Update: I've become a paid freelance writer since this post. For writers searching for a reliable company, check out Writers Access. The skills test is a long process, but it's well worth your time. Be mindful, they only allow applicants to apply once.
As an author, I hear more and more about the need to have a backlist. What is a backlist? It’s a list of books that have been published by the same author. In other words, an indie author cannot expect to make a living off of one book, or two books, or even three books. The goal is to produce many books that have been edited well and wrapped with good covers.
From what I’ve gathered, this isn’t any different than authors that traditionally publish. I was listening to the CreativePenn Podcast, and Joanna Penn was interviewing the author of the Left Behind series. What struck me was the fact that he’d had over a hundred books published before that series, which then hit BIG. The difference is, he was making a decent living with his other works before writing Left Behind.
But my point is still the same: You need a backlist if you hope to make a living as a writer. So besides freelance editing, producing more books is what I’m focused on.
FREEDOM IN PUBLISHING
When I published Scythe of Darkness, my mind was set free to write other work. If I hadn’t published it, I’d probably still be querying this particular book to agents, and my manuscript would most likely be in my drawer, never having seen the light of day. It was the best move I could’ve made for this project. By having that book out in the world, I no longer was bogged down with the idea, Will this ever be read by someone other than friends and family? And most importantly, it allowed me to build my author platform more.
Since then, I’ve published a short-story prequel, also edited by Kelly Hopkins. The book is free on Wattpad, Nook, and Kindle. My intentions are for it to bring in new readers for Scythe of Darkness. I’ll be writing the sequel to SoD during NaNoWriMo.
For my Scythe of Darkness series, those books will remain indie published, which allows me an outlet to reach new readers and take the publishing-obstacle off my shoulders. I LOVE the process! But I'd love to have a publishing team behind me for my other projects.
I just finished a new manuscript. This one is a stand-alone novel and is written for young-adults. It can be categorized as psychological/paranormal suspense with elements of romance. I have decided to pursue the traditional route with this book. Why hybrid? This project has a wider audience, and it’s a type of book that I don’t see much of in the YA market. I believe it’ll grab the attention of an agent far quicker. And if the right agent presents, then I’ll sign. I'm doing my part by promoting my current books, attending festivals, and cross-promoting with other authors. But having an agent would allow me to reach a broader audience and get my book into stores.
WHAT’S IN YOUR PIPELINE?
Just because I've indie published three of my books, doesn’t mean it’s the best route for you. I believe everyone has different journeys to reaching their goals, but you need to know what your goal is. Don't let fear paralyze your work, don’t let it hold you back from moving forward. And most importantly, keep moving forward!
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