Author Topic: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success  (Read 1119 times)  

Online RG Long

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RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« on: April 16, 2018, 08:25:43 AM »
I have FINALLY figured it out. The secret we've all been looking for in the indie publishing world! I'm so glad to be able to share it with you below in ten easy steps!*

1.   Start a NaNoWriMo project because someone says it would be a good idea. Have no actual business plan, long term strategy, or any goals at all other than writing a novel.
2.   Get REALLY excited about writing a novel because you've always wanted to. Then outline the novel because that makes sense.
3.   Complete NaNoWriMo and do a happy dance! You wrote a novel!
4.   Begin to do some research about "acceptable" novel length.
5.   Crap.
6.   Shrug and decide to write more because you're loving this new adventure. Throw in some chapters about other characters POV.
7.   MAKE NEW CHARACTERS! Write them and love making them up. World build a lot. Make a historical timeline for your world.
8.   Pay someone to make a map!
9.   Figure out how to make a map yourself....
10.   Decide that you want your series to be super long. But disconnected so people can pick them up whenever they want. Make 15 your arbitrary goal. Even though you haven't finished the first novel yet.
11.   Find someone willing to let you use their speed painting project as cover art. Figure that you know what you're doing and make the art awesome.
12.   Finish the novel! Publish!
13.   Uh oh. You're first review. They don't like it. You forgot to edit it. Crap.
14.   Send the book to friends to edit it. They do so. Slowly.
15.   Begin working on book two! Because it's a series now!
16.   Receive the edited version back. It's great! Re-upload and comment on all the negative reviews that you've edited it.
17.   They still say it needs editing. Feel sad.
18.   Finish book two! You're feeling better now! Make a website! And an email list! And a twitter! And other things!
19.   Read a lot about publishing. On K-Boards. And Facebook. And the internet. Find out a lot of things you didn't know at first.
20.   Continue writing. Book three should be done sometime in the next few months, right?
21.   Nah. Start a sci-fi project. That'll be fun.
22.   No! Start a email newsletter perk! A novella! Predating your current series! Yeah! Finish that thing!
23.   Oops, you forgot you needed to finish the fantasy series you started.
24.   You do.
25.   Hire an editor. He finishes the first book! (It DID still need editing.) Send him the second.
26.   Email original artist about rates. Find out rates. Find new cover artist. On deviant art! He draws new stuff. It's really good! It doesn't look like the first. Oh well. Continue on writing second series, connected but "Anyone could pick it up and read from here if they wanted to!"
27.   Don't hear back from your editor. Your editor dies (true story). Find a new editor. New editor starts work. Does awesome! Resends the other books. Still more errors. All better now.
28.   Go do your first book festival! Sell lots of books! Get lots of emails! This is a blast! Make some money!
29.   Publish fifth(?) book!
30.   Continue to write fantasy books. It's looking good!
31.   Join some Facebook groups about writing. These are indie authors! Your people! They make just a little side money like you.
32.   HOLY COW HOW MUCH MONEY DO THESE PEOPLE MAKE!?
33.   Realize you need to up your game...
34.   Get new cover artist to go back and make new covers EXACTLY like you tell them to. That'll be great! You already know all the things you need to know.
35.   Write another book. You're almost done with this series! Good times!
36.   Get an international BookBub! Jump! Dance! Go crazy!
37.   Finish second fantasy series. It goes really well!
38.   Hire audio narrator to start on first series! He's amazing! And wonderful! And the books are coming alive!
39.   Get another international BookBub!
40.   The sale aren't as great as you would have hoped...
41.   It's ok! Go to another book festival! New covers will help!
42.   Make the same amount of money as last time with new covers and more books...
43.   But the narrator is finished with the books! They sound amazing!
44.   Wow. He was more expensive than you planned. Pay MOSTLY from book sales. Pay a little from your own pocket.
45.   Then pay more from your own pocket.
46.   The fantasy series aren't selling too well...
47.   Write a different series! Start the Three Years to a Sustainable Income Plan. But with MODIFICATIONS! Because you're good at this!
48.   Write a dystopian series! It'll be stellar! Amazing! Your wife and friends are excited!
49.   Break your leg.
50.   Don't write.
51.   You're sad.
52.   Go to physical therapy.
53.   Get better.
54.   Learn to walk again.
55.   Work out some.
56.   Start writing a bit again.
57.   Feel better about this whole hobby thing.
58.   Finish the dystopian series! You made the art! You totally know what you're doing! You're great at this!
59.   The books don't sell well.
60.   But maybe they will?
61.   They don't though.
62.   Crap. Taxes.
63.   Ooh! You paid the narrator a lot of money! Maybe that means...
64.   Yeah, you still owe taxes.
65.   Someone tells you your covers are crappy.
66.   They're wrong!
67.   ...
68.   No, they're right.
69.   Talk to other authors who ACTUALLY know what they're doing. They tell you things you needed to hear but didn't listen to earlier. Now you listen.
70.   Hire NEW cover artist.
71.   Start writing more fantasy books. That's what you wanted in the first place. Remember the plan? The 15 book plan? That's a good plan. Do the plan.
72.   Get amazing covers!
73.   Take down all the fantasy books.
74.   Re-publish them under new pen name!
75.   Pay someone NEW to make a NEW map!
76.   They live in Italy.
77.   Get a ton of authors to promote your books! A two week intense crazy launch! You get to start off with six books already written! This will be amazing! You finish book seven and start on book eight!
78.   Crap. What about the audio books? Contact ACX...
79.   The new(old) books start to sell! Things are looking great! You're actually making money! The launch worked!
80.   Figure out AMS ads. And Facebook ads. And instagram ads. Go read books on ads because you have NOT figured out ads.
81.   Get rejected for a BookBub (three times!).
82.   The books still sell! It's ok! You're a total low/mid-lister now! (Maybe.)
83.   Book eight is hard to write. You're bad at this. You got this. But this is hard.
84.   Keep writing! Finish book eight! Start editing! You finally know what you're doing!
85.   Go check reviews.
86.   A review says the first book needs editing.

