I’m so excited to have Kellyn Roth guest posting about indie publishing as part of her blog tour for Souls Astray. So without further ado, here’s Kellyn:
Kellyn Roth here. I’m the author of Souls Astray as well as the rest of the Kees & Colliers series (and some other books, but they’re not the ones we’re talking about). I independently publish these books—which basically means I’m the publisher.
I’m in charge of writing and revising the book like every author … but I’m also in charge of hiring editors and cover designers, formatting it, deciding on the pricing, picking publication dates, and all the media stuff that comes along with it.
Being an indie author is far from simple—nor is it easy or immediately lucrative. But it’s also a very real form of publication that’s becoming more and more popular.
So today I’d like to share a bit about my journey to becoming an independent (or indie) author! It’s not much of a story, I’m afraid, but it might be helpful if you’re considering traveling down this path yourself.
Well, I started writing when I was six or seven, but I only got into it when I was twelve and finished my first longer project. Since then, I’ve been writing like a maniac.
Then I decided to publish my first novel, The Dressmaker’s Secret through Createspace (now Kindle Direct Publishing for both paperback and ebook). Now, I did this in a highly unrecommended way—with no professional cover designer and no editor and no preparation. I put the book out on January 10th … and realized that I’d missed a lot.
The first thing that hit me was marketing. Putting my book out there. Getting on social media. Sharing about my book. If you don’t build a platform, you won’t sell books—that’s the simple truth of it.
I was pretty stressed. There was a lot for me to go over! But perhaps, thought I, it’s doable. So I dove in and got started.
I primarily had my blog, Reveries, to start with, and that was a good start to my marketing. Writing for Reveries gave me a good idea of what I wanted to say, what my writing voice was like, and how I could talk to people (both through the posts and comments).
This first social media I got was Goodreads, a site for readers which allows you to rate, review, and otherwise keep track of the books you read. I got signed up for an author profile, and I primarily used it to connect with other readers—no book marketing involved. Just to share my love of reading with the world. That’s the only way to go about it. You can find my profile here.
After that I got Facebook. Now, remember this for Facebook: always create a professional author page and use that for marketing instead of your personal profile. Mine can be found here. It took some convincing, but my parents eventually came to understand how vital it was for my chosen career.
Next came Twitter followed by Instagram. Both are very useful platforms, though I’m still figuring out how to use them, I’ll admit. I love Instagram but will never be very professional on there. I’m still playing with Twitter. Honestly, it might not be for me.
Another important form of marketing is … email marketing! I use MailChimp to put together an email list/newsletter (you can subscribe to mine here) and offer some free ebooks to subscribe. Then I get to send info about my books straight to their inboxes!
Then there are street teams. A “street team” is a group of people who agree to help you share about your novels (usually in exchange for free ebooks or along those lines). My street team is called Readers of Reveries.
So those are some of the things I did to launch my career as an indie author. But a lot of it is just hard work, being a good citizen of the writer community and trusting people to help you out in return, and sticking to it.
A couple other things you can do is find a group of indie authors who write in your genre and get to know them and learn from the pros as well. But of course perseverance is the most important thing. Stick with it, keep learning, and you’ll succeed!
Thank you so much Kellyn for your awesome tips!
Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour here and read her books😊
Here’s a quick teaser of her book, Souls Astray: