As an Indie author, you can be just a writer. Just a person writes books, tosses them out into the world and hopes for the best. But as an Indie author hoping to make enough money actually see success and gain a following so you can sell not one book but multiple consistently you have to take on more roles than just writing a book. If you can afford to drop $3,000 on a cover and editing that’s great but it’s not going to sell your book.
As an Indie author, you have to be more than just a writer. You have to network and market. You have to draw people in and show them why they would like your work. Gaining trust as an independent is very hard to do. Getting good reviews is very hard to do.
Because as an Indie Author YOU ARE NOT just an Author or writer or whatever you want to call yourself. If you are an Indie Author seeking to make an income from your work and be successful you have a hard road ahead of you. You’re not just an author you’re an entrepreneur. There’s no difference between someone selling a book on Amazon and someone who sells cake tins on Amazon.
We, actually, there might be one difference. The competition is far greater. Instead of facing off against reseller and a few manufacturers. You are facing off against hundreds of thousands of manufacturers. Selling their eBooks (yes your eBook is a product) and trying to make a profit too.
In business, where I’ve spent most of my professional career, we look at what our competitors are doing successful and ask ourselves how we can do it better. We look at where our competitor’s marketing and see if that’s a place worth marketing. We look for new niches that are underserved.
Just being an artist never made anyone successful. Being a networker or a marketer or a salesman made people into the successes they are. (fine there’s a few random outliers who did something that got saw by the right people) but at the end of the day if you want to be a success writing as an Indie Author you need to be networking. You need to be talking to authors and readers. You have to be finding where your readers are and you have to GO THERE. Talk to them. At the very least, see what your target demographics are.
I look around at all these author sites and they don’t even have email lists. They are writers and they haven’t posted more than 1 or two times a month. Building an audience takes time. Building an email list takes time. Building twitter and Facebook takes time. Building a platform creates success but that takes time. Most indie authors I talk to don’t want to read about marketing unless it’s some guru talking about how he sold 10,000 books. Most of the Guru’s are selling you rubbish by the way. No one can guarantee your sales but you.
Try reading an online marketing book. Content Inc is a great book about drawing in your target readers. That’s probably why you’re here. I’m targeting authors with this and many other posts to grow my author network. Not only do indie authors write indie books, we read indie books (and if you’re an indie author that doesn’t read other indie books then you’re a hypocrite and have no business working in the indie space. That’s just disrespectful of your chosen profession and it shows insufficient confidence that others could create strong works. If they can’t, you can’t. You need to do more market research because obviously, you have no idea what’s selling in indie (your genre) if you’re not reading it.).
Sorry if this got a little ranty. I’m very passionate about being successful in whatever you chose to do. I wish everyone the best. Success is hard. Successful people fail and fail frequently until they learn to succeed. I’m a journey to success and I want you to be on one too. I want to see everyone making a living off their books and sustaining a marketing platform for that.
I don’t just read, I write too! Check out some of my work here.