Hi gang, Craig here again. Today I want to go into some of the work required in being an independent author. We can’t cover everything, so I’m going to try giving you a thousand foot flyover. You can plan your attack accordingly.
Being independent means you are in charge of everything. There is no team backing you up. This involves everything between proofreading and promotion. You have to be the general contractor, and the quality control expert.
This means you are going to have to collect people. You’re going to need a system to save them and recall them when you need them. For you youngsters out there, we used to use what we called Rolodexes.
The old Rolodex system worked pretty well back in its day, and I confess to having one on my desk even today. Basic simplicity is hard to replicate in modern society. It seems developers all want to make improvements. I really need to surf through a few different apps to see what might be out there these days.
Quite frankly, Apple Mail sucks, because it captures everything you’ve ever done. This is how you wind up sending a group email that was supposed to be a personal email. They make it incredibly hard to delete something you no longer want. I have to be extremely careful in emailing my workplace now, because it will auto populate with folks who haven’t worked there in years. I’m not enamored with their contact book either, but it suffices.
In the Rolodex era, we could simply throw away the card. Simple. Topic for another day.
I don’t know who you might need, and will leave that to you. When you blog, or use other forms of social media, you’re going to meet a lot of people. Some of them will have specific talents that you are going to need. These might be artists, editors, promoters, formatters, or any number of others. You certainly want to add these people to your virtual Rolodex.
Remember that all additions are temporary at first. You might want to vet them before you use them. Anyone who’s hung around in my circle knows I’m a fan of living documents. A Rolodex is another example of a living document. Cards get discarded and added all the time.
I don’t recommend the stumbling method, but you will come across a gem or two that way. I like to take the hunt into the field, and I like to do it before I’m likely to need someone.
For example, I have a friend who just lost his cover artist. I browse artwork every day. I used to surf through DeviantArt, but these days Facebook and Pinterest are just as viable. When you find an artist you like, drop them an email. See if they’re open for commissions, and explain what you might want. If they aren’t, it was just an email and most of them are very friendly. If they are open, you can continue the conversation and add them to your Rolodex.
One day, your favorite artist will be booked up, or you’ll write something that demands a different style. If you already have several artists in your Rolodex, you may save yourself a month or so searching for the new artist.
You can substitute any of the other helpful folks for the artist in my example. It still applies if you’re looking for an editor instead.
This collection can prove helpful in other ways too. Many of these people have blogs or other forms of social media. When it’s time to do a virtual book tour, you will get a lot further with your friends as hosts than you will on a paid tour.
It makes sense in a way. Like minded people seem to have like minded followers. Plugging my new science fiction novel on a knitting site probably won’t gain me much interest. Plugging it on a beta reader’s site will put it in front of more appropriate eyes.
So where do you start? Look up at Chris’ Resources page list. He has a wealth of information already gathered. Check some of those links out, and add them to your Rolodex. Talk to those people, follow their blogs, interact with them. You might make a friend along the way, and could make a great contact that will help you level up.