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Saturday, July 14, 2012

On being an indie writer: a few thoughts


  • I use the phrases 'indie' and 'self-published' interchangeably. If this puts anyone's knickers in a twist, I suggest they seek a remedy to alleviate their pedanticism.
  • I write the best stuff I am capable of. That is my main goal. My main goal is not to get rich off my writing, though that certainly would be nice.
  • I believe the ratio of time spent honing my craft to the time spent marketing should be on the order of 10:1
  • Which is good, because marketing an indie book is, by and large, a stupid, pointless time sink. You'd get similar results just cold-calling random people.
  • The most evil, the most pernicious trap an indie writer can fall into these days is constantly checking sales and rankings. Don't watch the pot boil. Go read a book if you're not going to write.
  • The single best way to generate sales is to write and publish more good work. Go do it.
  • I respect my readers, and give them value for money. In this way I can have a reasonable assurance that my readers will become repeat readers, and may even tell others about my writing.
  • Some readers will not like my writing. It's inevitable. Which is why I give some stuff away for free, so they don't lose out monetarily.
  • Some readers will leave bad reviews. That's their right. As long as the reviews aren't personal attacks, I welcome their feedback and try to learn from it, if there is anything to learn. Bad reviews are far, far better than no reviews at all. You can't be in pain if you're dead.
  • I'm getting just a touch annoyed with other indie writers who get so involved with the business end of things that they forget about craft. If your book isn't the best you can possibly make it, what the hell are you doing marketing it? 
  • I've gotten the royalty checks from Random House in the mail. I like the PayPal deposits from Smashwords better.

6 comments:

David L. Shutter said...

All are great outlooks to have. Thanks for sharing.

expat@large said...

maybe you have been a little bit guilty of point 5? dude you give good advice, i wish i had the gumption to follow it.

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

A great post - business end of things that they forget about craft., those are very wise words

Deborah Walker said...

Yep, I've heard from my indie publishing friends is the best way to make more sales is to publish more great stuff. That makes sense to me.

Keep on writing. Keep on enjoying what you're doing.

Michael McClung said...

David- my two cents :)

E@L- of course I'm guilty of #5. That's how I know :)

Gary/Jack- I don't know about wise, but I can't see anyone saying 'I wish I'd spent LESS time learning my craft...'

Deborah- I'm trying :P

David L. Shutter said...

Gary/Jack- I don't know about wise, but I can't see anyone saying 'I wish I'd spent LESS time learning my craft...'

I know "King" had a quote like that somewhere, how he still learns something with every good book he reads, no matter what kind and from who.

Very humbling to hear something like that from him.

Despite Rowling crushing all his records and and YA authors being "hotter" than him right now, I still think (IMHO) that there's only about 3 or 4 writers alive worthy of dusting off his keyboard.

Thanks again