Make Your Own Luck – tips for indie authors

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Photo by Leo Cardelli on Pexels.com

As an indie author it’s important for word of my books to get out there. If I don’t go the extra mile to promote my novels, no one else will. So – how do I achieve this I hear you ask? 

I achieve this by accepting invitations to appear at book fairs, signings, author talks or library visits. I use these events to create blog posts and  promos which I disseminate via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and two retweeting groups I belong to. This could be viewed as casting my bread upon the water in the vain hope that the fish will bite. However, I find that getting my name out there in a variety of ways reaps dividends.

lizzie-lamb-new-email-signature-300pxHere are some of my top tips

There are many social media sites and they can be a real time suck, taking you away from your WIP. Experiment to find which ones work for you. I focus on: Facebook (personal, author page, groups) Twitter, Instagram and my website/blog. I also belong to many Facebook ‘groups’, it takes a little time to figure out which ones work get little or no traffic, so don’t be afraid to leave a group if you’re getting nothing from it. LIfe’s too short. 

Increase your social media presence

As a result of increasing my social media presence I have been invited to appear in Writers’ Magazine (blog tours – 2018), Writers Forum (my writing space – 2019) De Montfort University to lecture final year creative writing students, library visits, author talks and workshops. One word of warning – book sales are not always guaranteed so do check in advance that you will be paid for the talk, be offered petrol expenses and whether or not the venue will want 10% of your book sales. Yes, really (!)

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Narberth Book Fair – Wales – September 2019

Get out and about

I believe that my books deserve to be brought to the attention of the largest number of readers possible so I canvass different venues to see if they would like a visit from an indie author, or authors in the case of New Romantics Press. So far, I/we’ve appeared at Aspinalls of London, Waterstones Kensington High Street and hosted literary lunches at top Leicestershire venues to raise money for charity.  

Get organised

Keep your author bio, author photo, links etc up to date. Be organised, you don’t want to be hunting around for an excerpt of your novel when an outside agency approaches you. Invest in a mobile phone capable of taking decent photos and syncs with your computer.

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Join author groups where you can learn from others. I’ve been a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association since 2006 and co-organise the Leicester Chapter with June Kearns. What I’ve learned from other authors has been invaluable. I used to belong to local writing groups where members critiqued each other’s work. They didn’t work for me, but they might work for you.

Don’t be afraid to enter competitions, but choose wisely as they can be time suckage, too. Remember to publicise the good bits which you’re happy to share and project a positive image of yourself and your novels. 

Check out the great promotional apps out there: Canva, Ripl, Photolab Photofunia  – you have to stand out from the crowd. 

Once you’re published and have proven sales, join professional groups such as the Society of Authors. It might not do much to raise your profile in the short term but offers invaluable professional advice on contracts, tax matters. Using the #SOA tag on your profile identifies you as a serious writer.

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Carol Bevitt, Adrienne Vaughan, Lizzie Lamb, Marcia Holah, Caroline Bell-Foster, Marilyn Rodwell

Remember your fellow authors

Make friends, be generous to other writers but don’t expect them to always return the favour. Invite authors on to your blog, ‘like’ any blogs you read and (if time allows) leave a comment. Read and review their books (don’t be afraid to ask them to do the same for you). Retweet authors in your genre, like their posts on Instagram etc. A good time for this is via your mobile phone when you’re watching tv (!) Remember the USA doesn’t come on line until (roughly) 3pm.

Be ready for opportunities

Me and long-suffering husband

Over the past two years I’ve been offered an Amazon Prime Deal and an Amazon Kindle Deal in India. The former arrived via email when I was in John O’Groats on a research trip and I had to respond straight away. See what I mean about always having your phone with you, always being alert?!

I’m currently waiting to be accepted on the Women’s Institute and Rotaract circuit where I will talk about writing, travels in our caravan, I’ve just signed up to Kindlepreneur and downloaded software to hone my tags and categories more effectively and increase my novels’ visibility on Amazon. The learning never stops. 

AND FINALLY . . .

If I’m allowed a small boast (it’s my blog – right?) I’d love to share the article in WRITER’S FORUM where I talk about my writing space. Quite an achievement for an indie author. 

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So – good luck with all your enterprises. Don’t wait for luck to strike, go out and make it happen. And, if you see me on social media, do ‘like’ and ‘share’ my posts – I always pay it forward. 

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Slainte Mhath – 1ABF06F4-9A35-4815-861B-3C2BA6BF5266 (2) - Copy

 

About Lizzie Lamb

I write contemporary women's fiction mostly based in Scotland with hot heroes, feisty heroines and always a happy ending. Along with three other authors - Adrienne Vaughan, June Kearns and Margaret Cullingford - I formed the New Romantics Press under which all our books are published. I have published five books since 2012 and am currently writing #6 - check out my Amazon page: viewAuthor.at/LizzieLamb

Posted on October 26, 2019, in Lizzie's Scribbles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 66 Comments.

