3 S.R. Johannes: Guest Post: PJ Hoover on Independent publishing

Friday, October 14, 2011

Guest Post: PJ Hoover on Independent publishing

As I mentioned, every Friday from until the end of the year, I am celebrating independent publishing. 

Indie-views Schedule:
  • Oct 12 - General tips and tricks from Lisa Nowak and others
    Oct 14 - PJ Hoover (Solstice)
    Oct 21 - Elle - (Clockwise)
  • Oct 28 - Michelle (Monarch)
  • Nov 4 - Danyelle - (Catspell)
  • Nov 11 - Addison (Wicked)
  • Nov 18 - Jessie (Destined)
  • Dec 2 - Karen Hooper (Tangled Tides)
  • Dec 9 - Megg Jensen (The Cloud Prophet triology)
  • Dec 16 - Susan Bischoff (Hush Money, Talent Chronicles)

Today P.J. Hoover stops by to tell us more about independent publishing.

Thanks for inviting me to guest blog over here, Shelli! I’m so happy to get the chance to hang with your readers! For those who don’t know, back in May, I independently published my first young adult novel, SOLSTICE, with the assistance of my literary agent, Laura Rennert, at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. 

SOLSTICE is a story set in a global warming future, and it’s what happens when mythology and dystopia collide. You can read all about it on my website, and I’m always happy to answer any questions asked.

There’s been lots of talk in the publishing world about the shifts in independent publishing, and plenty of authors are considering it. So I thought I’d share with you three reasons you might want to consider it and three reasons you might not.

Three Reasons you Might Want to Independently Publish your Novel:

1)    It follows a trend, and that trend is hot now. In a year or two, the trend may be on the downswing. Check what publishing deals are being made, and if your topic feels like it is fading in the market then you may want to consider indie-publishing rather than losing the market entirely.

2)    You want a chance at something exciting and cutting edge. The publishing market is changing on a daily basis, and it’s a great time to give indie-publishing a go.

3)    Your agent is a rock star, and she suggests it as an option for you to consider.

Three Reasons you Might Not Want to Independently Publish your Novel:

1)    Everyone who has read your novel has loved it, but this list is comprised entirely of your husband, your best friend, and you mother. Before you make any decision, get valuable feedback from qualified editors, authors, or agents.

2)    Impatience is your driving factor. Putting a book up on Amazon does not guarantee overnight success. There are lots (and lots) of ebooks being published every day. Wait until yours is really ready.

3)    There is still a stigma. Even with increased popularity of indie-publishing, readers and reviewers definitely still exist who will not read indie-published books. Knowing this going is in critical. If you’re going to indie-publish, accept this fact and roll with it.

Whatever decision you come to, take the time to think it through. Make sure you’re making the decision for the right reasons.

Now, let’s say you’ve decided to take that manuscript and indie-publish it. How can you go about marketing this new creation? What should you do, and what should you not?

Three Things you May Want to Consider when Marketing your Indie Novel:

1)    Blog Tours – No matter whether your book is indie or traditional, these are a great way to go about getting the word out about your novel. Yes, this will involve giving away digital copies of your book, and writing lots of guest posts and interviews. But accept it and make it fun.

2)    Mastering the twenty second pitch. No longer. Seriously. People are busy these days. If you happen to run across an old coworker at the grocery store and they ask you about your writing, be prepared to give them the “very quick” version that had been tailored to hook them. And then hand them a postcard with information on it J

3)    Group Marketing. I mentioned there are lots of indie authors these days. Find out who they are and make friends. We have a wonderful writing world, and joining people who have the same goals as you is key. If you can’t find the right group, consider forming one yourself. Reach out. Other authors will be happy you did.

Three Things you May NOT Want to Consider when Marketing your Indie Novel:

1)    Spamming people. Nobody wants to be spammed. Sure, it is fine to send out an email or a newsletter on the day of your release, but don’t start sticking your book info on other people’s Facebook walls. That’s just uncool.

2)    Never showing interest in other people’s writing and books. We’re all out here writing and marketing books. Be genuinely interested in what other people are up to. Dominating relationships with only your own stuff will get old very quickly.

3)    Being stingy about sending review e-books. Seriously, this is costing you zero. If someone wants to read your book enough to email you and they are fine with the digital version, send it to them. And thank them.

Good luck! And thank you again for letting me be here! I appreciate the support J


P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book MythologyTHE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS & SCOUNDRELS. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing Kung Fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching Star Trek. Her first novel for teens, Solstice, takes place in a Global Warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own. Her middle grade fantasy novels, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, and The Necropolis, chronicle the adventures of a boy who discovers he’s part of two feuding worlds hidden beneath the sea.


PJ Hoover said...

Thanks for having me here, Shelli! I am honored!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I read every word--twice--and I'm not even indie publishing right now. GREAT post, P.J. :-)

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Shannon! I appreciate you reading!

Unknown said...

Really great advice! Thanks P.J. and Shelli!

Addison Moore said...

Perfect post PJ! You know I heart you. =)

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

Cool post. And now I want to ready your book! What a great concept.