The hardest part about being an indie/novice writer is all the promoting. Yeah, that's right. The promoting is tons harder than outlining, researching, 'tinking about plot arcs and dialogue, writing, rewriting, throwing away and starting over, rewriting, cover art, formatting, rewriting, obsessing over a sentence or even a word until you want to rip the words out of your skull! Sheeew.
But promoting stinks.
It's embarrassing to have to shout 'Hey, buy my books, they're really, really good' through the Cyberverse on Twitter, Facebook and of course writing blogs.
But unless you have an instant hit (no I have not) or an agent, what else can you do?
So here are a couple of things I've learned. I hope they help you.
First: Relax. Don't stress out every minute of the day worrying about your next sale. I've done that and it doesn't help at all. Checking your Amazon or Barnes and Noble account every hour will not make sales magically appear.
Instead give yourself a schedule. Say once a day, maybe before you start working on your next story or after dinner. And stick to it. Don't sneak a peek just this once. It will spiral into checking it every chance you get. Discipline, grasshopper. Control yourself. Make it a habit. Once a day.
Second: Keep writing. The best way to get a readership is to give them more of your stories. The more you give, the more you'll get. Simple rule, but it's very true. Keep writing and publishing. You'll get more reader and you'll get better at writing.
Third: Let yourself enjoy the thrill of writing for it's own sake. You love it, or you shouldn't be doing it. It gives you joy. Let it. Nothing else I've ever done is as rewarding as writing a book. Following my characters as they jump and jive to my imaginary music is damn exciting and FUN!
Fourth: Tweet about your book, sure. But Tweet to other indie writers and check on their progress. Let them know you're interested in their stories. Tell them when you're stuck and help them out when they are. Twitter is for dialogue and friendship. I overdid (probably still overdo) it using Twitter as a sales platform. Promote your indie writer's books. Discuss good books you've read. Discuss terrible books you're read. Discuss why. Get involved and be friendly.
Fifth: Make Facebook page for you writing. Promote it. Keep it up to date. I think this is the best avenue for self-promoting your work. You can put so much more into a blog post or a Facebook post than a tweet. Show off your covers, invite discussions.
Sixth: Go find other sharing medias to explore.
But most of all, have fun. Explore and conquer my friends!