In this indie author guide, you’ll learn about some of the factors that go into paving the way to your success as a self-published author. While traditional publishing can be a viable option for celebrities who are well-known and established authors, as you’ll learn in our indie author guide, traditional publishing can take an exhaustively long time and result in fewer profits than you might expect. At EditionGuard, we celebrate indie authors and publishers and provide sophisticated technology and tools to make self-publishing – and profiting – easier.
A Good Idea Is Not a Book
To be successful takes more than a good idea. That good idea can be the foundation of your success as an indie author, but the execution of the idea is where you find the magic. Yes, this means writing, but it also means so much more. As an indie author, you need to not only transform your great idea into a well-written book but also know who you’re writing for.
Niche Audiences Are Loyal Readers
The more you understand about your ideal reader, the more likely you’ll be to tap into an audience that will buy your ebooks. Yes, many books appeal across multiple demographics, but the more clearly you can define the best audience for your ebook, the more effective your marketing will be. As you learn about your niche audience, you can cultivate them into loyal followers, create a street team to help you market the book, and find really good beta readers who are invested in your success.
Indie Author Guide: Cultivating a Street Team
Loyal readers love to be part of the inside scoop with their favorite authors. If you target your niche and invite them to be part of your street team, you can give them special access to you, exclusive access to the book in progress, opportunities to interview you for their blogs, and even merch. It’s inexpensive to make pins or t-shirts with your book cover.
Speaking of Book Covers…
While we have specific guidance on covers and other graphics for indie authors, it’s worth repeating the importance of a good book cover. This can be another way you involve your street team or fan base. You can hold contests for submitting cover ideas, or have them vote on the winning cover. Regardless of how you get there, though, you need a good cover. The cover of your book is the first impression, and it does impact your sales. Unprofessional covers, covers with errors, or amateur covers can have a detrimental effect on your ability to market your book. A great cover, on the other hand, can grab the attention of people even outside your niche.
Marketing Your eBook Starts with the Idea
Remember way back at the beginning of this article how we said a good idea is not a book? Well, it’s not a book, but it is where your marketing should begin. The more quickly you begin marketing your ebook – especially with the help of your niche fans, street team, and eventual beta readers, the bigger your launch can be. You can start building the excitement even as you write, providing updates to your audience as you go.
Building Relationships Is an Investment Worth Making
It may seem like the time you spend sending out newsletters and being active on social media take you away from your writing, but the time you spend building relationships with readers, other authors, and others in the industry pays off. As you nurture these relationships, you may find yourself being invited to participate in anthologies that help get your name out; you may find people with skillsets you don’t have (for example, someone who can edit your book in exchange for your great cover design skills). These relationships are about more than just the book; they help make you a part of the indie author community.
The Indie Author Community
The indie author community is one of the most supportive groups. And within that community you will find other authors in your niche. They are not your competition. They are your biggest supporters and best allies. No reader picks just one author or one book to read – they have libraries of books. So rather than feel like you must compete against other authors, work to lift each other up and promote each other’s work. Writing can be an isolating and sometimes difficult journey and vocation; having a group of colleagues who understand your struggles can be meaningful.
When you are ready to self publish your book, be sure to check out all of our resources about how to sell more ebooks and keep more of your profits.