Episode 14 – The Future of Indie Publishing Show

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We discussed multiple angles of the indie movement on this week’s show, including going direct, crowdfunding and the path toward becoming mainstream. Some themes that came up multiple times were coming up with your own marketing ideas and giving your fans a choice over what you give them. We also discussed iBooks tips, trading for blurbs, turning your blog into a book, the new Reading Rainbow, making the first book in a series free and Digital Book Day. Jim also took you behind the scenes of the Sell More Books Show and presented a question of the week: If you had the option of asking your readers what your next book or series should be about, would you use it? Why or why not?

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What You’ll Learn: 
  • The soft launch numbers for Go Direct
  • How to trade blurbs with other authors
  • A one-click solution to turning your blog into a book
  • How Reading Rainbow will get into 7,500 classrooms in need
  • The data behind making the first book in a series free
  • How to be involved in new a digital book holiday
  • What the city of Richmond, Va. did to get a Foo Fighters concert
  • The steps of most indie movements
  • How much work Jim does to prepare for the show

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  • Gerad Forte

    Great show again guys.

    I was particularly interested in references to the music industry and other examples of media and entertainment from outside the world of books and ideas. My background is in the music industry, specifically independent Hip Hop. There are many lessons that artists, writers and creatives can take from the way that Hip Hop grew from an underground movement in the 1970’s to the biggest selling genre in music by 1998.
    Most of the innovations in publishing and promotion of books are going to come from people who re-purpose ideas from other industries that have gone through the “6 Stages” you mentioned from the Forbes article. It is valuable to spend some time looking outside your industry. Otherwise you can get the “echo-chamber effect.”
    It is the role of the indie to innovate. So I look forward to hearing more great ideas from you guys

    • Thanks for listening and commenting Gerad.

    • Bryan

      Good call on looking at other genres for inspiration. I’m really intrigued by the way Etsy has moved toward indie preference. If you think of any music re-purposing ideas, feel free to share them with us :). Thanks!

      • Gerad Forte

        Sure thing!.
        A lot of it is already going on. Hip Hop was built on collaboration. Even the competition was a form of collaboration. The way that indie authors are bundling products, cross-promoting and doing reciprocal endorsement are a page right out of that book.

  • Jim Wilbourne

    Hi guys.
    Would consider writing the book my readers wanted in a series.
    More likely, I would write the main story as planned and write novellas about different things in the world that they want me to talk about.
    I’m a fantasy and SciFi writer, so my options are broad for that kind of thing.

    Also, it would be cool if you guys had a poll function for your questions.
    Keep up the great work! Love the show.

    • Bryan

      Hey, Jim, thanks for the response. A poll function for our questions is a great idea!

      I like the idea of the spin-off novellas. Perhaps I’ll do the same when my series is cooking :). You’ll have to let us know if you decide to try the idea out on your readers!

  • I love your show. I have been a listener since the first episode. I am already doing something like this. I am in the middle of writing five different books, each one could be the start of an epic series. The audience will get to vote on which series I do first by buying books, leaving reviews, tweeting me, emailing me, or leaving a message on my Facebook page. I am still working on building the elements of my platform, but the writing is underway.

    I am updating my progress on my Five Book Project on my website, and plan on showing daily word counts, pictures that inspire my work, and other world building things.

    I feel like it makes sense to let the market tell you what they are interested in. I would not give the market carte blanche to decide what I write, because it will only be any good if I want to write it. This method lets me pick what I want to write about, but allows me to focus on what the market is also interested in.

    Every time I listen to your show I come up with at least ten new ideas to try. Keep up the good work. Anyone interested in seeing my site, which is still under development, can go to jasoncmcbride.com. Keep up the good work.

    • Bryan

      Hey, Jason! Thanks for writing in.

      Cool site! I’m partial to “The Last Secret.” It’s fantastic that you’re letting everybody inside your process. I hope it’s a huge success!

      We appreciate the kind words :). Feel free to leave a review on iTunes if you get a chance!

  • Perry Constantine

    I think asking your readers is a great idea. Not only for new series but also maybe if you were going to write a short that ties into a series and ask your readers which supporting character they’d like to see spotlighted. In my Myth Hunter series, I received a lot of comments from readers saying they could see solo adventures featuring some of the supporting cast, and I took the one who was most-often requested and wrote a short story featuring her.

    • Bryan

      Thanks for your input, Perry! Very cool!

  • #QotW – I would definitely ask readers what they would want to read next. It’s a great topic of conversation, and it shows an author is listening to what readers say. It doesn’t mean that’s what the author MUST do the next book about, of course—listening is not the same thing as obeying.

    But if I were looking at a few different ideas for the next book or two in my series, I would definitely float them out there to see what people were hungry for. It could also be a way to do a neat limited-edition story too.