Indie Survival Guide: Tips &Tricks for the Wannabe Indie Author by KaSonndra Leigh
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As part of her week long feature for The Indie Spotlight, KaSonndra is sharing with us today a special guest post on Surviving as an Indie Author. These simple tips and tricks might give some insight to us wannabe novelist about what we should, and shouldn’t do when it comes to self publishing. The most important thing to remember is that no one claims to be an expert, however when it comes to “branding” yourself there are several things you might want to consider. But I will let KaSonndra tell you all about it…
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The Indie Author Survival Guide
Hello Diayll. Thank you for hosting me again on your blog. What you’re doing for indie authors is a great thing. We heart you forever. Big Smile. I’m glad you invited me to speak about the journey of the indie author today. Mine is just beginning, but I’m still happy to share a few things I’ve learned along the way. Mind you the presentation of these tips is just the result of my experience. It’s not meant to be an actual recipe for success as an independent author. What is working for me, may not necessarily work for the next person and vice versa.
So how’s the book going? That’s one of the most frequent questions I’m asked. It’s also one of the hardest queries to summarize in a concrete answer. For an indie author working with a small press, I’d say my sales have been respectable. No, I’m not at the Amanda Hocking or John Locke level, just yet. But I do have a group of fans & readers that are loyal and encouraging. I have no doubt that with their support those levels could become a reality for me. After all, it’s our readers that make us who we are. Oh! And the bloggers. Never forget to mention the bloggers and all of the hard work they do. I’m a part-time blogger so I know how it goes.
In the journey’s early stages, you can measure your success on several factors. Or at least, these are some of the indicators I’ve found many of my indie author friends use to measure the effectiveness of their branding.
1) Traffic increase to your author website:
In the beginning, when I first published kasonndraleigh.com (1/2009), I used to pray for one hit per week. Don’t be laughing at me, now. I’d check every day to see if anyone had visited. My twitter account was the same scenario. Followers would trickle in one week at a time. Today, I get almost 8000 hits/month and counting. My twitter popularity rank is at #300,000 versus #30million like the way it was two years ago. LoL.
2) Number & quality of members joining your platform:
Platform differs according to your genre and classification. Non-fiction writers tend to be more inclined to measure that success on public image. But fiction writers are a totally different gang. It varies and there’s no set indicator for what constitutes a good platform in fiction. So we’ll go with the basics. I consider my platform to consist of Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and my book blog. By quality, I mean agents, producers, directors, readers, etc. And notice I didn’t include the author website. The use of an author website is 90% dedicated to visibility for my brand kasonndraleighbooks. I say 90% because 10% is now dedicated to Trestle Press’s talented authors whom I’ll be showcasing. So please stop by, tune in. 😀
3) Number of people adding your book “to-read” on Goodreads:
I have to speak about the beginning again. I was practically begging for friends. But now, I get almost 20 requests per week on GR alone. These people are telling me they’ve heard good things about me from their friends. It’s a bit overwhelming but very, very flattering. Thanks everyone.
Yes, I put this indicator last for a reason. When you’re an indie, it’s all about marketing your debut novel during that first year. Find a way to keep your book in front of people during the period where you’re working on your second book. Or even better, if you can start out with 2-3 books then your readers have instant options right away. Others have found success this way and I do believe it works.
I also notice that the more I promote, the more copies get gobbled up. Being that we indie authors/small presses are in a minority group so to speak, we have to push harder to get our brands out there. Some things that are working for me, might not necessarily work for others. But I’m willing to share the expertise and help my fellow indies/self-pubbeds out. Participating in blog tours and hops is also another good way to get your name out there before and during your book launch. If you have any more questions about how virtual tours work, I’ll be happy to answer them.
5) Fan Clubs:
The last strategy, but by no means the least. They work…big time. If you have any questionable doubts, then know that a group of die-hard fans started the Twilight group on MySpace. Cassie Clare’s Mundie Moms started on twitter before they branched out into their own review site. And the Hush Hush club known as Fallen Archangel friended me on facebook years ago. Now they have people overloading their facebook feed wanting to get in the club. With all that being said, I hope you all will come join the group that one of my die-hard fans has started in honor of Copper Suns. It’s called the Seraphim Alliance. We’ll be doing everything from reviewing books to fan-girling over fictional guys. And you all know how fun that can be, don’t we? Biggest grin, ever!
Today’s Clue: The letter L
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