Being an indie author has overall been an enriching experience. There are some tricky things about it as well, of course. I thought that I’d share some of my own challenges today and how to fine tune them.
Promoting on social media – Promotion is key if you want people to know about your books. There’s a fine like between marketing your book and pushing it too much which annoys people. Nobody wants to be that person who only tweets about their books. It can sound a little too robotic and/or money hungry. How to fine tune this? Make a plan about how often you’re going to market your work and try to stick to it. If promoting your book once or twice per week on social media makes sense, then do it. You can also market your books on other platforms and switch between the days to prevent exhausting your viewers with too many book promos.
Learning how to market well – We all start somewhere. The first step is to finish the book. Once it’s ready, we publish it. While most authors know that marketing is a HUGE part of self-publishing, as it will attract more readers to your work, a lot of us are just experimenting with what works best. Sometimes it takes a lot of trial and error to see what works. I’ve taken a couple of marketing classes at college in the past, so I have a general knowledge of how it works, but putting it into practice is another thing altogether. How to fine tune this? Do your research, invest time in creating a solid marketing plan, put a budget aside to invest in ad campaigns, and keep promoting your book. This is something that needs a good plan.
Being a multi-genre author – While it’s a good thing to have a lot of published books in different genres, it can be tricky when you’re figuring out how to market each one to a specific audience. When I see those book buy links on Twitter, I have to think about which one of the 11 books would best fit that reader. People are more likely to click on a direct book link than an author page where they have to browse and decide on which of the many books to buy. How to fine tune this? Figure out who your target audience is for each story. Is being a multi-genre author hurting your brand? No, it doesn’t have to. There’s certainly a niche for authors who write in many genres and you can still appeal to people who would specifically read your particular book. Promote the book that seems to make the most sense for a given person, or situation.
The “self-published” diss – I wish this was a lie, but there have been some authors I connected with who seemed cool and once they got represented by a traditional publisher, they abandoned their indie allies and two even dissed me for being indie. It didn’t shatter my life by any means, but it did show the inner resentment some writers have of indie authors. I recently found a couple of blog posts about how indie publishing is ruining the market for self-published authors which, I can’t lie, made me cringe a little. How to fine tune this? There’s a really supportive writing community right here on blogs and out there on other social media platforms. There are also many hybrid authors (who both self-publish and have their work represented) and they’re still so chill and kind to any author they interact with. Let the negative comments roll off your shoulder, because each of our journeys are unique. One day you might be traditionally published and you’ll have the opportunity to still be kind to indies.
Worrying too much about sales – We sometimes like to say that sales don’t matter, but well, they do to some degree. It’s normal and valid to want to make a second income off something you love doing. Who wouldn’t? That being said, try not to focus too much on the sales, especially in the beginning. Focus on completing a few books and building your readership. Some months will be very slow with sales and for the most part, you can’t really control that. How to fine tune this? Marketing takes time and investment. If it’s starting to stress you out or worry you, I recommend taking a step back and focusing on the thing you love doing – writing. Finish your next book then focus on creating buzz for your new release. Take a break from marketing the other books if you need to. 🙂
I hope you found this insightful, whether you’re currently an indie author or are considering going this route. If you have anything you’d like to add, please feel free to tell me in the comments below. 🙂 Let me know what you thought of this little article.