The Joys of Being an Indie Author

I’ve been writing for a number of years, but with my novel “Beauty Rising”, I’m only now for the first time trying to establish myself as an independent author.  I’ve written a bunch of plays and a novella, but they were written for other purposes in mind. The plays were written so that I could produce them with my students – which we did. I published them and maybe told a few friends about it, but that’s it. No promotion. No fuss. Just fun.

Now I’m in a completely different world – and I’m learning a lot.

Nobody knows who this Mark W Sasse guy is, and why should they? Why should they trust his writing? Why should they put down their hard earned dollars for a story from an unknown when there are many fine authors out there who are known quantities.

This, I believe, is my biggest obstacle.

So my first step was to write a quality story. I believe I have.  I wrote a story from my heart and tried to put as much emotion and vigor into it as possible. Did I succeed? Well,  ultimately it’s up to the readers to decide.

Then I asked myself – now what?

I’ve read dozens of blogs and articles about indie promotion strategy, and fortunately there are a lot of tools available for the indie author – blog writing, reader sites like Goodreads, Amazon’s KDP services, guest posting on book blogs, requesting reviews, offering giveaways on various sites, direct advertising on blogs or book sites, etc…

Over these past six weeks since the release of my book, I’ve used all of these strategies to one degree or another in hopes of casting the widest net possible in getting the message of my book out to the public in general. Some of these tactics have succeeded better than others.

So now what?

I believe there is only one thing to do: be persistent. There are no magic bullets (until Oprah swoops down and chooses your book for her club), but that not-withstanding, time is required.  So I have a six month promotion strategy for Beauty Rising — not that I plan on stopping after six months. I’m pushing forward on many avenues.  Here’s what’s up next:

  • Giveaways – multiple giveaways on sites like Goodreads, Quietfurybooks, Cellardoorians.
  • Guest post – I have one coming up soon on Cellardoorian. Hopefully more to come.
  • Book Reviews – I have at least 5 sites who have so far agreed to read and review the book. More on the way.
  • I’m trying to keep my blog more active than 2011.
  • KDP – I have some special promotions on Amazon coming up. Watch for details!
  • I’ve done some targeted advertising on several different sites. I have a new release feature coming up on DigitalBookToday in the next couple of days. I have an ad coming to Digital Novelist in early February.
  • I’ve signed up for more book and author sites than I can even keep track of.
  • I released the book in Kindle and paperback format. I’ve updated my author page.
  • I’ve done a few author interviews. More to come.
  • I’m hoping to do a reading and q & a time in person at my school here in Penang.
  • what else can I do?

I’ve come to realize that self-promotion can be a full-time job. It’s hard and some-what nerve racking, but I’m in this for the long run with the goal of building a base readership that will make future releases even that much easier. If any of you have ideas of promotion or cross-promotion, let me know.

Ahhhh, the life of an indie author! It truly is a learning experience.

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