WHAT I’VE LEARNED OVER FOUR YEARS OF INDIE PUBLISHING:
SALES AREN’T STEADY. A terrific six months can be followed by six months of few to no sales. You don’t necessarily get any sales at Christmas time. And a book that started off slow and then got a lot of sales, and then sold very slowly? That book still sells four years later. But not a lot. I don’t think you can look at your figures and plan your upcoming income from indie published books. ADVICE: When you do make a lot of money out of your books, save the majority of it against the year you don’t do so well.
YOU (AND THE PROFESSIONAL COVER ARTIST YOU HIRE) CAN CREATE BEAUTIFUL AND KICK-ASS BOOK COVERS. I think the operative word in the above sentence is professional. A professional cover artist with experience knows what they are doing. You can still have a lot of input in the creation of your cover, but let the professionals handle it.
SALES TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY REALLY DON’T HELP. So don’t ask them to buy your books. Don’t expect them to buy your books. What you need is strangers buying your books. Work on that. How? Targeted e-book email blasts like BookBub and ebook soda.
WRITE MORE GOOD BOOKS. The more good books you have in your stable, the more sales you will make. It won’t be equal, either. One or two of your books might make up most of your profit, with the others getting few to no sales at all. But the more you have, the more visible you are.
KEEP PRICES REASONABLE (OR LOW). Even I don’t like paying $12.99 for Stephen King books on Kindle, although he is one of only a few authors I will accept that from. Book prices run the gamut from free to ninety-nine cents to $2.99 and up past $9.99. Best advice is to look at your own book buying habits. How much are you willing to pay for a book from an author you’ve never hear of? How much are you willing to pay for a book that’s part of a series? If you take a free book and enjoy it, are you now willing to pay for other of the author’s books?
CONSTANTLY CHECKING TO SEE HOW MANY BOOKS YOU SOLD IS FUN! It’s also a big waste of your time. And in more than four years of publishing, I still can’t break the habit. Like I said, it’s fun. ADVICE: Don’t let yourself get depressed over the days (or months) of no sales or over-elated over the sales you do get.
I LOVE INDIE PUBLISHING! This is the most important of the many things I’ve learned so far.
DISCLAIMER: These have been my experiences and might not apply to you.
I’ve got a new book coming out in a week. BABY SINGS THE BOOS. It’s six short stories combining the main characters from THE COWBOY’S BABY and TALKING TO THE DEAD GUYS. They get into all sorts of Texas-based mischief. It was damned fun to write. Should be fun to read. Look for it on Kindle, Nook, and at Smashwords.
WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson. Hot In December by Joe R. Lansdale.
You can find my books here http://amazon.com/author/gretchenrix and here http://barnesandnoble.com/c/gretchen-rix and here http://smashwords.com/books/view/105559 and if you’re ever in Lockhart, Texas, check out LOGOS and the LOCKHART SHOPPES ON MAINE and BUFFALO CLOVER.