Indie Publishing Part Four: Great Expectations by Janice L Dick

Indie Publishing Part Four: Great Expectations

“Whatever you may have heard, self-publishing is not a short cut to anything.
Except maybe insanity. Self-publishing, like every other kind of publishing, is hard work.
You don’t wake up one morning good at it. You have to work for that.”
— Zoe Winters, Smart Self-Publishing: Becoming an Indie Author

What can we expect from our indie experience?
– To be an instant professional?
– To be successful and famous immediately?
– To sell millions of books and make lots of money?

If we subscribe to any of the above, we’re most likely in for a disappointment. This is part of a journey that takes time to learn. Probably our most important assets are perseverance and a willingness to work and learn.


1. If we write a so-so book and do no marketing or promotion, we can expect no sales.
2. If we write a great book and do no marketing or promotion, we can expect low or no sales.
3. If we write a great book and do some marketing and promotion, we can expect some sales.
4. If we write a great book and do our utmost in marketing and promotion, we can expect great sales and an income. This may well include investing time and money into learning how to market and promote our work. But without it, as I can attest, sales will be abysmal.


* I recently paid for an online self-publishing course, because I’d been through a couple of the above listed scenarios, and had come to realize that if I didn’t up my marketing and promotion game, I was wasting my time. The writing is foundational, but if no one knows about our books, no one will buy them, and they will not meet the needs of readers.
The course I bought into is Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula 101. Before buying it, I asked for responses on some of my Facebook groups and received positive comments from those who had taken it. I also heard from someone I know personally, who has greatly benefitted from the course. It’s pricey, but I was able to take advantage of a sale, and if I apply myself and learn, I hope to recoup that expense and more besides.

* Here are two of my favourite writing websites that are packed with learning opportunities:
– C.S. Lakin’s
– Joanna Penn’s
Of course, there are many more out there, available online.

* See what you can learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). So far, it’s a little beyond me, but there is value in knowing how to categorize our books, what wording will cause the most traffic, etc., but the rationale changes often as people figure it out and try to manipulate it. I hope to learn more about this in Mark Dawson’s course.


* As with anything worthwhile, it takes time to learn and grow in the indie publishing world.
* Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many professionals out there are more than happy to help or offer advice.
* We all have writing friends who are a few steps ahead of us, and they are usually happy to help. Having said this, we also need to be that helpful person to those a few steps behind us.
* Find and join a Facebook group for indie writers; there are lots of options, both Christian and secular.
* Don’t let the steep learning curve stop you. Think of it as an adventure. Pray over each step and keep climbing.

Janice Dick

Janice L. Dick writes historical and contemporary fiction, inspirational articles and book reviews. She also edits and presents writing workshops.

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