Thanks to Debbie Young for this wise list, and to Helen Hollick for passing it along. These are resolutions that all Indie writers can appreciate.
love new beginnings and the opportunity they bring to replace bad
habits with good ones. New Year’s Eve is, for me, inextricably linked
This year, I’m making not one list but two: one for my
personal life and one for my life as a self-published writer and indie
I’m sharing that second list here in case you need inspiration as 2013 dawns.
If you’d like to add any of your own at the end, please do – I’ll be happy to take them on board!
1) I will not become obsessed with statistics.
It’s too easy to waste time on statistics. Checking my Amazon sales
rankings, my blog hits, my Twitter followers – and unfollowers… It’s not
only a waste of time better spent elsewhere. It’s also often
misleading, causing false hopes and needless despondency. Amazon employs
such mysterious, ever-changing algorithms for its supposed sales
figures, that they vary dramatically from one minute to the next, and
are not accurate indicators of real sales, even for those published
solely on Kindle. They’re best avoided. But of course, if I happen to
spot a favourable figure, e.g. hitting the top 100 in an Amazon
category, I reserve the right to celebrate! In the meantime, I will do
all I can to optimise my stats – which means actively promoting my
books, not gazing for hours at sales graphs – without obsessing about
2) I will learn all I can from fellow authors in the indie/self-publishing sector.
in 2013, I’m going to make the most of the very supportive online
indie author community. I will NOT do an impression of a lonely writer
sitting in a garret (or study with nice garden view, in my case), with
only a blank page (screen) for company. I’ll read other authors’ blogs,
tweets and comments, I’ll follow the stimulating Facebook discussions of
the specialist community groups that I belong to (Alliance of Independent Authors, aka ALLi
, and the SilverWood
Authors Community). I’ll check in regularly to GoodReads
And while I’m gaining other authors’ input and support, I’ll try to
give even more than I receive. ”You’re gonna reap just what you sow”,
as Lou Reed
sings in “Perfect Day
” (scheduled to be played at my funeral, but preferably not in 2013!)
3) I will use Twitter wisely.
I will continue to use Twitter to focus on my self-publishing and writing interests. I will not get distracted by Stephen Fry
, Gin O’Clock’s parody of Queen Elizabeth
, The Poke
hashtag games and other such frivolities. Oh alright, most of the time.
99% of my Twitter time will be spent on productive transactions.
4) I will blow my own trumpet.
When I achieve any significant milestones, I will give myself
permission to brag about them – briefly. For example, when a great new
review is published, I’ll tweet a few links, but then and only then. I
will justify a little self-aggrandisement by the thought that other
authors will be encouraged by a fellow writer’s success (I know I am).
Success breeds success, and no writer is an island, as John Donne
said. But I won’t bang on about it till it becomes tiresome. I will
remember that Twitter is a two-way street, not a soapbox.
5) I will review other indie authors’ books.
6) I will always be prepared to promote my book.
Like a boy scout, I resolve to be prepared at all times to capitalise on any opportunity to promote my book. When Sell Your Books!
was first published in October, I was caught out early on several times
by enquiries from unlikely sources to which I was unequipped to respond
straight away. These days, I carry a copy with me in my handbag at all
times, along with business cards and bookmarks, ready to slip into the
hand of the unexpected enquirer – someone I get chatting to in a shop or
at the school gate for example. This will increase the chance of
converting their interest into an actual sale.
7) I will, er, write.
I’m an indie writer, therefore I will promote my books. But most importantly, I’ll keep writing
– and I will make more time to write (and format and self-publish) than
I did in 2012. Because if I don’t, I’ll stop being a writer. Instead
I’ll just be an online author groupie aspiring but failing to live my