3 Key Points About Making $$$,$$$ Indie Pubbing (RWA 2014)


The Scream by Edvard Munch 1895 lithograph, via Wikipedia

How to Quietly Make 6 Figures in Indie Publishing

by Deanna Chase, Angie Fox, ElizaKnight and Liz Schulte

RWA 2014 (19-064 tape)

The writers started out by sharing the top five things they believe contributed to their success. They gave lots of ideas, and many of them you may have heard before. Here are my three take-aways:

One – Write a Series

I keep hearing this over and over again. Readers fall in love with characters and settings. They want more of the same, but different. Series sell.

And….each book in the series sells the other books. They market themselves. Sort of.

I heard one author (not on this tape, on a SPP podcast) suggests a “one, one, five rule”. That is one series, one character and five books before you consider whether the series is working.

Two – Use Multiple Points of Entry

Put your books into boxed sets of your own and with other writers. Each set will reach a different audience. Boxed sets don’t make a ton of money, but they are great exposure.

Three – Get an Adaptable Learning Attitude

It’s a bit like a video game, explained one speaker. You try things out. Some things work and some things don’t. What works for another author might not work for you. No one has the answers. There is no one right way to do things.


Develop an adaptable learning attitude that enables you to build on your successes and keep an open mind to new ideas. It’s an exciting time to be a writer.



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Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

9 thoughts on “3 Key Points About Making $$$,$$$ Indie Pubbing (RWA 2014)”

  1. Jo-Ann, in terms of your photo clip – that’s a very accurate portrayal of how I feel sometimes swimming in the turbulent waters of indie-publishing. The focus on ‘quantity’ can be somewhat overwhelming.
    It makes me think of Harper Lee. One outstanding book. To Kill a Mockingbird. Different times for sure, but after all of the suggestions and all of the tips and strategies -writing a worthy book is at the top of the list.
    And most importantly -enjoy the journey. Our author lives are so different. And that’s what makes us unique.
    Thanks for sharing.


    1. Jodie
      Wise words. I feel stretched by the new expectations of writing a zillion books a year and I know that the quality of my writing goes down when I try to push it too much. The goal of the “worthy book” should be my highest priority. After all that’s why I wanted to write. Thanks for the reminder.
      I love sharing with you. Thanks for stopping by and making me think.


  2. Thanks for the summary on this topic, Jo-Ann. With my next book to be released, I’m moving into a series, but with different lead characters. I do believe the whole series deal sells better. I know when I was reading Carla Neggars books set in the New Hampshire white mountains, I couldn’t wait to read the next one. She had different main characters and I liked that, and her dreamy descriptions of an area of the country I love. The other key is to have the books come out closer together. So I think you’ve got it nailed with the 3 you’ll release that way. It was almost a year between my first and second. That’s too long to building a following. Off to write so there won’t be so long between the 3rd and 4th books. 🙂 I’ll share.


    1. Hi Marsha
      I love your settings, your depiction of family and your interesting characters. I’ll happily wait for your next book, but I agree we have to work at growing a following by putting up stories at regular short intervals. I’m not sure how good I’m going to be at that, but I’m going to try. I’ll be writing “bridge stories” between books, just to keep things alive.
      I better get writing.
      Thanks so much for stopping by, commenting and sharing.


  3. I agree with these observations. There is no doubt in my mind that writing series has contributed to my success. Joining in anthologies or collections with other authors has been an invaluable experience. It has broadened my reader base and I have learned a lot from the authors I’ve been fortunate to partner with. The last point you underline is probably the most important. I began writing as a fun thing, and it’s easy to lose sight of that in the growing desire to see your books rise in the rankings. Relax and enjoy. If something doesn’t work, try something else.


    1. Hi Anna
      Thanks for stopping in and sharing your experience. Your skyrocketing success writing medieval Romance and BDSM has been breathtaking. I love how you add to relax. So important.
      Best Wishes
      who hopes your cast is off soon.


  4. I think your observations are spot on. My chocolate mysteries definitely sell the best and if someone buys one they usually buy the other. I’m feverishly working to finish a fall one and get it up. But that still leaves me three more books to get written so no time to talk!


  5. I’ve had over 150 hits on this post so far. A whole conversation has erupted on the Sister’s in Crime loop debating whether the same “rules” apply to the mystery genre. The general feeling I get, is that they don’t think it does. They think it’s a Romance thing, and point out that traditional publishing doesn’t wait until book 5 or 6 to decide.
    But that’s the whole thing. This is not traditional publishing and the “rules” are different.
    So I disagree, I think a long series in whatever genre is the way to “get out there”. For better or worse. lol
    It’s an interesting conversation.
    Had to say something


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