The topic of finding and keeping readers is a moving target. Just when you think you might have it all figured out, something gets in your way, or so it seems.
There’s a must-read article at Publishers Weekly’s Booklife titled, “Advanced Marketing Tactics for Indie Authors,” by Jenifer McCartney, and the message in this article is that Indie authors need to heed the best practices of successfully self-published authors such as Hugh Howey, E.L. James, and Barbara Freethy to name a few.
One point that definitely resonated with me is that distribution matters. Most of us are familiar with the tag line in the movie the Field of Dreams that if you build it they will come but unfortunately for Indie authors, if you write it doesn’t necessarily equate to readers reading it. The article talks about the issues of making your book available beyond the e-book format and IngramSpark, a year-old publishing service that was developed specifically for Indie authors, may hold some hope for Indie authors with regards to distribution to bookstores. Bookstores are still a vital part of any authors connection to readers, whether Indie or traditionally published. In my opinion so are libraries.
Another point that resonated for me is persistence. I’ve long said that the only ones not published are those who give up or those who are dead, although, there are examples of authors whose works find publication and success only after they’ve died. Anne Frank, of course, is an obvious example. Another example is John Kennedy Toole whose A Confederacy of Dunces was published eleven years after his death thanks to his mother and a fellow writer. It even won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1981, which is interesting given that it and his other novels were rejected by publishers during his lifetime.
I’m thinking that most of us want to find publishing success before we die so persistence is a key ingredient to making this happen. Take a look at the article referenced above and see if it provides any insight in your journey to finding and keeping readers. Here’s the link: