We’ve been on many panels with Barbara at different publishing events, and she’s always a great source for author-to-author advice, sharing the steps she took to find self-publishing success. With a new book all about secrets, we had to ask her what’s the secret to her success?
Barbara Freethy’s Top 10 Secrets to Publishing Success!
In my new book, WHEN SHADOWS FALL, my characters find themselves on opposite sides of an old family secret, and the story line got me thinking about how we all love a good secret. Ever since I began writing, I’ve heard authors ask the question, “What’s your secret?” So today, in honor of my new book release, I’m going to reveal my Top 10 secrets to being a successful Indie publisher.
1. Write more than one book. I know you’re spending hours promoting your newborn baby, but after you do the basic social media run, get back to work!
2. It’s easier to sell the second, third and fourth book than it is the first. Once you start to gather a fan base, sales come faster, and you have more options to play around with pricing. There’s no point in putting the first book on sale if you don’t have a second book ready to be purchased.
3. Go directly to the retail sites whenever possible! It’s less work to use a middleman distributor, but you’ll find more success if you run your own show. You’ll be able to control your pricing, your promotions and everything else about your product on your own time schedule.
4. Start building your email list as soon as you can. Having direct contact with your readers will allow you to promote directly to your fan base, and you won’t have to depend on the promotion of others.
5. Network with other writers. There is a wealth of information on the Internet and tons of email groups. Writers are the most generous people in the world. There are a lot of people willing to answer questions and share what they know.
6. Keep it real! Set realistic expectations. Plan for a career as a writer. That takes time, planning, effort and stamina!
7. Traditional publishing meters of success are not the same in Indie publishing. You don’t have to make all your money and hit lists in the first two weeks. Your book will be available forever, and you can promote it frequently, building a readership and selling more books over time.
8. You may hate social media but it’s a necessary evil. If you don’t have a presence on the Internet, how will your readers find you?
9. Don’t publish too fast. Have a professional cover designed. Get editing if you need it. Hire more than one proofreader. Bad reviews stay around forever. You want to put your best foot forward.
10. The more books you write, the less promotion you have to do because your books are speaking for you, building your readership and your name. If you write more slowly, then you’ll need to promote to keep your name out there in between books.
Finally, enjoy the writing journey and expect the game to change at any second! We live in an evolving world of publishing, and in my opinion there’s never been a better time to be a writer.