Writing Tips from a Best Selling Author. The reality of idie writers

When I wrote my first novel 3 years ago, I had visions of writing the "All American Novel". Reality presented me with "Just an American Novel". Still, I did rather well -- and that book, "Blood and Venom" generated an opportunity to ghost-write a book for a family. I made more money writing the family biography than my novel!

However - I was hooked!

Three years later, I've finished my ninth book. I am finally figuring out my goals and marketing plan. Gone is the idea of NY Times Best Seller. Now, I just want to supplement my retirement in 20 years. That's it. And I'm happy with that idea. If I have 20 books (a reasonable number for me to write), I will bemakinganice2nd income. I no longer expect great wealth because I have learned a few things about books:

1. You have 30 days from release to maximize sales. You better have a game plan that includes committed friends and family promotion BEFORE you publish.

2. If you sell 500 copies of ANYTHING you are smoking hot. In fact, you are in the top 5% of all authors. Most books only sell about 1.8 copies. That means the author bought one - and maybe his mom. Sigh...

3. I played around with my genres and found out this actually hurts an author. Readers do NOT cross from one genre to the next. If you change genre then you must have a new marketing plan and new customers.

4.However,playaround with your genres until you find your fit. My best sellers are in self-help "Top Cures for Sciatica and Back Pain" #20 in sports medicine & "Depression Symptoms Decoded". My next best selling books are political satire. I'm not very political myself, and perhaps my objectiveness makes for the best satire. I dunno.

5. I shamelessly self-promote (witness this discussion thread!). However, I am proud of my work so I mean it when I promote. This works. Get brave. Get strong. Believe in your books.

6. Amazon Kindle sales revenue at 70% is a good deal, and generates most of my sales. I like the reward of selling books, and the moneyis nice.So,Iam focusing my efforts on driving people to my Kindle works.

That's it. Writing is more than my first book. Writing is every book I've completed. Writing is every book I will complete. Who knows? In the middle of just enjoying writing books I might just create that "All American Novel" after all. *grin*

-Stephen Paul West

Best-Selling Author of: