Entering my third year as an indie, it is my responsibility to impart sage wisdom to the world. (Don’t blink, or you might miss it.) See the series introduction post for more on my saga. But for now, lesson #10 for 2012:
Publish and sell everything you write.
This is one I’m still trying to figure out. But it connects with the last lesson on being professional. Everything you write should be written at a professional level. If it is written at a professional level, monetize it. If you can’t monetize it, you might be wasting your time and or talent. (It’s hard to believe I’m even typing this! I suppose I need to explain myself a bit further.
I firmly believe that a sale for $0.00 is still a sale.
Sometimes it is neccessary to sell your work for zero profit in order to increase profitable sales. So in my mind, sales and profit are two separate things.
I don’t intent to profit off my blog posts, but I plan on gaining subscribers to my blog. You can find pretty decent data on the aethernets about the rate subscribers typically convert to paying customers or social network promoters, etc. Therefore (using my twisted logic) a subscription is a percentage of a sale. Thus I am monetizing my blog posts.
Amazon and Barnes and Noble and other on-line retailers are making it easier and easier to be affiliates. This is another way to gain a tiny bit of money from blogging. If you need to be doing it for platform anyway, make sure you are monetizing it. If you aren’t selling yourself, no one is! (But that is for next week’s post).
If you are writing short stories or flash fiction, figure out how to sell them. If you write poetry on the side… you guessed it. Sell it. If you can’t figure out how to sell it, then I have to question if it’s worth your time and effort. Right?
The Amazon Kindle store
The Amazon Kindle store is a prime example currently of how offering your work for “free sales” can potentially increase “profit sales.” It is pretty standard for an indie author to be able to run their novel, book, short, etc. for free over the span of two or three days and rally up anywhere from 3,000 to 7,000 “free sales.” These can lead to positive word of mouth, brand recognition, reviews, and or sales of other works.
While these benefits usually down follow immediately, they usually do follow eventually (unless you’ve published a piece of moldy brain-rot, or have failed to build any sort of platform). Bottom line: everything you do should be helping you sell product either by 1.) selling product 2.) gaining subscribers 3.) gaining word of mouth.
***Standard Disclaimer: There are 3 brands of Indie:
- an artist expressing him/herself for the pure joy of it
- an artist or idealist who wishes to express an emotion or idea to the world
- an artist/entrepreneur who wishes to make a living as a writer
An indie can be one, two or all three of these. But knowing the composition is critical. I am all three of the above, but first and foremost I have to be #3, or I won’t be able to continue doing #2 and #1 full-time. Not all of the above applies to someone seeking #1 or #2. Man, this is sounding scatological, isn’t it?