Writing 101 – Assignment #8: Write a Letter – Dear Indie Authors

Letter

Yecheilyah Ysrayl
The PBS Blog
Shreveport, LA 71104
Wednesday, November 11, 2015

 
Indie Author Name
Future Best Selling Author
My Pen Name LLC
Word press Blog
My City, IL 60639

Dear Indie Author Name,

It is a pleasure to see you stepping into this exciting field. It has been far too long since we’ve talked to each other. I was pleased to hear that things are going well for you and that you are happy in your new career.There is something, however, I would like to share with you. I hope it will be beneficial to your new role as an Independent Author.

We live in an age where hackers rob banks from computer screens. Identities are swiped with the clicking of a mouse and the input of numbers on a keyboard. Now days, whole books are stolen, articles are copy and pasted from blogs like yours and websites are turned into books. A legal name is not required to self-publish and apparently, neither is talent. What does this mean for you, dear Indie? There is no sure way of firing the self-employed computer geek from his position in his mother’s basement where he lives off coffee and stolen material. No sure way of tracking down thieves who have no face. There is however, something that we can do: Name Brand Yourself.

It starts with trust really. As an Indie Author you’d have to have tons of trust in your work. Humility is a must but part of being humble is staying firm and my dear Indies, you must stay firm. Start by producing your own website. By website I do not mean your blog. Purchasing a domain name for a blog does not make it a Website. Seek to create your own author website or hire someone else to do it and link your website with your blog.

Next, you’d want to promote your website. This means you will direct people to your website to purchase your books and they can access your amazon pages from there. Remember that trust thing we were talking about? You’ll need it here. Right now you’re pretty much a nobody but being a nobody is part of the deal. Everyone started out as nobody’s. Yes, even Oprah.

Once you’ve established an author website (www.yournamehere.com) you may now add product. Never ever sell PDF copies of your book. My advice would be to sell print books only. Yes, through your website. Use POD (Print On Demand) as your printing company and not just where people can buy your books. If your name branding yourself you should be directing people to your website anyway, not the print on demand site. Am I telling you to forget POD? No. You need them. Unless you have your own printing company somewhere, you will always need Amazon and Smashwords or wherever else Indies are publishing. But, there’s a smarter way to use them. Instead of waiting on royalty checks alone, use PODs as printing companies. That is what they do right? Print your books? Buy in bulk and sell directly through your website.

This is the most secure option I can give you. Make sure to invest in a good platform for your website, preferably one that prohibits people from being able to copy and paste. To go further, set up a legal structure (a sole proprietorship or LLC) if you really want to do it big. This is added protection.

What about Amazon? What about them? You need eBooks so put your Amazon eBook links on your author website. Only have the option to purchase a Kindle or otherwise non-easily downloadable version of your book. (Did I say not to have a PDF version for sale?) DO NOT sell PDF versions of your books on your website. The rest is marketing and promotion. Direct everyone to your author website. Create business cards and bookmarks using your logo and author website. Want to securely Self-Publish a book? Treat it like a business. It will take time (lots of time) but the hope is that people will not be able to get yourwebsite.com out of their heads. Soon they’ll say: “Did you read the latest novel by yourname? Visit http://www.yournamehere.com. That’s right; eventually your name will be the brand they remember.

Does this guarantee illegal copies of your book won’t be available elsewhere? Probably not. That guarantee went out the door when technology surfaced centuries; I’m sorry, worlds ago. Of course, no method is guaranteed, but at least you can keep a better eye on product if you a). produce professional work that is hard to copy and b). you’re selling it from your own site as opposed to someone elses. You never know, you may even save enough money to hire a lawyer. Now that’s what I call taking Self-Publishing to another level.

I will call you next week. In the meantime, I hope to visit your website soon. I’ll access your amazon page from there.

 

Sincerely,

 

Yecheilyah Ysrayl
Author, Poet, Blogger
http://literarykornerpublishing.com

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