Talk given by top indie authors / self-publishers
I was lucky to catch up with a session given by Bella Andre, Stephanie Bond, Liliana Hart, Barbara Freethy, Candice Hern and Jasmina Wilder at the book fair.
The six ladies are very successful writer and self-publishers so it was clear than there was a lot to be gained from listening to them talk about writing and publisher. I was not disappointed, and from what I saw, nor were the other people listening to them either.
So, in bullet form this is the essence of the section I managed to hear:
- Write as often as you can and find time for writing. If you want to be a writer, then you have to write. These ladies are prolific writers and each one seemed to have a set time of the day when they did their writing. One of them made the point that if readers like what you write then they are going to be hungry for the next book. You need to feed that hunger.
- Not only do you need to write but you need to publish. This means you need to finish your books and stories then get them out there. One trick to get people interested is to have a special on one book a year which encourages people to try your books. Make the first one a cheapie, again in order to get readers.
- Branding is of prime importance. Establish a good brand, a good cover style and good titles. People are drawn to the covers and the blurb.
- Allow readers to download a proportion of your book. Once they have started reading they may want to read the rest.
- Have a snippet of the next book or a trailer for the next book at the end. Get the reader loyal.
- Have a website so you can update readers on your books and writing. This builds a connection with the reader.
- Have a pre-order agreement. This builds up readership.
- Have a blog and write about your books, your characters and your writing. It keeps readers with you.
- Have a mailing list and a newsletter. These keep the readers interested and up to date with your writing.
- Proofread everything and get other people to proofread your work. Try not to publish work with errors.
- You need to have a least two or three books up for sale at anyone time, but it would be better to have 3 or 4. This reinforces the point that you need to keep writing and putting your stuff out there.
- Advertise – I picked up Barbara Freethy’s business card which has snapshots of a couple of book covers plus all the ways readers can contact her or read about her books.
This was good advice and the authors who gave are surely successful at what they do.