How to build a sustainable business self-publishing fiction

Courtesy Folger Graphics for Discovering Dickens Project (Charles Dickens photo by the Associated Press)

Litty’s mission is to enable independent writers to earn a living writing fiction. We will help you convert your most loyal readers into monthly memberships. We will give you the tools to delight your readers with special perks, exclusive content, community updates, and access to your content across multiple devices. Our business software will let you automate everything you need to, so you can focus on what you do best — telling great stories.

Here’s what you’ll need to know…

Consistency is key

There is nothing more important than consistency. You need your readers to build a habit or engage with your content. The only way to do that is by developing trust with them. They need to trust that every week or every day, they will see content from you, without fail. Think of it as a ride, and they’re not getting on it until they know it’s not going to stop in the middle. People who publish at least 1 chapter per week grow 5x faster than others.

Give away free content to attract fans

Readers need to be sold, but that doesn’t mean you need to be a salesman. You just need to give them a compelling reason to subscribe. The best way to do this is to show them what they’re buying. Give away a chapter or two for free. If your writing is compelling enough, they’ll be hooked. You can do this by creating a free tier for subscribers on Litty, or utilizing free publishing platforms and promoting across social media.

Don’t wait for someone to help you achieve your goals, do it yourself

You have to hustle and put yourself out there. This feels unnatural for many people, especially authors, but I promise it’s worth it. Your future readers WANT to find you, but they need a way to do it. Fight that awkward feeling and set yourself a goal based on activity not amounts. For instance, “I will ask 3 people to share my information or review on social media today.” I know you’re worried that people will get fed up, but don’t worry, there are a lot of other things they are seeing WAY more often and our brains are trained to respond to things we see often.

People can always ignore you or say no, but you’ll never know if you don’t ask. You’ll find that more people want to help than you think.

Use Social Media Regularly

The internet and social media changed how readers find their next book. Authors no longer have to rely on events, magazines, and billboards. You can reach your readers without ever leaving your home. Many avid-readers are constantly on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and other platforms looking for books and authors. You’ll want to do more than self-promotion though. Engage with fans and other writers. Do giveaways and give out exclusive content. Share your experiences and part of your life you are comfortable sharing. Fans love to hear from the actual author behind the pages.

https://www.instagram.com/emiliarosewriting/

Engage with influencers and book bloggers

There is a whole world of author influencers, book bloggers, and important readers. Remember, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know. There are facebook groups such as Book Connectors where you’ll find people yearning for new content. Give them exclusive content, do a Q&A, and help them accomplish their goal of finding and sharing interesting authors.

Cross-pollinate

Share the work of other authors (without asking at times) and they may do the same for you! This is one of the most effective ways to build an audience. Find writers who have readers that may like your work as well and reach out! You never know who will be willing to help…

Embrace a new format

We built Litty so writer’s could adapt to the reader’s consumption habits. Readers want to read wherever they are, through a variety of devices, and not just when they have 30 minutes or more to spare. This new format of consistent, serialized releases means you should adapt your writing habits as well. Be vigilant with your time. Block out important windows of writing. Don’t try and make everything perfect. In fact, we’ve found that a small error here and there can be enjoyed by the reader, as it makes them feel like they are getting the raw and authentic version.

It’s a Marathon, not a Sprint

You may not achieve your level of desired income in the first few months, or even the first year, and that’s okay. This is an investment in yourself that pays massive dividends over the years to come. You can earn money while you’re not even writing. The success will compound and it may take you the same amount of time to go from $0 to $5,000 per month as it does to go from $5,000 to $20,000 per month. We’ve seen it happen many times.

Find yourself a tribe of other self-published authors (we can help with this!) so you get the consistent motivation and support that you need to keep going. There will be tough times, and you may think about quitting, but there are others that can help you get through it. It will definitely be worth it!

Don’t wait, just start

Don’t wait to start building an audience. No matter how small. Friends and family. Friends of friends. In the early days, it all matters and you can’t wait to get started.

If you’re ready to get started, don’t wait, sign up today at www.litty.co or reach out to me to discuss your options at dylan@litty.co

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