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The Ten Commandments of Successful Indie Authors

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10. Enlist Friends, Family, and Social Networks

Indie authors must be out there as much as possible to attract readers and to keep momentum going. Relying on friends, family, and social networks to spread the word, forward leads, and support your efforts is step number one, two, and twenty-five for rising the ranks.

With your base behind you, you’ll always have people in your corner and you’ll need that. Successful indie authors keep a contact list handy and send consistent updates on future events, achievements, and any buzz related to their books.


9. Never say never

Indie authors learn quickly to expect the unexpected. Be prepared for opportunities, coincidences, serendipitous happenings, and strange occurrences.

Always say yes (within reason) to an opportunity to spread the word about your book. This advice actually comes from famous comedienne Kathy Griffin who has more than once shared that she earned her place on the “D-List” because in her early unknown days, she said “hell yes” to every opportunity offered to her. Indie authors who rise to the top subscribe to this same philosophy.


8. Follow the reader…always.

Your readers are gold. Always have them in the front of your mind. Make every decision with their interests, needs, and desires as priority one, and they will reward you greatly.

Tip: if your book is in the writing stage, start rallying future readers by launching your Facebook fan page, blogging, or participating in public readings. As your following slowly grows, begin noting their habits, favorite websites, blogs, and magazines. This information will come in handy through the publishing and marketing process.


7. Do Your Research

Research other books like yours on the market. Research other thought leaders on your book’s subject. Research the self-publishing process before you take the leap. Research book trends, eBook options, and marketing strategies. You get the picture: research.

Indie authors stand out from the crowd when they pinpoint their market, create a marketable book, and reach their target audience, which all takes research.


6. Befriend a good editor

Every good writer, has a great editor. Don’t underestimate the value in the suggestions, corrections, and additions of a skilled editor.

In the writing stage befriend an editor who can review your manuscript or portions of it a few times before you submit it officially to a hired editor. Allow your manuscript several passes with at least two editors who can provide unbiased feedback.


5. Use your story

Your background, personal story, philosophy, and message can be all be used to ground your book in authenticity.

There’s power in your story. Don’t be afraid let your personality shine through as you write your book.


4. Think big picture

Through the publishing process, you’ll have highs and lows, successes and failures. Make sure your book one piece of a bigger picture such as growing your business, becoming one of many in a book series, or becoming the billboard for a larger mesage or mission.

Most successful indie authors are more than their books.


3. Be patient

Indie author success stories aren’t built in a day. Of course, it takes focus, a few closed doors, and risks to to reach star status. But, really above all, it takes time.

Also, hang in there through the writing process–we guarantee it will take longer to finish than you thought. The same goes for the publishing process. Marketing your book is ongoing–read never ending. If you decide to pursue authorship, just know going that as long as you’re in the game patience is the order of the day.


2. Stay Tuned

You have to keep abreast of what’s going on in the publishing world. Newer technologies, apps, websites, and blogs pop up every day that offer solutions, tricks, and updates.

Don’t be the last to know what tools could make your life as an author easier, more effective, or broaden your reach.


1. Just Do It

Once you jump in the author pool, you’ll swim. Even if you flail at first, if you follow these commandments, you’ll be fine.

The indie authors with the most success all started somewhere. They took one step and then another. If you know you have a grand slam of a book, just go for it.

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  1. First of all I want to say awesome blog!
    I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing.
    I have had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out
    there. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15
    minutes tend to be wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any ideas or hints? Thanks!

    • Hi there! Thanks for the compliments on the blog! We have tons of fun with it. Well, first off, you should get out of the house. Coffee shops are great. Second, turn off your phone and wifi! I find that if there’s wifi, I’m so likely to get distracted and jump on Facebook or my email. Third, get a friend in it with you! It’s so helpful being held accountable.


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