Whizz! What Wordpreneur Peeps Can Teach Us About Indie Publishing Success

Wordpreneur PeepsPlease excuse and ignore the unusually exuberant headline; I was just messing around following the directions in this cartoon I posted recently in the Visuals section, and I liked how it turned out, so what the hey, I’ll use it!

What you probably won’t want to ignore is the currently ongoing Wordpreneur Peeps revival. Because even if you’re deja vu’ing on the stuff, you may actually end up learning something new.

In case you don’t know what Wordpreneur Peeps is, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t: Back in 2012, I decided to start a new series of relatively short and simple interviews with successful indie authors, where they would share their career backstories (how they get started as indie authors) and give us some juicy publishing tips and insight as well.

The first Peeps post went up late October of that year. My goal then was do one a week. I haven’t kept count,but around a year later, we were already up to about a hundred or so, and I think we were in the 130 ballpark when the last one came out (I really should say “latest” instead of “last,” since the series really hasn’t formally ended … wink wink).

That there’s a ton of useful tips and information in that body of interviews should go without saying. Even though I technically gathered the info and wrote each one, I do get surprised about what I find in there every time I go through them.

And going through them is something I’ve been doing a lot lately. You see about a couple of months back, I decided to move this Wordpreneur site to another server, as part of a whole “rejuvenate the site” thing after letting it cruise on autopilot for a spell while I focused on other projects. Now, the usual M.O. for a site server move is dirt easy — just back the thing up and “restore” the files on the new server. Done quick enough without any hiccups, users shouldn’t really even notice.

But I decided to do things just a little bit differently. Because who the heck says I can’t?

The site architecture remains unchanged for now, but I purged out all the content. Then I decided to go through it, post-by-post, checking for relevance, errors, needed updates, etc., discarding the stuff that’s no longer of any use or I don’t like for one reason or other. Instead of letting them dirty up the works and for the most part be dead and useless in the usual blog “archive” that not even my mother gives a futz about. The stuff that makes the cut, however, gets updated if needed and reposted, not just made available as historical artifacts in category folders for any interested parties who’ve got little much else to do than sift through old stuff.

And this reposting is done over time, as I go along. Because again, who made up the rules and said I have to do them all at the same time?

So the body of Peeps interviews are petering out on the site as I get to them, in the sequence they originally appeared. I don’t edit them nor do I change any of the original portraits and book covers; I just go through checking links, fixing typos I may have missed, etc., They’re pretty much AS IS, except for the “Originally published” date I add to the bottom of each.

Easy work, really. So why am I choosing to go slow, and doing only one or two a day? Because besides the fun and obvious benefits from rereading the advice and tips, I like to check out what the authors are doing now.

And that, my friends, is where things get really interesting. From what I’ve seen, most of them have progressed their indie author “businesses” significantly in the few short years since their original Peeps interviews. Fortunately, I usually got a decent status snapshot in their original interviews (total titles published, most current work, etc.), so it’s relatively easy to see how much they’ve moved forward since. So, that’s something to do as you revisit these Peeps interviews: clickthrough to their Amazon author pages, websites, etc. (the links are in their bio blurbs) to see what they’re up to now.

Don’t just look at title counts! There’s lots to learn, observe and study, such as review numbers, updated author portraits, even new cover designs for old titles! Since I kept their old portraits and book covers in the reposts, doing comparisons is dirt easy.

Frankly, I find this trip down memory lane quite illuminating, educational and thought provoking. I even go so far as visit their Facebook and Twitter accounts if any are listed to see how those are doing. (Interestingly enough, I haven’t been impressed by their social media follower counts. A few decent numbers here and there, but nothing mind-blowing. Now that’s hmm stuff.) I suggest you take advantage of this opportunity to do the same as I continue to re-release Peeps interviews. There are LOTS more coming soon (I don’t think we’re even halfway through)!

Let’s get to work …