This post is an attempt to clarify in my own mind what I want from my writing. I want to write. I don’t want to spend all my time marketing, or on social media, or doing discounts and sales, and judging the results and tweaking various, endless, platforms. I no longer want to chase after every book marketing shiny object that comes out every month. I no longer want to read the endless stream of Kindles on book marketing. Or maintaining the endless posts on blogs, forums, or social media. I want to write! One of my goals for this year is to market my books more effectively and more aggressively. Indie book marketing, it seems, it the 800lb. elephant flatulence everyone smells, but no one wants to talk about. With good reason. More often than not it results in lost time, lost money, lots and lots of aggravation. Even professional marketers concede that most marketing efforts will fall short 80%-90% of the time. I should know, I’ve been marketing my own businesses online and offline, most of my adult life. This means, for me anyway, if I don’t want to spend all my time marketing, and/or spending what little profits I earn, I have to find marketing venues that will market my work, without direct input from me. Barring that, I have to increase my chances of readers finding me. That means diversification. I’ve done a lot of reading this past month. More importantly, I spent a lot of time looking at what successful authors are doing. Forget what they say in their blogs, forget the flavor of the month, what are they actually doing themselves? · They are adding to their back lists. Usually three or four books a year. · They add to as many platforms as possible. This means Goodreads, Apple, Kobo, Smashwords, paperback (CreateSpace) as well as audio books, (ADX) · They are getting translated into foreign languages. · They are exclusive to no one. · They are priced in the $3.99 to $4.99 range. · They write full length novels. (50K to 100K word range) · They know their niche. If they go out of their niche, they create pen names, and don’t mingle the same name in different niches. · They maintain daily goals and regular word counts for each day. · They plan. · Use paid advertising only when proven to work, when they can afford it. · They create, and increase, word-of-mouth marketing. · They have email lists. · They collaborate with other authors. · They help other authors. This means cutting the Amazon/KDP umbilical. We all knew it was coming. It looks like 2015 is the year. In other words, diversification across multiple sales channels using Amazon as simply one spoke among many. Then if Amazon decides to pay 1 cent for KU “sales,” who cares? It no longer makes the slightest bit of difference to you what Amazon does, or doesn’t do. They are in their proper place. As a business income stream, nothing else. One among many. A lot of work you say? Yes, it is. But certainly no more work than social media requires. No more work than traditional publishing requires from authors in the way of appearances and book signings. In fact, once it is done, you never really have to look at it again. It’s one time work, and (Hopefully) it pays forever. The first time is the hardest. Once all the various accounts are set up, it becomes rote repetition. Smarter even, is to create the various formats yourself, (.pdf, .ePub, .mobi) then outsource the uploading to a single person as a one-two day job. Here’s the point: Once completed, I’ll no longer be a slave to marketing. I can forget about it, and let others market their own website and by extension, market my work as well. I will put it front of as many people as possible, allowing them to buy it in any form they choose. If I go on social media it will be because I want to, or because I have something to say. Which means I need a plan to accomplish those tasks in a specific order. I have two links for you to accomplish that. I'm not sure if I can post links, so I won't until someone tells me otherwise. PM me if you'd like to see them. Nothing to buy, nothing to sign up for, but they are a concrete method of creating a flexible plan and a cheat sheet to solidify the actions necessary if anyone is interested. As I said in the beginning, this post is an attempt to solidify my own thinking. Are there any steps I missed, or anything major overlooked? Does anyone have any other suggestions?