New Indie Authors, You Are Not Alone
As I dive into the indie author ocean I try not to get overwhelmed by all the things that take up time beyond the writing. The business of putting together a book independently is a whole other animal and I am no expert (yet). Fortunately, there are tons of resources ( a lot of them free) out there to support and give guidance to new indie authors such as myself. But, I have stumbled upon a few helpful things in my wanderings on the internet as well as from my own personal experiences being self employed and starting a business on a shoestring. And by shoestring I mean virtually a non-existent budget!
Here are a few rules I am living by right now:
1. KEEP WRITING
The book is the product and we need a product to sell, so we must keep writing. Always.Be.Writing. #ABW
2. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
You need a network! And the sooner the better. Social media, writers forums specific to your genre, critique partners, writing contests, blogging, friends who give a shit about your dreams and aspirations. But know that it's not a one way street. Building a network takes time so don't wait. Start reaching out and making connections now, while you are still writing chapter one!
3. TRACK YOUR EXPENSES FROM THE BEGINNING
How do you know if you've made money if you don't know what you've spent? From your website, to your cover designs (if you are paying someone or you purchased software to DIY), to an editor (if you are using one). You don't have to master QuickBooks, a simple spreadsheet will do.. For example, my upcoming debut novel Her Protector, has it's own category in my writing business spreadsheet. My master sheet contains my expenses for my website and other expenses I incur for my overall writing business. And then each novel has is it's own category with a list of expenses incurred for that particular project. I don't love numbers, but I need to know how many books I need to sell before I start making a profit. It is a business, right? Oh, and I'd check with a tax person to see what expenses can be written off!
Here are a few websites and blogs I am living for right now!
Photo Editing for Book Covers: PicMonkey
Cost: $35 for a 1 year subscription
I did this cover myself last night just playing around on the site. And I'm not that good at this stuff. Do you like?
Writer Forum: Romance Divas
Great support system, insights, advice, networking opportunities, etc....
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc....
Follow your favorite authors, bloggers you want to review your work, other indie writers in your genre (they need support too!). Be active and the followers will come.
Cost: FREE (or they should be)
Great resource, and a great way to continue building that oh so important network you need!
I found a super cool Beta Reader Platform template that is so very helpful in the process to make my book the best it can be. It's free on Kindle Unlimited. It's a way to keep track of your beta readers and their feedback. It's super easy to set up, and oh yeah....It's FREE.
Please feel free to share what is working for you on your journey as a new indie author. I'd love to hear from you!