Stepboarding on the indie author journey is an exhilarating adventure filled with abundant opportunities for growth and discovery. There’s an abundance of knowledge to acquire, tasks to accomplish, and skills to master.
If there’s one piece of advice I could impart to aspiring indie authors, it’s this – commit to learning as much as possible well before you even contemplate publishing your book.
Some may argue, “What is there really to learn? I just need to write my book, create an appealing cover, and upload it to CreateSpace, right?”
Well, our fellow indie enthusiast, there’s much more to the process than meets the eye. To simplify this journey for you, let’s begin with a structured list.
So, with further ado, here are the top ten crucial areas you should familiarize yourself with before you set off on your book publishing adventure:
1- Learn All You Can
It may sound like an obvious step, but trust us, I’ve encountered numerous writers who enthusiastically started their journeys on crafting a romantic, suspenseful, historical sci-fi adventure, only to find themselves stuck and uncertain about a third way into their work.
Instead of diving headfirst into writing without a clear direction, invest time in educating yourself about your genre. A helpful starting point is to explore popular books within your genre on platforms like Amazon or Goodreads. Make sure of the “look inside” feature to examine the first pages, initial chapters, blurbs, and even acknowledgements.
Pay close attention to the elements that captivate readers the most. Try to identify recurring patterns, font styles, colour schemes, images, and the emotion they evoke. These best-selling books have achieved considerable success, and there’s much to glean from their accomplishments. Understanding what resonates with readers and how you want to convey your vision for your project can save you a substantial amount of time, prevent frustration, and ultimately prove cost-effective in the long run.
2- Building the Email List
Discovering the importance of building an email list long before your book becomes available can be a transformative realization, one that I personally wish writers had grasped earlier.
Being a writer, I was somewhat clueless in this world, too, and as a result, I unwittingly neglected this crucial aspect of the publishing process. Throughout the creation of my book, from the initial drafts to the painstaking edits and well into the pre-launch phase, a nagging mantra reverberated in my mind, “You need to build an email list.”
While it’s reassuring to know that it’s never too late to start, you may deeply regret not having started earlier. Playing catch-up is a challenging mode to find yourself in when you’re launching your indie author career.
But how do you go about learning the art of email list building? Well, there are several avenues to explore. You can attend webinars that talk about this topic, study the blogs of accomplished writers you admire (just like you’re doing right now) and enrol in workshops at writing conferences.
These resources provide invaluable insights and advice from writers who have advanced further along in their own journeys.
3- Value the Critique
While it’s natural to be drawn towards the advice of those who genuinely care about you, like your mom or your closest friend, it can be far more beneficial to seek input from unbiased readers. The insights you gain from having your first page and initial chapter critiqued by such individuals can be incredibly valued.
This feedback may highlight areas where you need to heighten the tension between your characters, trim unnecessary backstories, or introduce an element of surprise. These observations form a solid foundation for crafting an excellent first draft.
Before making any suggested changes, it’s advisable to seek confirmation from another source. Remember that one person’s opinion should not trigger a meltdown or compel you to make sweeping alterations to your story. A balanced approach is the key.
4- Make a Killer Pitch
Mastering the art of crafting a compelling elevator pitch is essential for any aspiring author. Once people discover that you are working on a book, you’ll undoubtedly encounter the ubiquitous question, “So, what’s your book about?”
It’s a query you will hear countless times, and it’s important to approach it with confidence and enthusiasm. Rather than flashing a bewildered “I have no idea how to answer you” expression, take a proactive approach.
Prepare concise teaser lines on 3×5 cards that encapsulate the essence of your book. Memorize two or three different one-sentence responses so that you’re always ready to deliver an engaging answer. Remember, confidence is your ally in these situations.
5- Learn How to Build a Network
Don’t wait until you’re in the midst of those final rounds of manuscript edits to start building your network. Take proactive steps right away. Begin by becoming an active member of online groups related to your genre. Engage with fellow readers on platforms like Goodreads.
Attend conferences or workshops, and don’t hesitate to exchange contact information with your peers. It’s vital to maintain these connections by sending occasional notes or updates.
If you know someone working on a story set in your hometown, offer your assistance and insights generously. Attend book launches to meet both readers and fellow authors.
Approach these opportunities with a friendly and bold attitude, even if it takes you out of your comfort zone. Seek guidance from book writing services too. Building these connections is an ongoing process that should start now, as it can be invaluable for your writing journey. Get connected today.
6- Learn to Utilize the Network
Create a spreadsheet listing all potential connections to your book, no matter how distant. This will boost your confidence as you work toward releasing your book.
For example, if you write historical Westerns, reach out to the local museum’s historian to host a workshop. If you’re into romance, ask your spa friend to provide a spa gift certificate for your book launch. Thriller authors can organize a murder mystery party for community influencers as a thank-you for promoting their book.
Remember to record every name and idea on your spreadsheet. You never know what might be helpful as your indie author career progresses.
The Final Verdict
As you journey towards indie publishing, your toolbox should be brimming with valuable resources. Becoming a true craftsman like the people who provide book writing service means recognizing that it takes more than just exceptional writing to work on your masterpiece for the world.
Reflect on the advice that has propelled you forward on this path to indie publishing. Among the six elements discussed, pinpoint the one that has posed the greatest challenge for you.
Acknowledging your challenges is a significant step towards overcoming them and achieving success in your indie author career. Remember that every tool, every piece of advice, and every lesson learned contributes to your growth and readiness to share your work with the world.
Embrace the process with open arms, for it is the crucible in which your dreams are forged. With each step you take, each word you write, and each publication you produce, you are sculpting your path towards becoming a successful independent publisher. Keep the flame of your dreams alive, and one day, you’ll look back on your journey with pride and fulfillment, knowing that you turned your aspirations into reality.