Right, this weekend (after talking about flaws in front of PPW) I have to meet up with Becky Clark and talk about indie publishing, soup to nuts. She’s funnier than I am, so I want to make sure she doesn’t distract me too much with her jokes, and so therefore I’m writing a possible outline for our talk at PPWC before she can, because I won’t get two words in once I see her…
I mean, that is not the case and I’m just getting my thoughts organized. I expect to learn a TON from her, and from putting this all together. Plus, if it goes well, maybe we’ll turn our notes into a book and voila! Brilliant.
IF YOU HAVE FEEDBACK: Marvin K. Mooney, I don’t care where and I don’t care how, but share your feedback with me now! Items to add, books you want to recommend, people who disagree with me, techniques and websites to check out: cough them up.
Indie Publishing: Who, What, Where, Why, and WTF?
- Is indie publishing for me? What if I want to do it differently?
- Note on Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced tracks.
- Should I DIY? What should I DIY? And what should I pay if I don’t?
- Gaming the system (tactics) vs. long-term strategies.
- In general, how not to get screwed.
2. Before you write.
- But I hate all this stuff! I just want to write!
- Establishing a promise to readers (and picking readers who give a crap).
- How to start thinking in terms of selling books instead of being a precious snowflake (I probably won’t call it this, but…oh man is it true for most of us).
- Time management.
- Should I start with backlist or new work?
- Should I change what I write?
- Increasing writing speed.
- Taking advantage of indie publishing opportunities (series, serials, tie-ins, collections vs. short story singles, pseudonyms)
- Writing with other people
- What can I legally get away with? (Product references, fan fiction, using other authors’ worlds, non-compete clauses, when do I get rights back on previously published material)
- Should I indie publish or go with an outside publisher on this particular project (hybrid authorship).
- What writing software should I use?
- Should I publish on my website first or not?
4. Ongoing tasks to do while experiencing writers’ block.
- Setting up as a business.
- Networking (web presence, social media, newsletters, writers’ groups/sites)
- Deciding where to publish and how (paypal, publishers, pseudonyms, porn, and more)
- How knowing copyright can save your butt.
- Freelancing (quitting your job, supplementing your income, increasing web presence and networking) vs. working for free.
- Continuing education (writers’ groups, classes, books, advanced study)
- Crowdfunding (kickstarter, patreon, donations)
- When is it done?/Is it good enough?
- How to find beta readers/writers’ groups.
- Hiring an editor.
- How to work with an editor.
- A note on series: start a series file!
6. Design and layout.
- Ebook, print, or both?
- Picking comps for fun and profit
- Hiring artists/designers
- How to work with artists and designers
- The importance of staying legal
- Marketing materials: cover taglines (book tags, author tags, series tags), back cover blurbs, keywords
7. Planning for release day.
- Getting reviews.
- Blog tours.
- Paid advertising
- DRM or not?
- Prereleases and soft release days (is that the term? I can’t remember now)
- Should I copyright/register with the Library of Congress/get an ISBN?
- Doing a prerelease check
8. Release day.
- Gaming the system.
- Minimizing the work you need to do on release day (preventing as many ulcers as possible)
9. Post-release day.
- Customer Reviews: Good, Bad, and Ugly (Author responses).
- What to do about flagging sales (free, giveaways, price dropping)
- Why am I not getting the sales I want? A checklist.
- How to handle corrections.
- What if someone contacts me? (Agents, publishers, foreign rights, movie deals, merchandise)
- What if someone’s stealing my ebook?
- How to deal with growth (looking back at old work that sucks)
- Should I do an audiobook?
10. Appendices (& handouts?).
- What genre is my book? The flowchart.
- Where to find indie book reviewers.
- Editing checklist.
- Cover/Interior checklist for design and layout.
- Prerelease checklist
- Release day troubleshooting checklist
- How to contact independent bookstores to discuss stocking your book