I don’t want to be one of those writers who guards his secrets, refusing to share or discuss how he connected with this person or how he reached that market. I try, not always successfully, to be generous in my personal life, so why should my career be any different?
Some indie writers blog that they won’t share all their marketing channels or discuss how they set up their blog tours, because they consider other writers their competition. That’s a legitimate way to look at things, but even with the traditional publishing, traditional bookstore model, I don’t think it holds true. Many of the writers I know who found success under that old model make it a habit to share what they’ve learned and help other writers make connections with agents, editors, and other resources. Many indie writers have done the same.
Books like The Long Tail, which I’m in the process of reading, have convinced me we’re really not competing against each other in the way some might think. Sure, there are only so many readers out there (millions!), but there’s limitless shelf space these days. The readers who couldn’t find you before, because you weren’t prominently displayed in a big bookstore, can find you now. If you produce enough work, tweak things correctly, make an effort at marketing, and have enough luck, you may be as easy for readers to find as some of the authors with major marketing dollars behind them.
Folks are still willing to spend five bucks a day ($150/month) on coffee. I have to believe that those who are interested in reading your work will still want to read it, and be willing to pay for it, after they’ve spent five bucks on mine.
I have a conventionally published book coming out in 2012. Though I’m more than thrilled about it, I’m just the writer for another author, and I have no influence on how it will be sold or marketed. But I have at least three, books I’ll publish independently this year. When I do, I hope I’ll learn something worth sharing with other writers. Authors, like Kiana Davenport and Jennifer Willis, have openly shared resources and suggestions, and helped me get closer to done. The least I can do is pass on the favor.
Go write something!