Earlier this week I wrote about some new challenges facing Indie authors and suggested that one solution to them might be to look again at traditional publishing. But there are more solutions than that!
For example, have you ever considered creating a “Writers’ Ring”? A writers’ ring is a group of authors who generally like one another’s work well enough that they will promote each other’s projects. A few authors, say four to six, will put up their websites and promote their own work, but if a friend has a novel coming out, they’ll mention it in their own personal blogs, so that each author in the group has access to fans of all of the other writers.
I recently talked to Mike Resnick (a wonderful writer, by the way) who mentioned a writers’ ring for indie romance writers where each of the authors made over $100,000 per month. Hence, the cross promotion was paying off in a big way for them.
You could do this with literally any genre. For example, at the Superstars Writing Seminars we have about 150 writers who share expertise on writing and publishing, whether it be traditional or self-publishing.
Another self-published author today spoke to me about the difficulty she had getting noticed with her first novel. I’m not sure if she went out and tried a blogging tour in an effort to get book bloggers to promote her work, but that’s one way to get those critical first reviews. Similarly, she could put her books up on Wattpad or Reddit.
We’re creative people, so when we identify a problem, we need to step back and see if we can devise an answer to that problem.
I’m often surprised at how many people let a little problem stop their careers. Years ago, Kevin J. Anderson and I were confronted by the same problem. Our publisher, Bantam, was purchased by a publishing group that wanted to get rid of the science fiction section. Kevin’s solution was simple: “I’m going to write six books over the year and see if I can sell them.” Well, his strategy worked beautifully. Not only did he sell the books, he averaged three times as much money per book as he had been making. Yet while he was tripling his income, dozens and dozens of other fine authors who faced the same problem just let their careers die.
As “creatives”, we must come up with solutions to our writing problems, or we’ll be overwhelmed by them. In the past I’ve had to figure out ways to deal with chronic illnesses, spinal injuries, and so on. Each time that I’m faced with a problem, I simply try new solutions until I find something that works.
So what are your problems? Have you identified them?
A few weeks ago, I had my son use neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to help me overcome writer’s block on a certain project. I was amazed at how quickly it worked. (Fifteen minutes was all it took!) So I mentioned what he was doing to some other writers and asked for their reactions.
I really appreciated the exercises