Smart People Say Smart Things

Why Would I Write Posts About Self-Publishing When Other People Are Being Smart All The Time: A Curated List of Brilliance.

So, there is so much information out there about self-publishing, and I’m often asked for advice and my thoughts on things. I wrote one post about the math of quiet success, but there are so many other people writing smart things, sometimes I wish I’d thought to make a list of them so I could just say, Here. Here is your Brilliant People Primer. They are Smarter Than I Am.


This is that list. It is very much a work in progress.

Traditional versus self publishing: official death match 2014

Author: Courtney Milan
General Advice, Skills Required, Personal Experience
Target Audience:
Traditionally Published Authors

I love a lot of things about this post. This line in particular: I’ll talk about the skills that you need to have later, but the most important skill that every successful self-publisher needs is this: good judgment. That, I think, sums up so much of what is necessary to succeed in self-publishing. You can hire out almost anything else, but if you don’t know who to hire, and why, and what they should do for you…

While Courtney makes it clear that she’s talking to traditionally published authors because that’s the place of experience she came from, I think it’s worth reading no matter where your path has taken you. Because it’s smart, just like she is.

How To Make A Living As An Indie Author

Author: Robert J. Crane
Topics: General Advice, Marketing Strategies, Personal Experience
Target Audience: General

No, I’m not just including this because I want to be famous for my quote about pirate treasure. (Though I do.) This post is very long, very thorough, and very frank about how to take a smart, dedicated approach to the long game. Robert isn’t telling you how to use tricks to break into the top 100 on amazon every time. He’s telling you how to plan for the worst case scenario and build a backlist that might enable you to make a living without becoming The Next Big Thing.

In fact, he just today tweeted a bit of wisdom that I think sums up his post:

Backmatter: Are You Making the Most of Your Digital Shelf Space?

Author: Courtney Milan (Again, Already!)
Topic: Ebook Production, Marketing
Target Audience: General

This information is so important, I considered moving it to the top. From the post:

The moment after someone finishes your book is the point when they are most favorably inclined to you as an author. Okay, some people will have hated your book—and that’s okay—but this isn’t about them. This is about the people who read the last word of your book and sigh and hug their ereader close and think, “What a lovely book! I’m so glad I read this.”

It’s the perfect moment in a symbiotic author-reader relationship: She wants to read more of my books, and I want her to do the same thing.

Changing the backmatter in our books has increased our sales of related books, increased website traffic and exploded our newsletter, and all with so little effort. All it takes is really thinking about how to give the reader exactly what they want, as painlessly as possible.

So many more posts coming soon…