Achieving Indie Publishing Success: Two Stories That Provide Inspiration for Indie Authors

CBS News recently profiled a couple, Jack and Jasinda Wilder (pen names), who were able to save their home and family’s future by writing and self-publishing steamy romance novels. Last summer, the couple was facing foreclosure and a deep financial crisis, so they decided to take to writing romance novels as a means to dig their way out. They took a shot in the dark, and it paid off. In six months, they turned out 20 e-books. And now in less than a year, they’ve sold nearly a million e-books. Let’s look at their story and a more recent independently published author, Richard Blomberg, the various levels of success they’ve achieved, and the ways in which any independent author can find success with indie publishing.

For the Wilders, they were likely thrilled when they sold a few e-books, bringing in some much-needed cash. And then they sold enough books to pay their $1,200 mortgage each month by selling e-books. Now, the home they almost lost is a self-publishing powerhouse. With each book, their audience grew and sales climbed higher. Then this spring, one of their novels jumped onto the New York Times Bestseller list and hit #1 on Amazon.

While the Wilders’ story may not be typical and such meteoric sales won’t happen for everyone, they serve as an inspiration for independently published authors everywhere – diligence and perseverance can pay off. They found success in a niche market, romance novels, and they ran with it. And they have published around 30 books in one year – unheard of in the traditional publishing world.

You can see the full story here, “Couple’s steamy romance e-books save their home.”

We recently featured SDP Publishing’s Warpath by Richard Blomberg  on our blog. Richard (Dick) Blomberg’s Warpath, just released as an e-book on June 1, has performed well in the Amazon rankings. Its Amazon Bestsellers Rank was #76,589 Paid in Kindle Store on June 14, 2013. On June 24, it was #33,000. These numbers fluctuate on a daily basis, but it shows that conscientious marketing and audience-building efforts can make a significant impact on getting your book noticed.

Among some of the reasons Dick is finding success with his book include receiving a great review from the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Reviews and setting up a comprehensive marketing plan. You can learn more here,  “Warpath by Richard Blomberg – A Case Study on Successfully Marketing Your Independently Published Book.” After just one month, Dick has seen some great potential for success.

These two very different examples show us the possibilities of independent publishing. What these two stories of independently published authors share can provide lessons for anyone thinking about independent publishing, such as:

  • Persevering with your writing and self-publishing efforts
  • Understanding the importance of getting professional and reader reviews
  • Building an audience through an Amazon, Goodreads, website, blog, social media presence, etc.

You may not achieve the kind of success that the Wilders have, but you will definitely see demonstrable results, as Dick Blomberg has. If you’re interested in learning more about how to maximize your book’s exposure and gain credibility by polishing your novel and creating a solid marketing plan, contact SDP Publishing.

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) offers optimal publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!


Four Great Strategies for Independently Publishing Your Book

IndependentPublishingSo, you’re thinking about independently publishing a book. Creative control, shorter time-to-market, and greater royalty per copy are just a few of the benefits of independently publishing a book. A recent article in Writer’s Digest provides some strategies that you can use if you’re still deciding whether or not self-publishing is the route for you. Below, we’ll highlight some of the tips in the article that might be helpful as you decide if you should independently publish your book.

(If you’re thinking about writing a book, but aren’t sure where to start, check out our post, “I Want to Write a Book. Where Do I Start?”)

Strategy #1: Evaluate the latest options to find the best approach for your individual needs.

What are the goals for your book? Who is the audience you are trying to reach? Are you trying to promote your business or write a memoir for your family? Do you want to publish an e-book, a print book, or both? Identifying why you want to publish your book is important. Once you determine your end goals, you can set your course.

It also can be helpful to ask yourself these questions:

1. Who is your ideal reader?

2. What kind of books does he/she buy?

3. Where are most of those types of books sold?

Strategy #2: Put together a publishing team.

After you’ve set your goals, one of the next steps is to find help to make them a reality. Publishing a book on your own can be a long, lonely road. It’s a good idea to pull together a team who can help you manage all of the moving pieces that publishing a book entails. A few key members of your team could include:

  • A developmental editor – Someone to help you shape the book – to organize your thoughts, create a theme that will attract your target reader, eliminate redundancies, and ensure the content is clear and concise.
  • A copy editor(s) – Someone to correct the final manuscript – to perform line-by-line editing, and ensure good grammar and readability for your target reader. The copy editor will catch the things the developmental editor might otherwise miss.
  • A designer(s) – Someone to help with the layout of the book – creates a professional interior design and eye-catching cover design.
  • Proofchecker – Someone to double check the design and content, ensuring all content is there, no conversion issues, and the design is consistent throughout the book.
  • A proofreader(s) – Someone to give a full proofread of the text after the layout is complete.

Remember! Not all developmental editors are good copy editors! Not all good proofreaders are good copy editors! These are three very distinct editorial roles. We highly recommend at least two separate editors. Several pairs of professional eyes will ensure a perfect manuscript. Also, consider having a third-party professional proofreader to give your book that final read through before publishing.

It’s also probable that you will need some assistance with figuring out the best way for you to produce and market your book once it is completed.

Strategy #3: Seek support & knowledge from the self-publishing community.

As we mentioned, independently publishing a book can be a long, lonely road. Finding like-minded people to discuss the triumphs and challenges along the way can be immensely helpful.

The article raises a great point: “All of these questions have been faced by many authors before you — which makes forums and community discussion areas great places to start asking questions. You’ll find lots of people who are ahead of you in the process, and whose experiences are fresh and up to date.”

Strategy #4: Be your own best marketer.

As we’ve discussed in past articles, marketing your independently published book is crucial. Whether your book is published by a traditional publisher or you decide to go the independent route, this is true. You’re going to be responsible for the majority of your own marketing and promotion. Some great ways to get started include:

  • Register your title to the trade (online and printed databases around the world)
  • Create a website with a blog, and blog regularly
  • Create an author Facebook page
  • Set up local readings and events
  • Publish online press releases
  • Pitch to book clubs
  • Pitch to reviewers
  • Set up a Goodreads profile

Check out: “’Warpath’ by Richard Blomberg – A Case Study on Successfully Marketing Your Independently Published Book” If you have questions about any of these strategies or how to determine if independent publishing is for you, please feel free to contact SDP Publishing Solutions.

SDP Publishing Solutions (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) offers optimal publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and self-publishing and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for our authors. Our services include developmental editing and copyediting, book marketing developing pitch proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development, and providing overall book exposure.