Navigating Indieworld Discussing All Things Indie discussion

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Before You Publish > What Lessons Have You Learned In Writing, Publishing, Or Marketing Books?

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message 1: by Julie (new)

Julie Gerber | 189 comments Mod
I learned (through clients) that you need to research sites and services. Chances are, you will find all you need to know online in the form of reviews IF a company has scammed someone. Most of my clients have been scammed by vanity publishers because they were under the impression that they were real publishing companies. If you can't find reviews, ask around or ask for references.


message 2: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman | 4600 comments Mod
One of the first things I did to build an audience was radio ads. I found a company that put "radio time " out for bid. You gave a budget and once they reached your amount, you bought a certain number of ads in a market. Obviously in a popular market you got less bang for the buck. I ran the ads for a few months on different books. My take away was it was expensive, and unless you ran an ad for at least three weeks it didn't pay off at all. My first instinct was unless you're spending big money, your books won't sell. I learned a valuable lesson, that even if you spend a lot it doesn't guarantee sales, and there are dozens of ways to build your audience that are not only free, but much easier.


message 3: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman | 4600 comments Mod
Five Star review from Foreword Review for Navigating Indieworld by Julie A. Gerber and Carole P. Roman

"Navigating Indieworld is comprehensive without being too densely packed with information. As a result, the would-be self-publisher should be able to quickly obtain a solid overview of all of the moving pieces and then decide which they feel comfortable executing independently. The book is not preachy; rather than present one way to do things, the authors offer a range of options. Gerber and Roman share their opinions and experiences openly and honestly, offering guidance in a way that is not heavy-handed."
For the full review https://www.forewordreviews.com/revie...

Congrats Jules!


message 4: by N.N. (new)

N.N. Light (nnlight) The biggest lesson I've learned in the publishing industry is that this journey is a marathon, not a sprint. So many writers/authors want results right away and I must admit, I was that way back in 2014. I wanted recognition and a fan base right away. But like every business, and if you are serious about your writing you already know this is a business, it takes years to make an impact. You have to put in the equity and labor to make it work. It's taken me three years and I'm starting to build a fan base. :)


message 5: by Julie (new)

Julie Gerber | 189 comments Mod
Congrats Carole!

N.N. you are so right. That knowledge comes with experience! It is an investment that will pay off one day, but if you don't put anything into it, you can't expect a return.


message 6: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman | 4600 comments Mod
;)


message 7: by Kim (new)

Kim Padgett-Clarke | 13 comments The thing I find most frustrating is people who have read my book and given me very positive feedback but don't want to write a review even if it just a short one.


message 8: by Julie (new)

Julie Gerber | 189 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "The thing I find most frustrating is people who have read my book and given me very positive feedback but don't want to write a review even if it just a short one."
Did they give you a reason for not reviewing? Many people are afraid of Amazon's review policy. Reviews are pulled and deleted, and reviewers are sometimes threatened that if they continue, their accounts will be suspended or deleted. Don't hesitate to ask them for a review on Goodreads if they won't review on Amazon. Reviews are getting harder to obtain, but there are ways to push for them.


message 9: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman | 4600 comments Mod
The biggest lesson I learned is that you will always learn new ideas, push yourself to try and do things you never expected to. This is a process that involves a lot of reinvention and it is a fun journey. This is not a competition with other authors. We have little or no support and the cards are stacked against us. Big business does not want to see us succeed. If someone in the community holds a hand out, I'm grabbing with both hands, with gratitude and hope to pass the information along.


message 10: by N.N. (new)

N.N. Light (nnlight) Kim wrote: "The thing I find most frustrating is people who have read my book and given me very positive feedback but don't want to write a review even if it just a short one."

I know how frustrating it is, Kim. But you've gotta keep asking. On my latest giveaway, when I gave away a few e-books, this is what I said:

"I love this story and I love to hear from readers like you. So, if you could, please leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads or send me an email. Your thoughts help make me a better storyteller."

Phrasing it this way gives the reader the impression he/she is helping in the writing process in some way. They're more likely to leave a review then.

It's true, many people are afraid of the new Amazon review rules but for most readers (me included), they just forget. We're all super-busy with life and it's not a priority.

