Marketing is Hard and Other Indie Publishing Problems

So, this year is not going how I expected it to.

Maybe because I’m riddled with indecision. Maybe because society is crumbling around us. Who really knows what’s going on, but I’ve had some time to rethink what I’m doing with my year.

It was about a year ago that I revealed my plans for self-publishing my first novel, a STILL untitled sci-fi mystery about an eclectic amateur sleuth who loves history, hates technology and is forced to work with an android partner. If you can believe it, I’m still working on that story, but after battling with the aforementioned indecision I keep changing my mind on the direction I want to take it. Or rather, the story I write is pulling away from what I originally envisioned, and so the problem becomes what needs to change – my original vision or the story I’ve actually written?

Any feeble sort of writing routine I had since last year has completely broken down, and while I’m trying to fix that, it’s still taking a bit of trial and error (and a truckload of discipline) to find.

Beyond the writing issues, continued research from other, far more experienced indie authors suggests that I need to work on my platform and build my email list – problems I knew I’d have to tackle but have struggled to tackle in the most effective way.

It’s been an interesting year since I made that announcement, so I thought today I’d break it down for you and reveal what I’ve learned, the struggles I’m facing, and what I’ll be working on going forward.

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The Currency of the Creative Mind

I have a lot of ideas and sometimes I take it for granted. It’s the currency of the creative – our ideas, and our imagination. It’s what we pride ourselves on. It’s what sets us apart – the fact that we can have so many ideas floating around in our heads. That’s what makes us creative.

Right?

And I realize that not everyone has trained their brain as I have to create and capture new ideas. For some, those ideas that they are passionate about are few and precious. They’re overwhelmed with their busy lives and don’t have the same luxury that I have. I’ve heard it said many times before.

“You have so many cool ideas. It’s because you’re so creative.”

Of course, I don’t think coming up with ideas is something exclusive to the ‘creative person’. I think anyone can be creative. What matters is opening yourself up to those ideas. You have to work at it.

But here’s the tea: ideas are cheap.

It’s the execution of those ideas that really matter. It’s the difference between talking about doing something and actually doing it. Talk is cheap. Actions are what matter.

Everyone can imagine their ideal life. But not everyone has the courage to work for it.

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The Artist vs. the Entrepreneur: Making the ‘Marketable’ Choice

If there is any piece of advice I hear repeatedly told to the prospective indie, it’s that you have to write to market if you want to succeed. And that makes sense. It’s where the indie can do what the traditional cannot – a fast turn around time that takes advantage of trends. The artist in me has always found the idea distasteful – surely there is a market for a well-written story! While it’s certainly possible, it would be an exception and not the norm. And there is merit to the idea of writing to market now so you can write what you want later.

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Why I’m Choosing the Hybrid Publishing Model (& Super Exciting Announcement!)

I mentioned briefly in one of my Writer Diaries a few weeks ago that I had established a pretty intensive publishing plan for the next couple of years. And it wasn’t a decision I came to lightly, but one I ultimately felt worked best for me and the projects I’m writing and I thought I’d explain my plans a little more in case anyone else was firmly undecided.

And if isn’t made clear by the title, I have something I’m really excited to share: I’m publishing my first book!

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Unexpected Circumstances and New Plans

Two weeks ago I decided to do some intense catch up on my novel with a 24-in-48 writing marathon. Obviously, that didn’t happen. My Thursday began with a pretty nasty shoulder injury which made lifting my arms to type or do pretty much anything was impossible without a whole lot of pain. I hoped with rest I’d recover in time to make something of my weekend. But I didn’t.

And that was really frustrating.

But that’s what happens. Unexpected things pop up and plans get interrupted. You just have to deal with it.

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