Some would say she’s crazy going down the Indie Publishing route. Others would say it’s the only way to go.
After seeing her tweet…
@thecreativepenn oh my goodness, Pentecost is #277 in the US Kindle store , #12 in action/adventure http://amzn.to/gWfkcV #veryexcited!
Did you ever think about going down the traditional publishing path?
Absolutely, it’s what I always aimed for and I would still consider the right traditional publishing deal but for me, it’s about self-determination and the ability to do it yourself these days. I approached traditional publishers back in 2008 with my first book, a non fiction career change book. I had no platform, nothing differentiating me and not surprisingly, I was rejected. But I didn’t see this as the end, it was the beginning of my journey into adventures in publishing and marketing. I learned all about the industry and about internet marketing. I started a blog, a podcast and videos as well as social networking. I wrote more and learned about ebooks and then set up my own company and did it myself! Ironically, now I have a platform and an audience and have done it myself, I would be more attractive to a publisher but as yet, I haven’t tried again. The success of Amanda Hocking is an inspiration to me, as she got a print deal after successfully selling on the Kindle. John Locke is also an inspiration and he doesn’t need a print deal as he is selling millions on the Kindle. So yes, I do think about a traditional deal, but I’m happy going the indie route for now.
You have created a significant online platform. How do you set boundaries to spend enough time online – but not waste time?
I don’t waste time online, everything I do is focused on either
a) creating content - blog posts, podcast, videos, tweets - all these things are breadcrumbs leading back to my site and my books
b) networking with authors and readers - both of which are critical. Personal recommendations are imperative now, it’s still word of mouth, we just have more leverage.
You have to be committed to building a platform in order to build one and you have to be consistent. I haven’t had much time off the internet for 2.5 years but it is so rewarding and worth it, and it’s my hobby and enjoyment as well as something necessary for authors, so it isn’t painful.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt through self publishing?
You can be a successful author if you write something people want to read and you can get it in front of people who want to read it. Kindle and other ebook markets offer the way to self-publish now, but there are still millions of books out there. You still need the marketing aspect. Basically, all this is still important for traditionally published authors as well. The only thing missing is that someone else does the work of publishing.
I would add that indie authors MUST pay for pro editors. I had 2 editors and a lot of proof readers for Pentecost. Independent books must be as good quality reading as trade published and editors are the way forward for this.
What’s the most important thing to think about when marketing a self published book?
You still have to connect with readers as authors have always done. So if your book is not in bookstores waiting for people to walk past, you need to get it in front of them another way. That’s where online marketing comes in and you need to find your niche online. Start with something and then move into other spheres, don’t get overwhelmed. I started with my blog, then moved into podcasting, then twitter, then videos.
Marketing is not a bad thing, you’re not scamming anyone. Most of us are just writers with good books who want to get them into the hands of people who might enjoy them. That should be your focus.
So many great insights there Joanna! Thank you for hanging out on my blog for a moment. I must get my hands on your book Pentecost!
Thriller novel 'Pentecost' available in Kindle and print format
Check out the book trailer on YouTube