Happy Monday, WG2E-Land!
On August 10th, I’ll celebrate my 2nd Year Anniversary as an Indie Epublished Author! :-)
It took me 10 Years and 24 Hours to make it, but I finally did!!!
I’ve gone from selling 27 books my first month (August 2010) – yep, just 27 books – to now between 7,000 and 10,000 per month…some months more. I’ve now sold over 100,000 Ebooks and am building my readership by over 10,000 new readers per month.
But again…I started, like we all have (or you will soon if you’re just beginning)…with only a handful of sales each month. And that continued pretty much my entire first year. I sold about 5,000 books my first year. Not until September of 2011 did I begin selling more in a month than I’d done in my entire first year.
Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned during the last two years that I wish I’d have known from the get-go:
1. Readers Rule…Nothing and No One Else…Just Readers
What I mean by that is that as Indie Epublished Authors all that matters are our Readers. We simply can’t go wrong by focusing on Readers and what’s in their best interests, which are great books for great prices and free Ebooks too! And, we can’t go wrong by spending the majority of our time connecting with and getting to know readers as well as writing the next book to treat ‘em with.
2. Free Ebooks get you visibility.
I didn’t start my “first one is on me” Ridin’ The Free-way Experiment until September 2011 (a little over one year into my Indie Epublishing journey). And it wasn’t till the exposure that going Free gives you that I really began to sell Ebooks too (by that time, I had around 5 books out)! Also, because I’ve kept that first book FREE and hope to forever (the first one is on me), I’m continuing to attract over 10,000 new readers per month across all platforms…that’s how many downloads I average of that Free book per month.
3. Great prices keep you visible.
By keeping all of my Ebooks in the Bargain Book price ranges of Free to $2.99, I am picked up by a bunch of Bargain Book Blogs, like Cheap Ereads, Ereader News Today (ENT), Pixel of Ink and more, AND those readers I pick up come back for more. Note: All of my fiction is priced at 99 Cents. My Boxed Set is 6 books for $2.99, and my Non-Fiction books are $2.99.
If your goal is reaching as many readers as you can, there’s no better way to do that than by being the Snickers Bar when it comes to Ebook Pricing.
4. Don’t waste energy and time fighting Publishing Industry Battles.
This one will probably get me in some trouble. Good! Here’s the thing: the Publishing Industry is in huge turmoil. But guess what? Readers don’t know and don’t care who publishes a book. They just want great books for great prices. Focus on givin’ ‘em that, not saving an industry that doesn’t have the courage or balls to be saved.
The same goes for going to battle for groups like RWA, The Authors Guild and the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR). Let ‘em get their own heads out of their asses. In the meantime, you can be taking care of the readers they’re ignoring.
5. Readers come in many forms these days and include Listeners (as in Audio Book Fans), Gamers, Small and Large Screen Audiences, Broadway (theater) Audiences, Comic Con Peeps and more
Think Multi-Media Empires. That’s what you’re building. As Bob Mayer says…”it’s about the story”…that’s your product…not just the book version of your story.
6. When it comes to conferences, focus on those that are technology-centered like Digital Book World and/or transmedia-centered like StoryWorld, Reader-focused like RT Booklovers Convention, Discoverability and Marketing themed, and local/regional conferences like Killer Nashville which perhaps appeal to niches your books explore.
The heart of our Multi-Media Empires – in both the products we sell as well as our audiences – are now technology based. So, that’s where we need the scoop from and the great contacts from too. You want to meet Amazon Reps, Kobo Reps, Apple Reps, Nook Reps, television and movie producers and Gamers, not waste your nerves and energy pitching books to TradiPub Professionals who probably won’t have jobs in the near future.
7. Create your own Website(s) using Blogger and/or WordPress. There’s no need to pay for a pricey designer.
Although, you can use college interns to do fabulous graphic designs and logos for your empires and sites.
8. Don’t waste money on ads in magazines like RT and RWR (RWA’s magazine).
Spend your time on social media each and every day (which is Free)…that’s where people are hanging and truly interacting. If they get to know you and like you, they’ll be much more likely to buy your books than because they saw an ad.
9. Run as fast as you can from toxic people who bring drama and darkness to your life instead of fun and productive relationships.
10. Listen to your gut…it can be golden.
Think out of the box and go for all the “what if’s” you can! Ignore the naysayers, tell the sockpuppets to stick it and go for the gusto on your own terms. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing. In fact, that’s usually when I do the opposite and find huge success.
11. Invest in Yourself and Your Readers via Ebook Gifting
Instead of buying ads and attending conferences whose organizations don’t even recognize Indie Epublished Authors, invest in yourself and fellow authors by Ebook Gifting your books to readers! Readers are over the moon to receive Ebook Gifts! And, they sooo remember who treated them!
Okay, It’s Your Turn, WG2E-Land: How long have you been Indie Epublishing and what lessons have you learned?
The Best of WG2E Epublishing Wishes — D. D. Scott