The Discoteque-nology of Indie Publishing: Learn to Dance.Janet Fix
Time to dance, my friends, for publishing is like a disco: the most unique dancers with the most colorful clothes and up-to-date dance moves get followed. Let’s find your inner Travolta, people! Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive . . .
This year has been a bustling word-fest for us here at thewordverve, as we’ve added more features to our website, more talent to our list of design contacts, and best of all, more authors (helping them with editing, design, and publishing) than ever before. Man, we love our authors . . . and we love what we do with them.
We’re dancing like we’ve never danced in the past–creating new moves, learning new technology, shifting when we need to adapt. All the while the disco ball is pulsating its myriad lights and reflections on all of us. What a great time to be an author!
Now for your dance lessons. Along the way, we’ve noticed some “trends” this year in terms of the indie publishing industry and we want to share them with you now–to help you keep your dance moves fresh, so to speak. These are subtle things, so maybe “trends” is a bigger word than fits here, but they’re noteworthy, at least from thewordverve perspective. It is our hope that this short list of FIVE will be useful in your future endeavors in the discoteque-nology that is book publishing.
ONE: PRINT BOOKS.
First, print books are getting more popular. Every month, our sales with LSI continue to increase (yes, slowly, but surely) and we have found incredible support from small gift shops, coffee houses and bookstores, who are willing to represent our books for a small commission. We even have a butcher shop on board.
Dance Lesson: There’s lots of wiggle room on the fringe. Find your spot!
Second, print books need larger text . . . as the norm, not as a special order. I’m not saying this just because my eyes are failing more quickly than a tired Energizer Bunny. With e-readers’ flexibility to change font size, no one opts for “little” anymore. We are training our eyes to read in new ways. A slightly larger look is something I plan to recommend to my authors for future print books that we publish, and maybe for even some in the past. GO BIG OR GO HOME!
As an example, one book that we published using a roomier font at a 13-point size on was Intelligent Life on Earth? The Search Continues (interior design by Bob Houston). . . and it looks fabulous, reads easy. You just feel good when you open the book and see this user-friendly font size. Sure, you might still need your “readers,” but generally speaking, most people can enjoy this print book without a squint. Except when they’re laughing.
Dance Lesson: Be flexible and the crowd will flex with you!
TWO: INDIE TEAMWORK IS THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS.
More Indie authors are seeking guidance, a team, to help publish their book – whether they pay a small-press publisher a small percentage for sales or do it themselves and ask for advice . . . they are looking to put out the highest quality, the most unique, the shiniest of shoes forward. Some who have published in the past now realize their mistakes for jumping in without their clothes on, and are coming back to the pros (editors, designers, marketers) to clean up their act.
Dance Lesson: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts: be a good partner.
THREE: FACEBOOK ISN’T JUST FOR KIDS ANYMORE.
With the recent realization that our youth may have moved on from Facebook for other online social media sites (where their parents are not perhaps), I have found the site to be a crucial part of my business development. While I’ve heard other authors say in years past that this type of social media doesn’t really boost their sales, I have had a massively different experience this year. Facebook alone has been THE DRIVING FORCE for thewordverve in terms of attracting new customers, growing old customer relationships, bartering, industry news, and commentary—oh, and laughing, inspiring, and referring. I’m so grateful for the boost Facebook has given my life and my business. www.facebook.com/thewordverve — join in the fun.
And join this blog too please. We’re all about the industry, love it like a brother, and constantly read and engage to understand changes and other peoples’ experiences.
Dance Lesson: Don’t be afraid to try new things—they keep you young and fresh, which is everything a well-choreographed marketing plan should be!
FOUR: WALK AWAY FROM THE COOKIE CUTTER.
- Many publishers will try to enforce “their way” of doing things rather than “your way”. Let’s face it, there are a lot less headaches if everyone is doing the same thing, walking the same walk, talking the same talk. WALK AWAY from this mindset. Remember why you’re indie and stick to that. Find your champions (i.e., thewordverve, your publishing team, your street team, your potential fans, your family and friends) and let them cheer your unique step. You may not be social media royalty or a power-blogger. You may not even want to have your name known. Maybe you write just for fun, or maybe you write to educate, or maybe you just right for the legacy. Do it. Your way.
Dance Lesson: Find your champions, who will let you dance your own dance.
Without the nourishing effects of a series of reviews to learn and grow from, you’re fighting a battle uphill both ways without shoes or a Nutrigrain bar. Look into places like StoryCartel.com or BookRooster.com to solicit honest reviews for your hard work. Until things change in the “algorhithms” (wooooo) of sites like Amazon, reviews will remain a nut-and-butter (what is that?) part of your success. Plus, it’s just good business to know what people are thinking about your work — outside of your mom and best friends. Also, remember that your readers are not necessarily “writers”–don’t push for too much in terms of a review. A honest reaction and brief commentary on the book is all any of us really need to benefit from a review (readers and writers alike).
Dance Lesson : Stay well hydrated and stay on the dance floor!
~~ May the spotlights shine on you. Peace and happiness in 2014 and beyond! ~~