The popularity of e-readers has seen an influx in what are now being called “indie writers. These are writers that have decided to opt against going the traditional route of agencies and big name New York publishing houses. Instead, they are releasing their titles through outlets such as Amazon’s KDP system and Barnes and Noble’s PubIt system.
Many writers are making a killing at this. In 2011 and 2012 alone, the number of indie authors that made six figures at year’s end grew substantially. And there and more and more going this route.
So what are the tricks to becoming a successful indie writer? Well, while there is no tried and true formula, there seem to be a few common themes among those that have become successful.
- Make sure your writing is up to par. Have a product people will want to buy and recommend to others. If you aren’t sure about your strengths as a writer, take some workshops and hire a professional editor.
- Keep a strong Twitter and Facebook presence. Following and unfollowing people can be a hassle and a real waste of time, but if you can manage your time accordingly, you can create a valuable following in both of these outlets, creating a customer base for your writing that will only grow over time.
- Keep your blog current and up to date. Post relevant content and above all, make sure that you post about more than your own work and updates. Your reader want to see you as a well-informed source within your industry, so make sure your content reflects that.
- When you release new books, make an online event out of it. Host giveaways, do a blog tour on other writer’s pages, and get creative. Use your Twitter and Facebook accounts to advertise and get new readers based on these promotions.
Being a writer that tries to build a following online is really not too different from a small business looking for new clients. The approach is the same, right down to branding. This indie writer movement is just another example of how social media is creating avenues for people to advertise themselves and become prosperous in doing so.