Proof

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There it is. A book born from a ten page story back in 2010. In its current state it needed a minor tune up and as I type this, those files are on their way for approval. It’s done, pending the next proof copy, but I think that will be fine. After this I will never use Microsoft word to write a single sentence. I’ll be moving on to scrivener and good riddance to word.

I think back now to working on my first real attempt at a novel and wonder. This wasn’t possible a decade ago. Thank you technology. I realize now the task of selling this myself will be a very tough one, but I don’t doubt my work for a second. I know if I waited and shopped to more agents and publishers it would have made it through, but why wait when there are so many other stories to tell. I wonder how many amazing authors died with their manuscripts left in dusty attics or moldy basements because they didn’t make it through some slush pile. Or their one page submission letter failed to impress an overworked agent?

The days of the old way are quickly dying and that is a good thing. Overall we lose a bit of quality control, but we gain so much more. It all comes down to determination and polish. Work with your work and it will work for you.

I don’t know much about the marketing end of things but I do know how to sell. It helps when this is your day job for sure. That being said there are a lot of avenues open to indie authors and a lot of them involve shilling your work to fellow authors. Which isn’t a bad thing, but we need to reach a wider audience. Have a plan of attack. It’s simple really: figure out your target audience and then find out what they like and where they reside on the web. Make a blog, make a Twitter handle and start talking to your readers and potential readers, because at the end of the day we are selling ourselves first and our books second.

But please don’t turn your twitter account into a spam bot. You know who you are. I don’t care what your sale tracker says or what some marketing guru told you. Those minor sales didn’t come from mass spam every 15 minutes. They came from people clicking the same link in your profile when they first followed you. It’s one of the first things I do when I get a follower with links. It all comes back to similar interests and back to us and selling books. Spam doesn’t belong in that cycle and it will get you blocked and un-followed. Don’t be the annoying telemarketer. I’ll drop my link in a tweet if I have a promo, share with the bigger reader groups, or as I get new followers, but 3 times a day max. More than that and you’re just being an ass. I’ve made more sales just by talking to people and offering advice . . . Building a fan base isn’t rocket science, it’s just hard work and instead of hitting the pavement you’re hitting the keys daily, trying to sell your wares and I wish you the best of luck.

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