One of the keys to success as an indie author is never standing still.
The self-publishing world is a rapidly shifting landscape, so it’s vital to stay abreast of changes and adapt to them accordingly.
Also, like any creative endeavor, it’s important to have a sense of growth and progress to retain your motivation for self-publishing. If you do the same old things time and time again, you will end up getting bored and feeling a strong sense of resistance.
Even if you know these things intellectually, it can sometimes be difficult to take action and do the things you know will move you forward.
If that’s the case for you, this article is here to help!
Here are three ways to level up as an indie author and keep things fresh and exciting.
Invest in your self-publishing education
As indie authors, there’s always something new to learn and apply to our author lives.
That might be something new entirely, such as learning how to use an app or tool you’ve never before come across.
Or, you might wish to get a better level of knowledge and skill in an area you’re already familiar with. For example, If you know a bit about editing, but not as much as you could, taking your education in this area to a higher level could be a good use of your time.
Everyone has a different way of learning, so matching your indie author education to a format you enjoy is an important part of staying engaged.
If you’re looking to educate yourself further as an indie author, consider making the most of these methods:
- Self-publishing courses. If something’s worth learning in-depth, a self-publishing course might be the most appropriate choice. Courses offer a level of depth that is often missing from shorter forms of learning such as blog posts. When you decide to choose a self-publishing course, make sure it is a good fit for your level of knowledge, is taught in a format you enjoy, and that you feel a sense of personal rapport with the course instructor.
- Indie author podcasts. A lot of people enjoy learning from podcasts. There are several advantages to this style of learning. Podcasts enable you to take in useful information on the move. There’s also something about hearing information rather than reading it that helps it stick in the mind for some people. When choosing a podcast make sure it is regularly released, covers actionable information, and that you enjoy the personality of the podcast host.
- Blogs for writers. If you’re an indie author, and you’re not regularly reading the best writing blogs out there, you’re missing out on a complete goldmine of information. Blogs contain just as much useful information as the best self-publishing courses. No matter which area of your indie author life you wish to grow in, there is sure to be the perfect blog for you.
- YouTube channels. Video is a fantastic medium for learning, as you can look over the shoulder of the video creator and see the way they work and how they carry out particular tasks. Thanks to fast mobile internet, it’s easier than ever before to watch useful indie author YouTube channels, no matter where you happen to be at the time.
- Your author network. Don’t discount the value of informal, anecdotal learning from your author network. Keep your ear to the ground and be mindful of the challenges your fellow authors face. Often, this is the best way to spot trends as they happen and before they are formally addressed through mediums such as blogs, courses, and videos.
Humans naturally have a thirst for knowledge, and indie authors are no exception to this principle.
By nurturing your mind you help to stay motivated and enthusiastic about self-publishing.
Offer your work in new formats
A great way to keep things fresh and interesting as an author is to switch up the formats you offer your work in.
Offering your book in multiple formats has many benefits, both tangible and intangible.
On the tangible side of things, you have the potential to enjoy greater levels of revenue when your work is offered in different formats. Some people will only listen to audiobooks, for example, or who hate eBooks and will only check out something if it’s available in print.
Intangibly, repacking your work in different formats scratches your creative itch. Finding a way to express your written book in an audio format, for example, is a worthwhile creative pursuit in and of itself.
Working on different formats for your work also helps you to feel a sense of variety, stopping you from getting bored of doing the same old thing time and time again.
If the sound of offering your work in new formats is appealing to you, take the time to plan out the logistics of this.
For example, if you want to create an audiobook, think of all the tasks you will need to complete.
Will you need to find a narrator for your work? Will you need to invest in audio editing software, or will you outsource the actual audiobook creation purpose to a specialist service? Do you need to find a specialist place to sell your audiobooks, or can you make use of integration with an existing platform you sell on, such as by choosing ACX from Amazon.
Work on your fundamental author skills
Aside from the knowledge you gain from pursuing new indie author educational opportunities, or the creative boost you get from offering your book in a new format, consider dedicating a portion of your time to brushing up on the fundamental skills that allow you to succeed.
For example, when was the last time you stopped to consider your writing pace and if it could be improved?
When did you last stop to think about your approach for titling books, and if there is any potential for improvement in that area?
How about the last time you blocked out a portion of your day to read one of the classic books about writing, such as On Writing by Stephen King?
Sometimes, we get so bogged down in the day-to-day tasks of being an author that we forget to stop and take a look at the fundamentals.
While there’s never a need to relearn the fundamentals from scratch, taking the time to brush up on them and take another look at things you haven’t consciously thought about in a long time almost always pays off.
Three valuable action areas
If you’ve made it to the end of this article, and are looking for ways to take action on the ideas you’ve come across, here are three potential ways to keep up your momentum and get started.
- Choose an educational opportunity. Make a long list of all the areas of being an indie author you could learn more about. Write down the pros and cons for each, and then settle on one thing you will make your priority to learn more about. Set a deadline to choose a way to learn about it, such as by starting a course.
- Assess new formats for your work. Think about different ways you could offer your work in. Brainstorm as many as possible, such as audiobooks or repacking the contents of your nonfiction book into an audiobook. Settle on one idea and then make a list of action points to move it forward.
- Pick three fundamentals to revisit. Think about all the core activities that are the basic building blocks of your success as an indie author. Which have you neglected to think about for some time? How could you revisit it in a way which is both interesting and likely to benefit you moving forward?
As an indie author, you have immense value to the world. Your books matter.
Don’t let yourself stagnate. Be proactive, and use the ideas in this article to keep moving forward and feeling a sense of progress in your writing life.