After almost three years in pits as an indie author, Jen Talty, my business partner, and I have put together a book detailing all we’ve learned. 2011 was a year of learning for us and a break out one. In January 2011 I sold 347 eBooks. By the end of the year, I sold over 400,000 eBook, and building Who Dares Wins Publishing into a seven figure operation.
We did a lot of things wrong, we did a lot of things right. The good thing about being a small organization is that we are able adapt and change quickly. This book will give you the details on what we did.
Whether you have been published by a New York publisher, an independent press, an ePublisher, self-published or considering all of your options, this book contains all the information you need to make an informed decision about your career as an author in today’s fast moving digital world.
We start out with content and theory, giving you a feel for where the industry has been and where it is going. We cover the various types of publishing, goal setting and help you find where you fit in the 3 P’s (Product, Platform and Promotion). From there we go into the digital process and the nuts and bolts of covers, editing and uploading.
Finally we cover pre and post publication strategies. Everything from creating your own unique branding plan, social media and marketing, pricing, understanding the market, metadata and discoverability. All of which is your roadmap to being a successful author regardless of your path to publication.
Its a great time to be an author. Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way!
Here is an excerpt from the book:
The Ultimate Gatekeeper: You, the Author
In the past, we always thought of Agents and Editors as the gatekeepers between writers and their potential readers. These people decided which writers got read and which writers received standard rejection letters. They alone decided which authors would be presented to the buyers of bookstores and finally placed in the readers’ hands.
The rise of the Digital Author has given many writers the ability to connect directly with their readers. It is the Reader who decides if they are going to take a risk on a book and if they are going to buy another book from same author. It is the Reader who will make our careers. Without them, we don’t exist. However, is it the reader who is the keeper of the gate, or the writer?
Ultimately, the true gatekeepers in 21st century publishing are writers.
We hear the screams. What about Agents? Publishers? Bookstores? The aliens from Roswell? That single book buyer for Wal-Mart?
Let us explain.
For many years the choke point in publishing was distribution. That’s no longer true with the rise of eBooks and digital distribution. So the traditional route of writer—agent—editor—publisher—sales forces—book buyer -bookstore—reader has been broken. This is a good thing for the two people who matter most: the writer and the reader, because now there is a direct link between the producer and the consumer.
Readers are very smart people and they are capable of letting authors know what is good and what isn’t. We really don’t need editors and agents to tell us that. Actually, for the most part, editors and agents don’t tell us it’s not good, they tell us whether the publishers can distribute it. But who are the publisher’s customers? The bookstore. And where are the bookstores going?
Here’s the deal: writers create the product. The quality of the product is going to determine how readers react to it. The ability to promote/market the product is going to determine if readers even get a chance to react to it.
So it’s actually the writer who is going to determine his or her own success or failure. One thing to understand is that gaining national branding at the level of James Patterson is very difficult for the indie author; however, if we focus on our niche, our specific readers, we can create the necessary word of mouth that does sell books, and the bigger the word of mouth, the bigger we become.
99.5% of indie/self-published authors will be gone in two years. It’s just a hard truth we have to face. They will step away, for whatever reason, and another indie will take their place. And be gone in two years. The gatekeeper to a writer’s success is the writer and his or her own perseverance, talent, and willingness to learn and change. We have to keep producing quality books that our readers want to read and in turn will pass on to other readers. We have to continue to hone our craft. Learn from each other. We also have to continue to build our business and promote. Another mantra at Write It Forward is Content is King and Promotion is Queen: together they rule the publishing world. Today, you really can’t afford one without the other.