Thursday, 4 October 2012


Welcome to the world of independent publishing.

The great news is that virtually everyone has an inexpensive avenue to share their work with the world.

The awful news is that virtually everyone has an inexpensive avenue to share their work with the world.

While it’s now so much easier to present your novel, novella, short stories, or poems to a potentially huge audience, you’re now competing with every Henry, Wadsworth, and Longfellow who thinks they’ve penned the next best seller.

Collectively all of those books, online or otherwise, are noise. They’re the background from which you’re hoping your effort will stand apart. It’s not easy. Half of all self-published authors earn less than $500 per year. The top ten percent of earners account for seventy five percent of the income.

So how do you break through the noise? Here are five ideas:

Seek help from the successful. I’ve found that authors, self-published and otherwise, are giving people. They like to share their expertise. So pick their brains, ask for their advice. Most with whom I’ve corresponded have quickly responded to emails.

Spend money to make money. Pay someone to help you edit and proofread your manuscript. That same study that found most of us make squat from our books also found that well-honed copy nets 13% more cash. A professional looking cover adds another 34%. Also, have someone professionally format your text (especially for an e-book). It’ll make the reading experience more enjoyable.

Create a unique experience for the reader. I don’t know about you, but I write (and read) visually. So for me, the book isn’t enough. I want more. So, for example, with my novel, SEDITION, I created a simple but effective virtual world to accompany the text. On my website, , I posted links to supportive news articles and pages that display the artwork mentioned in the text. There’s a photo gallery of locations in the book. And best of all, I think, there’s the ability to download and print documents and laws referenced throughout the novel.

Interact with your readers. Have a website and/or a blog through which you can communicate with your readers. No matter how “small potatoes” you might be in the publishing world, readers love asking questions and getting answers from the mind that just helped them escape the real world for a few hundred pages (or more).

Write a good book. This is the hardest part. But if you do it, if you write something worth reading, it will find an audience. It will. Really. It will.

About the Author:

Tom is a Texas television reporter and anchor who has spent 20 years covering local, national, and international news.

He's interviewed Presidents, cabinet members, and leaders in congress.  He's reported live from the White House, Capitol Hill, and the United Nations.

Tom's covered five national political conventions. He has flown with presidential candidates, gone backstage at their rallies, and broken stories about them on television and online.

He was at the Pentagon while smoke still rose in the hours after 9/11 and was in the room when Secretary Colin Powell made his case to the U.N. Security Council for war against Iraq.

Tom lives in the Houston suburbs with his wife, Courtney, and their two children.

SEDITION is his first novel.

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