Saturday, November 26, 2011

Quick Tips to Indie Success

I've now read two free stories on my Kindle -- certainly, not enough to qualify me as an "expert" in the field, and I'll refrain from making too many sweeping generalizations about self-pubbed work based on the samples.  Still, I can safely say that so far, I am neither impressed nor threatened by what I've seen. 

If you're publishing indie, God bless you.  I respect the hard work and flexibility that being your own writer, publisher, publicist, and salesman requires.  Here's a few totally honest, completely not tongue-in-cheek tips for success:
  1. Make sure you have a good copywriter look over you rmanuscript before you send it live to catch all of your typos, mis-placed quotation marks, duplicate words, and homophone problems. 
  2. Don't publish every single story you write.  Don't publish the very first story you write.  And don't publish five minutes after you finish it. 
  3. Find beta readers who won't be afraid to completely shred your work.  Listen to them.  Inplement their suggestions. 
  4. Edit mercilessly.  Remove every single unnecessary word, sentence, paragraph, and scene.  Resist the urge to explain what you've just shown.  Trust that your readers will be smart enough to "get" your work.
  5. Resist the urge to run around with your book, explaining yourself to your readers.  You can't (and shouldn't) try to defend yourself to every negative reviewer on Amazon or Goodreads or wherever.  Just grit your teeth, learn from what you can, and write your next book. 
Come to think of it, this is all pretty good advice for all writers, indie or not. 

On the bright side, perhaps the ease of direct publishing through Amazon will reduce the size of the slush pile at publishing houses, leaving me with an easier path through the door?

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