Advice for wannabe indie authors

So I spent a good deal of time scouring the web for advice when I decided to ride the indie pub wave. They say 2012 is going to be the year of the indie author. Pretty soon more than half the titles on Amazon's Best Seller list will be indie efforts. Everybody is doing it.

I probably shouldn't have titled this page advice because I don't think I've earned the right to start handing out advice. Testamonial would probably be a better description of what I'm about to offer.
Here is what I did.

Step 1: Did everything in my power to produce a 5 star book. I knew if I earned a truck-load of critical reviews, Prime of Life would never have a chance. I knew I could not rely on friends and family to help me determine if the book was any good. I needed professional advice. I hired a freelance editor to review my manuscript. He helped me feel confident I would be able to avoid some of the more disastrous reviews I've come across for other indie works. I only wish I had invested the money for a thorough line edit. I'm still finding errors in the manuscript, which is quite embarrassing when 50,000 other people are finding them as well. If you happen to be one of the readers who was annoyed by the typos and spelling errors, please drop me a line and I'll email you a free digital download of a clean copy if I ever manage to produce one. If the 1 star and 2 star reviews start to roll in (and trust me, they will no matter how good your book is) try to keep your chin up. Critical reviews help you hone your craft.

Step 2: Hired someone to handle the cover art.

Step 3: Evaluated distribution options and decided to go exclusively with Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing. Their Kindle Lending Library program and 5 days of free promotion for every 90 days of enrollment is pure genius. They've managed to create a perfect Darwinian system that allows books from unknown authors to garnish thousands of readers and potentially rise to the top of the rank lists. It is survival of the fittest. Good works earn more exposure and more reviews, which generate more exposure and even more reviews, while the crummy stuff fades off the radar.

Step 4: Experimented with pricing. Still working on this. My current opinion is that the lower the price the better. I'd rather earn more readers than more dollars at this point. A whole article could be devoted to this topic.

Step 5: Waited patiently. Don't expect hundreds of downloads during your first month, especially if you have never published before. From my experience, and from what I've read, It usually takes 4-5 months for new indie works to really take off on Amazon. If you don't succeed, dust off your sleaves, hone your craft, and try again!

So there is my experience so far. Stay tuned for more updates...


Stephanie Barko said...

What are you doing to capture the library market?

P. D. Bekendam said...

Hi Stephanie. To answer your question, nothing specific. I don't know much about reaching this market.