Success is always at the back of an author’s mind. Even right after our first book has popped up on Amazon, when we’re secretly hoping it’s good enough to be an instant hit. Of course, that rarely happens but we still hold out hope.
Our chances of immediate success are pretty slim but honestly, where’s the fun in that anyway? Hitting smaller milestones on our journey to a big win are just as important and less likely to exploit our tendency to feel “imposter syndrome.” Instant success or not, we are still Anxious Authors and a best-selling book isn’t likely to change that.
But we are hard-working authors who love to create books and we want to reach the top. Or at the very least earn a solid career doing something we love. That earns us enough to write that resignation letter to the 9-5 job that’s put food on the table so far.
So, we have a hunger to succeed and the drive to get there. What can we do to help ourselves reach success in our indie author careers?
1. Connect with other authors in your genre
When I first started out getting involved in the author community, I was terrified. Networking was my Achilles heel, especially in face-to-face situations. Was social media going to be an better?
As it turns out, yes! Even if you are the most introverted of introverts, you can get to know your fellow authors and not feel awkward. Or at least not as awkward.
Getting integrated in the indie author community is a great way to share your struggles, get industry tips and have a bit of support come release day. It’s a wonderful community full of supportive people who produce amazing books themselves. Surrounding yourself with them is one of many awesome things you can do to prime yourself for indie author success.
2. Read, read, read.
This is a super important point: read books that are popular in your genre. How can you produce a bestseller when you don’t know what’s selling right now?
I’ve encountered one or two authors who used to actively advise new indie authors not to read. Reasons for this included: it can influence your style and ruin your originality. This blew my mind for all the wrong reasons and of course, these authors haven’t yet made it big.
Reading in your genre is essential to gaining insight into your genre and what your readers/potential readers want. If you don’t know what the masses want, you can’t give it to them. One of the best ways to learn what readers want is to be a reader!
3. Learn about keywords
This might seem quite technical but use the right keywords and you already have a good marketing foundation for your book. People are searching for things on the internet all the time. “Urban fantasy books”, “paranormal romance books”, “sword and sorcery books” are examples of terms people will use when looking for their next read.
Understanding which keywords are searched for the most and using them to your advantage is a great way to get your books noticed. Use them in your blurbs, ads and titles and you’re already off to a strong start.
Before we have big back-lists of books to advertise or a bit of a reputation to build our success on, we Anxious Authors must prepare. The more we put into our career before it even begins, the more we will get out of it when success comes a-callin’!
Thanks for reading!