California Dreamin’ 2017 Writers Conference Part 5

Optimizing Your Indie Publishing by The Power Team of DeAnna Cameron, Elena Dillon, and Tracy Reed

You are your own marketing and publicity staff when you are an Independently Published Author. Every tool available should be used. Use both on-line calendars and paper ones. Record all Future Details as they approach, like Newsletter days, cover reveals, and launch parties. (One of my chapter members gave a great talk on scheduling his life so that his writing became a part of every day. He scheduled birthday cards, gifts, and Christmas gifts so that he had everything ready to go when the date came around.) And that is Tip 1.

Learn how to make a bullet journal at Bullet Journals dot com.

Plan your promotions, make notes for newsletters, track which sites gave you a good return on your money.

Tip 2. Join a group for accountability. Don’t have to live near each other. Zoom or Skype your weekly meeting. Report on your goals that you accomplished in the past week. Then set new goals for the coming week. That’s all. You need about 10 minutes per week, depending on the number of people in the group. Keep it small and intimate.

Tip 3. Participate in a write-in. Find like-minded writers who have the time to gather to write and work on writing. Gather at a public place, like a coffee shop or restaurant, or in a home if someone is willing to host.

041617 coffee shop writer

Tip 4. Keep a word count spreadsheet. Daily track the number of words you write, what time you started, what time you ended. You can make notes on any details that helped or hindered your progress.

Tip 5. Tune out audible distractions. Use headphones to listen to white noise. Find it at simply noise dot com or look on YouTube.

Tip 6. Take two minutes before writing to prewrite, which characters will be in the scene, what needs to be accomplished. Find more on writing a better book on DeAnna’s website.

041617 book live forever

Tip 7. Write in short bursts, a 30- to 60-minute sprint. Send it out on Twitter, #1k1hr which means 1000 words in 1 hour. My RWA chapter has a Facebook page for tracking your sprint progress. Don’t forget to track it on your spreadsheet.

Tracy Reed wrote 13 titles last year. She wanted to see if she could do it, set it up as a challenge. Not all were novels, some short stories and novellas, but still! Thirteen new titles in one year is amazing. Tracey does Flash Fiction, a term that means a story of about 1000 words more or less. These can be fun to write but have to be completely contained in the one scene or so.

She also creates her own covers. Since she writes African-American main characters, she finds photos she likes of a couple, then makes the white or Hispanic models black. She creates the covers first then writes the story.

041617 accident book order

Tip 8. Lock in your beta readers. Have them lined up and ready to read. They must be fast readers. Maybe your editor could be a beta reader.

Tip 9. Book your ads, look ahead, don’t put your work in Kindle Exclusive. (And if you link to books that aren’t Kindle Exclusives, Amazon will tell you about it and drop the item from KP themselves)

***Promotion – make it faster and easier. Select your theme, do branding through Canva. Select a style sheet – colors, fonts, themes, graphics, be consistent. Plus put it all in a media kit. Create an author bible and a book bible.

Being an author is a business. No matter how much you want to, you can’t just write. Consider your marketing plan. Take one or two days per month to plan your marketing. Which social media should you be focused on, which book to promote when, get it organized.

Use flash fiction for your blog and publicity to drive traffic. Link to your Newsletter at the bottom. Link to Newsletter everywhere!

You all know about Tailwind, right? Tailwind schedules Pinterest and Instagram. Set it, but don’t forget it. Don’t randomly set up a graphic for a book. Use something that relates to the story. And be careful of copyright laws.

041617 no elevator

Amazon Ads work as do BookBub and Facebook. A street team will help get the word out, too. There, wasn’t that easy? Simple, really. We are SuperWriters and we can do it all!

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.


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