Becoming An Indie Author: Part 2

Let’s talk about this whole process. It has been a journey, let me tell you. Last time I posted about this I had barely started. I talked about why I wanted to become an author, and what inspires me to write but now I want to talk about the actual process.

In December of 2018 I lost my job. A job that was soul sucking, exhausting, and frankly, not right for me but I forced myself to go every day because I had a degree to use and a vision in my head about what I should do with my life. When I lost the job, suddenly, the world of writing opened up before me. When I was at that job, I never had the energy to create. I was barely writing a couple hundred words a week, and never made any headway towards any publishing or writing goals except in November when I’d force myself to write a book for Nano. But in December I was suddenly free to create. So I did. I began editing Secrets & Swords and made a publication goal/plan.

In January I started a new job, one that allowed time to write and was a million times less stressful. And I can definitely say, I am much happier, less stressed, and more excited than ever to continue writing and creating. I’ve gotten more words written in the last four months than in the last year.

So now I had to figure out how to be an indie author with no real idea how to do it. I joined a Facebook group called 20booksto50k which was created by Craig Martell just for indie authors to to give them resources and a forum where I can ask questions. They had TONS of information for me to go through and I spent a good month reading and reading. I asked questions, and read others posts for days and slowly developed a game plan.

I started a Mailchimp mailing list, and came back to this blog. I wrote a short story/reader magnet and put it up on Proloficworks and then StoryOrigin (I prefer StoryOrigin hands down). I began gaining a readership of sorts. I wrote a few more short stories and learned how to format an eBook. I struggled (still do) to format a paperback. I researched cover artists and key words on amazon. I learned about amazon categories and algorithms. I learned more in the span of a few months that I ever thought possible. I started sending weekly newsletters and doing swaps with other authors. I finally had things to contribute to my fellow writers and offer advice. But then, almost as soon as Secrets & Swords had launched, it was time to start on the next.

I’m still struggling with advertising. That’s an uphill battle, not just because I feel like Facebook Ads are complicated compared to AMS ads, but also because as someone who does this on the side, I don’t have any money to spare. I spent about $60 the first few weeks my book was out and I did make an okay amount of sales for a completely unknown author. But the moment my budget was blown, my sales tanked. I’ve had zero sales since my ads stopped running. Which makes sense. No exposure= no sales.

They say nothing sells your previous book like the next one, so instead of worrying about my first book having no sales, I’m focusing on Born of Air. I’m more excited about this one anyways (it’s a trilogy so there’s more to be excited about). I’ll write more about being an indie author at a later date, but this is how it all started.

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