The Long Haul

The other day Joe Konrath had an interesting post: “Why You Won’t Succeed As A Self-Published Ebook Writer.” I highly encourage everyone to read it. It’s good and it will give you some great food for thought regarding your own writing career.

On of the things that particularly struck me was point number two. For those who don’t want to pop over to Konrath’s blog, here it is:

2. You expect instant success. This is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to find an audience. But you have a much better change finding it with an ebook, which has an infinite shelf life.

Actually, I don’t expect instant success, but the rest rings true. I’ve been wandering around with the old traditional publishing mindset of launch dates and big splashes lodged firmly in my brain. As though I needed to let everyone know my book was available the MINUTE it came out.

Interesting enough, this was something I discussed briefly with Dave Gaughran over at his blog. He was talking about how to get reviewers and I was thinking I needed to line them up RIGHT NOW, even though my book won’t be out until (hopefully) the end of June. Give or take a few days.

But that is the OLD way of thinking. Traditional publishing needs a big splash on launch date because they’ve got literally weeks, if not mere days, to prove that this book is the Next Big Thing before it gets yanked off the shelves forever.

Guess what? My book won’t be going away. Once it’s out, it’s out. It’s forever, and as JA is fond of saying “Forever is a long time.” Yeah, it is.

I don’t need to worry about launch parties and making sure the world knows from day one that my book is there for them to buy and read and tell me how fabulous I am. It’s all about the slow burn, baby! Slow and steady wins the race and all that.

In the wonderful world of self publishing, authors no longer need to rush around like headless chickens trying to push their books like mad the minute they go live. Instead, they can work on the next book and the next and the next while slowly building an audience.

I don’t know about you, but I find that kind of liberating.

This doesn’t mean that marketing can take the back burner. It just means that you no longer need to chain yourself to the old way of doing things. Find your own way. Isn’t that the point of being an indie, after all?


One thought on “The Long Haul

  1. Great post Shea.

    It is liberating, it’s true.

    But on top of that, it really does take a lot of pressure off.

    It’s hard enough trying to get everything right with your release without having to make sure all your marketing and promotion occurs simultaneously in one madcap week.

    We don’t have the pressure of being on a bookshelf in Barnes & Noble with another truckload of bestselling authors arriving each week, threatening to push us off the shelves.

    It doesn’t matter when the sales occur (as long as they do at some point).

    This means you can be totally flexible with when someone can review your book, when you can do a guest post, when you can do any kind of marketing/promotion.

    It gives you a lot of headspace when you need it most – when you are focusing on making sure your release is as professional as possible.

    And you know what? I have one guest post lined up for mid-June. I would have liked it sooner, sure, but that’s when they could fit me in, and I was just grateful to get the spot.

    But, by then I will have at least one more title out (maybe two), so I will get to promote even more stuff.



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