What kind of writer are you? What do you offer the reader? Inspiration? Education? Entertainment? Why do you want to self publish? Is it for more control over the creative, design, and publishing processes, or to retain 100% of your royalties? Know your genre, your micro-niche within the genre, and what you’re bringing to the world of words.
Writing is craft but publishing is business. Creative business, but business nonetheless. The day you first sell a book online is the day you need to start keeping records, balancing creative and commercial, passion and profit, incomings and outgoings. Ideally you have planned for this long before you do sell that first book. Don’t worry if you haven’t, however. You can catch up afterwards. Whatever stage you are at, though, you will need to wear three hats.
- Your Maker Hat is for the work you need to do in your business: your creative projects and products
- Your Manager Hat is for the work you need to do on your business: your creative assets, your team, your processes, your profits
- Your Entrepreneur Hat for the work you need to grow your business: your creative ideas, pitches and publications.
Your success as an indie author will reflect how well you do, and balance, these three.
Further information: https://selfpublishingadvice.org/building-indie-author-business/
You can choose from a variety of business models for authors. We’ve identified seven. Choose one that describes where you are now, but that also matches the aspirations you have for your author business. The models are:
- Books Only, Single Outlet: Write Fast, Publish Often
- Books Only, Going Wide: Multiple Formats and Retailers
- Books Plus Speaking Model: Information Products
- Books Plus Teaching/Mentoring/Coaching/Consultancy Model: Supported Learning
- Books Plus Reader Membership Model: Benefits For Close Readers
- Books Plus Sponsorship or Patronage: Support from Other Individuals or Businesses
- Books Plus Affiliate Income
- SET CREATIVE INTENTIONS
Becoming a successful author-publisher is a long game. A marathon, not a sprint. At the Alliance of Independent Authors we encourage authors to think in terms of seven years to be fully established, earning an ongoing and sustainable living at the level you want, for the amount and kind of work you want to do.
Further information: https://selfpublishingadvice.org/creative-intentions-for-selfpub-writers/
Like all businesses, publishing requires an upfront investment. Things an author cannot do without are good book cover design and good editorial. The less experienced you are is a writer, the higher your editorial expenses will be. At ALLi, we have a saying. Good writing, editorial and design is your best marketing.
Don’t listen to people who haven’t self-published. There is a lot of opinion and misinformation circulating, particularly among those who have no experience of what they’re talking about.
Connect with other successful and professional self-publishing authors to know what’s truly working.
Further information: https://www.allianceindependentauthors.org/21-reasons-to-join-alli/
- GO CREATIVE
You are part of a movement. Your creative choices not only frame your author-business but also influence what’s possible for other authors following after you. There’s a reason why creators are considered eccentric, even dangerous. We don’t conform. We disobey. We bend and break rules. We say things like: “there are no rules”. The more creative you can be in your business, as well as your writing, the more successful you will be. And the more your business will nurture your writing and vice versa.
Further information: https://selfpublishingadvice.org/go-creative-guides/
Orna Ross is the founder and director of the Alliance of Independent Authors.
The Alliance of Independent Authors is the only global, non-profit association for self-publishing writers. ALLi aims to foster excellence and ethics in self-publishing; to support authors in the making and selling of their books; and to advocate for author independence through the building of sustainable digital businesses. www.selfpublishingadvice.org www.allianceindependentauthors.org