Insecure Writer's Support Group

Ronel’s Top Ten Indie Publishing Tips #IWSG #authorpreneur #writerslife

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and time for another posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

Learn more here.

Since I launched my first book in 2018, indie publishing (or self-publishing, if you want) has come a long way. Some things remain constant, while other things continuously shift. Whether you’ve just started out or knee-deep in a backlist, I have some advice to share.

  1. Write what you love. This isn’t an eight-hour work day, or five-day work week. This is your business, so you’ll work harder than you have ever worked for anyone else to make it successful. So why write something that doesn’t bring you joy?
  2. Don’t compare yourself to others. There’s no point. Comparisonitis will just fuel that little voice that tells you that you aren’t good enough, smart enough, etc. and will rot away your creativity.
  3. Decide what you are prepared to compromise on. You don’t have to write every day – rules don’t work well for the muse. But you have to write. Yes, you have to run the business, but you don’t have to be everywhere and do everything. Hire a VA (virtual assistant) to run your social media, ads, newsletter, etc. and do only the things that give you the most joy – like writing the next book.
  4. Refill your creative well. Whether that’s through traveling, visiting museums, watching a movie, binge-watching Netflix, reading, or doing something else you love, you need to do more than dream up new things in front of a screen, or eventually there’ll be no place within to find inspiration from.
  5. Make writer friends. Especially ones who are at the same stage of the journey as you: it’s easier going through things with people who are also going through the same stuff so you’ll know you’re not alone. But you should also follow those who are a few steps ahead of you so you can learn from them.
  6. Treat this as a business. You should have a bank account for your business. You should constantly learn about the changes in the business – listening to podcasts is a great way to do so. And remember that connecting with readers and doing the publishing stuff and running the business is all part of it, so you have to manage your time wisely.
  7. There’s no such thing as perfection. Nothing is ever as good as it is in your head – not even things that come from your head. Sometimes it’s necessary to pull a book from the market, but that’s an exception, not the rule. Write the best book you can, have it properly edited and proofread, publish it and move on. That’s the best you can do.
  8. Decide on your publishing path. Are you going to stick to exclusivity with Amazon? Or are you going to distribute as widely as possible? Are you going to sell direct? Are you going to start each project on Kickstarter? Will you do pre-orders? All of these have pros and cons, but it’s up to you. Stick to your plan for at least six months, and if it doesn’t work by then, try something else. But do your research for your genre and do what’s best for you, not for someone else.
  9. Take self-care seriously. Let’s make it #FridaySelfCareDay. Just kidding. But drink loads of water, walk 30 minutes a day, sleep 8 hours every night, eat healthy meals, shower daily, dress in clean clothes, don’t lock yourself in your basement with your laptop… You get the idea. Mental and physical health are important if you want to do this (life, writing) for the long haul.
  10. Don’t run someone else’s race. You know what kind of writer you are: slow and steady/fast and often/monthly bursts? It doesn’t matter. Do you. And if you get stuck, use a writing prompt.
dream to succeed. george calombaris

I hope you’ve found this helpful. Do you have any tips to share? You can find more author-centred posts here. You can find my writing prompt books – paperback, eBook and audiobook – here.

*If you have difficulty commenting, check that you’ve ticked the data use block beneath the comment before leaving your comment. (Protecting your privacy per regulations.) If you’re still unable to comment, try enabling all cookies in your browser. On a device, like a tablet, go to settings, find your browser (eg Chrome), and uncheck “prevent cross-site tracking” AND “block all cookies.”

Want a taste of my writing? Sign up to my newsletter and get your free copy of Unseen, Faery Tales #2.

Success! You're on the list.
image credit

No-one writes about the fae like Ronel Janse van Vuuren.

12 thoughts on “Ronel’s Top Ten Indie Publishing Tips #IWSG #authorpreneur #writerslife”

  1. Your advice is valuable, and I thank you for so generously sharing! Definitely a good reminder to treat my writing business as serious business. Although, as you also list, it’s still something which brings me joy. Happy IWSG day 🙂

  2. Great tips, as always, Ronel.
    I am looking forward to sleeping for eight hours again, but it may never happen. Doing my morning exercises though – that makes a difference 🙂 And things are improving – I wrote a flash fiction for Wednesday 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *