I've learned a lot of lessons about being an Indie Author lately, but the biggest takeaway I've got is that I can do whatever the heck I want! When I first started out I thought there were all these rules I had to be following, like "you have to write novels a certain way because otherwise no one will buy your stuff", or "you have to go traditional otherwise no one will buy your stuff".
It's like... no. You're wrong. I can do whatever the heck I want and if you want to try and put boundaries on me it's only because you're too afraid of change. Let me tell you. Winter is coming. Indie Authors are on the rise, and I'm totally psyched to be a part of the movement!
When I first started out I did what every would-be author does. I wrote a book (Midnight Magick). I picked a genre I thought I could write in (and one people were asking for), came up with a rough idea of what the next few books in the series were going to be, and published the book with absolutely NO idea on how to market it later. I was totally unprepared. I thought writing was the hard part! That's so totally not true. I look forward to the writing now.
So I wrote this book and put it out there, signed up to a blog tour, talked about it here and there. It received a nice amount of attention, though I'll be honest, nothing ground breaking happened. Sales trickled in, then they stopped, then they trickled in again. This has been the trend since I published the book, so the blog tour didn't do a whole lot other than give me some needed reviews (which I'm totally thankful for). Okay, maybe I'm over sharing, but I'm hoping that you new guys and girls out there can read this and go "oh, this is happening to me too... wait, that's normal??"
Now, after having written the book and realized what my advantage as an Indie is (flexibility) I've realized that I can do whatever I want. If I'd known this before I started writing, Midnight Magick may have ended up being a piece of Serialized Fiction delivered in Episodes instead of one book. Serials is where I come from. I mean, c'mon, we all watch the Vampire Diaries, True Blood, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, stuff like that. I read too, sure, but who doesn't like serialized fiction?
I'm a full time office worker, so my writing hours are limited. If I want to make a career out of writing I can't just write one book - or a series of books - and hope to get success. First, it'll take me ages to write a novel. Second, without the proper knowledge about how to market books and grow mailing lists I'd be like a fish out of water! Serialized novels, written in small pieces, delivered as episodes. This is where I want to go. I see a lot of Paranormal Romance novels which, frankly, feature the same concepts:
Boy meets girl.
Girl falls for boy.
Boy is a bagillion year old [insert paranormal creature template here].
A thin plot wraps around their romance, which gets 100% of the attention.
The book ends.
And you know, if it works then it works. I'll admit, I love writing about paranormal creatures and I'm a sucker for romance, so I jumped on the bandwagon and followed the trend. But what I should've done is identified any gaps that needed filling and filled them. Serialized Fiction is my gap, and by God is it going to get filled!
I realize what I've just done there, but it's staying, dammit!
Thanks for reading, guys and gals. I'm going to start reviewing books on my blog soon (and TV shows, I'm watching Revenge at the moment - anyone seen that yet?). Let me know in the comments if you'd like me to review anything in particular!
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