I admit I was already insane before I began this strange journey I'm on so I'm by no means excluding myself from the group.
Albert Einstein once said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Here's a list of the insane things I see indie writers doing. (And yes, I have been guilty of some of these on occasion.)
1) Refusing to Change Our Methods
I see writers write the same story over and over again (just change the names, location and hair/eye color) and wonder why people stop buying their work. Or they don't find the right people who can help them with points where they are weak. Or the use the same marketing techniques as everyone else--and wonder why they don't work.
Sometimes, you have to step outside of your comfort zone. What works for everyone else may not work for you, and vice versa. There isn't a ONE, TRUE WAY to success. Sorry, but there just isn't.
Don't be afraid to experiment, whether it be a new genre, a different price, or a redesigned cover.
2) Marketing to the Wrong People
Several times a day, I get a Twitter or Facebook alert from a new follower or friend advertising their book. Once in a while isn't bad, but fifty times a day every day?
What's even worse are the people who aren't paying attention to who I am. Why are you targeting another writer? Furthermore, why are you pimping your sweet Christian romance to a Wiccan fantasy/erotica author? Talk about mismatch of product!
3) Believing Readers Are Beneath Us
In the cases where a writer has gotten the first two points right, they slip up and rudely dismiss their readers. Readers are the ones paying for your book, i.e. paying your bills. Readers are the ones who tell their friends about your book when they've fallen in love with the hero. Treat those readers with respect. I've seen too many writers lately who think that readers owe them something.
Guess what? Readers don't owe us a damn thing other than a few bucks for our product. And even then, if you don't give them the experience they are paying for, they can and will return your book. Frankly, they have every right to, especially if you treat them like shit. ALWAYS treat your readers with respect.
To me, these three items will carry you farther than learning how to format or catching every little typo.*
* And some idiot will now spread the rumor across the internet that I said you can leave typos in your manuscript. No, that's not what I said. Odds are the idiot spreading the rumor is one of several who got miffed when I didn't follow him/her back within two seconds of them following me on Twitter. That's because my full-time job is writing, not consoling their ego.
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