I’ve been having a lot of articles turn up in my Facebook newsfeed about Indie Authors and their success stories. This is one time in my life where Facebook’s spying on my activity is paying off. There is a theme emerging as I read. The top three things that successful independent writers seem to have in common are a blog, writing whatever pops into their head regardless of its perceived quality, and shameless self promotion.
Blogging— Blogging has morphed a lot in the last 15 years. It has changed from the online journal and internal musings of someone to targeted genre themed writing. In the days of social media , one can interact with one’s followers instantaneously. They can not only read your blog, but follow you on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (never mind all of the niche marketed social networks). This allows fans, followers and supporters to get a feel for what moves you. It’s also an interesting way to get input for new ideas and interact with what the market is looking for. Above all, most bloggers ALSO have a Youtube channel. I am a little camera shy and have been avoiding the Youtube market. I think though that I may have to try my hand at a video blog. Feel free to comment any topic suggestions. (Oh, and please share these posts to gain more followers. People might be interested in my random incoherent thoughts that have nothing to do with one another save that the author is the same and likes to use 10.00 words to describe the simplest concepts!)
Morning pages–This is a term coined to represent writing whatever comes into your head first thing in the morning. Theoretically, your brain is fresh from cares, worries, thoughts, distractions and has had ample time dreaming the night before. Many novelists and creative writing enthusiasts use this time to write and write and write without correction, deletion or any other form of editing. I am a little bit too much of a perfectionist to NOT EDIT AT ALL. But, I have been using this for my mapping sessions. It really does work. I’ve mapped out seven chapters of my second novel, and having a good map has helped me to average 3000-4000 words a chapter! That’s a huge increase from my first novella which was 13,000 total at 5 chapters.
Shameless Self Promotion– Now, this has got to be the most annoying thing in the world. I annoy myself when I do it, but I can say it’s paid off–Literally. I have seen direct sales amounting to 25.00 in profit (that’s like 10 copies or something). This might not seem like a lot, but when one self-publishes into a flooded market, selling any copies at all to someone other than friends or family is a huge achievement. I’ve created websites, author’s pages, linked all my social media accounts. Facebook asked me if I was a celebrity to which I answered yes of course, one day it will be true. If I was working a full-time day job, I would spend a little money on marketing through online advertisement, unfortunately, like most creative geniuses I am between jobs.
I am learning that this is a journey, and that no one actually achieves success overnight, it just seems that way. They often work long and hard for months, and years , sometimes even decades. Once the momentum picks up though, the days of unpaid creativity catches up to their bank account and renews their creative drive. Here’s hoping I don’t have to wait decades!