This week in the world of self-publishing:
In recent days, it seems as though we’ve crossed a rubicon in regards to where the topic of self-publishing arises as a mainstay news item. It might once have been unusual to see multiple references in a single issue of Publisher’s Weekly, but these days it seems as though they’re beginning to––can it be?––specialize in matters of an indie nature. This week, in a February 5th article by PW contributor Drucilla Shultz, we are privileged with the chance to see both what an industry titan defines as “success” in self-publishing, and how that titan advocates for achieving said definition. Shultz consults with Jessica Lourey, an author who began her career in the traditional publishing industry and transitioned to indie publication because she couldn’t let her latest project, The Catalain Book of Secrets, “wither on the vine” due to its genre-defying niche appeal. Together, Lourey and Shultz recommend three steps to the aspiring self-publishing author:
- Submit First
- Be Professional, and
- Don’t Expect Immediate Success
Of course, these points mean a great deal more when considered in the context of Lourey and Shultz’s explanations, which you can access by reading the original article here.
“Every author I’ve ever met gets almost starry-eyed at the completion of their written work,” writes David Smith in his February 5th article for the Southern Utah Independent. “The problem with most authors is that while they may have indeed written the next “Twilight” series, they need to make people who might be interested in reading their book aware that it is out there.” How to solve this dilemma? Writes Smith, the key is to go digital:
There are websites that have blogs, podcasts, topical material, and point-of-sale opportunities to help authors promote, market, and sell their books. There are social media sites, (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), that you can use to connect with individuals and groups that may have an interest in your book. Email blasts to friends and family with the ability for each to forward notes to their circle of friends is another way to gain a following or make your information go viral.
And, of course, there are marketing programs that range in cost but provide more specific means to reach potential readers.
We couldn’t agree more, which is why it might be worthwhile to check out Smith’s complete article at the link.
Jurgen Appelo knows a little about being remarkable. In this February 4th piece for Entrepreneur, the self-made businessman and CEO of Happy Melly writes that “Entrepreneurs always have it backwards. They want to be more successful at what they do, so they watch and copy what others do who are very successful.” But this modus operandi doesn’t often work, he goes on to say: “Copying the tips and tricks of the experts rarely results in replication of their successes.” Why? And what can an aspiring author looking for inspiration––a true entrepreneur if ever we saw one––do without falling into that exact trap? Says Appelo, failure is as much a taught principle as it is an avoidable reality. “I believe 80 percent of your success is determined by your unique approach to solving a problem,” he says. “Before anything else, understand what problem you’re solving and what makes your solution remarkable. After you’ve figured that out, it’s OK to read books and articles that may help you to polish and tweak your production and marketing. But if what you offer has little value and is not remarkable for anyone, no amount of other people’s scripts, routines and checklists will make it so.” For Appelo’s full thoughts on the subject, access the latest edition of Entrepreneur here.
The internet, writes Anna Tims in this February 4th piece for British heavyweight paper The Guardian, is making room for more authors to innovate and in so doing, to make a living from what they do. She writes that such global digital access “enables anyone to be an author with access to an audience and increasing numbers of people are discovering that they can earn an income from their own ebooks.” This is good news for self-publishing authors, she goes on to say, because there’s a direct connection between the rise of ebooks and the rise of self-publishing. She takes as her guiding star the story of Tracy Bloom, a self-publishing author whose first ebook, No-One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday, reached the top rank in Amazon’s romance category. “I realised that my best chance lay in ebooks and spent three months analysing the mechanics of how to make a book successful on Amazon,” Tims quotes Bloom as saying. Hers was a long road, riddled with necessary research and with the intricacies to be ironed out before she considered her book “published,” but her journey may prove both interesting and insightful for the aspiring self-publishing author. For more of Bloom’s story and Tims’ reflections thereon, take a peek at the original piece over at The Guardian.
As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.
ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.