A lot of people gush when they find out I’m a writer. They ask the “standard” questions like, “Where do you get your ideas?” and “What do you like to write?” or tell me that they love to write, but just can’t finish a whole novel. I also hear, “Wow, I hate writing, I don’t know how you do it!” a lot, which always cracks me up because I can’t imagine not writing.
I finally got sick of my novels being rejected by (many, many) agents and the Big Six (now the Big Four with that last merger?) and decided to self-publish. Fluctuations: Book One of the Connemara Chronicles went up over six months ago and between then and now, I’ve self-published two short stories (novellas really) from a series and another novel. I’m very proud of all my work and excited about all their sequels! It actually took a few novels to nail the process of it down so that I get it uploaded with a minimum of fuss from both Kindle Direct and Smashwords.com. Out of them both, I would actually say that on a purely technical level, Kindle is an easier process to publish; they aren’t nearly as fussy with their formatting. hehehehe. Of course, Smashwords has more of a reach than Kindle Direct just because they distribute to so many outlets (Apple, Sony, B&N, etc.) so you really do need both to get a complete coverage.
Now, I went into this knowing that without a lot of luck and support, I wasn’t gonna see a lot of money or recognition. Quite probably I would see none of either no matter how much support I got from friends or family. But that was fine, I just wanted my work out there where people could buy my stories, if they so chose.
The life of an indie author is one of constant marketing and advertising and networking, or so I was told. I’m a fairly outgoing person, as any of my friends will tell you, but a networking aficionado I’m not. And I don’t exactly have an advertising budget since I’m just about now caught up on my bills from being so long unemployed last year. All that being said, I do have a plan to test out a teeny tiny facebook “campaign” for Flux to see what happens. And I submit the novels to various blogs who do reviews (not that any of them as yet have gotten back to me, one way or the other) to try for that kind of exposure, too. And if anyone has suggestions for me, I’d really love to hear them! I’ve been told I need to pimp my work more on twitter and facebook, but that feels too much like spam for my comfort. I don’t want to inundate people with “buy my book! buy my book!” every third tweet. I hate it when people do it to me and refuse to do it to others.
The best advertising is, of course, a) writing the best novel you can, and b) word of mouth. And that’s where all of you come in. I’ve written the best I can and had the work edited and rewritten until it’s sparkly clean, and I think I’ve got some damn fine, rollicking adventures out there! :o) The only way any writer survives to write their next novel (or short, or essay, or script), self-published or not, is to climb the ranks and actually sell copies of their work. Without the audience, some would say that there’s not even any point in writing. (I’m not one of them, since I write what the voices in my head tell me to write regardless of sales figures *snicker*) And in the spirit of inter-dependence, if you’re an indie author looking for reviews let me know! I’d be happy to read and give you an honest review.
That’s all for now. I’ll keep you all apprised of how I’m doing in another six months. Hopefully by then I’ll have some advertising/marketing wisdom to share. I’ll certainly have more for you to read by then!