Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Newly-Published Author's Long, Dark Night of the Soul

Bottom Line It For Me, Baby Version (200 Words or Less):

If you think writing the book, soliciting feedback, revising, designing cover art, formatting, publishing and getting the book listed for sale are the hard ain't seen nuthin' yet. Your adventures in authorship have only just begun, and your work is far from over. Somehow, we've all acquired the tribal misinformation that once the book is out there, readers will rejoice and the inevitable tidal wave of sales will commence. The reality for newly-published, unknown authors everywhere is quite different. It's a given that indie authors are on their own to promote their books and get their books into brick-and-mortar stores, but the same is now true for mainstream-published authors as well. Shockingly, publication with a major house is no longer any guarantee that your book will show up on the shelf of your local Borders. It's oddly comforting to know we indies aren't at such a huge disadvantage compared to the mainstream anymore, but that doesn't make the work of self-promotion any easier or more pleasant.

An Indie Author Guide to Promotion is coming to the rescue, but every minute I spend writing about promotion is a minute I'm not able to do any promotion, so please be patient.

(No Run Yo Mouth Version again, because I'm too busy with...wait for it...promoting my books!)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Merch And Schwag!

Bottom Line It For Me, Baby Version (200 Words or Less):

A number of friends and acquaintances have commented that the IndieAuthor movement needs t-shirts, coffee mugs and other stuff with appropriate slogans on them. Since I'd very much like to have an IndieAuthor t-shirt and coffee mug of my own, to show off my indie status with pride and maybe spark some conversations on the topic, I bet lots of others out there feel the same way. Along the same lines, several readers have commented about a specific quote from my novel 'Adelaide Einstein' as particularly t-shirt and magnet-worthy: "I am healthy, and vanity is the enemy of the soul."

As I am ever the servant of my fellow authors (and hope to make a few bucks to keep this little IndieAuthor dog and pony show rolling along), I've set up a Cafepress shop where you can buy t-shirts, mugs, tote bags and magnets with IndieAuthor slogans and that quote from 'Adelaide Einstein'. To date, it seems the most popular slogan is, "Independence: It's Not Just For Musicians and Filmmakers Anymore," but there are many others as well. Take a look-see!

(Once again, there's no Run Yo Mouth version...I'm not feeling terribly verbose lately)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More IndieAuthor Guides

Bottom Line It For Me, Baby Version (200 Words or Less)

I've been working on a series of IndieAuthor Guides for authors who would like to go independent but worry that they lack the necessary technical skills or knowledge. When all the Guides are finished I will combine them for publication as a book, but until then I'm offering them to my fellow writers for free via the IA Guides link on my author website. The following IndieAuthor Guides are available now:

- Publishing With the Amazon DTP & MS Word(TM) 2003 or Higher
- Publishing With CreateSpace(TM)& MS Word(TM) 2003 or Higher
- Designing Your Own Book Covers

- Editing

These are the Guides still to be written:

- IndieAuthor Guide to Why Going Indie Is Right For Most Authors
- IndieAuthor Guide to Creating Your Brand
- IndieAuthor Guide to Creating Your Web Presence
- IndieAuthor Guide to Getting Organized
- IndieAuthor Guide to Resources

So go to my site, bookmark it and check back for additional Guides every week or so. At the rate I'm cranking them out, I should be ready to turn them into a book by the end of April.

There is no 'run yo mouth' version of this post, because believe it or not, that's all I've got to say!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Terrific Resources For Indie Authors

Bottom Line It For Me Baby, Version (200 words or less) :

My ultimate goal with Indie Author is to build it up into a time-saving, one-stop resource for independents such as myself, with information for every step of the process. Eventually, ideally, whether you're trying to decide if going indie is the right choice for you, figure out how to use various technologies in self-publishing, find ways to promote yourself and your work, or just locate some kindred spirits in the movement, I want Indie Author to serve your needs. When I first began this blog, it was disheartening to find "indie author" wasn't already taken as either a gmail username or a blog name. It made me wonder if there were any other independents out there at all. As it turns out, there are others who are just as passionate about the movement as me. I've been very, very busy, but I'm taking a brief breather to post links to the most valuable sites and resources I've found for indie authors so far. It's good to know I will not have to author all of that much-needed content myself, but I'm also writing some articles of my own to fill in the gaps. Check the 'Links of Interest' at my author website for the new stuff.

Go On An' Run Yo Mouth, I Got Nuthin' But Time Version (can't promise it won't go on forever):

So much to do, so much to do. Based on my own needs and requests from others, here's my short list (in no particular order): inspect and (hopefully) approve my latest trade paperback proofs, get a promotional blitz going for them, order and distribute editorial review copies of the trade paperbacks, continue my promotional efforts on my Kindle editions, convert the manuscripts into all the most popular ebook formats and offer them for sale, write and offer more Indie Author how-to articles on how to do everything from establishing a web presence to creating your own cover art, and last but not least, get back to my two works-in-progress.

However, while researching ways to promote my work---notoriously challenging for any author, but particularly so for an independent---I've come across some sites of tremendous value. I've added these to my 'Links of Interest' at my author website, and provide a brief overview of them below. This is some excellent stuff, and whenever a given site or resource includes a link to email or send a comment to the creator, I strongly encourage each of you to let the authors of these sites know how much you appreciate their generosity in sharing their wealth of experience and information. Any indie movement is a grass-roots movement, so anything you, I or other indie authors can do to help one another ultimately benefits the movement as a whole.

Trying to decide whether or not 'indie' is the right choice for you? Read the pertinent articles on The Populist Publisher and Foner Books' Self-Publishing Blog. Want to know what's going on in the world of indie publishing? Check out Independent Publisher and The Independent Authors Guild.

Want to know how to publish your work for the Kindle, using Amazon's Digital Text Platform and MS Word 2003 or higher? Read my how-to article on that very topic.

It's written and published, but now you don't know how to promote your work online? Try posting something at Independent Authors, 1 Chapter Free, or Pages Unbound. For information and links to get your author 'web presence' going, try these tips from Marsha Jordan.

It's written and published, you've got your web presence and you've posted in every possible corner of the internet, but now you need some editorial reviews and old-school marketing help? To quickly locate a ton of news and editorial outlets that have expressed a willingness to review and/or share news about your type of work, sign up for a free account at BookConnector and you can do a search of such outlets all over the world. Need to solicit editorial reviews from newspapers and magazines? Search for the periodicals best suited to your request at Newspapers of the World. Not surprisingly, Marsha Jordan offers some great ideas in her Tools You Can Use article and her Book Promoting Tips article. Also check out the articles by Carolyn Howard Johnson, The Frugal Book Promoter.

And there you have it, my indie brothers- and sisters-at-arms. Anytime I find a new resource or article I think could be of some use to you, I'll post it here at Indie Author. In the meantime, I hope today's stuff is enough to keep you busy for at least a couple of weeks while I try to check a few more things off of my own to-do list.