Navigating the murky waters of the self-publishing industry can be both intimidating and overwhelming. From the craft of writing to marketing your books, the entire process is a truly intense labor of love. It also stands to reason that many writers are not necessarily gifted at selling themselves. I think most of us would prefer to be locked in a room somewhere, building new worlds. But market we must if we want to live to write another day. With an immense amount of resources out there, it’s hard to know what marketing techniques are effective, and which are a waste of your time (and sometimes money).
Listed below are five authors that I have found provide candid, intelligent advice on writing and marketing your books. Most of the big questions I’ve had have been answered on one of these blogs. Why re-invent the wheel when you can follow in the footsteps of other successful writers who are willing to share what they’ve learned along the way?
This was the blog that convinced me to self-publish. Lindsay is the author of several series, including Emperor’s Edge and Flash Gold, and her stories are fun, quick reads that I thoroughly enjoy. On her blog, Lindsay is incredibly forthcoming about sharing which marketing techniques worked for her, the numbers of books she’s sold at different points in time, and smart, insightful observations about new trends in the industry and how they can be applied to selling your books.
Once upon a time, Hugh Howey was a starving, self-published author just like the rest of us. Now he’s a bestseller, and his brilliant Silo Series (Wool, Shift and Dust) are well-known to any self-respecting sci-fi fan (and personal favorites of mine). But what makes this blog special is that Hugh’s ability to reawaken your passion for the craft of writing, which sometimes can get a little lost in the monumental effort of marketing and selling books.
On the other extreme from Hugh Howey is Tim Ferriss, the author of the 4-Hour Work Week (and many other 4-Hour themed nonfiction books). He is an author and an entrepreneur who has branded himself and his books, and has become immensely successful because of how brilliant he is at marketing. This is not a blog for authors looking to discuss the craft, but if you’re looking for big ideas and are a risk-taker, you’ll find some great strategies on his blog.
I find this blog great for practical advice from a prolific self-published author who practices what she preaches. She writes suspense/thrillers, and has been incredibly successful in her niche. She openly shares what has worked for her, but also acknowledges that not every writer has to be a best seller in order to be successful. Her strategies are thought-provoking and not at all like the generic advice that you find on so many self-publishing websites.
Disclaimer – I write YA fiction, and Kami Garcia, author of awesome YA fantasies like Beautiful Creatures, is one of my favorite writers. What I find cool about her blog is that it isn’t all self-promotion about he books. She dedicates time providing insightful input and resources for writers. Kami isn’t self-published, but her blog is a quick, enjoyable read if you’re curious about the kind of things that author’s who’ve already “made it” think about.