By Gail Johnson
Are you thinking about becoming an indie author?
For those new to the term, indie is short for independent. But that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. In fact, I suggest you don’t.
Choosing the indie route can be scary when faced with all the decisions that must be made between the initial idea of the book and the final product. But there are a few things you can do to make the journey a lot easier.
I suggest joining a writer’s organization. If you’re a Christian fiction writer, that would be the ACFW. For a small yearly fee, American Christian Fiction offers classes, conferences, and critique groups. A critique group will provide invaluable feedback during the writing process.
Writing is a lonely profession. We need friends, offline and online, to keep us balanced. Friends help make the journey an exciting adventure. They are irreplaceable treasures and wells of encouragement.
Love’em or dislike’em, editors have a purpose. A good editor can make a book better. You will not catch all your mistakes, but another pair of eyes will uncover the elusive typo. Guaranteed!
Ask for references. Talk to your friends or other authors. Working with someone can be a dream or a nightmare. Success depends on a good working relationship.
Social media is a slippery slope. Too much of that and you lose writing time. Not enough and there’s no point. The point of media is interaction with others. Doing for others as you would have them do for you is good advice when thinking of media.
I want to share a few pointers I’ve learned in seven years of social media. Don’t follow someone to get them to follow you, and then unfollow them. Not cool! And if you ask a question and someone answers it, respond. If you don’t, they won’t stay a follower.
Share their successes. There’s no reason to be jealous of another if their book comes out before yours. There are enough readers to go around. Be generous to promote them, and when your time comes, someone will do the same for you.
If you’re overwhelmed by your Twitter feed, may I suggest lists? Lists help separate your followers and those you like to interact with every day.
You gain readers by writing a good book. Hence all the above suggestions. Readers, like friends, are treasures. Treat them as such. You won’t regret it.
Some people don’t like blogging. I do! My website gives me a chance to connect with friends and meet new ones every week. Blogging also helps with weekly word count. Whether you blog once a week or five times a week, make a schedule and stick with it.
So, you see indie doesn’t necessarily mean independent. 🙂 It takes a tribe. I knew I couldn’t do everything. In the end, I hired editors, a back cover copywriter, and a cover designer. I did the formatting myself using a template which I purchased from a template designer. My book will be coming out later this year. Woohoo!
So, if you’ve been thinking about trekking the indie path but you’re afraid you can’t do it, take heart. There is a steep learning curve, but you CAN succeed as an indie author when you have friends to help you along the way.
Indie authors, what are your suggestions for newbies?
You have your manuscript, back cover copy, and your cover. Make a list of the things you need to do to make your book a success.