Although it seems but a pipe dream to many, over the last few decades, a variety of self-published authors have gone on to experience mainstream success. In fact, a number of self-published authors have topped national bestseller lists this summer alone.
An amazing example of this is Andy Weir.
Weir initially failed to sell his first book, The Martian, so he began posting free chapters of it on his personal website.
Later, he put a 99-cent version on Kindle. By 2013, the book had become so popular that Weir received an offer from Crown Publishing to buy the book for $100,000.
You can purchase your copy here.
Weir built a two-decade career as a software engineer until the success of The Martian allowed him to live out his dream of writing full-time. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of such subjects as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He mixes a mean cocktail, and currently lives in California.
Examples of this sort of self-publishing success are countless. But the question for those seeking the same thing now is, how did these authors do it?
It’s all about the three P’s.
There are, ultimately, three components every successful independent author possesses.
- Professionalism. It’s incumbent that self-published authors invest in the content and packaging of their books. That means using a professional editor to thoroughly vet the words. Next comes a book formatting expert to enhance the reading experience with an attractive book layout, be it a printed book or an eBook. And finally, your book deserves the services of a real book cover designed professionally. A self-published book must look and read every bit as professional as the best sellers.
- Platform. All authors need to have some kind of marketing platform from which to launch their online literary career. That platform should exist primarily online: almost 80 percent of all books are now purchased through online retail sites or direct-to-fan pages. From Twitter and Facebook, to blogs and sales pages, authors have to devote resources to cultivating an excellent online presence.
- Perspiration. Finally, good old-fashioned sweat goes a long way in successfully promoting a book. Very few books ever get picked up in a viral storm of sales. Successful self-published authors understand how much energy is needed to adequately promote their work.
This might seem like a lot, but the authors who follow this formula garner more widespread success.
At the end of the day, not every independent author is going to hit the bestseller list. But you have a better chance of doing so if you study the hard work of those who have.
The success you seek is attainable — you just need to work for it.