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Lessons Learned and Tips from Indie Authors

As you may know after coming to this conference, that there are many ways to indie pubbing. 

The main notes at this conference are: research, do it the right way, invest time and money, and keep writing

Here are some lessons and tips from your favorite indie authors:

  • “Think of self-publishing like running a business and expect to wear many publishing hats.” – S.R. Johannes
  • “Start building a reader base before I published the first book. That's one of the hardest things to do and takes a large amount of time.” – Willow Cross
  • “I wish someone had told me that there's room for everyone and it's not a competition. When I first started, I felt so much pressure to succeed that I had a hard time enjoying the fact that I get to live out my dream and WRITE BOOKS! Haha. I wish I would have spent more time enjoying the ride and less time stressing out.” – Chelsea Fine
  • “BE mindful of your behavior on public forums. Blow ups should be handled privately. (Not a personal lesson, but I've seen more than one author implode.” – Donna Dull
  • “Don't try to cram yourself, your books or information down someone else's throat. Don't spam, use connections only for marketing, etc. Be interesting and people will want to know more.” – Karen Hopper
  • “I've learned that rejections aren't always a reflection of bad work, but that publishers have certain slots to fill, and while your contemporary romance might be the next best seller, it won't fit their paranormal thriller spot, so they will politely reject you. In other words, I've learned not to take rejections personal.”  – Lisa Moran Collicutt
  • “Don't waste your time attempting to get pre-orders of your novel on Amazon (for first timers, anyway). It creates a huge headache, adds to your burden, and it not worth it in terms of sales. that's one thing I would do differently b/c it made me want to pull out my hair.” Jessie Harrell
  • “Embrace everyone's differences, because if we all liked the same things, the world would be a very boring place.” – Alan Tucker
  • “Write [emphasis] your story. No one else can tell it exactly like you will tell it. Publishing multiple books in a year isn't necessarily a good thing if the quality suffers. Take your fime and get it right!” – Heather Self
  • “Patience. Nothing– and I mean nothing– happens when you want it to or expect it to. It's a very slow process. And that writing a good book is only step one. You have to be a better marketer than writer it seems.” – Sarah Ross
  • “No two authors pave their paths exactly the same (there is no single path to success). What works for one won't work for all.” – Raine Thomas
  • “That writing is only half the work and you only get to spend half the time doing it, the rest is PR.” – Quinn Loftis
  • “Don't be afraid! Seriously. I was SOOOOO scared the first time I talked to a bunch of teens at a teen night at a library in Portland. I love, absolutely love talking to teens and adults too 🙂 I wish I wouldn't have practically had a heart attack that first time!” – Laura Elliott
  • “Best tip? Don’t rush. Take your time, polish, revise, hire a cover designer and an editor, find a good support network!” – Leigh T. Moore
  • “No matter how many books you’ve written and/or published, keep studying the craft.”  – Elle Strauss
  • “Spend the money on cover art.” – Susan Kaye Quinn
  • “Keep up on industry news and never stop learning about the new changes in technology.” – Cheri Lasota
  • “Hire an editor. Make sure your cover rocks and don’t only ask your family. Go to writers’ conferences. Use at least one critique group. Use beta readers. Keep it fun.”     – Cindy Hogan
  • “Don’t be afraid to bend the rules and color outside the lines. The beauty of being indie is you can experiment and think outside the box. Write what you love, because whether you do or don’t, readers will feel it.” – Karen Hooper
  • “You are not entitled to be an automatic best seller. It may not happen with your first or even your tenth novel. Don’t be an indie because you want to sell millions of copies and be on the NY Times best seller list. Be an indie author because you love it. Because you are tired of feeling down about the awesome book that get awesome feedback, but still gets rejected by traditional publishers and agents. Don’t give up just because your first book isn’t selling. Do it because you love it.” – Magan Vernon
  • “Keep your eyes on your own paper, but at the same time, study and see what other authors are doing well and how they do it. Study other with the intent to learn not to compare.” – Laura Pauling


This Post Has 11 Comments
  1. It’s been a wonderful experience meeting so many of you for the first time and also seeing old friends popping in and out of chats and comments. It was a sincere pleasure moderating the chats and sharing with all of you. Wishing you the wild success in all your literary endeavors!

  2. Thanks so much to all who have contributed their tips, information and expertise with us! These are awesome, and I’m taking notes! Love the sense of community, the support and encouragement of the IndieReCon – I’m so glad to have the opportunity to do this!

  3. Love that, “Keep your eyes on your own paper,” by Laura Pauling. This conference has convinced me that I can do this. Thanks to all of you who have paved the path before us. Thanks for being willing to share, and thereby show, that there is no scarcity of readers, of platforms, of support. Best to you all. Cheryl Lynn Colwell

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