4 Four Mistakes of the Novice Indie Author
Living in an age of widespread independent authors & publishers can be a glorious thing, but it also has a seedy underside that needs to be discussed. While there may be some giant diamonds among the sea of independent writing, the sea is so massive that it can be hard to find them. There are, however, some things that you can do as an indie author to help your books stand above the crowd. While this article is by no means comprehensive, I do want to talk about four of the mistakes I see novice indie authors making, with suggestions for avoiding them.
1. Lack of Good Content
How many “gurus” out in the ethernet have you heard saying that “more content equals more sales” and that you can “write a book in an hour” and have it be a bestseller? While this may have happened to one person who got lucky, this is one of the riskiest and worst pieces of advice to follow as an indie author. Having 100 10-page books on Amazon with 1 and 2-star reviews does nothing good for you. It doesn't gain you fans, it doesn't gain you trust, and it doesn't increase sales. Better to have ten well-written, content filled books with a majority of 5-star reviews if you hold hopes of being a respected author who wants to make money.
2. Lack of a Good Cover
This is something that might not be as easily noticeable to the untrained eye, but it will subconsciously affect every single reader of your genre in their purchasing determinations. If you haven't looked at the top 100 books in your genre simply to study their covers, do it. Haven't finished your book yet? Still do this. The more you look at the covers in your genre, the better you will be able to intuit what a good cover looks like.
3. Lack of Proper Editing
There is one thing that kills any book among serious readers and that is improper editing. Whether it is developmental editing, copy editing, or proofreading, any published book should be gone through multiple times by a professional (or two) before seeing the bookshelf. This stage is CRUCIAL! Do not ignore it, especially if you are not Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, or Mark Twain. And yes, good editing will cost money. Expect to pay good money for good editing.
4. Lack of a Proper Book Launch Strategy
If you plan on selling books, the launch and marketing strategy need to be focused on from the concept of your book, not the day you are finally finished. Having a well-defined strategy only takes 30-60 minutes a day to implement (at least until the actual launch stage) and will help you gain a fan base before your book is released. The larger the fan base upon release = the better the early sales = higher rankings and better promotion on Amazon.