Make Your Own Self-Publisher’s Survival Kit

by | Nov 20, 2017

Raging wildfires. 500-year hurricanes. Earthquakes triggering mudslides. Sea-level rise.

It’s enough to make you want to bury your head under the covers.

Both the occurrence of these disasters and the detailed and extensive reporting on them have fueled a growing interest in preparing for the worst. Ads for survival kits, water purification systems, underground vaults, and home protection schemes pop up regularly.

But we’re indie authors taking on the publishing of our own books. And in the publishing jungle, there are lots of threats, dangers, scary mountain trails, and odd characters ready to destroy your plans.

How is a lonely author, one who has spent the last year inside her cave spare bedroom working on her book, supposed to face down these threats?

Just like survivalist “preppers” we can prepare ourselves for the arduous journey to come. And what we’ll need is our own “Self-Publisher’s Survival Kit” with our own purification system, nourishment for the long days ahead, and shelter from the circling hyenas looking for an easy meal.

“Survivalism is a primarily American movement of individuals or groups (called survivalists or preppers) who are actively preparing for emergencies.”—Wikipedia

What’s In Your Survival Kit?

You might think this is a fanciful exercise, but I assure you it’s not. You’ll want to be prepared. Here’s a good start for your own survival kit:

  • Typo nippers—It seems no matter how many times you check your book, there’s always a typo lurking somewhere. A set of nippers would come in handy—or a proofreader
  • Compelling headlines—From social media status updates to the headlines on your author blog, if nobody notices you’re there, your survival will be on the line.
  • Copy that sells—Natives want you to speak to them in their language, so make sure you pack some copy writing that actually speaks to your readers.
  • Metadata magic—You’ll want to conjure up lots of readers and the magic words and incantations in your metadata will help lure them to your book.
  • Ads that convert—Lots of authors have learned to keep themselves alive with targeted Facebook and Google ads that really convert into sales, so stick some in your kit
  • Media kit magnetism—Enchant the media with your authorial charisma and storytelling prowess, they will spread your words to the populace.
  • Spunkiness on demand—Indie publishing can inflict scrapes, cuts, and bruises, so you’ll need a large tube of stick-to-it-iveness.
  • Fetish for networking—Like any adventurer, you’ll need allies on your journey, so take a keen eye for like-minded authors with you.
  • Skeptical optimism—The lens of skepticism will reveal the scammers and snake charmers out to fleece you with their promises of “bestsellers in a weekend.”
  • Money in your pocket—Equip yourself for the journey by including some gold coins in your kit, you never know when you’ll need them.

What’s in your survival kit?

Photo: twintiger007

tbd advanced publishing starter kit

1 Comment

  1. Ernie Zelinski

    My survival kit always has been — and always will be — my creativity. I know that I am more creative than at least 97 percent of self-published authors out there. This passage from my next-to-be published book (in a Leather Bound Edition for which I will be charging $97 US/$127 CAN) is relevant:

    “What Is Your WOW Factor?
    This applies to both the service that you provide to the world and the way you market it.
    Make it edgy, make it snappy, and make it punchy.
    Even make it raunchy — but make it different!
    Real different!”
    — from “Life’s Secret Handbook (Reminders for Adventurous Souls Who Want to Make a Big Difference in This World)”

    Reply

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