Dear Writer-Friends,

I've been self-publishing since 2011, and I've shared the knowledge I've gained in two books: the Indie Author Survival Guide, Second Edition, and For Love or Money. I'm not an indie rockstar or a breakout success: I'm one of thousands of solidly midlist indie authors making a living with their works. These books are my way of helping my fellow authors discover the freedom of indie publishing. Write on, writer-friends!

S.K. Quinn, Independent Author of Science Fiction

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR QUICK START GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING and to be notified when the 3rd Edition of the Indie Author Survival Guide releases!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Thinking of Self-Publishing? READ THESE FIRST

My own books on self-publishing are listed first here - those books are comprehensive and will give you all the basics you need to launch your self-publishing career. However, there are some other great books out there on indie publishing and this really should be called a Modern Writer's Toolkit. Even if you're focused on traditional publishing, every writer should have a basic knowledge of the industry, their craft, and the options that self-publishing offers.

Self-Publishing Resources
Indie Author Survival Guide (Crafting a Self-Publishing Career 1)
Want to self-publish? This book will show you how to not only get your works out into the world, but publish them well. With inspirational essays and a step-by-step practical approach, the Guide helps you tackle your fears, plan for success, create a beautiful book package, and market without feeling like a slimeball. It's a guide for the heart as much as the head, designed to help you launch into your publishing journey successfully. 

If you’re a first-time-publishing author, this book will help you avoid common mistakes and get the best possible start for a new author in 2016. If you’ve already published, but want to reboot your existing series or launch a new one, the Guide will help you navigate the self-publishing landscape as it stands today. 

For Love or Money (Crafting a Self-Publishing Career 2)
Do you write for love or money? With the advent of indie publishing, this question vexes writers like it never has before—for the first time, you can literally chase trends, feeding the fans of that lucrative genre that’s flying off the shelves. But what if the stories you love to write aren’t the kind that are selling like ice water in July? How do you create a career in writing that you both love and hits the financial success you need to justify the hours spent at the keyboard? 

For Love or Money talks about writing for love (and how to sell that) as well as writing for money (and how to love it). It contains serious strategies about making money with your books, living the freedom of indie publishing, and stretching yourself creatively in your career. For authors willing to take a hard look at themselves and the market, this book will lay out the necessary steps to create your dream writing career. 

David Gaughran's blog is a wealth of information about the industry, but his Let's Get Digital book was the first one I read that made the intellectual argument for self-publishing. This is a great summary of the tidal forces that have changed the industry.

David's Let's Get Visible is a great follow-up that covers one of the biggest challenges facing indie authors (and really, every author): discoverability.

Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant's Write.Publish.Repeat is a great workman's guide to success in indie publishing. They are extremely prolific (and successful) writers, and their No-Luck-Required approach is very much in line with my personal philosophy of writing a lot, getting it out there, and moving on to the next book.

As an indie writer, you're no longer limited by any publishing schedule but your own. Most authors want to write faster, as well as better, and Rachel Aaron's 2k to 10k helps you do both. Some people think that you have to choose between writing faster and writing better - I'm convinced that doing both is the key. Faster writing means more writing. More writing means better writing over time. Everyone has their own process, but you have to keep experimenting to find your most productive writing zone.

Writing Resources
At the core of any successful self-publishing author's career isn't just a knowledge of the industry, a close relationship with her readers, and daring willingness to put her work out there: there's also an accomplished storyteller. No matter how much marketing you do, it's virtually impossible to sell a book that doesn't capture the readers' imaginations. A successful writer will always be writing and always be seeking to improve their writing. These books have each had a significant impact on me, and I highly recommend using them with your current WiP to see how you can take it to the next level.

Most writers don't lack a command of the language. Or the ability to be creative with story ideas. The biggest problem for writers is (generally speaking) crafting a well-structured story. Blake Snyder's Save The Cat is written for screenwriters, but the story-telling structure he lays out will bring a sturdiness to your story upon which you can drape all your lovely words. And don't forget the follow up book, Save The Cat Strikes Back. It will give you insight into the third act of your book in particular.

If you get a chance to take a Story Master's workshop, do it! I took one last fall and found it incredibly well-spent time and money. This book, Write Your Novel From the Middle, by James Scott Bell, gives great insight to a tiny moment - the midpoint - that can help you bring out the power in your entire novel. He covered it in Story Master's but I still pulled more insight out of the book. It's a short, but very effective read.


  1. I've got them all. Now I just have to find time to read them. I actually have read bits and pieces of each but I think absorbing the whole would be better. I think Save the Cat has to be next!

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