Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wednesday's Wisdom for the Indie Author

Wisdom may be a strong word, but justly so about today's topic. Wisdom and patience is needed when looking at a career as an indie author. Just like any entrepreneurial endeavor, it takes hard work to succeed.

  • As an indie author- you have to plan, monetize, and market each and every book you write and publish. 
  •  As an indie author- you are in it for the long haul.
  • As an indie author- the initial cost layout is as small or as large as you want it to be.
  • As an indie author- you are in control and in the driver's seat with your book going in the direction you want it to go.
  • As an indie author- you are the boss. You may hire outside editors, cover designers, proofreaders, and format specialists, or do it yourself.
  •  As an indie author- you will EARN every penny you make.
If you do not have an entrepreneurial spirit. If you are not an adventurer. If you are not confident in yourself. You probably shouldn't try being an indie author.

I've said it before you need a thick skin to be an author. There will be people out there who will call your book ugly, badly formatted, or just not done well when compared to another author's work. They will nit pick and leave bad reviews. They will let you know each and every mistake that was made. This goes with the job. Accept it, move on, and grow a thicker skin. By the same token there are typos and grammatical errors in standard published books too. Nobody is perfect.

 As any self employed person, as an indie author the buck stops with you. You write a bad book and it doesn't sell.

Or at the very least a reader is not ready to take a chance on an unknown author. Figure out a way to get yourself known. That's a major problem with doing something for first time...nobody knows who you are and you have no track record.  I've spent the last few months looking at the covers of my published books and trying to figure out if they would sell better with a new cover. I still haven't changed anything yet.

I've been looking at formatting issues which were mentioned to me and considering pulling my books off of Kindle. This too is my decision to make. Which is worse; a poorly formatted book which is getting low stars because of these issues, or leaving it alone? This is currently in research.

Yeah as a self-employed writer, you will be the one to make all the decisions. You will be the one to face whatever comes with your babies just like any parent. It's growing pains. A learning curve. And you will learn new things each and every day. This is a must.

It will take wisdom on your part to realize whether it can all be done by yourself or if you need outside help. No, I'm not talking about family, but a stranger with a new, fresh take on the situation. In the chart above there are few who have reached the pinnacle of "Guru" in self-publishing. I can only think of a handful at best.

For myself, I fall between the Freelancer and Contractor stages. I'm not ready to acknowledge the Contractor stage or move into the Expert stage. That's a huge jump. Maybe by the time I hit over 100,000 books sold I'll be comfortable with the jump to expert. While I've hit the Guru stage in many fields over the years, I really doubt I'll get there in writing, but that remains to be seen. I don't have a crystal ball to foresee the future. All I can do is hope for the best.

So where do you fall on the Self-Employment Hierarchy chart?

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

No comments: