For the last year or so I have been focusing on writing fiction, which is something I always loved doing, especially the story creation process.
Having read and been inspired by other writers and self publishers, especially J.A Konrath (well worth checking out his blog) I decided to go for it and completed my first novel under a pen-name last year (a conspiracy thriller).
From what I’ve learned, and I guess this is true of any product based business, you need a series in the genre you’re publishing to really capitalise and build an audience, so I’ll am busy writing a follow up book as well as planning spin off series involving characters from that Universe. Comics and Science fiction have done this for decades and now fiction writers are beginning bring this element into their strategy.
I am doing this in my own time so outsourcing is key, whether it’s the actual writing of content and ghostwriting, ebook formatting, book cover design, marketing or just administration. Most of my distribution has been done direct to the big platforms: Amazon Kindle, Createspace, Nook and Kobo. For me, submitting directly to Apple iBooks is more tricky as you need a mac so I’ve done this via Draft2Digital and Smashwords.
I’ve also joined Speedy Publishing (affiliate link) who offer a fantastic library of training for those serious about self publishing as well as distribution to over 38,000 ebook retailers including online libraries. If you sign up to their distribution service they will promote your books too via their wide range of book imprints. I’ve only just signed up but I will share my findings on this blog and let you know how it works out.
So back to fiction. Creating strong characters is key as well as a storyline that makes the reader want more. Key points in the stories, such as the hook, game changers and page turning techniques all contribute to the quality of your product. I highly recommend reading J.A Konrath’s book: The Newbie guide to publishing, Write, Publish and Repeat by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Turant and also follow Joanna Penn’s blog on writing fiction.