What I’ve Learnt as an Indie Author

In September 2015, I became an author and published my first children’s picture book The Dragon of Allerton Oak. Since then, I’ve published several more books but more important have been the lessons learnt along the way. Here are my top five.

  1. Writing the book is the easy bit! Yes it takes hours of preparation, research, imagination, re-drafting, agonising and more. But essentially the creativity is the easiest bit of the process.
  2. Marketing is Key. Even the big publishing houses are finding it harder and many of them have huge marketing budgets to help. The humble Indie Author has to rely on other things as well as budget including –
  • Make the most of FREE social media platforms and have a designated Author page.
  • Post regularly on these (daily for facebook and several times a day for Twitter).
  • Join relevant organisations I’m Creative Director for Children’s Books at Team Author UK and a member of The Alliance of Independent Authors.
  • Make friends with your local Indie bookshops.
  • Join facebook groups for writers.
  • Join a writing group.
  • Go to other events put on by local bookshops or authors.
  • Follow and interact with other authors online.
  • Get on board with events that champion Indie Authors for example Indie Author Week UK, Carnival of Words, Wowfest, Crediton Literary festival to name but a few.
  • Attend workshop days or courses.
  • Provide author visits to primary schools, festivals or organisations.
  • Put on your own book events (both physical and online).
  • Be a judge in writing competitions.
  • Enter writing competitions.
  • Get a PR involved. This has been really effective for me.
  • Have a mascot – my storytelling mascot Lamby who appears in several of my books has his own following.
  • Take your mascot  everywhere, mine even came to South America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Be proactive! Ok, so you’ve written your book but you can’t just expect people to find out about it by osmosis. You have to actively tell them. I’m not talking spamming here but by doing some of the things from point 2 you’ll have a much better chance.
  2. Be proactive part two! So you’ve arranged an event with a venue, don’t expect the venue alone to promote your event. They don’t know your readership, your supporters or your followers. You, as the author do! You have to go out there and tell them. This is particularly important with online events and book launches. If you have a set date for a book launch you need to be telling everyone beforehand, the actual day is too late.
  3. Think outside the box. Are there places who might consider stocking your book that you haven’t thought of? My books are in a pet shop next to my house. Not one of my books is about a pet but the owner tells everyone the author lives next door and I’m often called down to sign the books that are sold.

So there you go, five really important lessons I’ve learnt since becoming an Indie Author. And I’m still learning every day!

For more information about Author Jude Lennon please visit her website or facebook page. 

 

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