Isn’t it every writer’s dream to be published? Maybe even to make a living writing books? For a long time now, both of those dreams were elusive. It was hard to get noticed by agents and publishers, and even harder to become one of those authors who sold enough copies to quit the day job.
There’s a lot of hoopla and talk about indie publishing these days (isn’t there always?). If you haven’t been keeping up, I can recommend a couple of excellent posts by Randy Ingermanson, Hugh Howey and the Tsunami of Cash, and Questions About Hugh Howey’s Results. Both articles are detailed and indepth (Randy is a physicist, after all), but both are well worth the read.
What exactly is a “successful” independent author? I came up with four answers to that one.
I’ve been quickly falling in love with Scrivener, a word processing software specifically for long-form projects like novels. But I originally bought it because I heard it could be used to create your own ebook files – meaning I didn’t have to depend solely on the conversion processes at retail sites like Amazon and Smashwords. If I had my own, private ebook files, I could do a number of things with them, such as send copies to book reviewers, use free copies as incentives to email list subscribers, maybe even sell books directly on my website.
The book has been available all this time, and sales have been poor – just a handful a month. I knew it was because I wasn’t marketing it. At all. But I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything with it. People really do judge a book by its cover, and I knew that my cover wasn’t attractive enough to draw people in. So why bother?