Indie authors, rejoice!
Why? Because you are brilliant. You have escaped the merry-go-round of inevitable rejection that is querying for agents and proposal drafting. Most writers who want to go the traditional route for publishing never see their book in print (or in e-book form). This is not necessarily because they are bad writers or because they don’t have a good story, but oftentimes their style, plot, or genre doesn’t fit in with what a particular set of agents are looking for.
As someone who has chosen to go the indie publishing route, you do not have to worry about agents and publishers. According to many people, you are bypassing the hardest part of the entire process! You can pass GO, pick up $200 and head right on over to an editor and start your marketing plan. You don’t need a community that tracks submission time for editors, nor do you need books or searchable databases that catalogue editors and agents.
However, it would do you well to take a page from writers who have chosen to go the traditional route in one aspect: organization.
A successful traditionally-published author has queried dozens of agents, maybe even hundreds. Their agent, in turn, sends the book to a few editors out of hundreds or even thousands they know. What this means is that people who do well with the agent-publisher model of the book industry keep track of everything.
These writers hoard business cards like a miser hoards his gold. They keep spreadsheets with thousands of cells, and constantly have their ear to the ground, looking for new industry information and taking note of it.
You should emulate this level of organization. Being a savvy authorpreneuer means that you are constantly building a store of knowledge that makes marketing, branding, and selling your book easier and easier as time goes on.
To successfully market your book, you should constantly be networking.
Meet someone at a conference who likes the genre you’re working in? Write it down. They might be willing to review your book, or write an endorsement for it.
Heard about a popular new blog related to your book that’s taken off? Make a note. Maybe you can write a guest post there.
Discover an amazing new store that you think your book would do well in? Record where it is, and who the owner or manager is.
You should research reviewers, bookstores that do events, bloggers, other authors, and organizations that could support you. Make a spreadsheet (or several) with contact information, dates, and notes about your interactions with them. Don’t leave anything to memory. You’ll be surprised how much easier promoting and selling your book gets when you have all the information you need at your fingertips, already organized, laid out, and ready to be utilized.
Indie authors, do you have any tips or tricks that helps with organizing contacts and other information?