(And what does it take, anyway?)
1. Dedication to the writing craft.
2. The ability to do promotion without pestering people.
3. Nerves of steel.
First and foremost — self-published or not — we’re writers. It’s very easy to lose sight of that in the flurry of everything else that needs to be done, and I’m constantly reminding myself that I am author first and a businessperson second. That’s why I always make sure I accomplish my writing goals for the day before diving into emails, writing columns, etc. Without writing the books, there’s nothing to promote.
With the ability to publish within 24 hours, it’s very easy to rush something through the writing mill. Attention to detail and craft becomes even more critical.
Few would argue that social media isn’t important, but I’m constantly stunned by how many people I see using it badly. I’m preaching to the converted here, but building relationships is the right way to get people interested in your book. Bombarding them with DMs on Twitter including Amazon links, posting buy links on people’s Facebook page as soon as you’ve become friends, etc, is not. Good social networking doesn’t alienate people.
And the nerves of steel? This business of total control is a nerve-wracking thing! There’s only yourself to blame if things go pear-shaped, and it’s hard not to obsess over sales figures and rankings.
What three things do you think an author needs to successfully self-publish?