I’ve promised to do more posts on indie publishing, so here’s another! Let’s call this one a reality check.
These days I can’t go a day without someone e mailing me or stopping me at whatever event I’m at, wanting me to tell them everything I know about indie publishing. This is on the surface good news for me, because it means I’ve made enough of a success at it that people want to know what I know.
But it’s also starting to piss me off.
Because what most of these people are asking for is a magic formula. They want a silver bullet, an easy answer to a vastly complicated question.
The fact is, I studied indie publishing methods for over a YEAR before I put out my indie bestseller, Thriller Award-nominated Huntress Moon.
Last week I did an indie publishing seminar at the West Texas Writers Academy. I spoke for an hour and a half. I think I communicated some of the pros and cons, made some new authors aware of some different choices writers have these days, and pointed people to some good resources to start with.
But did I sum up everything I learned in my year plus of research?
Not even close. Not even a scratch.
You don’t get that kind of knowledge by listening to a speaker for an hour and a half, or reading a couple of blog posts on the subject. You have to get your hands dirty.
Have most of the people who ask me how to indie publish even read Huntress Moon? Even to the extent of downloading a free sample of it? (although if you can’t pay $3.99 for a book by an author whose methods you’re studying, do you really expect anyone to pay for YOUR books when the time comes? Think about it. )
Have they even looked at the book’s Amazon page to see how I put together the book description, the reviews, the categories I’ve chosen to place the book in? Have they read the Amazon reviews to see how readers respond to the book? Have they looked at the pricing? Or the rank the book is in different genres and subgenres, and overall in the Amazon store?
Have they gone further and looked at the same information for the sequel, Blood Moon?
Those are all things that I did myself in that year of self-teaching, that I trained myself to do by studying authors and books whose success I wanted to emulate. I did that kind of research extensively. That was just to start with. I then followed those authors and read what they had read, used the resources they had used. I never asked an author for advice unless I’d done all of that with their books first.
Indie publishing is a business, and you have to learn the business. There’s no magic formula. You have to have a basis of knowledge to work from so you can make informed decisions as they come up. It’s a huge investment of time and energy. But so is anything worth doing.
So ask yourself today - Am I willing to do what it takes? Or am I just looking for a silver bullet?
Be honest, because that's the first step. And if you are willing, then commit. Start the real research now.
For further research, here is more on my indie publishing decision:
Here are some interesting recent blog posts by others in the field:
- An ITW Thriller Award Nominee for Best Original E Book Novel
- A Suspense Magazine Pick for Best Thriller of 2012
"This interstate manhunt has plenty of thrills... Sokoloff's choice to present both Roarke's and the killer's perspectives helps keep the drama taut and the pages flying." -- Kirkus Reviews
$3.99 on Amazon
FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke is closing in on a bust of a major criminal organization in San Francisco when he witnesses an undercover member of his team killed right in front of him on a busy street, an accident Roarke can't believe is coincidental. His suspicions put him on the trail of a mysterious young woman who appears to have been present at each scene of a years-long string of "accidents" and murders, and who may well be that most rare of killers: a female serial.
Roarke's hunt for her takes him across three states...while in a small coastal town, a young father and his five-year old son, both wounded from a recent divorce, encounter a lost and compelling young woman on the beach and strike up an unlikely friendship without realizing how deadly she may be.
As Roarke uncovers the shocking truth of her background, he realizes she is on a mission of her own, and must race to capture her before more blood is shed.
(I know, I'm sorry, exclusive to Amazon for the first three months. It's the financial reality of it. But you know me - if it's a Nook or Kobo version you need, just e mail me at alex at alexandrasokoloff DOT com and I will get either or both books to you!).
For a limited time, Book II in the Huntress/FBI series, Blood Moon, is just 99 cents.
Twenty-five years have passed since a savage killer terrorized California, massacring three ordinary families before disappearing without a trace.
The haunted child who was the only surviving victim of his rampage is now wanted by the FBI for brutal crimes of her own, and Special Agent Matthew Roarke is on an interstate manhunt for her, despite his conflicted sympathies for her history and motives.
But when his search for her unearths evidence of new family slayings, the dangerous woman Roarke seeks - and wants - may be his only hope of preventing another bloodbath.