News, commentary, and fiction by Barb Hendee, co-author of the Noble Dead saga (; author of the Mist-Torn Witches series, the Vampire Memories series, and more.

Thoughts on Life and Self-Publishing

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Hi Everyone.

By this point, I meant to do a good deal more "marketing" for this book, but life sort of smacked J.C. and me in the face over the past month.

His father passed away after a short illness, and this came as a shock as his dad had always been such a healthy person. Then we had a family emergency of our own.

Right now, I'm in finals week for the college where I teach, but things are calming slightly in our personal lives. Onward.

I've been receiving emails from a number of folks who are asking for advice about self-publishing. The learning curve here has been fast and steep for me, but I have benefited greatly from the generous advice from other writers, and I wanted to share a bit here.

Many, many early self-pubbers seem to become anxious over marketing. This is the most common question I receive: "How do you market your own book?"

There are ways to market, and I will be a doing a marketing post soon, but I know several other writers who have been successful (meaning making a living) at self-publishing, and they all say that the following four items are really the only things that matter:

1) Choose a genre like romance, urban fantasy, SF suspense, etc, and create a very entertaining/commercial series.
2) Have professional-looking covers (with continuity in the series) that look like a typical best-selling novels in that same genre.
3) Hire a professional copy-editor/proofreader
4) Put out a new book in the series (even if they are only 50,000 words in length) at least every three months. This last one is critical.

Marketing can help, but really, according to people who are paying their bills via self-publishing, those four items above are the keys to success. The writer won't be making much money until perhaps book four is published, but then, the income keeps building.

Food for thought...

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