I think it was two and a half years ago that I stopped blogging on my DIY Publishing blog on Blogger. There were many good reasons for that, not the least of which I was overwhelmed with life, writing, and additional commitments to church, family, and a nonprofit I was supporting.
In the past six months, I’ve come to some sort of semi-sane balance of all the commitments in my life. One of the reasons for that increase in finding balance was I’ve been falling behind in my writing production and in keeping up with the many changes in the indie publishing landscape. New technology, new marketing opportunities, and new communication patterns have been driven by the influx of self-published writers over the past three to five years. There are now enough of us that software developers, aggregators, and marketers see us a viable audience to tap. That can be good and bad. It’s great when they provide a service or access to previously closed opportunities. It’s bad when their purpose is to scam us and live off our earnings. Telling the difference is not always easy.
I’ve taught over 50 workshops in the past three years to writers who are just beginning their journey in indie publishing. Some of them are finishing their first book. Others are traditionally published authors with multiple books who have decided to join the indie arena either as hybrid authors or leaving traditional publishing all together. While teaching these courses I’ve come to realize there is a lot of information that is missing from books and workshops offered today. Indie workshops tend to fall on two ends of the spectrum: 1) For the beginner; or 2) For the author with a good backlist of books who needs advanced skills or processes for keeping that backlist alive while continuing to put out new books.
The road between those two groups can be long and windy, depending on how one learns and adapts to change. Beginners tend to have immediate needs and can only take in the core concepts. They need to do a paradigm shift from whatever they thought a writer’s responsibility was to what it is now. They have a lot of testing to do before they are ready to move forward–testing if their own ideas or someone else’s ideas work for them best. The author with several books has been through the fires of producing, loading, marketing and learned some valuable lessons. If she was able to overcome challenges on her own, or through research, she has a wellspring of knowledge that only needs to be tweaked. Her foundation is strong and adding to current knowledge is not as overwhelming as starting anew.
It is that space between complete newbie and the self-propelled learner is where I believe my expertise lies. After 20 books, teaching several classes, and being an early adopter of technology, I believe I am capable of taking complex information and putting it into the day-to-day context of most writers. That has drawn me back to writing this blog and sharing what I’ve learned and what I’ve actually implemented. I’ve walked in those shoes and have a good sense of what it takes in terms of knowledge, patience, and assessment to implement the large variety of options before us and determine if they should remain part of my business offerings.
All the new options and exciting opportunities for reaching new readers also drew me back to writing books for authors again. After my DIY Publishing book (published in 2013) had initial success in 2013 and 2014, it became obsolete by mid-2015 as new technologies arose and made things easier on the production and distribution side, yet more complex on the marketing side. Those new developments have provided me, and all other authors, a means to access global markets and engagement opportunities that were not available previously except to the larger publishers or the independently wealthy writers.
I have replaced that DIY Publishing book with the first two books in my Career Author Secrets series. The foundational concepts are much the same, but the way they are implemented is quite different. My recommendations and advice is also different based on the publishing landscape as it exists today, not three to five years ago. My third book in the series, Secrets to Effective Author Marketing (releasing the end of this month), is completely new.
It is an exciting time for indies. We now have access to distribution and marketing options that were only available to big publishers in the past. The question is how to take advantage of it without breaking the bank. I hope this blog will address that and much more.
If you have particular topics you want me to cover, please feel free to let me know. In the meantime, I’ll be posting articles two to three times a week on things I’m frequently asked and on some new exciting opportunities I see and am trying now.Lets Connect!. Follow me on your favorite social media sites