Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Independent Authors Last Longer than BestSellers

How long does it take to make a book a best seller? That fast? Really? Wow!

Oh, of course. You're talking about the old traditional publishing models. Yes. Well. Let's dispense with that right now. We are well past the timelines of traditional publishing. On that planet, it's normal to wait 18 months (a year and a half, people!) to see the book appear in print. After all that waiting, things speed up to express-train levels. The book is out, author! Get out there and make it sell! You've got -- oh, say, a month. Yes, a month. The next book by your publisher is already in the chute, and it has to be given a month of its own, doesn't it? You'll be moving along then, your book didn't self-combust and take the world by the heart in those long, leisurely thirty days it was up front in the book store.

Oh, sorry. We were dispensing with all that.

Here's what you're going to do as an independent author. Yes. You'll have a book launch. Of course! Who wants to miss out on that? The thing is, you need to start something I call the Practice of Being an Author. It's a practice, because it is no longer a race. Your book is going to be available for a very long time, and your launch lasts at least a year.

You're going to create an editorial calendar, for example, which in best cases begins quite a while before your book is finished and available. Wait, now, don't get upset if you, like just about every other writer I know, did not have time to create an author platform while in the process of writing your book. That's right. I'm not a writing and tech superhero and I don't know anyone who is. Not personally, anyway.

So it's really okay if you have so far only managed to write your book, get it edited, make the changes, have a book cover produced, maybe even get a few nice reviews you can include right there in your description area in Kindle, and push the PUBLISH button on Amazon. You actually did well. Back patting encouraged.

Maybe you even signed up with someone who can help you get your book up to Bestseller status on Amazon. Awesome! Pay attention and learn everything you can. Just don't think that you're done after you've cleaned up the champagne corks and sparkly confetti from your launch party. Having a best selling book, a concept of varying meaning, will help. Keep smiling. Continuing your launch for the next twelve months will be one of the most satisfying, friendship building, illuminating things you will ever do.

On the Old Publishing Planet, none of this happens. It's not even possible. The structure is radically different from what we are doing now as independent authors. Our books are here to stay. I hope you've written something you really, really care about. Indie authors can't afford the attention deficit which traditional publishing has trained into authors and their readers. We are all about longevity. We'll be selling our books, pulling in royalties, and making our readership happy for the rest of our lives.

Right? With me?

Let's grow beyond bestseller. It's a big open frontier out there.

Suzanna Stinnett
Follow me on Twitter: Brainmaker
Click the Stinnett Books Tab for the Beyond Bestseller Author Platform E-Courses


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  2. This is so true. For most authors and books, the flash-in-the-pan promotions by fatigued, outmoded old-school publishers are far outweighed by the steady, networked, sharing of self-publishers who care so much more about their ideas and how others can use and enjoy them.

    1. I think you nailed it there, Jenny, that authors care so much more about their ideas that we are naturally more able to support them. That's another aspect to this author-centric new publishing world worth noting. By the way, when's your next book coming out?! *smile*

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