*I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. But I'm on my indie journey, just like you. Thanks for your advice, cautionary tales, and willing ears. I'm still on this journey and loving it. So....

RG's FOR REAL Guide to Indie Publishing Success

1. Keep learning.
2. Don't give up.
3. Hire an editor.


RG Long | Author Website

Online PaulineMRoss

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 08:35:50 AM »
{Clicks mythical LIKE button}

That was fun to read - thank you! Especially for not mentioning KU once (yes, I'm a little jaded with it).

PS The covers in your sig are awesome. :D
 

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Bookbub rejections: 60; SUCCESS!; rejections: 8 and counting...

Offline RE Johnston

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 08:39:05 AM »
Why can't it always feel like step #3?
Two Moons: Memories from a World with Only One: 85%

Online Mark Gardner

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 08:44:37 AM »
I almost spit out my tea reading 49 - 54. Them feels, bro. Learning to walk again is a real b*tch. Took me three months, I hope yours was expedient. Even after doing this for years, 62 - 64 was a real pain for 2017. Stupid IRS taxed me almost $4000! Luckily, I had purchased a Mac Pro in 2017, and got to write it, and airfare to events off. Overall, your ten easy steps sounds about right :)

Online RG Long

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2018, 08:52:40 AM »
PS The covers in your sig are awesome. :D

Thanks! It was not always so:

(Note the typo)

Why can't it always feel like step #3?

Right!?

I almost spit out my tea reading 49 - 54. Them feels, bro. Learning to walk again is a real b*tch. Took me three months, I hope yours was expedient. Even after doing this for years, 62 - 64 was a real pain for 2017. Stupid IRS taxed me almost $4000! Luckily, I had purchased a Mac Pro in 2017, and got to write it, and airfare to events off. Overall, your ten easy steps sounds about right :)

One needs one's ankles and ought not to jack them or their surrounding tendons up on ladders. I feel that tax pain!

RG Long | Author Website

Online ID Johnson

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 09:22:30 AM »
Coming from another Indie writer who also had to learn to walk again and knows the equally intense pain of finding out you needed an editor for your editor, I thought this was awesome. I also love the covers in your signature line.

Online RG Long

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 10:10:41 AM »
Coming from another Indie writer who also had to learn to walk again and knows the equally intense pain of finding out you needed an editor for your editor, I thought this was awesome. I also love the covers in your signature line.


Solidarity.

RG Long | Author Website

Offline idontknowyet

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2018, 10:12:44 AM »
Love this.

Probably going to end up doing most of this sans the taxes and therapy.

Online Arches

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2018, 10:14:05 AM »
I hope you exercised a lot of literary license in your list because while it was very funny, it was also painful to think someone suffered that much for their art.

Online RG Long

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2018, 10:35:47 AM »
I hope you exercised a lot of literary license in your list because while it was very funny, it was also painful to think someone suffered that much for their art.



Ha. Nope.

If anything I've left out quuuuuuite a bit.

RG Long | Author Website

Offline Jessie G. Talbot

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2018, 10:45:42 AM »
I'm stuck at #2. I'll never win NaNo in a million years!

