The magic formula for writing successful independent novels is as follows:
- Write within an established genre, preferably in a desirable niche.
- Write several books, preferably in a series.
- Have excellent interior formatting.
- Write a compelling blurb for each book.
- Have better covers than anyone in the history of writing.
- Release books steadily, and endlessly, if possible.
The biggest problem, for almost all authors everywhere, seems to be the part where they sit down and write a book.
I am stunned and appalled when I read people asking for advice on author forums; they say that they aren’t selling any books, and that they don’t know what to do. Then, later on, they reveal that they finished their first novel six months ago, and they’re thinking about starting a sequel next year.
To me, this is like opening a brick-and-mortar store, and offering one very lovingly-fashioned coffee cup. The coffee cup is white, and it sits in the middle of a table, in the center of the store. Imagine yourself, as the newbie-author, standing behind a cash register, and keeping your eyes fixed anxiously on the big window at the front of your store. You watch the people hurrying past, and you ask yourself, why? Why aren’t the people streaming into your store, and eagerly purchasing that single coffee cup on the table? You are prepared for the sale of the first cup, because you have endless iterations of the same cup stuffed into boxes in the back room.
You walk over to the coffee cup, and you polish it carefully. You move it from one corner of the table to the other. You turn it upside down. You call your mother, and ask her if she will please purchase your coffee cup.
Finally, in desperation, and feeling that the world has come to an absolute low of economic depravity, you pick up the lonely coffee cup, walk to the front door of your store, and begin to thrust the cup at strangers.
“Here!” you say, desperation and depression battling in your voice. “Take this wonderful coffee cup!” you practically shout, trying to put it into people’s hands.
People begin to edge away from you, and from your store. They glance at you with irritated eyes, and you slump down on the sidewalk, weeping gently.
Write more books, people.