Hope this helps. :)

MRS N


message 11: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman | 4600 comments Mod
I find that people will review if there are a lot of reviews on the page. I think most are afraid for their review to stand out. The people who review all the time and are ranked, love to be in first or second place. I found as my son's review numbers grew- we were getting more verified reviews than ever. (even though he's selling less copies than last year.) It's funny how that works.


message 12: by Alexis (last edited Jan 11, 2017 03:29AM) (new)

Alexis | 861 comments Well, what I have learned so far is that being honest is important. Being honest with yourself basically. And to combine that with being practical. Now, a disclaimer here: I haven't published anything yet but I've been hanging with indies for a couple of months now and I, like everyone else, have a bit of life and career experience.

I see a lot of writers who might not be having the success they want, even after running a lot of promotions and stuff like that. The main advice I hear given is: WRITE MORE. Which is not bad advice but I think there should be more to it. IF you've done all you possibly can to sell a book, I would tell someone first: Find out what you did wrong. You can't fix something if you don't know what's wrong. You can't write a better book with better opening chapters that draw readers in, if you don't acknowledge the fact that your last book had a bit of a crappy beginning.

I hang out on Carole's blog sometimes. And I read a great interview she did with C.L. Lynch, and C.L., after listing everything she's done on the marketing front said something that struck a chord with me and had me going; "You go, girl."

She said:

Time will tell. But in the meantime, I feel like I have done what I can to give it a good start, and the best possible chance of finding those fans.

If no one likes it... well... I'll just have to write a better one.


So to conclude, what I have learned so far is not just to "WRITE MORE", but to do all you can, acknowledge the mistakes you made, learn from them and to write better.

It is something I plan to keep in mind as I send this little book of mine into the world to betareaders.


message 13: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4626 comments I think most people will naturally get better with each book they write, but the increment by which they improve will only be small unless they learn/are told where and how to improve.
I've learned that it is important to listen to criticism of your work, and to tell the difference between constructive criticism and non-constructive. Constructive criticism can be very helpful, I've had some over the last six months which has helped me re-shape my writing (it was over-written and needed pruning) whereas non-constructive can lead you to ruin your work.
I've also learned that you need to have confidence in what you've written, if what you have is important, keep it, no matter what anyone says


message 14: by Carole (last edited Jan 11, 2017 06:46AM) (new)

Carole P. Roman | 4600 comments Mod
I agree with both of you and here comes unpopular opinion time- this is where Kirkus and Foreword reviews come in handy. Every time they've reviewed with my son or me, their reviews have been dead on. They give constructive comments that have helped mature and develop both of our writing.
Whomever they are using to review, usually has their finger on the pulse of what works and what is not working. If you go to their sight, look up some reviews of books you've read and go through them and see if you agree.


message 15: by Alexis (new)

Alexis | 861 comments Carole wrote: "I agree with both of you and here comes unpopular opinion time- this is where Kirkus and Foreword reviews come in handy. Every time they've reviewed with my son or me, their reviews have been dead ..."

Betareaders are a good (cheaper) option too. I hope to find honest ones that are also kind, lol!


message 16: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman | 4600 comments Mod
I totally agree with you , Alexis!


message 17: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4626 comments Carole wrote: "I agree with both of you and here comes unpopular opinion time- this is where Kirkus and Foreword reviews come in handy. Every time they've reviewed with my son or me, their reviews have been dead ..."

I don't disagree with the idea of using them, I just can't afford to at the moment, and my natural cowardice when it comes to anything other than physical injury makes me scared of what they would say about my books.


message 18: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman | 4600 comments Mod
I know that feeling- Every time I receive notice that the review is ready, my palms sweat, my heartbeat starts banging, and I have to read it like four times in rapid succession, go away and read it again. I have been both delighted and crushed- you won't see the negative ones on their sights, I never publish those. It's the only time you have a chance to 'kill' a negative review. But I always listen to what they say. Sometimes you have to hear those things in order to improve.


message 19: by Karam (new)

Karam Jabri (KaramJabri) | 5 comments I'm agree with you.


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Navigating Indieworld Discussing All Things Indie

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