Hello, indie authors. And everyone else who has the kindness to read this post!
Now — this is a post geared towards “very new indies.” What do I mean by that? I mean indie authors who haven’t necessarily just started writing (that’s hardly anyone) but who’ve just started trying to really sell their work. Some people get the hang of it pretty quickly, and are only really “green” for about as long as Stanley’s thumb usually stays lit up that color in A Troll in Central Park. But some people — hem hem, like me — are about as hard to drill information into as a concrete Mafia boot.
Whichever type of indie you are, I just have a small piece of advice for you today. It’s very simple, and consists of only three words.
DON’T BE HASTY.
When you’re just starting out, you want to do all you can to make a name for yourself. You’re competing against thousands and thousands of other people with quality content, and you want to make yourself stand out.
But you’re only going to do that if you’re peddling quality content, too. If you throw every book you’ve ever written on Kindle Direct Publishing, just trying to garner sales and increase the amount of money you get paid every month (which is relatively small for an indie anyway, no matter what you do), you’re going to hurt yourself in the long run.
Only publish quality content. Only publish when you’re sure it’s worthy of competing, not just with other indie selections in your genre, but even with the best-sellers in that category on the Barnes & Noble “new release” rack. Don’t skimp on your editing, don’t settle on your covers, don’t forget little things like justifying the text of your e-book. (I hate it when I download a book with text that’s not justified.)
Because, here’s a little tidbit for you. If you start to regret a title you’ve published, and you want to take it off of your author page — sometimes you can’t. Sometimes, when you unpublish them, they do disappear — but sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they stay forever, like annoying whiny ghosts in your Aunt Susie’s attic, and they just say “Unavailable” until the day you die.
If you ask Author Central to take an out-of-print book off your author page, they won’t. It’s all about “the best possible experience for the customer,” they say.
But hey, it’s not their fault you published something you shouldn’t have published in the first place.
Take it from me, my indie friends. Here are three life lessons, in a nutshell.
Don’t be unkind to people.
Don’t be too cheap when it comes to things you really need.
And for goodness’ sake, whatever you do — DON’T BE HASTY!!!