So I’ve been a self-published writer for a year and a half now. I’m so glad that I decided to take the indie path rather than go to the traditional publishers. I have control over what kind of books I want to write, I get to pick the covers, and I choose when the books are released.
That said, this path does come with a lot of responsibilities. I’ve learned a lot and I’m continuing to learn on the job. Naturally, I’ve made some mistakes along the way. Here’s a summary that might help other self-published writers:
1) Don’t skimp on cover design. Make sure the cover conveys your genre.
2) Don’t skimp on editing. Pay extra for line editing. Getting something edited just once is not enough. Hire another proofreader after the manuscript has been edited so you get another set of eyes over your work.
3) Bad reviews can help you. In the early days, most of my bad reviews were for the lack of professional editing, so make sure to do #2. Reviews tell you what’s working and what’s not. For example, some readers were confused by certain things in “A Hiss-tory of Magic” so I had to take another pass at the book with a new editor. The new version is coming soon, by the way.
4) It’s better to wait until a book’s content, cover and blurb is perfected rather than rush to publish.
5) Pre-orders are not for me. I’d rather do #4 and release a book when it is ready. Editing and proofreading takes time, and you’re at the mercy of your freelancers, so it’s better to wait until everything is all done to release.
Yes, there is so much to do as an indie writer, but it’s worth it. I want to thank my readers for allowing me to have a full-time career doing what I love. I’ll probably continue to make mistakes, but I do my best to deliver quality fiction books.