This post, by Jenna Anderson, originally appeared on her One Mystake At A Tyme blog on 12/5/10.
Often I hear new authors say, “I had no idea….” or "I’m new to all of this." There are so many facets to this adventure it’s impossible to know them all the first time out the gate. Each of these facets is broken out and discussed at length around the web or water cooler.
Here is a list of topics new authors may want to investigate. They are in no particular order of importance. I suggest you look through this list then do further research. You will find LOTS of information and varying opinions. Even this LIST is long…. Wow.
Note: when I say books I am referring to books and ebooks unless otherwise noted. Second note: when I reread this it sounds pissy and bossy. Sorry, I didn’t mean it to. It’s all just food for thought. Take what you find helpful, ignore the rest. Also – sorry about all the typos and puncutation errors. I love my copy editor and pay him well for my fiction work. My blog stuff… eeek… I’ve got issues.
1. Have you read any self-help books regarding publishing and marketing? There are many choices out there including these by successful indie authors: The Newbies Guide to Publishing by JA Konrath, Jack Kilborn and Barry Eisler, Write Good or Die by Scott Nicholson, Smart Self-Publishing: Becoming An Indie Author by Zoe Winters, and Are You Still Submitting Your Work to a Traditional Publisher by Edward C. Patterson
I am not going to add any technical tips for formatting, uploading, POD, etc. in this blog post. The books above have information on those topics.
2. If you load your books on Amazon, Smashwords, etc. do not expect many sales the first few months. If this is your first book don’t be surprised to see ten or less sales per month.
3. Consider publishing your book in e format first. Putting your work out there as an ebook will give you the opportunity to get feedback, hear about typos, change the cover, tagline, description, etc… Once you commit to the expense of a print version you are stuck with that run for a while. Making changes is expensive in print. Making changes to an ebook is painless, almost free and very fast.
4. Create tags for your titles posted on Amazon. You can add up to thirteen yourself. Tags will help readers find you. (If you don’t know what this is, go to your Amazon product page and look around. You’ll find it.)
5. Research pricing. Play with your price. There are a lot of discussions on this topic.