For new authors and aspiring authors.
I am often asked, by new or aspiring authors, for advice and/or information on how to become a successful independent (i.e. self-published) author, or how to achieve particular things in publishing, like effectively marketing and selling books.
There is no simple answer to these questions.
It’s a business, and finishing writing that first book is just the first step. (Though huge congrats if you’ve managed to get that far. It took me decades.)
The very best advice I can give on the above is: seek out those authors who are successful, reputable AND who are set up to give out this kind of advice and information as a part of their business.
Do your research. Google is your friend.
As a starting point, I can point you in the direction of some who offer tons of info and resources (podcasts, courses, books, informational newsletters, etc.). There are many others; here are just a few:
Mark Dawson Self Publishing Formula
Joanna Penn The Creative Penn
Nick Stephenson Your First 10,000 Readers
A few basics…
If you want to get more reviews on your books, ask readers and bloggers to review your books and offer them a copy. (I personally don’t think it’s ever a good idea to ask other authors to read your books; if other authors want to read your books, they’ll read your books, IMHO.)
If you want to get included in anthologies and group promos, etc., either put one together yourself, or sell so many books that other authors will be coming to you.
In the end, it’s pretty simple: sell a lot of books, and all the other things will come.
How do you sell more books? First, take it seriously. Learn your craft. Write books that people (total strangers) can’t put down. And, I can’t stress this enough, do your research. It takes a lot of time, energy, passion, and money invested (in some cases, everything you’ve got), so you have to Want it with a capital W. Treat it like a business, because publishing is a business. You can take some of the courses offered at the above links, and go from there.
If you want to be independent, no one but YOU can do the work.
Writing, publishing and marketing my books is a full-time business for both me and my partner. If you are wanting to write and independently publish books and make a living from it, it is a LOT of hard work, but obviously can be very rewarding if it’s your dream!
Wishing you all the best in your writing and publishing endeavors,