1. Start listening to indie podcasts
I was happily living in my traditionally published bubble until I stumbled upon a podcast. It was the Worried Writer podcast. That led me to finding more podcasts, like The Creative Penn. It. Blew. My. Mind! From interviews with successful indie authors to guides from the people who helped them become successful, it shone a light on techniques they were using to sell more books. Techniques, I soon realised, which traditionally published authors should be using too. Now I listen to these podcasts all the time. And so should you. It doesn’t need to take up much time. I listen to them while exercising, tidying, walking the dog, clearing the garden… just make it part of your daily routine. For a full list, visit my resources page.
2. Check your social media stats
You want to make your social media posts as engaging as possible. And yes, there's a wealth of information out there to tell you how, just a simple Google search will give you realms of articles with tips. But nothing beats checking your stats to see what works and what doesn't among YOUR audience. I use the insights from my stats to see which posts are the most engaging. By engaging, I mean posts which encourage the most comments from your readers. These are the posts which will be shown most in Facebook timelines in particular going forward. See the Resources section to find out how to get these stats.
3. Engage with other authors
Other authors are invaluable. Not only are they a fantastic support but you can also share your readers! Does this thought alarm you? I remember when I first launched the Savvy Authors' Snug on Facebook, one of my friends said: ‘but why are you sharing information with your competitors?’ But I never see other authors as competition. The kind of readers we all want to attract hoover up books and have a passion for reading. They aren’t going to NOT buy your book because they’ve brought another author's books. So network online (see my resources section for a list of useful groups to join, and of course it goes without saying, you are welcome to request to join the Savvy Authors' Snug). Twitter is also a great tool for connecting with authors. Utilise the lists facility to engage with authors in your genre. And of course, connect with authors who are represented by your agent if you have one, or are published by your publisher too.
4. Sort out your web presence
No, I’m not talking about your website - though you should have a decent one (without spending a fortune). I’m talking about making sure your author pages on sites like Amazon and BookBub are up to date. Check out the resources section for a list. Also make sure your publisher and agent have an updated profile for you on their websites.
5. Change your mindset
This is so important, maybe the most important point on this list. ‘Don’t give up your day job’ is a well-worn mantra among agents and editors. I’ve banged on about it myself at times, after all, there is some truth in it. It would be foolish to pack your job in on the assumption you’ll get rich quick with your writing. But what this mantra has done is make some authors think that writing should be for the love of it, not the money. That we should be grateful to get a publishing deal. That we should continue to sign up to that 'poor artist' stereotype. If you want a long-term writing career, then you need to change your mindset. And ta-da! I have just the article for you...
It's time to start taking charge of your writing career. It'll be hard work. But by starting with these 5 important steps, you can get there!