When I was thinking about what to write about on this post, I was also working on an outline for the e-publishing seminar at the Arkansas Writers Conference. I think some of the information I gathered for that is important to share with the masses, so I’ll touch on one of the key points on this post. Next month I’ll hit on another element…assuming I don’t royally suck doing the actual presentation.
Indie publishing is hot right now. There have been several success stories—from established authors making the switch to no name authors hitting the New York Times Bestseller and other lists within weeks of their debut book. But if you want to succeed, you can’t just throw a book up and expect it to sell. You have to decide if indie publishing is right for you. The first hurdle to clear is understanding the difference between writing and publishing.
You mean there’s a difference? You bet. Simply put, writing is a creative outlet. It’s words to paper, fingers to keyboard. However, publishing is a business. This is true whether you seek to publish traditionally or go at it on your own. As an indie author, the duties of the publisher fall completely to you. Therefore, you have to approach publishing as a professional willing to take on or being prepared to delegate responsibilities. Just because you’ve written a book doesn’t mean you should upload it to retailer sites or a distributor. Writing the book is just one of the steps. And it’s not even the first.
What? You mean there’s something I should be doing before I write my book? Absolutely. Today, everybody is online. You need to start branding yourself. If you’re serious about becoming an author, you need a website (and/or blog), a Facebook page (preferable an author page, not a personal page), and a Twitter account. You could be active other places, too, like Goodreads. The idea here is get online and start building your fan base either before or while your writing your book.
Okay, so technically I covered two things: understanding the difference between writing and publishing and branding yourself. Next time, I’ll go into more details, but you need to have the foundation before you build the house.