It’s a crowded, busy and noisy place out there in the new world of digital publishing. Here’s some thoughts from iWriteReadRate Founder, Adam Charles, on what’s happening and what you should think about as an Indie author…
Reaching Readers & Breaking Through The Indie Noise
by Adam Charles
It almost goes without saying what a brave and innovative new world the enablement of writers to own their destiny has become through the ascension of ebooks. Indie Publishing is exciting and evolving. As an aspiring author, avid reader, and co-founder of iWriteReadRate.com I am enthralled and inspired by the groundswell we’ve seen over the last couple of years.
However, I’ve started to realise that the eBook Revolution is somewhat one sided. Yes, it has emboldened many to take that scary first step towards their literary dream. Yes, it has diminished the out dated models of publishing and cast off many of the shackles associated with self-publishing. It has, no doubt, created a positive and real focus on the huge number of writers out in the world that have stories to tell and ideas to convey.
The one sided nature I’m speaking about is that whatever path Indie ebooks make it to the market, or to what level their creators have done it themselves or have created their own team around them, the focus of Indie is predominantly on the writers themselves. We’re almost overlooking that readers have never had a greater choice of stories, more places to buy and there is vastly more competition in every genre of fiction. It’s a noisy, crowded place and we need to do more to be found, to be heard.
It’s not just about ensuring the high quality of our work or the finished, polished ebook; it’s so much more than that.
Whilst the publishing industry has long been called to account about the commercial nature of the industry, they do have a focused eye on giving the people what they think they want. As Indie writers there may be something we can learn from this approach to better connect and reach our own audiences.
We hear so much about platform building – the act of writers building their own profiles with audiences through blogging, social media and other promotional activities – however, with so many doing the same things, it is a significant challenge to stand out and be heard in the melee.
In the more social world we now inhabit, the answer – perhaps – is more dynamic connections between content creators and consumers. Closer, more personal, more intimate. When have readers ever had a better chance of really getting a feel for the writer, being involved in our writing journey, an opportunity to co-encourage and almost co-create? It seems an opportunity too interesting to miss from both a writer and reader perspective.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and here are some things we all should consider doing something more on:
- Do you understand your audience’s profile & who reads your stories? How can you better engage them?
- Be more discoverable – blogging and social networking are important tools for us, without a doubt. However, are they enough and what else could we do to be easier to discover?
- Seek out authentic interactions with our readers – what do they like about your work? What would they think would have made your story better? They are not just anonymous consumers, they are the key to our success.
- Push out of your comfort zone – whether this is breaking out of our safe social media circles, going to in-person events, or doing something differently than you have before to increase your exposure and increase the personal touch with potential readers.
- Finding more ways to be heard & be inspirational – it is not just about getting your well edited, well presented and completed ebook out into the world. How do you tell your story and why should readers buy into you and your work?
I encourage Indie writers to explore and act on what else could you be doing to reach and engage your audience. Now the rabbit is out of the hat, in the dynamic, crowded and evolving publishing world, it is our imperative to do so. Readers, as they always have been, are the only people that can make us successful; it is our job as Indie writers to do everything we can to be discovered – and then a little more.
iWriteReadRate.com is the social place to discover undiscovered stories. A social fiction ebook community & ecommerce platform for writers and readers. We’re presently busy building version 2.0 to better enable writers and readers to discover each other and great undiscovered stories.
We’re running two competitions:
Writers: A monthly competition in collaboration with a leading UK literary consultancy, Cornerstones, to win a professional mini-critique on your ebook. Discover more here.
Readers: A competition that offers readers an opportunity to win a Nexus 7 tablet simply for reading ebooks. Discover more here.