Perhaps I'm a curmudgeon, or reliving personal issues around trust, but I've never bought into the whole secret handshake concept. Before making the decision to go indie, I published traditionally in both non-fiction and fiction. Over the past 15 years I learned that a book does what it does and there wasn't a lot I could do to make a difference except write a good book that met the needs of my readers. In non-fiction, it's easy to identify who my readers are. In fiction, not so easy because I write cross-genre stories. My fantasies have some SF too, not to mention possible love interest. My adult romances are too much women's fiction to fit straight into the romance category, and too much romance to fit into the women's fiction category. Then there are the romantic suspense and SF adult stuff. In other words, I still haven't identified "my people." Also, most of these marketing secrets are shared by people who "made it" with their non-fiction book (yes the one about marketing secrets that you just paid $10 for), yet are aimed at the multitude of fiction writers. Many of them have never written a fiction book.
Here's the thing. Non-fiction sells better than fiction because it is based on an easily identifiable readership for the book. Fiction? Not so much. It's squishy. Readers move between genres, have streaks of reading and then times of less reading, and can be extremely loyal one year and then move to the next big thing in another year. In other words, marketing fiction is a different animal.
Consequently, I rarely rave about a book that purports to finally give you the secret. I have never told my peeps that one of these books is THE one for making sure you become a successful fiction writer.
That has now changed.
Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant is a must read by every indie publisher. Even traditionally published fiction writers will learn from this book. Whether you are just starting out or on your tenth book, you will learn something from this book--something that can truly make a difference in how you approach publication.
If you are truly serious about writing being your career and you are willing to learn the true secret about how to sustain that career, YOU MUST GET THIS BOOK. The title completely gives away the secret. Write. Publish. Repeat. Even if you understand that already (as I did), this book will still hit you over the head with how much more you can be doing by timing and releasing your work in a way that maximizes future sales. And the things they suggest have everything to do with producing work, and nothing to do with luck or spending gobs of money or time to make your book rise above the hoards.
Yes, I admit the book matches my personal philosophy of publishing that I have been screaming from the rooftops for the past five years (write more books instead of spending hours, time, and money promoting one book). Yes, it satisfying that at least a few other people agree with me--actually I know about 30 people who agree with me. :) However, the book is much more than that. It also provides specific instruction on how to maximize all that writing by making good business choices regarding how to release your books in a way that will maximize profits. It also clearly delineates what part of the process is mandatory and what parts of the process fall in the twenty-percent-only-do-it-if-you've-already-done-the-other-eighty-percent category.
Everything you think you know will likely be debunked. Here are a few of the "myths" they tackle:
- Only the lucky ones make it in this publishing environment. (I never believed this, but a lot of people do)
- Stay in one genre, so you don't split your readers. (I believed this myth even though I didn't follow it in my own writing)
- Make sure your book follows all the tropes, meets the largest number of reader needs. (Yup, I believed this one too and knew it was why I wasn't a best seller)
- Make your book perfect before releasing it to the masses. (I know I'll never be perfect so ignored this advice)
- Spend time, money, worry in a marketing and promotion scheme that ensures high rankings. (okay, I admit, even though I KNEW this one wasn't true I still tried because I questioned myself and had this niggling voice that said "you have to make more money now." Okay it was the voice of my DH--but it was persistent)
Of course, if you still believe there is a book that will reveal the one big secret--the easy way to get one book to become a bestseller, then do not buy this book. You will hate it. If you are looking for the easy path, do not buy this book. What they propose is far from easy.
Do I agree with everything they say? Nope. Will I likely buy their fiction? Probably not. I don't think it's my cup of tea. However, I will take advantage of their lead in book(s) to see if I'm wrong. (Part of their funnel approach to gain new readers) Here's the thing. I DO agree with more than 90% of what they say and that is very high for me. I can't think of any book about self-publishing (other than my own) where I can say that. Even my own book has its shelf-life of ideas--that shelf-life began deteriorating the moment it was published.
Please, run and buy this book. For only $5.99 in ebook it is well worth the price.
P.S. I've never met these guys. I've never listened to their podcast. I didn't even know they existed until another writer told me "You have to buy this book!" Thank you, Elaura!!!