By Jason Kong
Smart indie authors learn from each other.
One way to do that is through lots of scrutiny. To become a better writer, read those who write well. To improve your marketing, learn from the people with that skill. It’s likely that there’s already someone who has done what you hope to do.
Of course, determining the reason why something works isn’t always obvious. Being a motivated observer doesn’t mean you’ll be able to deconstruct the process on your own. In the end, simply keeping tabs on your role models may be more inspiring than instructive.
The alternative to figuring it out by yourself? Find people leading conversations around the challenges you care about.
There are successful fiction writers taking the initiative, using digital platforms to address issues in self-publishing. These are places where like-minds gather and connect, to analyze and dive deeper into matters impacting indie authors.
If you read and hear what they have to say, you will gain additional perspective. You will have more ideas to advance your efforts. And you may even discover that contributing to the discussion is one of the best ways to get the clarity you seek.
I’ve identified nine fiction authors that have established followings interested in self-publishing. Give these folks a look, and see if you can acquire some insights that help your cause.
- Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant
In addition to being prolific authors, Sean and Johnny are also savvy marketers. They understand success as an indie publisher also means being a businessperson, and that you have to do both very well.They’re also pretty funny guys. Prepare to be entertained.
- CJ Lyons
CJ made the career switch from ER doc to writing thrillers, but her aim was the same: to change the world and make a difference. These days, she’s a hybrid author which means she both traditionally publishes and self-publishes her books. She’s quite successful at both.
- Lindsay Buroker
When she’s not writing stories revolving around adventure and fantasy, Lindsay blogs about self-publishing and marketing. Because she’s willing to experiment and share her results, she’s a must-read for indie authors, especially those seeking that level of transparency.
- Joanna Penn
Somehow Joanna manages to write both fiction and non-fiction, run a podcast, maintain several blogs, and does speaking engagements too. On top of all that? She’s both super helpful and nice.
- David Gaughran
David is respected for his knowledge about digital publishing, which he shares in depth through his blog and several books. If you have any interest in being an indie author, you’ll definitely want to read his stuff.
- Joe Konrath
Highly opinionated and no-nonsense, Joe often blogs about the publishing big picture and how the various changes impact indie authors. His archives include plenty of advice and resources for writers new to the business, and he’s quite willing to share his personal experience too.
Joe primarily writes thrillers. His body of work is impressive.
- His blog, which will make you think and push you to do better.
- A summary of what he believes when it comes to writing and publishing.
- A useful post on writing, digital publishing, and marketing.
Nathan is a former literary agent that has now written several children’s novels. He blogs about both the writing craft and business, and supports both traditional and self-publishing paths.
Hugh is very passionate. About his storytelling, sure, but also what it means to be a writer today and what it takes to make readers happy. His thoughts and ideas on publishing are worth pondering.
Elizabeth is a mystery author that mostly blogs about the various challenges writers face, often sharing her personal experience. She leads a very supportive community, and welcomes others to chime in with their perspective.
I’m sure there’s worthy self-publishing fiction writers not covered here. Who would you recommend and why?