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Jul 03

Moving forward!!

 

Well hello again from beautiful Kentucky! It’s been an amazing couple of weeks so let’s catch you up. I’ve released my second novel, Genesis and have moved on to getting my next novel, Twisted Souls the second part of the Griffin Chronicles series up to scratch and ready to release. I’m also enjoying my last week off before I have to go back to work for real. I’m trying to squeeze everything I can out of the last few days, and I think I’m winning.

With the kids, we’ve finished baseball and softball. The boys both had excellent seasons and Laynee’s team finished in first place. This now gives us a solid month to play around until school starts again. So we all promptly started sleeping in until after 9 and doing nothing amazing everyday! We’re loving our time together. We did add a new addition to our family, a Great Saint (Great Dane/St. Bernard mix) we named Lexi. We got her from a rescue. She’s 8 weeks old and getting bigger everyday. We are loving that too. For those who care much, Jules is doing great more and more the mama we always have known and love. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you aren’t in that particular loop, don’t worry.)

On the author front I’ve already told you what I’ve been working on, Twisted Souls and that’s true. It’s not however what I’m going to talk about today other than to announce that the release of said book is going to be on (drum roll please) Saturday July 20th! I’m having the launch party here in Clarksville, and online so we can cater to all. Please sign up to attend and order a book or two, or three. (I’ll have 3 out by then!!)

Here I’m changing gears a little into something I truly believe in, and I wanted to chat about it a bit. How do Indie authors sell books. It’s a valid concept, and a difficult answer to find. I know many a good author that can’t stay in the game because they can’t afford it. The worst part is they have a hard time finding a small publishing house to pick them up because they don’t know how to sell themselves efficiently enough to get the help they need. So I wanted to say a bit about what the process looks like.

Now I’m no expert, but I have been signed to small houses, and have turned down offers from other small houses to go it alone and give it a solid shot on my own. However this has taken some time, and some money. If a new author wants to make it in the harsh world of books, writing and publishing, it will take some sacrifice. I’ll lay them out and then give each of them a paragraph and we’ll wrap up. Sound like a plan?? (Let’s push on.) It basically takes a few sacrifices and here they are, time, money, and patience.

First the sacrifice of time. What we have to understand is that basically the real appeal to self publishing (Independently publishing) is that you can do everything pretty much on your own. Well that’s not all true but we’ll cover that in the next paragraph. The time it takes to learn about formatting, and forming valuable relationships where you can get help with takes a lot of time. In my first year (and a bit) I met a ton of helpful people on the FB pages, for Indie authors. I met some great people on Indie’s unlimited, and other blogs etc. I also had lots of help with my writing and critiquing for my first novel. Can you guess what it cost me to get all this awesomeness? Loads of my free time.  I won’t lie to you and try to get you to imagine that you can do all this, work a full-time job, have a family, write, and try to shop yourself out there as a new author with goods to show. Something has to give and you will have to decide how much you want to be a published author and try to make some extra money selling books. Like I said you can’t do them all, one will suffer so you can work on your author image and brand. However, if you believe your manuscript has the potential and that you are a good enough story teller to sell books then talk it over with your significant other and charge ahead sacrificing that time for success.

Second, the sacrifice of money. To imagine you can get a professional look and feel for free is ludicrous. Setting up a first-rate website is crucial. In today’s electronic world you must have a way to showcase your work and who you are. Before I paid (a nice bit of a paycheck) to set up my online presence, I worked many hours a night, every night trying to keep up. Working from Facebook, to Twitter, to a blog, to Tumbler etc., etc. After I paid the money and spent the time working with my web designer, (Elizabeth Delena Rosa author services who are great) and got things set up how I wanted it became much easier. Now I can update my site, blog, link my posts to FB, Twitter, Tumbler, Pintrest, and so on with one move. Saves me tons of time, allowing me to put one of my other desires back on my table. Not only that with a professional blog and appearance people take notice of what you do. It does cost money, but it’s worth it. Further you will encounter cover art, and editing but if you shop around and spend time networking you can get these things done for a reasonable price. I’m very proud of mine and I’m not afraid to tell you I got those books ready to print for less than 400 bucks each. I was also able to get some pro help learning how to take advantage of everything the web has to offer. Again it cost money, but there are so many sites and so many ways to utilize the internet to spread your brand that most will honestly need help to learn it. Now I have a Good reads account, a great little blog, an outstanding FB page, Tweets, Pintrest, Tumblr and so on. I also have several good contacts with local news papers and TV stations to help spread the word about my work. I’m traceable on YouTube, authors database, Amazon, and on and on. All this was only possible because I was willing to admit I didn’t know enough and needed some help, and that cost some money. Again talk it over with your partner in life and find out how much you can afford to invest and move on. (I’ll do another dollars and cents post later, for now this will do.)

Lastly patience. You will not sell enough books to make thousands of dollars over night. Look at the modern classics and the authors most compare themselves too. JK Rowling was sleeping in her car when Harry Potter broke out. Christopher Paolini was selling books out of his trunk before  he was recognized. Stephanie Meyers, Clive Cussler, Dan Brown, and the list goes on. All of these authors have something in common, time to gain traction before they made the best seller list. If you don’t have time, or money to get you going then you’ll need more of this last item. Because you can over time save up, raise money and most importantly work on your manuscript all of these things can be done over time, but not if you’re in a hurry. So be patient and work hard, in time, if your book is worth anything, (not just nostalgia for you) then in time it will sell and you will build an audience. This is by far the hardest sacrifice to make. I know I’ve spent all my royalties and quite a bit out of pocket trying to build something that can grow over time and I’d love to see something for it right away. The truth is far less glamorous or encouraging. However I believe I can make it as an author and that I am a good story teller. Since I believe that, I can wait for my books to gain traction through the mediums I have chosen to spend my money and time getting into. Patience will make or break you, force it to make you and you’ll succeed. (Again, if your book is good enough)

So to sum up, if you want to be a published and best-selling author you need 3 things. (besides a manuscript that will actually do it) 1-Be prepared to sacrifice a lot of time. Make sure you spend that time wisely networking and finding useful contacts that can help you on your road. 2-Be prepared to invest some money. You will never succeed without it. A free website, and multiple social media accounts are great but they aren’t going to help you get noticed. 3- Be patient. This is going to take time and hard work to get where you want to go. Set your goals, make your plans and work hard on writing a good book that will sell. Then start with 1 and 2 and wait to see what happens. If a few years go by and you haven’t had success you may need to revisit your manuscript, and make sure it’s clean and the best you can do then try again. It takes some sacrifice to succeed, but then again, what in life doesn’t.

Well that’s it for this edition, sorry it was such a long break in between posts, I’ll try and keep up. Thanks for tuning in. As always I’m proud of my kids and wife. Play to Win! And you stay classy planet Earth!

About the author

Jon Pew

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