Tuesday 2 October 2012

Scott Cramer's Tips For Self-Published Authors

Most regualar readers will know how much I enjoyed self-published debut author Scott Cramer's Night of the Purple Moon, showing children rebuilding their community after the death of everyone who's past puberty. When I decided to do a post on self-publishing, I knew that I wanted his opinion. He was kind enough to share a list of tips for self-published authors which was so good I wanted to give it its own post.

Over to you, Scott!

It’s important to note that I am answering this six months after Night of the Purple Moon went live on Amazon. My answers might have been different a month ago and they might be different next month. Which is to say the business of being an indie author is fluid, ever changing, with a lot of experimentation and surprises.

In no particular order:

  • Readers will determine if they like your story, but you can do the best possible job giving them a quality product. Make sure the book is well-edited, typo-free. I think it’s impossible to get every typo, but too many and you are doing yourself and your readers a great disservice. 
  • Covers are important. Check out the other best-selling books in your genre to get a sense of the tone and style of their covers. One place to look for designers is on deviant art. 
  • Social Media. Before I published the book, my social media skills were in the dark ages. Within a month, I had advanced to the year 2010. Now I feel like I’m hovering around January of 2012. . . which is to say the social media revolution is changing rapidly and it’s important to keep up. Social media (facebook, twitter, and a blog) offer a way to connect with readers, bloggers, and, in general, market a book. 
  • Reviews. Reviews from readers and bloggers offer an unbiased take on the book. Of course, you hope readers like it and you hope they feel motivated to post a review (in my case) on Amazon. The blogging community is perhaps the best avenue to pursue. You don’t have to sit back and wait. You can pitch your book to them. It’s a very interesting match, indie authors and bloggers. Both groups are impassioned about reading and stories and neither group is getting rich. One writes, the other reads and reviews. *You will discover there exists a bias for some bloggers taking on self-published books. See my first bullet. A number of self-published books hit the market before they are ready, and this, I believe, has made some bloggers wary to review any self-published book. 
  • Other online communities to post your work. Goodreads, LibraryThing, Wattpad 
  • Finally, go for it and have fun. Writing, for the most part, is a solitary endeavor. And there is nothing better than making your story available to readers worldwide and receiving comments on it and forming relationships with people you never knew existed.
Some great tips there - thanks for sharing, Scott!

For more from Scott, check out this very blog to find an interview with him, or grab him over at Twitter or on his author Facebook page.

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