[note: Sorry if you're getting this in your RSS feed twice. We've updated the website so I have to re-post a few items.]
Hello! Today I'm happy to present a guest post by my former Author Boot Camp student Emily Eddins, whose book Altitude Adjustment just hit shelves and sites. It recently hit the Top 5 in New Releases for short bios and memoirs.
Here's a free look at the first chapter! Click to download or open and read about how she attacks Wolf Blitzer.
Today she's here to share 10 Great Tips she learned during the self-publishing process. Independent authors take note!
Top Ten Pieces of Advice for Independent Authors
My book, Altitude Adjustment, hit the market this summer. It is a series of “laugh-out-loud funny” vignettes about life in a ski town in California. It took me a really long time to get from writing to publishing – ten years, in fact. Along the way, some of the essays that make up my book were published in literary journals. This helped me gain credibility as a writer. I did this with the help of the very awesome Writer’s Relief submission service. Check them out if you would like to publish with literary journals to build your resume.
While I eventually published three of the pieces in different literary journals, I originally created them as part of a collection. I wanted to send them out into the world that way. Rather than spend the next five years looking for agents and publishers, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge as an independent author. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way.
1.Keep your budget in mind before you hire a company to publish your work. Weigh the pros, cons and costs of having a self-publishing company print your work for you, upload your e-books for you, etc. Decide whether you have the tech savvy to do it all yourself, or whether you need help. If you are buying services a-la-carte, they can add up. Estimate how many books you think you can sell.
2.Do your research before you hire a company. Check with the Better Business Bureau and other authors who have used them to see if they come recommended or have had problems delivering a satisfactory product in the past.
3.Pad your schedule with extra time. I originally thought it would take me around six months to put my finished product out into the world. Due to printing problems and other delays, the reality was closer to nine months.
4.Err on the side of caution when timing your media releases and book launch. Due to a printing problem, I had brick and mortar stores lined up to buy books that the printing house temporarily delayed. Some media was launched before bookstores were able to get the books in stock, thus affecting my ability to maximize book sales to my target audience. I should have played it safe and waited to schedule media until my books were all in house.
5.Leverage your own network for book sales. Ask all of your friends and family who love you and want to help to forward your Facebook page, Amazon link, etc. Get in touch with anybody you think might be able to help spread the word, like former teachers such as @sethharwood who asked me to guest blog!
6.Understand how on-demand printing works. In some instances, large book dealers like Amazon order a small batch of your book right when it becomes available. Until those sell out, they can be sent to prime customers within two days. After that, books can take 1-3 weeks to ship and send.
7.Find a publisher and printer near your brick and mortar stores. My publisher is in the mid-west, and my printer is in Tennessee. This added to shipping delays to the brick and mortar merchants carrying my books, who are all in California.
8.Don’t be afraid to ask your local bookstore to carry your book in the Local Authors section. Everyone I have asked was happy to do it!
9.Don’t get mired in the glitches. Shit happens. Don’t be surprised when it does. If your Twitter link doesn’t work right or your Nook book randomly disappears from the Barnes and Noble website, get into problem-solving mode, but don’t get down in the dumps.
10. Celebrate! Bask in the love of your friends and readers who connect to what you’ve written. Congratulate yourself for achieving your dream. You’ve worked hard!
[From Seth: Also throw a release party and have a great time!]
Thank you Emily for stopping by!