Writing a book is a daunting challenge all its own, though factor in the added tasks of independent publication (getting beta feedback, finding an editor, hiring a cover designer, selecting a distribution channel, deploying a sales strategy, building a web presence, promoting your brand—I could go on forever) and it’s easy to see why so many books stall on the launching pad of life.
Nevertheless, I’ve still elected to go it alone as an indie author, and below are a list of resources that I’ve found most helpful in my quest for publication.
Beyond Vanity: How Indie Publishing Builds Professional Writers (PDF) This is a free resource I created for use in a series of workshops/seminars I give at conventions.
Organizations to Know
- Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon): In the world of ebooks, Kindle is KING. Therefore, given that the vast majority of your sales will come from Amazon, skip the “one stop shop” approach of aggregaters like Smashwords and deal with them directly. Just my two cents…
- Draft 2 Digital (aggregater): This service will distribute to all of the big dogs (Apple’s iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc.) and only take a mild percentage of your royalties cut. This makes them a handy option for streamlining your sales strategy, AFTER you’ve created your KDP account with Amazon.
- CreateSpace (Amazon’s Print on Demand, or POD, service): Bottom line: ebooks are here to stay, plus they’re more profitable because of the low overhead. Still, some of us love our paper; so if you’re one of those people, it’s hard to go wrong with Amazon, particularly since you already have an account with them through KDP (CS can be integrated as an add-on).
- Audiobook Creative Exchange (audio production): Think of ACX as the Craig’s List of audiobooks. After creating an account, you post a listing for your project which goes out to voice talent and producers. They then contact you with audition materials and price quotes. Personally speaking, I’ve grown up on the audiobook form, so this is naturally a biggie for me.
- Bowker (Identifier Service): This is where you’ll go to buy your ISBNs, if you choose to do so. NOTE: Multiple book formats (.mobi, .epub, paperback, audio, etc.) = multiple ISBNs, so be ready to buy the bundle of 10 for $250.
- Red Adept Editing(editing): RAE offers a full-suite of author services including content editing, line editing, proofreading, and more, as well as the option to submit your work for a conventional publishing contract through the company’s publishing arm, Red Adept Publishing. NOTE: in the interests of integrity, all books not accepted for publication will cease to be eligible for author services.
- Streetlight Graphics (ebook/POD cover design and interior formatting): SLG is a full-service suite for all of your production needs, ebook and POD. Beyond that, however, Glendon and his staff are quite simply a pleasure to work with.
Indie Author Must-Reads
Self-Publishing for Profit is the first book that gives authors all of the tips required for success. It not only shows how to design business and marketing plans that will help them be successful in the short term, but also how to improve their writing skills for long term success. It does so without requiring large outlays of cash, giving new authors a two-pronged strategy for success that anyone can follow.
Produced by veteran independent author and self-publisher Chris Kennedy, Self-Publishing for Profit details the plan he used to sell almost 40,000 copies of his books in his first year, after starting with nothing but a story.
On Writing by Stephen King (great read on penning a story)
Podcasts to Know
- The Creative Penn podcast
- The Sell More Books podcast
- The Sci-Fi & Fantasy Marketing podcast
- The Rocking Self-Publishing podcast
- The Kobo Writing Life podcast
Other Helpful Resources
- Kindlepreneur (a wonderful resource on search engine optimization from SEO book guru Dave Chesson)
- B.V. Larson (a Kindle best-selling indie author who offers a wealth of tips and information via his personal website)
- The Creative Penn (an outstanding writer’s blog from NYT bestseller and indie pub pro, Joanna Penn)
- JA Konrath (another indie author offering loads of info to fellow writers)
- Lisa Gardner (NYT Bestseller offers a resource-filled “Writer’s Toolbox” for aspiring authors)