How to Become an Indie Author

One study shows that 80% of people feel they have a book inside of them. If you have a book inside of you that is waiting to come out, now is a great time to make your dream come true.

Independent publishing is growing. The cost to produce a book is within the average person’s reach, and with the Internet, marketing opportunities are right at your fingertips.

So, becoming an independent author is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Simply write your book, publish it, and then start selling. Wait—is it really that easy?

Sadly, some new indie authors fall into this belief system. These authors fail to learn what is required to produce a quality book that resembles books published by traditional publishing houses. Then they get frustrated when their book doesn’t sell.

If you are thinking about publishing a book as an indie author, I encourage you to gain the knowledge you need to produce a quality book that meets industry standards and glorifies God. Here are two ways you can get that information:

1. Attend my “Going Indie” seminar at the upcoming Write to Impact Lives Conference.

The Write to Impact Lives Conference will be held in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, on February 9 to 10, 2018. I will teach a four-hour session on Friday afternoon that will cover everything you need to know to publish an industry-standard book. The seminar will cover:

  • Three things to do before you publish your book.
  • Preparing your manuscript for publishing including editing, interior layout and design, and your book cover design.
  • Publishing your book affordably.

If you do not live near Philadelphia, you have another option to get this great information.

2. Become a Member of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA).

Membership in Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) is open to individuals who have published or are considering publishing a book. You do not have to have already published a book to join the association.

Members of CSPA have access to on-demand seminars covering all the information you need to publish an industry standard book. CSPA Members also have access to a Checklist for Publishing a Professional-Looking Book. Additionally, as a Member of Christian Small Publishers Association, you have access to free title setup and revisions with IngramSpark, a print-on-demand service that also provides distribution for your book.

Membership in CSPA is just $90 for the 2018 calendar year. You can join today on CSPA’s website.

Make 2018 the year you indie publish that book you have been wanting to complete!

Related Posts:
Sales of Indie Books Continue to Grow
Oh, The Places Your Book Will Go!
It’s Never Too Late

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Four Gift Ideas for Authors

Who doesn’t love to get a gift? A gift is an expression of love. It makes you feel that the giver cares about you.

Giving gifts also leaves you with a good feeling. After all, Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.

This Christmas, as you give and get gifts, I want to encourage you to give a special gift to the authors in your life. Now, most of you reading this are authors so you may be wondering why I am writing about gifts for authors.

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If you are an author, you most likely know other authors. Use one of these ideas or inspiration from these ideas to give your author friends a special gift this season. Feel free to also show these ideas to your loved ones as a hint of what they can do for you this Christmas.

1. Write a glowing review of the author’s book.

Post your glowing review on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, ChristianBook.com, and Goodreads. Then share your posted review with all your friends via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and any other social media platform you use. Then share the links with your author friend as your Christmas gift. After all, great reviews are like gold for authors.

2. Purchase and donate the author’s book to local organizations.

You can donate any number of copies that you choose to purchase of the author’s books to any local organizations with an audience that is right for the book. Donate a book to your church library, your local public library, a local school, a nursing home, a group home, or even a community center.

3. Purchase and gift copies of the author’s book to all your friends.

Gift copies of your author friend’s book to your other friends. After all, books make great gifts. Check out my infographic on Six Reasons Books Make Great Gifts if you need to be reminded why books are excellent gifts. Remember, each time you purchase an author’s book, you are giving them a gift—the gift of your money, the gift of your time, and the gift of your trust in them.

4. Give the gift of a writer’s conference.

For a pricier gift, you can purchase a writer’s conference registration for your author friend. You can find a list of Christian writer’s conferences around the United States here. Find one that is hosted in a location near where your author friend lives and give him or her the gift of a conference. Writer’s conferences not only help authors improve their craft, they provide encouragement and inspiration.

If you are an author reading this, I know that you would love to receive one of these as a gift this Christmas. I encourage you to find the blessing in giving and give one of these gifts to an author you know this season.

Related Posts:
Six Reasons Books Make Great Gifts
Create Book Bundles for Gifting
Five Benefits of Children’s Books

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What Are You Learning?

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. ~Chinese Proverb

Once you learn something new, you are never the same. Yet there is always more to learn, especially when it comes to publishing and marketing books. Even those who have been in the industry for years must always learn more because trends are always changing.

Book_Rapid-eLearning

The learning curve when you are starting something new—such as publishing or marketing a book—is extremely steep, but the learning curve never goes away because there is always more to learn.

What are you doing to keep learning and staying relevant in publishing and promoting your books? If you are reading this blog—kudos to you. You probably read other blogs on publishing and marketing as well. Reading blogs is one way to learn so that you can improve your craft. Four additional ways to keep learning include:

1.  Join organizations that provide services to authors and publishers and read their newsletters and publications.

There are many organizations that provide information to help authors and publishers improve their craft. Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) provides services for small publishers and independently published authors creating materials for the Christian marketplace. There are many associations that serve writers. American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) is a large organization that helps Christian fiction writers improve their craft. The Word Guild is a writer’s group for Canadian writers.

2.  Read books on publishing and marketing.

There are hundreds of books on publishing and marketing books, and hundreds more on the craft of writing. Books on these subjects are being published each month. The Director of the Midwest Book Review, Jim Cox, highlights new book on writing, publishing, and marketing books in his monthly newsletter. If you are a Christian author or small publisher, and you have not yet read my book, Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace, I suggest you do so.

3.  Attend conferences.

Conferences are designed for learning. Wherever you are in your publishing journey, you can benefit from conferences. Industry trade shows like the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) has seminars that show attendees can sit in on and learn new things. I learn new things every year when I attend. Writer’s conferences are also great places for learning more about the craft of writing as well as learning more about publishing, and promoting and marketing books. You can find a list of Christian writers conferences held in the United States at Christian Manuscripts Submissions website.

I will be presenting a seminar the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference put on by Writer His Answer next month. This conference features over 55 authors, editors, and agents presenting their expertise. There is something for every Christian author at this conference. Check out their online brochure on their website and make plans to attend if you live near Philadelphia.

4.  Join discussion groups and interact with other authors and publishers.

There are numerous discussion groups and forums online for authors and publishers. Both Facebook and LinkedIn feature many such groups. Another resource is Christian Writers. This online forum provides a venue for Christian writers to interact with other Christian writers to gain feedback, information, and insight into the writing and publishing process.

I encourage you to regularly engage in activities that help you learn how to become a better writer, publisher, or book promoter. You will not only become better at your craft, you will also become a better person for it. After all, the Chinese proverb reminds us that whatever new thing we learn stays with us and overflows to all areas of our life.

Related Posts:
It’s Okay Not to Know
Staying Relevant
Do You Have a Teachable Spirit?

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