Monday, June 6, 2011

Advice Is Only Good If . . .

Currently reading - Vampire Mine by Kerrelyn Sparks (MMPB)

(1) it's worth following, and
(2) you follow it.

I've had a few people asking for advice in the indie publishing arena.  I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I can tell them what's worked for me.  I can also refer them to people who I believe know what they're talking about.

Like J.A. Konrath and his blog A Newbie's Guide to Publishing.  All of Joe's promotional antics aside, he makes a lot of good points.  He also has what he calls the Four Rules for indie authors, but after listening to him, I believe he really has five.

1) A good book

Really, folks.  There's no way around this one.  Craft is king.  If you don't make the time to learn the craft of fiction, you're screwed.

2) A good cover

Thanks to evolution, humans are visual hunters.  No getting around the concept applying to books because if you do a general-type search on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, what pops up and draws your eye first?  Yeah, the covers.  And if you have some half-assed cover that screams amatuer, folks will pass you by.

3) A good blurb

After the cover, the next thing a potential buyer looks at is the blurb.  Your online blurb is no different than the query letter you send to an agent or editor.  Okay, it's a little different, but the purpose is to entice the potential buyer to read your book.  If you have run-on sentences, repetition or the phrasing is confusing, the reader will assume, rightly or wrongly, your prose will be the same.

4) A good price

This is the tricky part to me.  I don't want to give away my work, but I also don't want to price it to where people don't think they're getting their money's worth.  Don't be afraid to experiment a little.

5) Good luck

The one thing in the list that the indie writer can't control.  But if you get the first four right, you may find that Number 5 seems to appear out of nowhere.


  1. I'm glad you have number one as number one. I think it's the most essential thing for Indies!

  2. And ironically, it's the thing everyone forgets, Tess.

  3. I enjoy reading JA Konrath's post. These are great rules to follow! And I agree with you on #5. Luck plays a big part as well.

  4. Yep, the luck part applies no matter which route you take to publication, Melissa. You gotta be in the right place at the right time.