Independent authors are in a unique situation. For the first time, writers and publishers are not dependent on each other. Indie authors can publish books without a mainstream publisher or an agent. But in doing so, indie writers have unique roadblocks that can hinder them, that successful authors don’t necessarily have.
Are Indie Books Good?
One of the stigmas that independent writers have to overcome is ‘indie books aren’t good’. Let’s face it, there are a lot of bad books out there, where the indie author did not take the time to write a book in which the plot is good, the book is edited well, and free of grammatical errors. So independent writers have to work around this. The best thing an indie writer can do is to pen a phenomenal book and get it edited by both a story editor and a language editor. Make sure your indie books are great.
Get your book edited as well. It is worth the money to hire a qualified editor to review your book not only for grammatical errors, but also for content. Make sure that your story flows:
- plot must be consistent
- characters must be consistent (i.e. an introvert would not be out in public meeting people all the time, unless you’ve given your character some motivation to do that)
- your story should not have holes in it, nor should it rely on coincidence for action to occur
Along with writing a great book, independent writers need to make sure they are marketing their books, and one key way is to have a great author website. I have seen way to many authors that use a blog for a website. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as the blog looks like a website, and it is set up well. The roadblock of author websites is that indie authors typically don’t have, or don’t want, to spend money if they don’t have to. But this is a critical area where you should spend to get the best. Make sure:
- your website sells your books
- make sure that there are hyperlinks to where your books are sold (make it easy for readers, don’t make them search for you on Amazon)
- have links to your blog, Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, and other accounts
Not Understanding Marketing
Indie writers need to understand that writing a novel and marketing a novel are two different things. So many authors have websites, blogs, and Facebook fan pages that have poor copy-writing. As an author, you have to understand how marketing is a different skill, one that takes time to learn. If you do not have the time to learn this, you should consider hiring this out. Make sure:
- you have a Twitter account, and use it, but not just to sell
- you have a Facebook FAN PAGE, as this is great for selling your books
In order to sell books, not only do you need a great website, you need to have a Facebook fan page, because Facebook has over 800 million followers that can become your fans. But your Facebook fan page needs to be a great page that focuses on marketing. If you would like to receive more tips on how to set up a Facebook fan page, AND how to market your books, visit here for more tips. Remember, you CAN learn how to market your books!
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Renee Pawlish is the author of Nephilim Genesis of Evil, a paranormal thriller, The Reed Ferguson Mystery series, Take Five, a short story collection, and The Sallie House: Exposing the Breast Within, a non-fiction account of a haunted house investigation. She consults with authors and other entertainers, helping them learn how to effectively market their books or music.