In days not so long past – well only a few years ago – being an indie author meant getting your books printed and shipped and then flogging them as best you could at local bookstores, coffee shops, tearooms, markets, writer groups or evenTupperware parties. It was hard going, but you got out to meet people and stayed fit carrying all those tomes with you wherever you went. And you sold some books.
Then the world turned upside down when the ebook and in particular the Kindle changed what it meant to be an indie author. I’ll skip all the work that has to be done in between the actual writing and publishing now as we all know about the hours, days, weeks and months of grunt work that must be done by an indie to get a book ready for ebook publication.
What has changed the most is how an indie author sells books. As an ebook is really just a little electronic file that can be transmitted in an instant to anywhere in the world, (or perhaps even as far as Gloth) it necessitates being online, engaged and becoming a rabid internet, blog, website, and social media user. You really need to ‘sell your soul for rock ‘n roll’ as the saying goes, because this is the new book marketing world – and it’s 24/7!
If you’re not committed, you’ll fail. Simple as that. You have to believe in yourself, take a lot of knocks and keep climbing up an ever-changing learning curve. If you’re satisfied with publishing a book on Amazon Kindle and selling a few books to family and friends, that’s fine, and a great new opportunity for many writers.
But if you want to succeed as an indie and be taken seriously and read by enough readers to put food on your table, you’ll need to be patient, tough, determined and have a bit of marketing mongrel about yourself. Are you ready?