Going Indie – what it takes to succeed

By Kate Perry

Independent publishing isn’t for everyone.

It’s a lot of work—A LOT. In order to make it a success, you have to put in the time and effort. That means you have to write—A LOT. Sometimes you have to do other things that you don’t want to do, like editing or writing marketing blurbs. But you’re a business owner, and you do what you have to in order to make your business a success.

It comes down to one thing: what do you want? What do you love? If you love writing, regardless of whether you go the traditional or independent route, just you grab your balls and jump. What do you have to lose?

When I first struck out on my own, I had a plan: to release a new book every 6-8 weeks. Once you get someone hooked on your work, you want to make sure you have more for them to consume. Talk to a crack dealer—it’s basic business.

The glitch for me: I didn’t have money to hire other people, so I did everything myself. Yes, even the formatting and cover art. No, I had no idea how to do any of that before. I learned, because I needed to. This was my vision, and I wasn’t going to sit in the corner and whimper over my lack of knowledge.

So my days looked pretty much like this:

6:30am Walk to the cafe.
7am Sit ass in cafe chair with latte and write a chapter.
12pm Walk home and answer reviewer and fan emails, write marketing copy, blurbs, review questions…
3pm Walk to someplace else and write another chapter.
7pm Stumble home, starving.
9pm Search for cover art, do revisions, update website and Facebook, etc.
2am Go to sleep.

 

Repeat.

The first several months of going indie, the only way this schedule varied was if my husband sent me off in the morning with a flask to spike my latte.

It was A LOT of work and not sustainable if you like to have a life. Or have friends who actually like to spend time with you. Though my awesome friends would meet me at whatever cafe and hang out with me while I worked, just so they could see me.

PS: I was tired and cranky—until I got my third check (the first two were PITIFUL). Then I felt pretty great. Wink.

Now, I’m so lucky. I have a team who helps me maintain balance. My main goal is to write a great book without driving myself insane, and I have a team who supports that. I still produce a book (from idea to finished product) in six weeks or so, but I get to act like a queen now. Now, my day looks like this:

8am Roll out of bed.
9am Arrive at cafe and sit my ass down with a latte to write a chapter.
1pm Yoga.
3pm Pedicure, or massage, or something equally pampering (note: sometimes I do edits as my toes are painted).
4pm Emails and checking in with my team.
5pm A glass of wine at my favorite wine bar and another chapter.
8pm Dinner/movie/dancing/frivolity, or any combination of those, with my beloved and/or friends.

 

It’s decadent. Delegating most of what I used to do gives me the space to focus on writing the best book possible in the shortest time. I have a great support team though, including a lovely lady who wrangles me, my schedule, and all the other professional relationships we have, including merchandisers and reviewers. It’s a luxury to look forward to, and one that I NEVER take for granted.

**********************

KatePerry_1Kate Perry is the bestselling author of the Laurel Heights Novels, as well as the Family and Love and Guardians of Destiny series. She’s been translated into several languages and is quite proud to say she’s big in Slovenia. All her books are about strong, independent women who just want love.

Visit her website here.

Check out her books on Kobo here.

Comments

  1. I’m not there yet.

    I want to be there.

    I intend to be there.

    Someday I will be totally independent, going to cafes and getting pedicures and taking tribal yoga lessons…

    Great post, Kate.

    Here’s to writing crack-dealer fiction!

  2. I love your new routine. I’ve just come to that same realisation. Why do everything yourself if you’re just going to be miserable. Enjoy life, that’s what it’s there for.

    • authorkateperry says:

      And it doesn’t really take much more than a leap of faith that everything will work out. I’m grateful EVERY DAY for my team.

  3. Great post. Self publishing certainly does involve a lot of work. The marketing aspect especially. It has eaten into my writing time unfortunately. Go team! I like your writing style and hope you continue to succeed.

    • authorkateperry says:

      Thanks Brian! Ditto. :)

      And, actually, the marketing takes just as much time with a traditional publisher. Now instead of doing a lot of blog tours and such, I focus marketing efforts where they’re most effective for me. Really, it’s all about placement, so developing relationships with your merchandisers is key. And, in the end, the best marketing is writing a good story.

  4. I could kiss you for writing this! I plan to forward this post to everyone who asks me what I do all day. There’s no easy button for success in publishing just work, work and then more work.

    It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done but also the most rewarding.

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