As you know, I will be MIA for the next month or so. But have no fear, dear reader, I have brought in a wonderful collection of awesome authors to fill in the gaps. They'll be sharing their wisdom and expertise on a wide variety of writing and publishing-related topics. So, sit back, relax, and make sure to take notes... There will be a test when I get back.
Today's guest post is by Best Selling author Amber Scott. She's highlighted for us ten important things authors should consider before going Indie!
Before you go Indie—10 Things to Consider:
1. Comfort zone. With a traditional publisher there is a buffer zone that an indie author does not have. Indie authors are on the front line, submitting for reviews directly, applying for consignment in person, interacting with readers through inventive platforms, communicating with distributors. All of it takes guts.
2. The Readiness Yardstick. Rather than having an editor to gauge when a work is ready to publish, you must find your own beta readers, editors and then learn to trust your instincts on when a work is truly ready. The rule is, if you’re not sure it’s ready, it isn’t ready. Be certain. 100%.
3. Cover art. A killer cover is critical to sales. We humans are visual creatures and about 60% of our memory bank is tied into visual stimulation. Your cover art has to be good enough to look traditional and great enough to stand out in that crowd. Hiring a good artist and being picky about the final product will pay off.
4. Long term goals. Just like with a traditional model, it takes three to six books to grow an audience. If sales are sluggish in those first two to five, will you be able to endure and keep releasing titles on a consistent schedule readers can grow to count on?
5. Tenacity. Being indie, if a book isn’t selling, there is no other person to blame. Not an agent, not a senior editor, not a marketing department. Because when it comes down to it, you take on all of these roles.
6. No author is an island. Just like with traditional houses, you cannot go publishing alone. It just isn’t possible if you truly wish to succeed. Having a healthy cross-promotion policy, a generous pay it forward attitude will give your career the support it misses by not being in a traditional model. Get thee to Indie Book Collective. You’ll learn a ton and be surrounded by support.
7. Sales mode. Authors are salespeople, too. Word by word, we sell readers our stories and opinions. Yet switching into commercial sales mode can be a real challenge. From branding to back cover copy, being willing to learn everything you can about the sales side a traditional house usually handles without the author, will give you an edge.
8. Stigma. Even though going indie is a hot trend right now thanks to industry changes, self-publishing is still a dirty word in the average reader’s mind. Every day authors are disproving the stigma attached but you will still face naysayers.
9. Higher standards. Because there is a stigma, because there is no one else to blame for errors, we indie authors have a higher standard we have to rise to. Intense edits, accruing awards and status, killer cover art, keen professionalism and consistency will help us earn our credibility individually and as a group.
10. Freedom. Indie authors can change their text, their title, their cover art, their copy, all of it. At any time and for whatever reason they wish. This can be a good thing for times when a glaring typo gets found despite rigorous edits. It can be a tempting thing for authors who get caught up in trying too many things at once in order to create a magic formula.
Amber ScottIn between naptimes and dishes, Kindle bestselling author Amber Scott escapes into the addictive lives of her characters. She often burns dinner, is a sucker for chocolate and still believes in happily ever after. Co-founder of the Indie Book Collective, Amber migrated over from traditional publishing and never looks back. She lives in Arizona with her charming husband, cuddly kids and, someday, a cat.
http://amberscottbooks.com is her site and all of her books are available on Amazon.com and most anywhere else online.