Self publishing and other nontraditional models can be a tough road to walk. MeiMei Fox, who is part of the Gotham Ghostwriters writer network, recently published an excellent piece for Forbes about success in self publishing. In it, she highlights three authors who have built sustainable indie publishing careers — and their best advice for doing the same. The full article is well worth a read, but it closes with the following series of tips for building your audience from Penny Reid, a former biomedical researcher who writes “smart romances.”
1. Find an editor who loves your voice. Query several. Interview them.
2. Edit mercilessly for pacing and flow.
3. Pay for a fantastic cover that makes your intended audience pause and take a second look. The cover is about the content of the book and should reflect both the content and you (the author) equally.
4. Go where the readers are (e.g. Goodreads, a social media website for readers).
5. Tell your readers where to find you and be there consistently (Facebook, Twitter, email, website, newsletter).
6. Build your audience. Slowly. Carefully. Methodically. Never let them go. Don’t look over their heads for new readers. These first passionate readers will use word-of-mouth to promote you and your work—forever—if you treat them with respect.
7. Don’t sacrifice quality for short term gains.
8. Finally, being an author is not luck. Yes, there is an element of luck in successfully making a living as an author. But being an author is not luck. You write or you don’t. You finish or you don’t. You have 100% control over whether or not you’re an author. Only you.
Read the full article with more advice for self-published authors here.
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