As most of you know, I am an indie author. What that means is I self-publish all of my books. (I originally published my first two books with a traditional (or what some refer to as a “real”) publisher. However, even with a traditional publisher, it was my job to promote my books. I decided if I was going to do most of the work, I should receive most of the money, so I decided to go the indie route. This is not to say I would not consider another traditional book deal, but indie is where I am and I thought I'd take a moment to explain what that means.
I realize there are a tremendous amount of self-published authors out there that are intent on getting their books out as quickly as possible. For those that can do it and get it right, kudos to them. In many cases, some self-published authors are more content with quantity over quality. That is not my goal. I prefer to take the time to fully research, edit and proof my books to make sure they are of the highest quality I can provide. I have built a fantastic team which consists of beta readers, proofreaders, my cover/advertising and visual design artist, editor, interior design lady and I have an assistant who helps with some social media posts. I have an online research guy (also known as my hubby, or Prince Charming) who searches newspapers.com to find me articles, which I pour through to see what if any content I can use. In the end, I am the one who must read the research books and newspaper clippings, as I never know what information the voices will decide to use. This all takes time, so it is not realistic for me to publish a book every three months. Not if you expect quality and cohesiveness, something I take pride in.
Along with writing, I must market, post status updates, contact bookstores and other venues to get signing events and answer fan mail (which I thoroughly enjoy.)
It is the goal of myself and my team to make sure I have a clean error-free book when it goes to print. That is not to say we catch everything, but we give it our best. (I am always looking for eagle eyes that are both quick and thorough.)
As an indie author, I must purchase each copy I give away for “free.” It always amazes me when I see big name authors showing photos of the stacks of hundreds of “advance reader” copies their publisher sent them to pass on to readers. At this time, that is simply not within my budget.
I get emails in my inbox daily asking me to pay for this review service, or this service to get more facebook, twitter and Instagram likes. While I do some marketing to help get my book out there, and contests to encourage honest reviews, I refuse to pay for reviews and likes. While my numbers are not as high as some, my numbers are organic and real.
Reader reviews are incredibly important for everyone, but especially for an indie author. Each time you take a moment to review, you are helping me. You are telling potential readers that my books, even though indie published, are worth their time to read. You are telling Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, Bookbub, or wherever you take the time to post, that my books are worth them mentioning to others.
By posting a review, sharing my status updates, telling people about my books, you are joining my team and doing a part in helping me succeed. I cannot do this alone, and I am deeply appreciative of each and every one of you.
What else can you do? Ask your local bookstore if they will carry DISCOVERY, and The Orphan Train books that follow. The same goes for your local Library. The more people who read it, the more they will tell their friends. Tell your book clubs, shout about my books to your reading groups on facebook. Comment on this blog post. I am sure there are other things, but these are a few which come to mind.
Please know, I am not posting this to complain. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE what I do. Okay, I love writing and meeting/talking with my fans, but the other stuff comes with the "job," and it is a job. For me, writing is the easy part. Marking and navigating all levels of social media is a constant challenge. I laugh, as for years I floated through life looking for the easy button. I wanted a job that paid well but where I did not have to work evenings or weekends. I can honestly say I have never worked longer hours or had a job that was more difficult. Yet I have a level of personal satisfaction I never knew existed. I didn't choose writing, writing chose me, and I am eternally grateful.
Thank you and happy reading!
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