  1. Absolutely excellent overview 🙂 I like how you notice how some things work for you but others don’t… Its OK to leave some things and try others rather than let it make you think your a failure for having it not work for you. Loads of great advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for leaving a comment. I think it’s important to have an overview of what’s out there and then try some of them . I have left some Facebook groups I belonged to because I was beginning to feel overwhelmed. Also, on some of the other sites I dip in and out as the week unfolds. Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant!! An absolute master-class. You don’t just tell it though, Lizzie – you do it and prove that it works. My goodness though, you work hard!! You deserve every success.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks June. As you always say, my teaching skills and work ethic carried over when I left the chalkface. I can’t help but reach out to others and show them the way. LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliant post, Lizzie, and thanks for sharing what works for you. Love all the author photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Helen, I have also learned much from reading blog posts from other wonderful bloggers/writers such as you. As for photos, what would we do without our iPhones??

      Like

  4. Lovely to meet you properly, Lizzie. Masses of great ideas, and I love the tartan background to your blog!

    Like

  5. Brilliant post. I do a bit of everything I physically can in a scatterbrain style. Your social media presence is evidence of the good books you write! xx

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    • Thank you for your lovely comments, Samantha. Some days I think – put the phone down, step away from the computer, have a break. Then I become re-energised and carry on. I think it’s important to find out what works for YOU and to get rid of anything that doesn’t. Thanks for your brilliant reviews of my ‘Scottish Novels,’, too. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on Samantha Henthorn finds the right words and commented:
    Reblogging so I remember these words of wisdom

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  7. I think I’ve spotted Kindlepreneur before, Lizzie, but that was the first time I’ve gone and given it a proper look. Lots of interesting resources there. I often struggle to get exactly the right keywords for search hits, so thanks for that suggestion. Great article! Jane x

    Liked by 1 person

    • The owner is very committed to helping authors. I feel that I ALMOST (!) have an understanding of how it work but will need to study in greater depth. His free resources are very good! !

      Like

  8. Excellent blog, Lizzie. I know this is for Indie authors, but it applies to trad pubbed, too. Unless you’re a big name, publishing companies don’t put the marketing money behind you. Having just been taken over by a big publisher from a small one, I know all about that! I wish I had a) half your energy b) your mobile office and c) The Helpmeet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lesley. I know what you mean. I read somewhere that the BIG FIVE have to put a lot of money behind an author to get them into the Best Seller Charts and on the supermarket shelves. Not much chance of that happening for me, so I do what I can. But you’re right about how lucky I am to have my mobile office and my ‘roadie’, Bongo Man.

      Like

  9. Brilliant blog post Lizzie! I’ve seen your career rise right from book 1 and I kow how much effort you put into that! You’re an amazing person and I am so proud to call you my friend xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Isabella, thanks for popping by (again). Without the support of friends like you and others I wouldn’t;t have got this far. I know you are desperate to see how #6 ends, so I’d better get stuck into that, too. Bye for now and slainte mhath, lassie.

      Like

  10. Great post, Lizzie. You were the first writer I ever approached for advice, and I was incredibly nervous about doing so. Your kind and helpful response led directly to me joining the RNA, and that’s when everything changed for me. I watch your career in amazement: you pack so much in! I love your books, as you know, but I also love how generous and supportive you are to other authors. Thank you! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sharon, what goes around, comes around. You are consistently kind and helpful to other authors, too. Sharing posts on Facebook, leaving comments, reading and reviewing books. I can’t produce books as quickly as you do but I’m happy to call you a friend and to learn from YOU, too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Melanie. We both starting publishing books around the same time (2012?). Many have fallen by the wayside but we still keep going. Must be the gin or Scottish blood !!

      Like

  11. Great post, Lizzie. You should run an indie retreat, I’d come. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on rosiedeanauthor and commented:
    Excellent advice for indie authors from Lizzie Lamb

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Such an excellent post, Lizzie – reblogged on Being Anne…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks Anne. I saw in the news this morning that S. Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 is flooded ATM. A reprise of the Narberth Book Fair weekend. Lol.

