I've been consulting with two publishers recently and I've discovered five golden nuggets of information. One of these two publishers is a high end, high-quality vanity press; the other is an up and coming, recently restructured, shared-publishing press. They are digitally behind the times and still operating as if digital publishing is irrelevant to their authors.
They have a bitter sweet taste in their mouths because, I think, they have been taken off guard. It was only two or three years ago that vanity presses were booming and desperate authors were dishing out thousands to get their words in print.
I've talked directly with the editors of these publishing houses, listened to their questions and vision, and I've been introduced to their processes. In doing so, I've discovered something quite interesting: Indie authors know the state of publishing and without a shadow of doubt have a leg up on the latest ebook and publishing trends.
Does that surprise you?
Indie authors are gaining ground not only in popularity and credibility, but we are the force behind the changes in this exciting new industry. From what I've seen, some publishers are beginning to need us more than we need them. Here are five reasons why Indie authors are succeeding!
5 Reasons Why Indie Authors are Succeeding
- Indie authors are in the trenches. We are battle hardened warriors who have had to endure the scars of rejection, ascending the depths of failure over and over again, fighting our way to publication tooth and dirt-filled nail. As a result, we've read every book on style, marketing, html, advanced blogging and "how-to" on social media. We've paid to self-publish, discovered the faults of vanity presses and have mastered the art of publishing ebooks and print with the business finesse of Jack Welch. We are starting our own publishing companies and living our dream without the help of the big six (Examples: HauntedComputer.com and Imajinbooks.com).
- Indies are technically savvy. In general, a growing number of Indie authors know how to effectively publish our books to every major online retailer for next to nothing. We know how to format our ebooks properly. We know how to make effective covers ourselves. We know how to add links to our ebooks and get blurbs. We've had to learn these skills because the very act of keeping us out of the publishing arena has driven us underground where we have mastered the latest technologies.
- We know how to promote our work for next to nothing. Indie authors talk. We tweet. We email. We share information and the latest trends at a rate that would leave Google's mainframe in the dust. We've been building online relationships in our underground world and lo and behold, we've developed our platforms and relationships with book bloggers and reviewers. We've created a community that supports and publicizes each other's work...for FREE! In the process, we've gained readers on our own, not by might, but through our determination and the quality of our work.
- Indie authors have zero overhead. We work out of our garages and bedrooms and home offices. Our greatest expense is our computer, a cheap tool that we already own. We list our books for .99¢ and grow our readership by offering great deals, without imposing ridiculous prices on the very people who support our efforts. John Locke is the obvious example of how Indies can flourish with rock bottom price points.
- Indie authors are strategically positioned for succeess in the ebook market. After taking a brutal beating from indie haters, and amazon discussion forums we've learned (or at least most of us have learned) to focus on quality (editing, cover, layout). For the most part, we've matched our quality with traditional publishers and we are improving exponentially. Indie authors are winning awards, getting rave reviews (see The Kindle Book Review), selling by the tens of thousands and making a serious dent into the digital market share. Just look at the Amazon bestseller list; you'd be shocked at how many are independent authors. From a business stand point, we are in a prime position. We have a lean business model. We are the experts in our filed. And we are highly motivated!
If you're an indie author, I commend you for your efforts, self-discipline and perseverance. You came to the publishing party with your pen and paper and desire to share your stories. Little did you know that you'd stumbled into a world of digital publishing that is actually working in your favor. Throw your shackles off, write free little birdies and publish your own destiny!
If you're a reader, I hope you join the revolution. In the end, you are the ultimate beneficiary because when you buy a .99¢ - $2.99 ebook, you save as much as $13 per book where the author is only making 35¢ or maybe a couple of bucks at most.