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2018, 10:57:00 AM »
Bookmarked, because that was worth bookmarking.

Offline SeanHinn

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2018, 11:06:06 AM »
That. Was. Brilliant. And this made me LOL:

62.   Crap. Taxes.
63.   Ooh! You paid the narrator a lot of money! Maybe that means...
64.   Yeah, you still owe taxes.

...and then weep a little :(

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2018, 11:09:04 AM »
This is awesome. Hang in there, RG Long!  :D

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2018, 11:13:55 AM »
Brilliant. Thank you for the chuckles. :)

Offline CathleenT

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2018, 01:58:08 PM »
This is hilarious. Thanks for sharing. :)

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2018, 02:10:46 PM »
I have FINALLY figured it out. The secret we've all been looking for in the indie publishing world! I'm so glad to be able to share it with you below in ten easy steps!*

1.   Start a NaNoWriMo project because someone says it would be a good idea. Have no actual business plan, long term strategy, or any goals at all other than writing a novel.
2.   Get REALLY excited about writing a novel because you've always wanted to. Then outline the novel because that makes sense.
3.   Complete NaNoWriMo and do a happy dance! You wrote a novel!
4.   Begin to do some research about "acceptable" novel length.
5.   Crap....

3. Hire an editor.[/center]

OMG I love this post! Especially this:

8.   Pay someone to make a map!
9.   Figure out how to make a map yourself....

That's where I am with my High Fantasy. I actually paid a lot of money for a fantasy map and then the map maker sent me back my money! :(

Rejected by a fantasy map maker!!!

My illustrious career as a high fantasy author stopped before it even began...

Congrats on figuring this all out -- just like the rest of us. Persistence is key.

Never surrender!

Offline Salvador Mercer

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2018, 02:30:56 PM »
...
20.   Continue writing. Book three should be done sometime in the next few months, right?
21.   Nah. Start a sci-fi project. That'll be fun.
23.   Oops, you forgot you needed to finish the fantasy series you started
...

One look at my signature books and you'll know this rang true for me.  Great read, I enjoyed all ten of your steps.  Now off to finish my two fantasy series, one of which I thought I had finished but readers let me know that I was wrong.  :)

Offline Jeff Tanyard

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2018, 08:39:42 PM »
Good luck, Ronald, and thanks for the entertaining post.   :D
            v  v  v   Short Stories   v  v  v                   Anthology       vvv FREE! vvv
        
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Offline katc

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2018, 02:17:30 AM »
LOL. 75% of that was me. Thank you for sharing your journey.

Offline catlife

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2018, 03:32:18 AM »
Thanks for the smiles :) and the reminder to hang in there. x

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2018, 04:33:49 AM »
I'd laugh along, but it's too close to the bone ;-)


Yes, I'm writing a scifi/high fantasy/comedy crossover. What do you mean, write to the market?

Online RG Long

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2018, 06:23:24 AM »
Thanks guys and gals.

It's been a wild ride with several missteps, back-trekking and experimenting.

You all have had similar journeys to mine, some harder, some you worked WAY more than I did.

Keep it up and keep writing!

RG Long | Author Website

Offline My Dog's Servant

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2018, 10:03:10 AM »
I see the problem here....you missed a few critical steps, which should be scattered as necessary through the process.

Open a bottle of wine. Drink a glass of it.
Drink another glass.
Empty the first bottle of wine and open another.
Chocolate.
More chocolate.
More wine.
Lots more chocolate.
Stock up on brownie mixes to meet 2 a.m. chocolate binge challenges.
A lot more wine. Boxed, if necessary, for easier access.
(Did I mention chocolate?)

There! That should do it!

(Seriously, that was brilliant! I especially loved the "taxes, but I spent...! no, still taxes!" part.)




Online RG Long

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Re: RG Long's No Nonsense Guide to Indie Publishing Success
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2018, 10:26:45 AM »
I see the problem here....you missed a few critical steps, which should be scattered as necessary through the process.

Open a bottle of wine. Drink a glass of it.
Drink another glass.
Empty the first bottle of wine and open another.
Chocolate.
More chocolate.
More wine.
Lots more chocolate.
Stock up on brownie mixes to meet 2 a.m. chocolate binge challenges.
A lot more wine. Boxed, if necessary, for easier access.
(Did I mention chocolate?)

There! That should do it!

(Seriously, that was brilliant! I especially loved the "taxes, but I spent...! no, still taxes!" part.)


lol. I would have except I've started a wonderful fitness journey that means I'm meal prepping every day except for one cheat day a week.

When I eat chocolate. ;-)

RG Long | Author Website