How I Earn A Living As An Indie Author: I Do It My Way

In a presentation hailed as “inspirational” at a recent Edinburgh publishing conference, self-published writer Linda Gillard described how going indie brought her commercial success…

Why I Went Indie

My talk was entitled Why I went indie – and why I’m staying indie… I told my heart-warming story: mid-list author dumped by publisher finds success and a salary in the welcoming arms of Amazon’s KDP.

Many authors have done this now, but few have done it my way. There are no rules in indie publishing, but the received wisdom is, you won’t succeed without a personal blog or Twitter. You need to write genre fiction, publish a series, or at least a sequel and you have to make your books free on a regular basis.

I didn’t do any of that. I had a website, a Facebook author page and a modest following. I write contemporary genre-busting fiction – notoriously hard to market. When my publisher dropped me, they cited ‘disappointing sales’, but there had been other problems. The fact that my books belonged to no clear genre and didn’t resemble each other had led to friction. I always knew that as an indie, I wasn’t going to be able to market a genre, I was going to have to market me. Me as an author of good stories.

Why I Focus on Writing

So instead of engaging in intensive social networking, I concentrated on writing new books, resurrecting my backlist, then getting them onto Kindle. I e-published four novels in less than a year and that made an impact. I blogged here about how I gradually built up a following, interacting with readers. I call it self-promotion by stealth. It’s slow, time-consuming, and you can’t distill it into a Tweet, but it’s much more effective.”

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