      Like

  14. Fabulous post, Lizzie. I am so in awe of how brilliant you are at getting out and about with your writing. It’s so inspiring. Long may your success continue xx

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Well done Lizzie, you work really hard and deserve your success.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great tips and advice, Lizzie. I wish I lived in UK and could do more activities with other authors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean, Luccia. We all learn from supporting each other, don’t we? Adrienne and I have a library event happening at the end of November and it’s much easier working with someone.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Terrific post, Lizzie. Full of great tips, suggestions and valuable nuggets of info. You are such an inspiration to me and I shall be forever grateful for our friendship and for all the love, support and encouragement you’ve given me over the years. You fully deserve all your success. A woman of many talents for sure Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Jan, as our American friends say – what goes around, comes around. The good and the bad. You have been there for me, always, and I like to think we’ve helped each other through the good times and the bad. Looking forward to reading the sequel to As Weekend Go. I’ll be the first one there to promote you . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thanks for such an information packed post! It’s definitely a huge time commitment (and learning curve). Yet, so worth it for the wonderful relationships that are forged along the way! All the best to you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Camilla. I’ve met my writer heroes, made friends and learned so much through social media and organisations like the RNA. By nature I’m curious and talkative, so I guess that helps, too. Have a great rest of the weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Thanks Lizzie for such a brilliant and comprehensive overview. I’m not an indie author but have to do practically all of my own book promotion as a traditionally pubbed author, so will use these tips.

    Congratulations on all your success, Nikki x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Promotion is a necessary evil, Nikki. Isn’t it? In an ideal world all we would have to do is write books. Wouldn’t that be great?

      Like

  21. Absolutely super blog Lizzie – a real masterclass! You are always so generous and kind professionally and personally, and you write the most gorgeous books … a proper dynamo and proud to call you a very dear mate! XXX

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Reblogged this on Adrienne Vaughan and commented:
    Authors! Don’t miss this brilliant blog from Lizzie Lamb … things you really do NEED to KNOW!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. This is an outstanding post. I am exhausted reading about what you have achieved. Brilliant! You have a great presence on social media. Many thanks for your generous advice throughout my journey. When you help others, as you do, people also spread the word. Your professionalism is also a key to your success, Lizzie. You are my role model. I will stop now…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessie, how kind of you to comment and to say such generous things. I suppose, having been a teacher for 34 years, helping others and sharing what I know is second nature. My reward (apart from book sales) is meeting writers and readers who go on to become friends. Like you 💕.,

      Like

  24. Such an informative & helpful post. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Great advice Lizzie. Love your Blog. Thanks for sharing with us. Yes, we can make our own luck – and we should. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Maddie, I think we’ve followed a very similar path as indie authors. You work very hard and show massive commitment- more power to your elbow.,

      Like

    • Thanks Maddie. You work so hard as an indie author and I know you’ve developed some strategies of your now. Keep up the good work and on with the next one.

      Like

  26. Lizzie, thank you for sharing these superb tips with us! I love the photos of you with all your author friends – all looking so happy and fabulous! You reminded me I hadn’t yet opened my Writer’s Forum! Wow! Love your writing place – idyllic to travel around so much, picking up ideas, research and writing with such stunning views. A lovely article … I always turn to this last page first and particularly happy I did this time!😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your lovely message, Annika. The best times are those spent with other writers, we know how to have a good time. The invitation to appear in WF came out of the blue but was a result of the writer seeing me plus caravan on Facebook. Just goes to show …….

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Joan Davies-Bushby

    Great advice from Lizzie. Her success is a result of hard work and her generosity towards other writers. Take her advice. She really is the master of getting her work out there!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Hi Joan and thanks for your kind words. I know that being a writer is the last thing in the world you would wish to be. (have I put you off, somehow???) But you are even better than a writer, you are a very savvy reader and that is someone all writers are keen to engage with.

    Like

  29. Reblogged this on New Romantics Press and commented:

    If you’ve ever wondered what an author has to do to get their book in front of a reader, read my post. Thank you.

    Like

  30. This is a fantastic article, with really helpful tips. Thank you. There’s so much to learn and do when you first publish a book, so learning from someone with experience is invaluable.

    Like

  31. Hi Lizzie I love this article and I think you are so inspirational! Thank you for sharing your secrets! 😀

    Regards Malika

    Instagram: @Malikagandhi Facebook: Art by Malika Facebook: The Witches of Panay

    On Sat, 26 Oct 2019 at 07:38, Lizzie Lamb – author wrote:

    > Lizzie Lamb posted: ” As an indie author it’s important for word of my > books to get out there. If I don’t go the extra mile to promote my novels, > no one else will. So – how do I achieve this I hear you ask? I achieve > this by accepting invitations to ” >

    Like

  32. Astrid Bennett Claas

    Very good blog and even for a non author interesting and informative. Whatever we want to sell in the first instance we always sell ourselves first and I must say Lizzie Lamb does this extremely well but at the same time with lots of humour and kindness. Leaving all that aside I love her books and look forward to reading No 6!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Astrid, that is so kind of you. As in business it pays to get yourself ‘out there’, but always to remember our customers (readers).

      Like

  1. Pingback: #Reblog: Make Your Own Luck – tips for indie authors by Lizzie Lamb @lizzie_lamb – Being Anne…

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