OnlyIndie.com: eBook Start-up Only Dreaming?

Only IndieI’ve uploaded my geeky, pulp-western novel, Fistful of Reefer, to a half dozen new eBook retailing platforms over the last couple of months. Let’s see. Off of the top of my head I can remember Bilbary, Bublish and Snugnugget.

I figure if a group of forward thinking nerds are crazy enough to launch a new ebook-fangled website on a latte and a dream then I’ll spend twenty minutes decoding their scheme and tossing so many of my ingenious 1′s and 0′s at them.

(See bottom of post to help me with my experiment before you go…)

The latest eBook store I’ve discovered is Only Indie (www.onlyindie.com). I have to admit the name itself grabbed my more than the others. (What’s a snugnugget? And does Bilbary refer to Bilbo Baggins personal library?) [Read more...]

Indie Artists Going For Broke

now hiring signDuring times of uncertainty the natural tendency is to play it conservative, to cut back. Businesses begin to let employees go and search out ways to trim the vestigial tail (or fat if you want to stick to convention). Some believe this to be the exact wrong response.

These contrarians say the best course of action is to invest more. Instead of cutting personnel, hire additional employees in order to best the competition with top notch customer service and/or new innovative ideas. Seek out soft spots in the market to expand into, etc.

When it comes to self-publishing and indie artistry I’ve been pondering how to apply the same concept. Publishing is in the midst of a 100 year shake-up, and the future is uncertain to say the least. Along the lines of advice I’ve heard everything from “wait to see what happens” to “seize the day.”

I pretty much suck at waiting around, so the basic decision has been easy. I’m going to go for it, Pat. But what exactly does that look like? [Read more...]

Evolution of an Indie: No Silver Bullet

Evolution of an IndieEntering 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 #11 for 2012 (the final installment!):

Don’t expect anyone else to sell your product for you.

Whether you are big six, small press or totally indie, no one will sell your stuff for you. If you want to be a writer in today’s world, sales and marketing are part of the package. (The only exception is if you can afford to pay an agency or individual to do this for you!) [Read more...]

Evolution of an Indie: Sell Everything

Evolution of an IndieEntering 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. [Read more...]

Evolution of an Indie: Be Professional

Evolution of an IndieEntering 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 #9 for 2012:

Put professional effort into everything you do, or don’t do it.

Being professional is about doing whatever it is you do for others rather than yourself. A writer can write for him or herself. A professional writer must (to an extent) write for the reader. That is what it means to be professional. I can build myself a house and therefore be a builder. But if I build you a house, I damn well better be a professional. (Unless you’re okay with things like load-bearing posters and remembering to walk around certain spots in the floor.)

No matter how small the job, a builder’s career can be on the hook if he/she slops the hogs instead of feeding the chicks. Indie writers should live by the same rule. [Read more...]

Evolution of an Indie: Delay Success

Evolution of an IndieEntering 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 #8 for 2012:

Plan on having no success until one year after the release of your third novel.

As always it is critical to know thyself. If you are more of an entrepreneur than a writer, you may be able to shake your money maker and find commercial success with one or two novels. I’ve seen a few people do it.

On the other hand, if you are like me (an incompetent boob living in a fantasy bubble high off his own fart gas) it will take you even longer. (I’m not even going to go into doomsday scenarios due to the Department of Justice decision in regards to agency.)

If you are primarily a writer focus first on creating more and better content.

But, you will have to make up for marketing and sales deficiencies via adjustments to your writing. [Read more...]

Evolution of an Indie: Software, Seriously

Evolution of an IndieEntering 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 #7 for 2012:

The days of the typewriter are dead. Dead dead. Long dead. If you are a writer, so should the days of Microsoft Word’s dominance be dead. Software is serious. So seriously, why are so many people still using the lardaciously cumbersome Word to create graceful narratives?

Software is serious. Ditch Word, seriously.

Can I paint a masterpiece with an old, crusty 4″ brush that’s been resting in turpentine for a few years, maybe. But wouldn’t it be better to start with the proper tools from the beginning? Sure, I think Microsoft is evil, just like all gifted artist do (don’t we?). My moral beliefs aside, Word wasn’t designed for writing and publishing novels, scripts, or long narrative works of any sort.

There are a growing number of word processors that are designed to do just that. Click here for a good article for learning about some of them. But before you do that, I’ll lay down the gritty, time-saving truth for you. [Read more...]