The 10 Commandments for Becoming a Successful Independent Publisher–Live Event

by | Nov 6, 2013

by Michael Larsen

This Saturday we’ll be having our regular monthly meeting of the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association (BAIPA). People who attend are in for a special treat. Usually we focus on the nuts-and-bolts of book publishing, marketing, editorial development, ebooks, and the other subjects that demand our attention as indie publishers.

But this month we’ll have a presentation from Mike Larsen, a literary agent, best selling author, and founder of the San Francisco Writer’s Conference. Mike never fails to inspire and educate me about books and the business of being an author.

I think you’ll get a taste for his mercurial style of wisdom in this list that will function as the outline for his talk, and which we’ll provide as one of the handouts at the talk.

If you have a publishing group near you, I encourage you to check it out, take advantage of the educational and networking opportunities these groups provide. It’s exhilarating to be in a group of other people dedicated to publishing and promoting their books, and to be inspired and educated by the shared energy of the group.

If you’re in the San Francisco area, I hope you’ll come by for this meeting. For complete information and to register for this event, check out the Registration Page. Here’s Mike’s article.

Now is the best time for you to be a writer, but technology is forcing you to reinvent yourself. You need a new model for becoming a successful independent publisher. The goal of these ten commandments is to offer you one. You can adapt them to other fields and your personal life.


  1. Love what you do. Make your work a labor of love for your craft and your readers.
  2. Know your goals. Have goals that inspire you to achieve them.
  3. Create content your readers love. The holy trinity of content is reading, writing, and sharing.


  1. Serve your communities. Build and maintain networks of people who want to help you.
  2. Build your platform. Develop continuing visibility with your communities.
  3. Test-market your work. Prove the value of your work in as many ways as you can.
  4. Share your passion for your work. Communicate the value of your work.


  1. Be a contentpreneur. Make selling, communicating, and re-purposing your content a business.
  2. Make people, planet, and profit the criteria for your actions. Letting the effects of your efforts shape what you do will create an enduring literary ecosystem.
  3. Commit yourself to achieving your goals. Devote your career to the holy trinity of content, community, and contentpreneuring.

Mike Larsen at BAIPA

For complete information and to register for this event, check out the Registration Page.

Mike LarsenMichael Larsen is a principal in the Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency. He is the author of several books including How to Write a Book Proposal and the book proposal templates based on it. Michael is also the founder of the San Francisco Writer’s Conference and the San Francisco Writing for Change Conference. And he writes a blog, too.

Photo by tommarker

tbd advanced publishing starter kit