that is self-pubbing, will get to see them and learn more than I did, sooner than I did.
Today indie authors, such as myself, are booming. The number of self-published authors grows bigger and bigger every day. There are a million reasons why it is becoming the more popular way to go, but I am not going to get into those. All I know is why I did it; I wanted full control of my work.
Going the route of not having a publishing house, large or medium, is a LOT of work. I can honestly say this was the one thing that I never realized. I was so excited when the book came out. I had a page already on Facebook and I was posting to my personal page. Then I spent hours upon hours gathering data and making a spreadsheet of all the places I could find to do book reviews and all the info I needed for those sites/ blogs/ reviews. (I will get into that another time.)
The biggest thing I missed was ramping up my “Author Karma” before my book was released. My brain was wrapped around my own book and everything I needed to learn and do to publish it, not making friends and supporting other hard working authors. Supporting others in any craft is very important, especially indie authors. We spends hours being our own press, marketing team, and an over all cheerleader for ourselves. Having admins that help you with you Fb pages, your twitters, and other things are great- if you have them, but you still have to have both your own hands in it for a couple hours a day at the very least. Your fans want to hear from you, to get to know you.
Something that you need to make a big effort at doing is supporting other indie authors. If you have not learned from your own experience by now… we work our butts off. Not because we want to be famous writers, thought that would be great, we do it because we love it. Another post I want to so soon will be called “The Many Roles of Aimee- A day in the life of an Author.” Being a stay at home Mom, Author, press team…I am not going to keep going, I think you can see what I mean. It can be a lot to balance!
Okay so, I know, you are sitting there and saying, “This is great, I will do this… but you are not telling me any thing about HOW to do this.” Well, here are a few ways:
If you have a face book page that you are using look around for other authors pages. “Like” them, say hi on their page. Let them know you stopped by because you are new and you like the… cover of the book lets say. Be personable, net-work it!!! Do some shout outs from time to time by tagging other authors or their books in your status. This will let your fans see authors you are a fan of as well as let others see your page.
Look for contests on FB, blogs, or author / small publishing house websites. Heck some time you can even find websites that are just dedicated to talking about a certain genera. You just have to look for them, (and it could not hurt to take the time to make yourself a little list or spreadsheet of them along the way for reference) Enter them, let your fans know about them and have a chance to win something.
If you see a great review of a book, share it with your fans if you are excited to read it and are putting it on your To-Read list.
Find other indie authors and buy/ read their books, let them know that you loved them, if you did and let your fans and friends also know that you loved their work as well. There are a LOT of great indie authors out there!
We need to support each other and the craft that we all love. Right now we rule the publishing games, but only because there are so many of us. One can only wonder if or when the really big publishing companies are going to find a way to take back over the world of books and make it harder for indie authors of all genera.
Take the time for a book you love to write a review of it, on Fb, or your blog if you have one, or even on Good Reads. (NOTE: If you do it on your blog and reviewing is not something you want to get into, then just let your fans know- “I don’t really do this to often, but this book is just so good I have to tell you why I loved it.”)
I will not lie to anyone I have bumped into authors who, in no way, want to help other authors, especially if you only have one book out. For some you need to have established a “status” so to say, to get their attention. No big, move on, no need to feel heart break… that will be their author karma in the end. I have also seen authors that have great author karma… in their genera, helpful if you are writing the same things as they are. But if not, again, no sweat off your back. Put that good author karma out there and it will come back to you. And then there are the some great authors out there that will love your work and in just a short time become one of the greatest friends you can have as well as a great person for your own personal “Team Me-Author.” You might even meet an experienced author that will take you under their wing and help you in so many ways that all you can do is one day pay it forward and help out a new up and coming yourself.
I write contemporary romance… and some day I might throw in a mystery romance, or something else, who knows. BUT that does not mean that if I found a YA fantasy book that struck me (And I have! – that is another post though I guess) that I would not tell them about it. Because- most people read more than one genera of books, I know I do; and also because – a good book, is a good book, period!
So, make friends in the author community, support the other indie authors, like you they do not have all the perks of a big house. Even if they do not write in the same genera that you do, it is good for your author karma. And really is there such a thing as too much good karma? No way!
Another reason to find some new author friend(s) is simple- we “author people”… are Crazy, but in a good way of course! We need other authors in our lives! No one will understand your crazy thoughts better then they will. Even if, as I said before, it is not the same genera it will be easier to talk about ten different ways to kill a man in your novel to them; than it will be to talk to your neighbor who is out weeding his or her garden in the afternoon and only half paying attention to you. They may wonder if you are really plotting to kill someone named John and give an anonymous tip to the police.
“No officer, I swear, I have no intention of REALLY killing a man named John by distracting him so that he falls into an empty elevator shaft and plummets to his death twelve stories below.”
Have a great day.
If you are a reader- Happy reading, whatever is in you hands. And if you are a writer- Happy writing!
On a side note: Writing is going on The 72nd November, slow but it is going. I have been working on another novel as well here and there. When it calls out to me more than T72N, that one is yet to be named. And have written the outline for two other Romance novels. Now I just have to get to writing all theses stories in my head!! (-: