Today sharing his top tips for self-publishing success is indie author Nick Spalding, whose special subject is humour, as you'll quickly detect in his answers below…
What's the secret of your success?
I try to do one thing as well as I possibly can: make people laugh. I think if you concentrate on one goal as a writer, then you're more likely to hit the mark. If you're unfocused and not entirely sure what it is you're trying to accomplish, you're less likely to build an audience and sell books. You need to treat this business exactly like that: a business. Once you've written your 2000 words for the day and been all marvellous and creative, you have to put on your business hat and think about how to sell your work to the public. The two things must go hand in hand if you want success. Also, I bought some lucky heather from a gap-toothed gypsy woman outside Budgens a couple of years ago; that might have had something to do with it.
What's the single best thing you ever did?
What, as a writer? Self publishing Love From Both Sides has to be up there at the top – closely followed by deciding to self publish via KDP in the first place, way back in 2010 with Life With No Breaks. If you mean outside writing… asking my girlfriend to marry me on a tropical beach in Australia was a bloody good move. I also won bronze in the discus at sports day in 1983. Does that count?
Did you get lucky? What happened?
After asking my girlfriend to marry me? Mind your own business. I don't know… here I am trying to answer questions about writing, and here you are, getting all bloody personal and –
You meant about writing, didn't you? Sorry.
Yes, I did get very lucky. Love From Both Sides sold a quarter of a million copies in 2012, with the sequel selling another 100,000 – and that's led to a full time career as a writer.
How do you get/stay in creative mode?
I tend to mull over an idea for a couple of weeks before I actually sit down and start writing. I figure if the idea is good enough for a book, it'll stick around in my head for quite a while. Once that idea is there, it's a question of fleshing it out, coming up with your characters, getting the plot straight in your head – and trying your level best to make the whole thing as funny as possible. I stay in creative mode until 80,000 words are written because I have a mortgage. I'd like to give you a more poetic answer than that, but when you get right down to brass tacks, your main motivator to finish a book is so you can get it into the hands of your readers and make a few quid.
How do you prioritise?
I'll write whatever I think will go down the best with my audience. I think that's the best way to go about deciding which book to write next. If I have a series of ideas floating around in my head, I imagine which story people would most like me to tell and go from there. I also tend to run ideas past my partner, my agent, and close friends as well, as their opinions can help me choose which story to tackle next.
My next novel Fat Chance will be released on October 7th this year, which I'm really looking forward to. I'm currently working on a fourth book in the ‘Love…' series, and after that I'm hoping to do a bit of travelling for inspiration for a third in my comedy memoir series.
What's your top tip for other indie authors?
If you're going to self-publish, you need things: a great – and professionally edited – book, a professionally designed cover that works as a thumbnail on the web page, and a catchy, vibrant description of the book that will draw readers in. Those three things are your foundation. Get them right and you stand a far better chance of success.
Find out more about Nick Spalding at his website: www.spaldings-racket.blogspot.co.uk
“Case study of Nick Spalding, bestselling indie author via @IndieAuthorALLI: www.selfpublishingadvice.org/nick-spalding/ @spalding_author”