Thursday, January 10, 2013

Indie Author Tools and Tips, a guest posting by Janet Beasley.

Author Janet Beasley: Hidden Earth Series and  JLB Creatives – founder

So you’ve decided to go Indie – good for you!

Contrary to popular belief indie publishing is becoming more and more widely accepted, and for some good reasons.

Talented authors are bringing their creative genius to the pages. They’re entertaining, educating, and even inspiring with their self-published books. Fiction or non-fiction, it makes no difference. Everything is getting out there.

New genres are being birthed constantly. No more boundaries of having to make a book fit into a certain mold just to be sellable. Now days you’ve got a good chance at finding inventive categories such as paranormal romance suspense, murder mystery magic, religious fantasy, crime romance comedy, and anything else you want to throw together.

Target audiences are still prevalent however series like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars have brought delight to fans of all ages. This has brought about a drastic change in marketing some novel series. You’ll hear upcoming authors asking, do I market kids or adults? Do I market to boys or girls, or men or women? It’s a tough choice to make, but you need to start somewhere with one dedicated target audience. The great news is, as a self-published author, if your category of choice is not working well for you, you have the liberty to move on to the next in a heart beat.

If you’re going to self-publish, do it right. The most effective tools and services for indie authors are simple and easy to obtain.

The most basic tools can be valuable. You’ll need the program Word and be able to put your books into PDF format. Whether you are going ebooks or paperbacks you’ll find, across the gamut of self-publishing sites, you’ll most likely need both.

If you are not comfortable formatting and uploading your own book(s) by all means find someone to help you – hired or not. Books that hold incorrect formatting are annoying to every reader, and books that won’t upload for a number of reasons can become the defeating end to an author who just may have well been the next big thing.

Be sure your cover design catches the eye. Again – if you’re a wiz with graphics, get to it and make the coolest cover EVER! If not, not to worry there are book cover design services out there that do outstanding work for a fee.

Hire a professional editor – I cannot stress this point enough. If you put a book out there that has not been professionally edited, you’re not going to build much of a fan base. Sadly, even if your ebook is FREE or you offered it for 99 cents, readers will be put off by bad grammar, lousy punctuation, poor sentence structure, and continual spelling mistakes.

Book trailers are not a must, but they sure help. This is a digital, “I want to see it now” kind of world. If you can get your fans excited through a media presentation you’ll most likely begin to see more fans downloading your ebooks or buying your paperbacks.

Marketing is probably the “worst” of the entire process for many indie authors. Even if you love marketing you will soon find that it is taking up much of your time. If you’re not disciplined you will fail at bringing about more books, miserably. Create a schedule of how much time you are going to spend on marketing and stick to it. And if you’re writing more than one book be sure to leave ample time to do what you love best…be an author.

A platform is a must. Social media has taken the lead on helping indie authors get the word out. It’s great to meet and network with authors around the world through Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and more. But keep in mind you need to be marketing to readers and not just authors.

Make certain if your books are on Amazon you have an Author Bio Page. Here’s a handy link to keep for when the time comes: It will take you to Amazon’s Author Central. There is a wealth of information there.

Your platform should also include a website and a blog. Yup, more tasks to add to the list, but well worth the effort. Websites don’t have to be fancy and elaborate. Often times less is more. As far as your blog goes, make certain to entertain, inform, and educate with your posts instead of down-talking others, complaining, or involving defamation of character to get back at perhaps someone who’s given you a bad review or a publisher who rejected your work. Stay upbeat to stay professional.

Overall, indie authors are becoming accepted more and more. It’s a rewarding experience, but it is also a lot of work that takes dedication, passion, and determination.
To be a success you can’t be afraid of hard work or getting your feelings hurt, and you have to have a professional presentation when it comes to your final product.

My advice to you? If you’ve got a story to tell then tell it; someone out there is ready and waiting to read it. Do it up right, keep at it, and you’ll most likely see your fan base begin to grow.

Thanks for having me Liz. It was a pleasure to be a guest on your blog.

JLB Creatives is a company created by authors for authors. We excel in promotional guidance, social media, facilitating, and literary events. To discover more I’d like to personally invite you to visit


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