Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Sky is Falling on the Indie Authors...NOT

There is clucking on the internet! Chicken Little is making her way through cyberspace, declaring the sky is falling on the indie authors. As with the original children's story of Chicken Little, the sky is NOT falling. Yes, change is coming. It always does, but that is no reason to race around the cyber streets sounding the alarm.

The ways of the first million-sales authors are not going to work anymore. The 99 cent books, the freebies, and the give-aways are becoming obsolete. These are gimmicks. Gimmicks were never meant to last forever. It's Marketing 101. I realize there are thousands, if not millions, of indie authors who have plowed hours of time, and immeasurable amounts of money into these methods, but all good things must come to an end. And, in this case, the end IS near.

Before you run into your shelter to take cover from the imaginary pieces of sky, falling on your head, think. Is the sky really falling? Do you see evidence of pieces of sky lying about on the ground around you? No. What you are seeing is the color of the sky is changing. It's twilight time in the publishing world, the time to prepare for the sun that will surely rise over the horizon tomorrow.

In my research, I have found an important key aspect of promotion and platform building that seems to be largely ignored, or maybe just overlooked in the indie author world. When a large publishing house takes on a new author, what do they do? Start promoting a title or the author themselves? It's a little bit of both, but in the end it's the author that is promoted and the title secondary eg: John Grisham's new book, insert title here.

I have spent the last three years building the Butterfly Phoenix platform. Oh God yes, I have promoted my book, but I have been doing more promoting of myself. People know that Donna R. Wood and Butterfly Phoenix are synonymous. They know my views on humanity and the environment. They know I have a special place in my heart for the unloved, uncared for, and unwanted. They know I have an interest in history. They also know that somewhere in my writing, these things will appear, or perhaps be the very subjects of the prose.

The majority of my Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, and those on Google+ are not other authors. They are like-minded people who share the same interests as I do. Some are just the curious. Some are those with opposing views. The one thing all of them have in common is they all read. I can't say that every single one of them have purchased Sticks and Bones or will purchase the books in 'The Chrysalis Series', but odds are some of them have, and will.

The best thing you can do at this point is stop hiding behind your titles, and put yourself out there as a person. Build your platform and fan base around you. I have found that it is much easier to promote myself as a package deal. I am a blogger, a writer, and an author. I have a blog, a book, a short story, and a trilogy in the works. If I have to promote each of these separately, I will never get any writing done at all.

Think about this and then ask yourself, "Is the sky falling, or is it only changing color?"