Are you tired of spending hours on social media promoting your brand, your books?
What if I told you there was a way to give you two-and-a-half years of writing time inside of your already busy schedule?
You see we all struggle with busy schedules, most importantly, finding time to write. Well, guess what?
I have found a way to give myself an extra hour of writing time each and every day. Writing time that I had previously squandered by over exerting myself marketing my brand and my writing.
Social Media has become the independent author’s best friend. It’s how we spread the word on our latest projects, it's how we find new readers, it's how we query for agents, it's the lifeblood of an author platform. This is the focus of every indie, self-published author right out the gate. It also happens to be where most of us stumble and fall hardest.
You spend countless hours crafting tweets, fabulous Facebook posts, and the best #instafire photo and only gain two "valuable" readers after putting in twenty hours into social media that week.
I know what you are thinking...
I know I’ve heard it! But the thing is, you inadvertently do. Most don’t know how much time we are spending on social media because the revolution of the internet has radically changed our world. It is the new norm. We get lost in the scroll, hunting and searching for the quick burst of dopamine that says, “Yes, I have been validated and accepted by my peers!”
For indie authors it is no different. We wait for the next follow, the next share by our friends and family that puts another stone in the stronghold of our author platform. Unfortunately some of us spend far too much time surfing the social media waves for too little return on our investment. In fact recent estimates say that the average social media user will spend over five years of their life on social media.
Check this Infographic by MediaKix
FIVE FLIPPIN' YEARS OF YOUR LIFE! Want it back now?
We've all been there...
You've worked hard to achieve what you have to this point. Whether you are just finishing your first draft, manuscript, or you've already published dozens of books, you've felt it. It lingers in the back of your mind, and on your best days you ignore it. With your shield in hand you fend off the attacks of self-doubt, hyper-criticism, and feelings of fraudulence. Those days feel good. They feel really good. But as it is true in every other walk of like, the writer's life has a sinister parasite that attacks us when we are down. It has a name. It is called Impostor Syndrome.
Turns out just about everyone on the planet has felt this way...
Fledgling writers and seasoned vets feel the same crushing self-doubt, and quite a few have shared their views on this phenomenon. In fact a quick google search of Impostor Syndrome in writers, will show you that greats like Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Maya Angelou have spoken out on the subject. The reason I am writing this blog today is because it is an issue that I struggle with. While this article may be cathartic to me, I also hope that what I present can help you if you feel the same weight. There are a ton of perspectives out there, and although this blog is targeted at writers, I think something has been missed.
It's not a writer's problem, it is a human problem...
What is Crowdfunded-Publishing? And why you should consider it. Featuring Susan K. Hamilton author of Shadow King
You've heard of Kickstarter...
Crowdfunding isn't a new concept. The advent of the internet, social media networks, and our increasing online existence it is no surprise to see artists, authors, and creatives of all kind leveraging the power of their social networks. Platforms like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and GoFundMe are household names, yet Crowdfunding isn't restricted to these avenues. Along with these innovative platforms a host of publishing oriented sites have cropped up. Inkshares, Crowdbooks, and UnBound have taken the concept of Crowdfunding and provided a haven for authors to engage audiences in an exciting way. By running campaigns to attract readers, specifically pre-orders of their latest WIP, authors are able to access the power of the Crowd to publish their work.
Why should indie authors consider Crowdfunding?
There are several reasons...
Crowdfunding your novel is a rewarding experience that nets the author a number of key advantages over self-publishing. While I published my first novel via the self-publishing (Amazon KDP model), it was not my first choice. I initially attempted to crowdfund on the Inkshares platform. There were a few key factors that attracted me to the concept.
Despite those advantages...I found that the world of Crowdfunding isn't easy...
My first campaign to fund and publish Nemeton was a failure. The novel was under a different name, concept, and had poorly written drafts. I was so excited about the idea though, and I knew others would. There was one key issue, I wasn't done writing the book yet, and readers could tell. They never said as much, but the lack of interest told me all I needed to know. I wasn't ready to publish under this model.
Don't let that discourage you...
I have seen many other authors succeed where I failed and I learned a few key things from them. In fact, for this blog I pulled in one of the authors who recently succeeded in publishing through Inkshares. I interviewed her so you could better grasp the concept of crowdfunding and how to publish your book through this exciting method.
Indie Spotlight: Where upcoming Independent Authors flaunt their work...
This is the thirteenth profile on fellow Independent Authors, Artists, Creatives and their new releases. I am a firm believer that promoting and supporting the Indie community is the most effective way to produce a vibrant, lasting culture of reading, artistic expressions and cultivating appreciation of the arts in this and future generations. Thus I hope that this series expands the Indie reading community and connects it with the creatives minds of the burgeoning community of Independent Authors, Artists, and Creatives. So let's get to the next profile on #INDIESPOTLIGHT...
Introducing Susan K. Hamilton: Author of
About the Author
Susan K. Hamilton has always enjoyed writing, but didn’t truly start writing in earnest until her frehsman year at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, when her English teacher challenged the class to write “something creative.” The resulting short story eventually transformed into her first novel, “Darkstar Rising.”
In 2016, she entered the Launchpad Manuscript Competition and her manuscript, “Shadow King”, was a Top Ten finalist and is currently in production at Inkshares (release date TBD). The following year, she entered a different manuscript in the 2017 Launchpad Competition, and made it to the Top 25. That novel—“The Devil You Don’t”—will enter the production queue at Inkshares in 2018.
Susan lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts with her husband and cat, and is currently working on a follow up novel to “Shadow King.”
About Shadow King
LOST GIRL meets THE DEPARTED
In a world where humans and faeries must live and work together, Aohdan Collins ruthlessly runs Boston’s criminal underworld, but when he shares a shot of whiskey with the lovely Fae Seer, Seireadan Moore, everything changes. Driven by revenge, Aohdan may hold the answers Seireadan seeks, but everyone knows that bad things happen to people who cross Aohdan Collins.
Confronted by tragedy and betrayal, Aohdan and Seireadan find themselves squarely in the Seelie King’s sights, where Seireadan must confront the man who killed her father, and Aohdan is forced to choose between taking on a role that will fracture the Seelie Court forever, or watch everything he’s built—and everyone he loves—be destroyed.
Follow Susan on Social Media
Readers Judge Books By Their Cover!
No matter the path you've chosen to pursue in publishing your manuscript, you'll need a GREAT Cover. Why? Because people do judge books by their cover. If your cover is bland, or looks like it was made by an amateur most won't even give your book a second thought. More importantly they may never look at your work again...
It seems harsh but it is the reality we face...
With nearly a million books published each year in the United States alone, your cover is the first access point for your potential readers. We went over the Pitch before and it is the core of your marketing strategy, but the book cover will be seen first, and as such it will be the first point of judgement by your potential reader. Eyes will automatically be drawn to the cover whether the reader is seeing it in a search, an ad, or a social media post. If you lose the reader because of a poorly designed cover, it won't matter how good your Pitch is, and even worse how good your story itself is.
Get ready to tear your hair out, especially if you decide to design it yourself!
There are three main roads you can take when you are crafting your book cover.
Christopher Lee is the indie author of Nemeton, an avid history buff, mythologist, bardic poet, and keeper of the old ways.