US indie author Laura Morelli writes both fiction and non-fiction with a specialism in art history, the topic in which she holds a PhD from Yale University. As she shares her self-publishing success story with us today, her top advice includes three great tips for boosting productivity:
- turning off her inner editor while she writes to keep the words flowing
- turning off her wifi and phone for at least four hours every day
- alternating between fiction and non-fiction to keep fresh
What’s your proudest achievement to date as an indie author?
When I got started as an indie publisher, my goal was to produce a book that looked indistinguishable from its traditionally published counterparts. I wanted my book to have the same quality from a writing, editorial, design, and production perspective. Now, although my books have sold well and even won awards, my greatest satisfaction still comes from putting out a product that I’m proud of and that readers enjoy.
What’s the single best decision you ever made?
Taking my publishing business into my own hands. Having felt “shackled” within the constraints of traditional publishing, this was not only the best decision I have ever made, but it was also super-easy!
What’s been your biggest surprise as an indie author?
I’ve been surprised at how quickly and dramatically book marketing changes. Bookselling looks nothing like it used to. When I got started in traditional publishing, advertising books in newspapers was the holy grail—ha ha!
What’s your greatest challenge – and how do you deal with it?
I’m still trying to figure out how to publish more productively and consistently. I now juggle more than one book at a time, and I alternate between fiction and nonfiction. That way, if I get stuck on one project, at least I can still make progress on another one.
How do you get/stay in a creative mood?
Sometimes it is challenging for me to turn off the internal editor and just write. I am a detailed outliner, which helps me stay on course even when I am not feeling too creative.
How do you remain productive/motivated?
My biggest productivity boost came earlier this year when I resolved to turn off my phone and WiFi for at least four hours per day. I challenge you to try it! It is the best way for me to get into flow state.
What’s your favourite thing about being an author–publisher?
- I love being in control of my own business and the entire production process.
- I also love being in direct contact with my readers.
It’s a fantastic time to be an author!
What are your top tips for other ALLis?
- Stay on top of news and changes in the industry by listening to podcasts or reading.
- Embrace entrepreneurship as a creative endeavor.
- And keep writing!
What’s next for you?
- I’ve gotten rights back to two of my traditionally published nonfiction books, which I’m repacking for publication later this year.
- I’m also revising two new art historical novels.
- I’m tackling Patreon for the first time and am excited to see where that leads.