I hope you’ve all enjoyed Indie Month. We’ve had some fabulously talented authors who’ve all been so generous in sharing their indie journey with us and giving us some fabulous tips for going indie too.
To round off the month, I’d like to share my best tips for going indie. I currently have a traditional publisher but have also been publishing other titles myself. My first indie books came out last year – three magical romantic comedies which had all been published in Germany but hadn’t been taken on by a UK publisher despite the first book – Flights of Angels – being made into a film. It was frustrating not to see these books published in my own language so I took the plunge and launched them myself.
I now have eight titles up on Kindle including two collections of short stories. Some of the short stories in the collections have been published in magazines but, unless you are a huge bestseller, publishers don’t want to know about short stories but there is a huge market out there and both my collections are doing really well as ebooks.
My most recent indie publication – Christmas with Mr Darcy – is charging up the charts and I have many more releases planned for the future. It really is an exciting time to be an author.
So, here are my top tips for going indie:
- Write a mighty fine book!
- Don’t be in a hurry. Many self-published ebooks are not up to publishing standard. Just because it’s easy to publish a book yourself, it doesn’t mean you should. Writing a book is a long and hard process and very few authors get it right first time. My first published novel, Flights of Angels, was actually the fifth novel I completed. I wouldn’t dare inflict the other four on anyone!
- Get your work appraised/edited. Unless you’ve written several novels and have been through the editing process with an editor or feel totally confident in your abilities to go it alone, get another pair of eyes on your work for suggestions on structure, characterisation, pacing etc.
- Get a proof reader to check your work. It’s impossible to catch all the mistakes yourself.
- Design a great cover. Ebook covers have to work well as a tiny thumbnail so make sure your design isn’t too intricate and fussy.
- Don’t hand your work over to a small publisher who is offering you a split of your royalties even if it seems a generous percentage compared to a traditional publisher. Rather – if you can’t do it yourself – pay a one-off fee to a company who will format and upload your book for you. You do not want to give away a high percentage of your earnings forever and you can currently earn up to 70% royalties via Amazon which comes straight into your bank account within two months.
- Use the internet to spread the word about your book. You need to reach readers. Facebook, Twitter etc are good ways of doing this and also allow readers to get in touch with you, so have a good internet presence.
- Set up a blog tour and get your book reviewed. This can be enormous fun and bloggers can be contacted through their websites. Introduce yourself and tell them a bit about your book.
- Create an attractive and informative website and keep your readers updated on what’s happening.
- Build a mailing list so you can contact your readers when a new book is out and let them know when you have special offers on. You can sign up for my mailing list here!
- Have a launch day – run a fun competition – give something away. Everybody loves a freebie!
- Enjoy the whole process! You are self-employed – you should be enjoying your job. You are not just a writer now but an editor, proof reader, publisher and publicist. Embrace it. Enjoy it! And good luck!